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Are political protests effective? Show more Show less
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A protest is a public demonstration that expresses disapproval towards something. Political protests focus on objecting policies or actions by governing bodies. Some of the political protests that have occurred in the past year include the George Floyd protests, the 2019-2020 Hong Kong protests, the Philippines’ Anti-Terror Bill protests, and the 2019 Venezuelan protests.

Political protests work Show more Show less

Several political protests held during the past decade have resulted in policy changes. Regardless of their outcomes, political protests can be considered effective since they inspire people to become politically active. Protesters create awareness about specific issues, especially those experienced by marginalised groups. By having their voices heard, both in their home country and all over the world, protesters ignite discourse and action.
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Political protests are effective because they influence policy making

Influential political protests create political movements that impact policy making.
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The Argument

In addition to spreading more awareness about certain issues, protests can affect policy making. When enough people are involved in a political movement, their concerns reach the attention of governing bodies that have the power to create or alter policies. A study conducted by Harvard University and Stockholm University showed that protests are most effective when they build political movements.[1] As these movements garner more attention, interest, and participation, policy reforms are more likely to occur. The 2020 George Floyd protests, for example, helped the Black Lives Matter movement receive more international awareness. Forthcoming policy changes that were influenced by this movement include the dismantling of Minneapoliss's police department and the reform of New York City’s police department.[2]

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  1. https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/13457753/TeaParty_Protests.pdf
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/08/what-have-protests-achieved-george-floyd-death-police-funding-statues

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 10:17 UTC

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