“Anybody who walks out peacefully, who protests peacefully, that’s what this country was built on.”
Charles Barkley, Athlete
Pros and Cons of Protests
Protests and demonstrations are a great way to show the political elite that the general public is not satisfied with political decisions. Protests have become increasingly popular over the past and will also play an important role in the future.
However, apart from the many benefits of protesting, there are also some problems related to this concept. In this article, the pros and cons of protests and demonstrations are examined in detail.
Advantages of Protests
- People can express their opinion through protests
- May help to lower social tensions
- Protests can help people to release stress
- Expression of frustration
- Demonstrations can be important to make a change
- Can help to improve the overall living conditions in a country
- Important for revolutions
- Protests can raise the awareness of the general public on important topics
- Demonstrations are important for minorities to get heard
- You can find other like-minded people through protesting
- Feeling of community
- Organization of protests has become quite simple
- Can help to protect human rights
- Protests can help to make legal changes in favor of the general public
- Protests can increase the pressure on politicians
- Demonstrations are a valid tool in a working democracy
- Protests have often been successful over the course of history
People can express their opinion through protests
One major advantage of protesting is that people can express their opinion regarding political decisions or injustice in our society through demonstrations.
This is quite important since only if people can express their mood, politicians will notice that their decisions are actually not in line with the preferences of the general public and will be willing to make changes.
Hence, demonstrations are quite important to assess the overall mood of the local population.
May help to lower social tensions
Protests can also help to reduce the social tensions in our society. Many people in our current state of the world feel that they are treated in a quite unfair manner. For instance, many people have to work in an exhausting job for long hours and only earn a quite low salary while some people don’t have to work at all and inherited a fortune.
This is only one case of many significant injustices around and those high levels of injustice and inequality can lead to serious tensions in a society. In order to reduce those social tensions, it is crucial that people are able to express their thoughts through protests so that politicians can make changes according to the preferences of the majority of the general public.
Protests can help people to release stress
In general, protests and demonstrations are a great way for people to release stress. If people get the feeling that they are heard by politicians through protests, their inner stress levels may drop significantly, which can be quite beneficial in order to improve the overall health levels in our society.
Expression of frustration
Many people also feel that it is time to express their overall frustration with the current political system. Some people feel that they just have not any chances in life to improve their circumstances under the current political system and therefore engage in protests in order to change things so that they can really start to build a better future for them.
Demonstrations can be important to make a change
In general, demonstrations can also be crucial to make significant changes in a country. Many politicians simply don’t know about the needs and wishes of the general public well enough to make informed decisions which could help to improve the overall conditions for the general public.
Therefore, demonstrations are a great tool to show politicians and other decision-makers what is really going on in a country and what is most urgently needed to help as many people as possible.
Can help to improve the overall living conditions in a country
Many people all over the world still suffer from quite poor living conditions. This is especially true in poor developing countries in the Southern hemisphere of our planet. In those countries, the majority of the general public suffers from significant hunger and starvation and many people will never have the chance to get out of poverty under the current political system.
Hence, especially in those regions, it is crucial that people protest against corruption and other issues so that the overall living conditions in those countries could be improved and more people could get out of their misery.
Important for revolutions
Some people are just so fed up with the current political regime that they want to start out with a completely new system. In such a case, protests can also make a lot of sense in terms of revolutionary movements. For revolutions, the majority of the general public has to support those movements since they will not be successful at all otherwise.
Consequently, in order to create a revolutionary movement, it is crucial to convince as many people as possible through demonstrations and protests that it is time for a change in the political landscape.
Protests can raise the awareness of the general public on important topics
Another benefit of protests is that they can also be helpful to raise the awareness of the general public on important problems which we have to solve as a society. For instance, many people had not been aware of our environmental problems just one decade ago. However, in our nowadays society, almost everyone knows that we urgently need to make changes in order to protect our planet and our climate.
This had been accomplished by many people protesting and raising the awareness of the general public on those important problems. Hence, protests can also be crucial in order to solve our environmental issues and several other global problems.
Demonstrations are important for minorities to get heard
In many countries all over the world, minorities are still treated quite poorly. In fact, in many regions, people who belong to certain minorities will still have quite confined rights and are often discriminated against in various parts of their daily life. In order to solve this issue, it is crucial that those minorities gather and work together in order to really make a significant change.
