With all the protests planned and occurring at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Ohio I thought it might be helpful to share a few guidelines for effective protesting. I am sure there are many more but here is a starter kit if you are new to the world of dissent and change.
1.) What is your goal? If you don’t have one, delay your protest until you can decide what you want to HAVE. By the way “shutting it down” is not a goal – it is a strategy.
2.) Can everyone protesting articulate the goal? Send anyone who can’t home before they get you in trouble.
3.) Is a march, some slogans and a bunch of rhetoric the best way to meet your goals? Breaking windows, burning police cars, shutting down an interstate highway, etc. are likely to piss off people who could be influenced to support your goal if you used a different strategy.
4.) Would proactive initiatives end the need for reactive protests? If so consider working to fix the problem before it boils over into an emotional reaction that accomplishes little or nothing other than alienating some folks who could help you reach your goals.
5.) Do your leaders benefit by solving the issue or perpetuating the problem? If the latter, fire your leaders and find new ones who can help solve problems.
Of course when the protesters find out I am an old, white, moderate male, these suggestions may just fall on deaf ears. In the meantime – stay off my lawn.