Demonstrations have hardly success

Each year there are in Washington about ten big demonstrations.
In the last thirty years eight demonstrations attracted even more than 500,000 participants. (Wikipedia) 

1969-11-15  Against the War in Vietnam
1971-04-24  Against the War in Vietnam
1987-10-11  For lesbian and gay rights
1989 April     March for Women’s lives
1993-04-25  For lesbian and gay rights
1995-10-16  Million Man March
2000-11-02  CallDC for God’s move in this nation
2004-04-25  March for Women’s lives 

The result of these demonstrations was disappointing. They hardly influenced politicians and the pressure on the 1% was minimal. Demonstrations and other mass actions have a propagandistic effect but it is not a real force politicians have to take into account. Mass actions also divide the 99% because they hinder the normal life of many citizens as is obvious with a strike in the public transport.

In mass actions as demonstrations, petitions, strikes, even referendums and other electoral events many people protest at the same time against decisions. But successes are not encouraging.
Demonstrations make the voice of The People heard when they urge leaders to take decisions that favour the 99%. They activate people, make them enthusiast and increase their awareness. But a growing awareness does not automatically bring a new world closer. Then something else has to happen besides taking part in mass actions organised by someone else.   

When demands are not fulfilled, enthusiasm changes in disappointment and participants in non-successful demonstrations hardly take part in new political actions. These protest actions are not sufficient to oust the 1% that occupy our world. Protesting alone does not unite all 99%. Leaders tolerate such actions because it gives people the idea they have influence but the power of the politicians and the 1% is not undermined. 

Occupy needs a different kind of action. Individuality and creativity of participants is not promoted by mass actions.  Actions are mostly centrally organised and autonomous activity of participants is hardly allowed. Demonstrations only protest decisions but remain inside the rules of the existing system. They do not lead to a fundamental change.

With a new kind of more individual actions Occupy should concentrate on one target that will be accepted by all 99%. That target is the greed of the 1% at the cost of the 99%, Decisions of the 1% benefit in the first place the own already very privileged position.

We should answer the question how to take the power and the money away from  the 1% by actions that minimise damage to the 99% and maximise pressure on the 1%. 

Joost van Steenis

About Joost van Steenis

My latest book "How to make Revolution, developing the Fourth People's Power", can be downloaded for free from my site It contains new ideas how to take the money and power away from the most powerful people, the elite. It strives to get a new society in which not money is the pivotal point of all discussions but the idea that all people have the same status. New action means are introduced to reach this paradigm shift (a revolution) that concentrate on direct actions in the living sphere of the elite.
This entry was posted in 1%, 99%, Action, Autonomous Clubs, Occupy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Demonstrations have hardly success

  1. Pingback: Actions of the past have not changed the world | downwithelite

  2. grumpycat333 says:

    Reblogged this on OCCUPYMELBOURNE.NET and commented:
    The writer of this is Dutch, some of his use of English is a bit problematic, but the basic idea, that mass demonstrations are ineffective to bring about change and are therefore tolerated by the 1%, is sound. In my opinion the focus needs to be on alternative media (web pages and internet newschannels) , individual creativity and a return to constitutionally based common law.

  3. Pingback: Successful once, protestors may hesitate to return to the streets | downwithelite

  4. Pingback: Actions should have more success! | downwithelite

  5. Pingback: Demonstrations have not been a success - Diversity of Tactics required

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