The attempt of protesters to block Chicago’s freeways (which failed; repulsed by the Police) got me to wondering: what exactly did the protesters hope to accomplish?
Oh, I’ve seen the old “we are here to make you uncomfortable; to experience rage at what you can’t control”, which I suppose might be the goal in and of itself…but what reaction do they want?
Do they think they will get a “ok, they are seeing what we can do, so they will push for what we want” reaction?
I think that rarely happens. I remember reading the book White Rage and thinking how skillful the activists of the days of old were; they outfoxed their opponents in the courts (“ok, keep your separate but equal, but now live up to the equal funding part”; in effect they made segregation too expensive to maintain) or things like bus boycotts (depriving a service of money).
Oh I know…I hear “protests WORKED”, Tea Party (the real one), when, in fact, a few of them worked. How many came up empty? Just irritating the hell out of people doesn’t seem like a good strategy to me.
Sure, people want their lives to be easier (both the protesters and those bearing the brunt of the protests) but, if the people you are targeting your protests at have resources, they might decide to use them to:
1. Back political leaders that crack down on the protests
2. Retaliate ..say by doxing the protesters and putting pressure on them to be fired or
3. Simply moving away…it is called “white flight”, I believe, but might be more accurately described as “if you can afford to get out of there, you do.” And given the days of remote work and pandemics ravaging the cities, along with protests…well, if you CAN..???
I wonder if working toward something like “we patronize the companies that reinvest in our communities and hire our neighbors” might be the way to go?
Seriously, you aren’t going to be listened to if you don’t have something others want and all you can offer is inconvenience.