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How to "prove" the effects of a protest?

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LimaUniformNovemberAlpha
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How to "prove" the effects of a protest?

Postby LimaUniformNovemberAlpha » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:14 am

Inspired by this tangent in another thread.

The New California Republic wrote:
LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:"Protesting" is pure virtue signaling. There's no proof that it works.

Nonsense. One of the reasons that the SED was ousted from power in the GDR was because of the mass demonstrations that destabilised the regime to such an extent that the Central Committee started making mistakes, which brought about their downfall.

But Corona is the topic of this thread, not whether protesting works or not.

So I often hear people justify the time and money spent on "protesting;" sometimes to the extent of justifying illegal acts of protest; by claiming they "work."

This came to mind partly because of the recent train blocking protest in Canada, but it's been on my mind for longer than that. This is the kind of protest I hope never works, because I do not want society to encourage such behaviour by rewarding it.

But ultimately, the reward for such behaviour is in the perceived effect of it, not the actual effect. I, for instance, opposed pipelines until that protest, and now support them as a warning to any would-be train-blockers that such a similar stunt is not going to work. However, how are these protesters supposed to be able to tell I (or more importantly, any significant number of people) opposed them before? I could cite previous anti-pipeline statements of mine, but I never made them using my real name.

Likewise, if a protest really DID get results, how do we know they are the results are really the results of the protest itself, and not the results of the overall shift in public opinion that preceded said protests? How do you tell an "A causes B" situation from a "C causes A and B" situation?

Me, I think the case for the efficacy of protest is unfalsifiable. Not a fatal flaw in any argument, but certainly enough to make one question the time and money spent on it.
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Postby Luziyca » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:50 am

If there is a substantial shift in public opinion as a direct consequence of these protests, or during them: either in favor or against what the protesters are... well, protesting about.
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Postby Dogmeat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:51 am

LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:Me, I think the case for the efficacy of protest is unfalsifiable.

Well you're just, like... objectively wrong then.

This is totally the sort of thing you could test with control groups and statistical analysis. It would take a lot of money, but you totally can.
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Bear Stearns
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Postby Bear Stearns » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:54 am

A protest's effectiveness is directly correlated to CNN's ability to get a candid, high-resolution picture of the event, preferable with shots of some glamorous-looking people standing defiantly.
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Postby Rainbowsix » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:56 am

amount of people making the protest violent and refusing to disperse.. also amount of people saying **** you
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Postby Dumb Ideologies » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:01 am

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Postby The Black Forrest » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:04 am

Bear Stearns wrote:A protest's effectiveness is directly correlated to CNN's ability to get a candid, high-resolution picture of the event, preferable with shots of some glamorous-looking people standing defiantly.


Hmmm? Still better then footage of a car plowing into people.
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Postby Alvecia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:09 am

Real world case studies and controlled experiments.
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Postby Page » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:12 am

Bear Stearns wrote:A protest's effectiveness is directly correlated to CNN's ability to get a candid, high-resolution picture of the event, preferable with shots of some glamorous-looking people standing defiantly.


In what world do you live where CNN is pro-protest? Sure, if it's hashtag resistance Democrats against Trump, then they might receive favorable coverage, but the Standing Rock protesters were maligned as much on CNN as on Fox and the police brutality, including spraying people with a firehouse in subzero weather (that's attempted murder) was utterly ignored.

When it's a real grassroots movement and not a Democratic Party sponsored protest, the activists are always attacked by corporate media.
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LimaUniformNovemberAlpha
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Postby LimaUniformNovemberAlpha » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:14 am

Dogmeat wrote:
LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:Me, I think the case for the efficacy of protest is unfalsifiable.

Well you're just, like... objectively wrong then.

This is totally the sort of thing you could test with control groups and statistical analysis. It would take a lot of money, but you totally can.

...yeah I'd need to see more specifics of what would constitute a "control" group for the purposes of this.
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Postby Alvecia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:15 am

LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:
Dogmeat wrote:Well you're just, like... objectively wrong then.

This is totally the sort of thing you could test with control groups and statistical analysis. It would take a lot of money, but you totally can.

...yeah I'd need to see more specifics of what would constitute a "control" group for the purposes of this.

A group of people "not-protesting" I would assume
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Postby Iridencia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:17 am

Protest can work if done right under the right circumstances. The civil rights protests of America were effective both due to their sheer size and how news teams captured the violent responses to them — when you're just a regular person in the relatively innocent/wholesome 1960s, and you're suddenly bombarded with images of non-violent teenagers being hurled against buildings with fire hoses and ripped apart by wild dogs, it's hard not to get pissed off and demand something be done about this. Now-a-days, when we're a little more used to violence due to exposure by new technologies and arguably a little less empathetic as a result, I can't say for certain the reaction would be the same.

What makes a protest work all depends on whether or not you have a legitimate point, how many people you can get to join you, how good you are at getting and keeping attention, and the way the culture of the era you're in tends to respond to certain events. It's all very complex and some might say up in the air, but that's not the same thing as there being "no proof that they're effective."

