Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Conservatives Know Protests Don't Depend On Attendance

Conservatives should know better than anyone that it isn't the number of people who protest that is important, what matters is why they're doing it.

Many have attacked the turnout of protests against the government in recent years, from the anti-prorogation rallies to protests over the recent robocall scandal. Conservative critics cite poor showings and drastically underestimate attendees at others suggesting that the size of crowds determines a side's righteousness or an issue's validity.

It's interesting to note that though they make fun of protests that may have only had 100, 75, and even 18 people, claiming the protests 'fizzled', they lessen if not negate the actions of perhaps the most influential protest in human history, the protest of just one man.

On the face of it, it should be clear to anyone that the attendance of a protest has no bearing of the cause's importance. From the early civil rights movement which often had just a handful of protesters led by leaders like Martin Luthor King and Malcom X, to China where just one unknown man stood up to a column of tanks the morning after the Tiananmen Square massacre; it wasn't the number of protesters that made them right, it was their cause that did that.

Conservatives and many others who don't understand the role protests play in the development of society can continue to discredit them because of their low attendance. Conservatives can write them off because not many people turned up, but lest they forget, that the most influential protest in history was not because of how many people attended, it wasn't made biblical because of the public squares it filled, but it was what the one man died for that changed the world.

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