One way to do this is to start protests and demonstrations so that they are able to raise the awareness of politicians and of the general public on this injustice. In turn, it will become much more likely that the problem regarding the discrimination of minorities could be mitigated, at least to a certain extent.
You can find other like-minded people through protesting
Everyone of us may feel quite overwhelmed from time to time when it comes to solving our global problems. We as individuals can only make a limited contribution when we act alone. However, if we join protests and gather as a big group of people, the positive effect of everyone of us can be multiplied.
In fact, at those demonstrations, you can find many like-minded people who will have similar values and opinions like you. In turn, you will feel encouraged to continue to make a positive impact on our environment.
Feeling of community
By joining these protests, you may also get a real feeling of community. Quite often, you will work together with many other people who have the same goals and you will also meet many of these people again at other demonstrations.
In turn, if you join those protests, you can also get a real feeling of community, which may motivate you even more to continue to make a positive impact on our society.
Organization of protests has become quite simple
Another upside of protests is that they are so easy to organize in our current state of the world. Only a few decades ago, it was quite hard to organize those demonstrations since we didn’t have the technology for it. However, right now, big protests can be coordinated through the internet and through the use of social media.
Hence, it has become quite easy to organize protests and to coordinate the masses so that those protests can have a real impact to change things to the positive.
Can help to protect human rights
Protests can also be crucial in order to protect our human rights. In fact, without the right for protests, governments would have it quite easy to suppress the general public and to manipulate people through selective media reporting.
Protests can protect human rights since people can still state their opinion through those demonstrations and the general public will likely get aware of many issues through those protests, even though the general media may not report those problems.
Protests can help to make legal changes in favor of the general public
In many countries all over the world, people also suffer from confined rights in many different areas. For instance, in many countries, women are still not allowed to vote. However, most of us would agree that this concept is outdated and that we should give women the right to vote in order to increase gender equality and to strengthen human rights.
In order to achieve this goal, women but also the general public have to protest so that political leaders will notice that it is time to make legal changes in this regard.
Protests can increase the pressure on politicians
In general, protests and demonstrations are a great way to increase the political pressure on politicians to make changes. Politicians are often rather sluggish and don’t want to make too many changes since they don’t want to disappoint the general public and also want to maximize their chances to get reelected.
Hence, it is crucial for the general public to join demonstrations so that pollical leaders will have an incentive to really make changes.
Demonstrations are a valid tool in a working democracy
Protests are also crucial to ensure a working democracy. Everyone in our society should be able to express his or her opinion in a free manner and without having to fear any punishment related to it.
Consequently, the right for demonstrations and protests should be anchored in every legislation of a truly democratic state so that people always have the right to express their opinion if they are unsatisfied with the current state of their country.
Protests have often been successful over the course of history
Protests have also been quite important to make political changes throughout the course of history. In fact, many movements that had been belittled early on became the foundation for really important changes. The ability to make changes will be quite limited for everyone of us if we act alone.
However, if we organize protests in big groups, chances are that we will have a much bigger impact together and you should never underestimate your ability to make a true positive due to that fact.
Hence, the success of protests had been proven quite often throughout history and we should never forget that the general public can have a huge impact on political decisions in the long run.
Disadvantages of Protests
- Protests are only working if many people join
- Protests may not always be peaceful
- People may misuse protests for their own agenda
- Property damage related to demonstrations
- May lead to injuries for participants
- Protests can be costly
- May not lead to significant change
- Governments may just ignore demonstrations
- Time may be used in a more efficient manner for other things
- May lead to higher unemployment
- Protests may lead to a drop in GDP
- Protests may not be allowed in some regions
- Sentences related to demonstrations
Protests are only working if many people join
Although there are many important advantages related to protesting, there are still some downsides to this concept. One problem of protests is that they only work if enough people join those movements.
Imagine a demonstration with only a few participants. Even though their intentions may be good, the effect of those protests will be rather limited.
Thus, it is crucial that many people join those protests in order to make a real difference and this is simply not the case in many cases.
Protests may not always be peaceful
While most protesters act in a peaceful manner, some of them also take it too far and many demonstrations are ended by the police due to unlawful activities related to those protests.
Hence, if you join a protest and really want to make a positive impact, make sure to stay peaceful and to keep your emotions under control, although this may be hard from time to time if you think that you had been treated in an unfair manner.
People may misuse protests for their own agenda
There are also people out there who often try to misuse demonstrations for their own agenda. For instance, some demonstrations may be officially started for a certain purpose, while there is a hidden different purpose underlying those demonstrations.
