Power of Protest and Activism
6 Aug 2021
The act or efforts to promote, impede, or intervene in social, political, economic,
environmental reforms to make changes for the betterment of society is known as
Activism. It ranges from hunger strikes, rallies to boycotting business, contributing to
political campaigns, which are few ways to carry out activism. Activists are people who
choose political or social activism as a vocation or anyone engaging in the practice of
activism. Activists use pamphlets and other forms of literature to convince people to join
their cause, including social media, to combine politics and technology and facilitate
Types Of Activism
Judicial and citizen activism- This includes the efforts of public officials and engaged
citizenry. Activists attempt to understand the actions of the government that act in the
name of the people and holds it responsible for oversight and transparency.
Environmental activism - It involves the protection of the natural and human
environment. It also includes the preservation of depletable natural resources in the
ecosystem. Internet activism - It uses social networks to communicate information about
protests, including videos recorded on smartphones, putting the issues in front of a
global audience. It also focuses on protecting or changing the Internet itself, aka digital
rights, protecting the rights of people concerning new technologies, particularly the
Internet and other information and communications technologies.
Activism in literature - Activism in literature includes the expression of intended or
advocated reforms, realized or unachieved, through published, written, or verbally
promoted or communicated forms.
Economic activism - Economic activism involves using the economic power of
government, consumers, and businesses for social and economic policy change. Both
conservative and liberal groups use economic activism as a form of pressure to
influence companies and organizations to oppose or support particular political,
religious, or social values and behaviors.
There are more types of activism present, like science activism, visual activism, etc.
Activists use different methods, carefully planning each step or in the heat of the
moment, to get the desired results. These tactics can be violent or non-violent, where
the latter is more effective than the former in achieving goals, comparatively, as it
garners public sympathy. One of these non-violent methods is Protest.
A protest is a public expression of objection or dissent towards an idea. These can take
different forms and publicly make their opinion heard. It strives to influence the views of
the public and government policy. Protests are systematic and non-violent campaigns
using persuasion pressure to get desired goals. But protests can quickly transform into
cases of civil resistance or nonviolent resistance.
A protest can take many forms some of these are:-
Riot, melee, mob violence: Large-scale use of violence by instigators against persons,
property, police, or buildings separately or in combination, lasting several hours.
Boycott: Organized refusal to buy or use a product or service. Examples: rent strikes,
Montgomery bus boycotts
Organization formation announcement or meeting announcement: Meeting or press
conference to announce the formation of a new organization.
Conflict, attack, or clash: This includes any boundary conflict in which no instigator can
be identified, i.e. Black/white conflicts, abortion/anti-abortion conflicts.
Prayer Walk: A prayer walk is an activity that consists of walking and praying at the
same time. It's done not for the physical benefit but the spiritual exercise, either publicly
functioning as a demonstration or rally.
Lawsuit: Legal maneuver by social movement organization or group.
People less Protest: Simultaneous online and offline protests involving physical
representations of protesters in public spaces that are subsequently assembled online.
Developed in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sometimes, various forms of protest have restrictions placed on them by a
governmental policy, like the requirement of protest permits, economic circumstances,
etc. When limitations like riot police occur, protests assume more subtle forms of
resistance against the restraints, in the form of open civil disobedience. A demonstration
may subject to counter-protest, showing support for the person, policy, etc., opposing
the original protest. Protesters and counter-protesters can sometimes violently clash.
In conclusion, activism is for making public opinion heard, through various forms, and
one of the is protest. The slight difference in both is that protest is a public display of
feelings and activism is being politically active in the role of a citizen. Both of these are
equally important to make their point.