Why Demonstrations and Petitions Do Not Work
If demonstrations and petitions work, then the 1960s would have seen a lot more political, social, and environmental changes. For instance, the Vietnam War would have ended much sooner, the world would have fewer nuclear weapons, and even nuclear power plants would be a thing of the past. Peace, love, and tolerance would be the norm. Instead, we live in a world full of wars, hatred, and violence. I think this is enough evidence that petitions and demonstrations do not work or at least do not work well.
There are two main reasons why demonstrations and petitions do not work. First, the leaders who make decisions and influence changes are well shielded from protesters. These leaders most likely never even know that there are riots and protests nearby and even more so for peaceful demonstrations and petitions. Second, business leaders with money and power belong to a much higher class than the average demonstrator. As a result, these leaders do not care much about the issues and causes of most middle and lower class people. Furthermore, a lot of rich people can not even relate to most of these issues either. Therefore, demonstrations and petitions mean very little to rich people when compared to the average person.
On the other hand, the primary goal of petitions and demonstrations is to raise awareness of a topic or issue. Additionally, petitions and demonstrations helps unite people together for agreed upon causes thus increasing their impact. Thus, petitions and demonstrations do have some positive successful impact.
However, it has been my experience that being heard is a very small part of demanding and getting change. The best method of getting change is convincing people with money and power that there are better alternatives through an open discussion. Therefore in my opinion, speaking to business and political leaders directly to convince them that there are better alternates is much more productive than petitions and demonstrations. Of course, I would do both options, if given the means and opportunity.
by Phil for Humanity