The substance and purpose of Protest and it’s relation to Riot

Non-action passes for consent in the eyes of the state and the people at large. This is why protest is so important, it is violent (in the emotive, not physical sense) dissatisfaction realized, concentrated and brought into the material world in a way that other disenfranchised individuals look up and take notice- and some will even join the cause if it is a righteous cause. The thing you are protesting has a clear and definitive ideological resistance that is so concise and loud that no one will be able to say that whatever thing you protested went down having the support of the people, all the people, without any real resistance. The first goal of protest is to stop whatever you are protesting against and/ or to get what you want. The secondary goal is often overlooked and is realized in many protests. It brings people in who otherwise would not be involved or opinionated on the issue. It causes those who wish to learn to learn both sides of the story. It causes those in opposition to take notice and (ideally) listen and come to their own conclusions. Protest when done right breeds more protest, more resistance, more social turmoil. In certain circumstances it can spark something truly magnificent, it can create such a tear in society that whatever issues exist are forcibly resolved by the people (typically through democratic means). Take for instance the British Tea Party which helped spark the American Revolution. Or look at the small group of student protesters in Stalinist Albania who brought down an authoritative regime by sparking a chain of key events. Protest, unlike riot is resistance organized, peaceful and loud. Loud in the sense that others hear the message in its true form. Riots cause the subject matter which is protested to be overlooked at best, and demonized at worse. Riots are the voice of the unheard, violent and angry. Protest are the voice of the unheard organized and angry yet peaceful in a way that the message- no matter how contorted or demonized by the elements of society which serve such a purpose- is heard. In the struggle for real political power the people at large have no other weapon than organization and democracy. It is the only means to achieve real social change. It is the only way for society to take firm notice that the people, all the people, did not go along with the event you are protesting against. Democracy without protest is false, protest without democracy is chaos.

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