They say that there is strength in numbers and in raising our voices. What good ol’ liberals forgot to tell you is that no one cares, especially our beloved politicians. A loud and clear message is but the first step of rational social change; it is never supposed to be the only step.
Gathering in large numbers to scream and complain, with the occasional Black Bloc shenanigans of burning random trash cans and smashing windows, doesn’t do anything to make people care who already refuse to acknowledge your plight. We have had marches with millions of people before; they do not lead anywhere when neither the populace at large nor capitalists care. When women get together to address the rest of the populace about grievances, yet most of the government and businesses are supervised by men who do not care about these grievances since they do not affect them directly, not much will get done merely because there was a loud yell. When women at home begin to refuse to ‘take their place,’ when they really do boycott business as a grouped economic block and hurt sales, when they get together to block a highway or street—to not demand that they be heard, but to make themselves heard—that is protest. When they make real threats against a politician’s career and mean to go through with that threat as a block, and when women who aren’t out there (or cannot be) pool together resources to make sure that stories are heard and seen, and they pool money together for lawyers to help those who end up in jail because of protesting, THAT is an effective protest. Protest is making yourself heard and noticed. Protest is making sure that those who aren’t suffering like you cannot ignore your suffering, for you make sure that they feel at least a noticeable inconvenience so long as you suffer injustice. Protest is the living act of will which says, “So long as I suffer, you shall not know peace. You shall not ignore me, for I shall not let you walk by untouched by my existent suffering.“
Protest is disruptive to the lives of those who are not the victims of suffering. Do not fool yourselves. Protest will not endear others to you—after all they have ignored you and your suffering not just passively, but often actively. If you are a black person protesting for black lives, know that you are not going to get the whites and Latinos of the country to stand by you after being ignored when you shut down a major street during you did your peaceful protest. To those who do not experience the same struggle, your plight is but a sad blip in a normal day. They have jobs to get to, bills to pay, kids to feed—your unjust deaths are not a priority, for they are distant to them. When you block their way to work, rather than feel sympathy and urgency to help you, they will talk down to and criticize you endlessly as being hurtful to your own cause for having dared to make yourself heard and inconveniencing them. All of a sudden, the average person becomes a master of social engineering and political strategy, knowing how to make grand social changes happen better than you. You should point out how funny it is that they know so much, yet they who are so knowledgeable cannot get their own movements off the ground. The only thing to do in such a situation is this: inconvenience them more and do not let up.
Real protest comes at a price. It costs those who protest and more importantly costs those who do not while refusing to do anything about injustice. The people of the modern day are not innocent with regards to the state of affairs. A price is to be paid for true change, and the price is not cheap. Ideals are not cheap. Justice is not cheap. Change is not cheap, and we all know that—even the average person does—yet as a whole we are refusing to take on this price.