Demonstration (political) A demonstration
is an action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political
or other cause or people partaking in a protest
against a cause of concern; it often consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally
, to hear speakers. It is different from mass meeting
Demonstration in Canada against oil tankers, 1970
Actions such as blockades and sit-ins
may also be referred to as demonstrations. Demonstrations can be nonviolent
(usually referred to by participants as "militant
"), or can begin as nonviolent and turn violent depending on the circumstances. Sometimes riot police
or other forms of law enforcement
become involved. In some cases this may be in order to try to prevent the protest from taking place at all.
In other cases, it may be to prevent clashes between rival groups, or to prevent a demonstration from spreading and turning into a riot
The term has been in use since the mid-19th century, as was the term "monster meeting
", which was coined initially with reference to the huge assemblies of protesters inspired by Daniel O'Connell
(1775–1847) in Ireland.
Demonstrations are a form of activism
, usually taking the form of a public gathering of people in a rally or walking in a march
. Thus, the opinion is demonstrated
to be significant by gathering in a crowd associated with that opinion.
Demonstrations can promote a viewpoint (either positive or negative) regarding a public issue, especially relating to a perceived grievance
or social injustice
. A demonstration is usually considered more successful if more people participate. Research shows that anti-government demonstrations occur more frequently in affluent countries than in poor ones.
Next to sex, the activity combining bodily experience and intense emotion to the highest degree is the participation in a mass demonstration at a time of great public exaltation. Unlike sex, which is essentially individual, it is by its nature collective… like sex it implies some physical action—marching, chanting slogans, singing—through which the merger of the individual in the mass, which is the essence of the collective experience, finds expression.
There are many types of demonstrations, including a variety of elements. These may include:
- Marches, in which a parade demonstrate while moving along a set route.
- Rallies, in which people gather to listen to speakers or musicians.
- Picketing, in which people surround an area (normally an employer).
- Sit-ins, in which demonstrators occupy an area, sometimes for a stated period but sometimes indefinitely, until they feel their issue has been addressed, or they are otherwise convinced or forced to leave.
- Nudity, in which they protest naked – here the antagonist may give in before the demonstration happens to avoid embarrassment.
Demonstrations are sometimes spontaneous gatherings, but are also utilized as a tactical choice by movements. They often form part of a larger campaign of nonviolent resistance
, often also called civil resistance
. Demonstrations are generally staged in public, but private demonstrations are certainly possible, especially if the demonstrators wish to influence the opinions of a small or very specific group of people. Demonstrations are usually physical gatherings, but virtual or online
demonstrations are certainly possible.
Topics of demonstrations often deal with political
, and social issues. Particularly with controversial issues, sometimes groups of people opposed to the aims of a demonstration may themselves launch a counter-demonstration with the aim of opposing the demonstrators and presenting their view. Clashes between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators may turn violent.
Times and locations
Sometimes the date or location chosen for the demonstration is of historical or cultural significance, such as the anniversary
of some event that is relevant to the topic of the demonstration.
Demonstration at the Andrássy avenue – Budapest
Locations are also frequently chosen because of some relevance to the issue at hand. For example, if a demonstration is targeted at issues relating to foreign nation
, the demonstration may take place at a location associated with that nation, such as an embassy
of the nation in question.
Nonviolence or violence
A nonviolent protest in New Zealand
Protest marches and demonstrations are a common nonviolent tactic. They are thus one tactic available to proponents of strategic nonviolence
. However, the reasons for avoiding the use of violence may also derive, not from a general doctrine of nonviolence
, but from considerations relating to the particular situation that is faced, including its legal, cultural and power-political dimensions: this has been the case in many campaigns of civil resistance
Law by country
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. You can help by adding to it
. (August 2015)
The Special Rapporteur has expressed concern regarding laws adopted in many countries that impose harsh restrictions on assemblies, including provisions relating to blanket bans, geographical restrictions, mandatory notifications and authorizations. [...] The need for prior authorization in order to hold peaceful protests [is] contrary to international law [...].
Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to gather peacefully, without weapons, and to hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets
Demonstrations and protests are further regulated by the Federal Law of the Russian Federation No.54-FZ "On Meetings, Rallies, Demonstrations, Marches and Pickets
". If the assembly in public is expected to involve more than one participant, its organisers are obliged to notify executive or local self-government authorities of the upcoming event few days in advance in writing. However, legislation does not foresee an authorisation procedure, hence the authorities have no right to prohibit an assembly or change its place unless it threatens the security of participants or is planned to take place near hazardous facilities, important railways
, high voltage electric power lines
, presidential residences or in the border control zone. The right to gather can also be restricted in close proximity of cultural and historical monuments.
Public demonstrations are rare in Singapore
, where it is illegal to hold cause-related events without a valid licence from the authorities. Such laws include the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act and the Public Order Act.
groups fear the powers could hinder peaceful protest. Nick Clegg
, the then Liberal Democrat
home affairs spokesman, said: "I am not aware of vast troops of trespassers wanting to invade MI5 or MI6, still less running the gauntlet of security checks in Whitehall
and Westminster to make a point. It's a sledgehammer to crack a nut." Liberty
, the civil liberties
pressure group, said the measure was "excessive".
One of the biggest demonstration in the UK was the people vote march, on 19 October 2019, with around 1 million demonstrators related to the Brexit
A growing trend in the United States
has been the implementation of "free speech zones
", or fenced-in areas which are often far-removed from the event which is being protested; critics of free-speech zones argue that they go against the First Amendment of the United States Constitution
by their very nature, and that they lessen the impact the demonstration might otherwise have had. In many areas it is required to get permission from the government to hold a demonstration.
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary
- ^ Shishkina, Alisa; Bilyuga, Stanislav; Korotayev, Andrey. "GDP Per Capita and Protest Activity: A Quantitative Reanalysis". Cross-Cultural Research: 106939711773232. ISSN 1069-3971.
- ^ Eric Hobsbawm (2003). Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 73. ISBN 9780307426413.
- ^ Analysis: Iran Sends Terror-Group Supporters To Arafat's Funeral Procession "...state-organized rallies..."
- ^ "Why Washington and Tehran are headed for a showdown" The Hedge Fund Journal 16 April 2006.
- ^ Global News, No. GL99-072 China News Digest, 3 June 1989.
- ^ Cubans ponder life without Fidel The Washington Times 2 August 2006.
- ^ "Democracy in the Former Soviet Union: 1991–2004" Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Power and Interest News Report 28 December 2004
- ^ Nicolás Pizzi (2012-07-29). "Militancia todo terreno: Sacan a presos de la cárcel para actos del kirchnerismo" [All-terrain militants: Prisoners are taken out of jail to take part in Kirchnerist demonstrations] (in Spanish). Clarín. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- ^ Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash (eds.), Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2009, especially at pp. 14–20. Includes chapters by specialists on the various movements.
Stratfor (2004) Radical, Anarchist Groups Pose Their Own Threat published by Stratfor, June 4, 2004 quote:
Another common tactic is to infiltrate legitimate demonstrations in the attempt to stir widespread violence and rioting, seen most recently in a spring anti-Iraq war gathering in Vancouver, Canada. This has become so commonplace that sources within activist organizations have told STRATFOR they police their own demonstrations to prevent infiltration by fringe groups.
- ^ Belyaeva et al. (2007) Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, published by OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Alternative version Archived 2010-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, Sections § 7–8, 156–162
- ^ Bryan, Dominic The Anthropology of Ritual: Monitoring and Stewarding Demonstrations in Northern Ireland, Anthropology in Action, Volume 13, Numbers 1–2, January 2006, pp.22–31(10)
- ^ "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (Clément Nyaletsossi Voulé)". undocs.org. 11 September 2019. p. 13. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- ^ "Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation". Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
- ^ Morris, Steven, "New powers against trespassers at key sites", The Guardian, 24 March 2007. Retrieved on 23 June 2007.
- ^ Brown, Colin, "No-go Britain: Royal Family and ministers protected from protesters by new lawsArchived 2007-06-06 at the Wayback Machine", The Independent, 4 June 2007. Retrieved on 23 June 2007.
- ^ "America's Founding Documents". 30 October 2015.
Last edited on 31 March 2021, at 00:46
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