Hence, people may also be fooled into demonstrations which actually may have a purpose that is not in line with their values at all.
Property damage related to demonstrations
While the majority of protestors may act in a peaceful manner, some demonstrators may not stay peaceful and may even damage nearby shops or other properties. This should not be the goal of protests at all and in such a case, demonstrations do more harm than good.
May lead to injuries for participants
Since protests do not always stay peaceful, some protestors may even suffer from injuries of many sorts. If protests get out of control, the police often tries to stop those demonstrations and police officers may often use water monitors or pepper spray in order to get back control over the situation.
Therefore, in some cases, demonstrations can also get out of control and in such a case, protestors may also suffer from serious injuries if they don’t protect them properly.
Protests can be costly
Demonstrations may not only be questionable from a security perspective, they can also be quite costly. Quite often, demonstrations have to be planned way in advance and many police officers and security guards have to be present, which implies significant labor costs related to those protests.
Moreover, in case those protests get out of control, nearby shops often get damaged and some people get injured, which leads to additional medical treatment costs. In total, protests can imply large social costs, which often have to be borne by the taxpayer to a certain extent.
May not lead to significant change
While demonstrations provide the changes for significant change in theory, they don’t lead to the preferred outcome most of the time. Quite often, there are not enough people who want to join those protests and protests are often also not in line with the opinions and preferences of the general public.
Therefore, even though the intention of those protests might be good, there may simply not be enough support for those movements.
Governments may just ignore demonstrations
In many cases, the government may also simply ignore protests of the general public. Especially if the topics of protests are not considered to be crucial for election outcomes, politicians may not consider those protests to be worth spending any time on them.
Hence, politicians may just ignore the will of protestors and those protests will not lead to the preferred results due to that.
Time may be used in a more efficient manner for other things
Since demonstrations often do not lead to the desired outcome, opponents of those protests often also claim that the time that is spent on demonstrations could be used much better for other important things. Therefore, some people also consider joining demonstrations as a waste of time rather than a senseful activity.
May lead to higher unemployment
Protests may also result in higher unemployment rates. If there are too many protests and the political system is rather unstable, companies may relocate to foreign countries where the political situation is safer.
In turn, many jobs may be lost and the local unemployment may increase. Hence, protests may do more harm than good if they are done in an excessive manner.
Protests may lead to a drop in GDP
If people protest on a frequent basis, chances are that this will also be bad for the local economy. When people protest, they will not be able to work in their jobs and therefore, the overall productivity would decrease.
Hence, also the overall economic output in this country would suffer as well. In the long run, the overall wealth of people in this country might decrease as well.
Protests may not be allowed in some regions
In some countries of our planet, especially in dictatorships, people are often simply not allowed to protest at all. In fact, in those countries, demonstrations will not be permitted since the current political regime often fears to lose its power if people gather and state their preferences.
Thus, there will also be no possibility to organize those protests since the general public would be far too scared to join those demonstrations anyway.
Sentences related to demonstrations
In some countries, people even have to fear serious sentences for joining demonstrations. This not only includes getting fined, people may even end up in jail if they join protests and other movements that are considered to not be in line with the preferences of the current political regime.
Therefore, since most people don’t want to risk being sentenced to jail, demonstrations may also not be feasible from a practical standpoint in those countries.
Top 10 Protests Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Protests Pros||Protests Cons|
|Protests can help for political change||Protests are not always peaceful|
|Can help to raise awareness on certain topics||Protests can be expensive|
|Demonstrations can help to express thoughts||May be used for radical ideas|
|May reduce stress levels of people||Protests may not make a difference|
|Protests may increase social cohesion||Many people required to make a change|
|You can find like-minded people||May contribute to unemployment|
|Can be important for revolutions||Protests may lower local GDP|
|Protests can create feeling of community||Protests can be potentially dangerous|
|May be considered to be a human right||May not be allowed in some countries|
|Protests can increase pressure on politicians||Serious sentences related to demonstrations|
As we have seen before, there are many advantages and disadvantages of demonstrations. In my opinion, protests and demonstrations are part of a working democracy and are also crucial to raise the awareness of the general public and of politicians on important problems.
Therefore, as long as those demonstrations are peaceful, the pros of protests outweigh the cons in my opinions and the right for protesting should in fact be considered as human right which everyone of us should have on a global scale.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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