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Postby Partybus » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:58 pm

Back in '79 or '80 (almost) every high school in the greater Boston area ditched class to protest the passing of Prop 2 1/2, gathering on the front lawn of the State House, hundreds and hundreds of high school aged kids, news coverage from (most) of the major networks, snappy chants, the whole schmeer. They passed it anyway, that was a tell right there...

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LimaUniformNovemberAlpha
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Postby LimaUniformNovemberAlpha » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:48 pm

Alvecia wrote:
LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:...yeah I'd need to see more specifics of what would constitute a "control" group for the purposes of this.

A group of people "not-protesting" I would assume

That would still fall under the question of how you distinguish the effects of the protest itself from the effects of the societal circumstances that shift public opinion to the point where a non-trivial portion of the community decides to protest.
Iridencia wrote:Inept people always decry pragmatic choices as "cowardly" because they know they're not smart enough to play on that level.
Kowani wrote:You don’t get to call it Chinese industry when American corporations are the ones outsourcing their labor.

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Postby The Republic of Fore » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:52 pm

Whether or not the desired result is achieved. Most protests are useless, but that's not to say all.

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Postby Alvecia » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:04 am

LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:
Alvecia wrote:A group of people "not-protesting" I would assume

That would still fall under the question of how you distinguish the effects of the protest itself from the effects of the societal circumstances that shift public opinion to the point where a non-trivial portion of the community decides to protest.

Those are basically the same thing. Protesting is just one of the pro-active manners in which said opinions are expressed
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That shouldn't be happening
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That's why it's happening?
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Legolannd
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Postby Legolannd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:09 am

Protests never work and it is frowned open to partake in one. Most Legolanndians think of protests as childish and prefer more civilized ways to show ones disagreement.
Protests are legal as long as you don't:
Trespass
Hurt anyone
Insult/and/or threaten law enforcement officials

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Satuga
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Postby Satuga » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:09 am

Legolannd wrote:Protests never work and it is frowned open to partake in one. Most Legolanndians think of protests as childish and prefer more civilized ways to show ones disagreement.
Protests are legal as long as you don't:
Trespass
Hurt anyone
Insult/and/or threaten law enforcement officials

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Postby Satuga » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:11 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Qu%E1%BA%A3ng_%C4%90%E1%BB%A9c
I'd say this is a decent-ish example, although it took a US-backed assassination in order to actually do anything.
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:48 am

LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:I, for instance, opposed pipelines until that protest, and now support them as a warning to any would-be train-blockers that such a similar stunt is not going to work.

Your mind truly is a mystery.
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LimaUniformNovemberAlpha
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Postby LimaUniformNovemberAlpha » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:28 am

Ifreann wrote:
LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:I, for instance, opposed pipelines until that protest, and now support them as a warning to any would-be train-blockers that such a similar stunt is not going to work.

Your mind truly is a mystery.

What would you prefer we do? Tell every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth that if they block trains they'll get their way?
Iridencia wrote:Inept people always decry pragmatic choices as "cowardly" because they know they're not smart enough to play on that level.
Kowani wrote:You don’t get to call it Chinese industry when American corporations are the ones outsourcing their labor.

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Postby Ifreann » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:44 am

LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:
Ifreann wrote:Your mind truly is a mystery.

What would you prefer we do? Tell every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth that if they block trains they'll get their way?

What if I block a train in support of the pipeline? Will you change your opinion again?
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Postby LimaUniformNovemberAlpha » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:47 am

Ifreann wrote:
LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:What would you prefer we do? Tell every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth that if they block trains they'll get their way?

What if I block a train in support of the pipeline? Will you change your opinion again?

You would be an unrepresentative sample of the big picture. I go by which side is the most prone to unethical tactics.
Iridencia wrote:Inept people always decry pragmatic choices as "cowardly" because they know they're not smart enough to play on that level.
Kowani wrote:You don’t get to call it Chinese industry when American corporations are the ones outsourcing their labor.

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Postby Repubblica Fascista Sociale Italiana » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:50 am

Just recently, we have two protests that went two different ways. The Chile protests where an overwhelming success, prompting the government to scrap its constitution and make a new one. That’s a successful protest.

The Indian protests went he other way, Modi’s government just kinda remained silent and ignored the protests, and eventually they just died down, especially after Modi’s economic policy turned over incredible results in 2020, so people just kinda moved on and stopped caring about CAA. That’s failed protest
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:57 am

LimaUniformNovemberAlpha wrote:
Ifreann wrote:What if I block a train in support of the pipeline? Will you change your opinion again?

You would be an unrepresentative sample of the big picture. I go by which side is the most prone to unethical tactics.

The RCMP, in supporting the construction of the pipeline, are arguably committing genocide, as defined by the UN, against the Wetʼsuwetʼen people, and are certainly illegally invading sovereign land that was never ceded to Canada. Their actions are extraordinarily unethical. Should you not oppose the pipeline rather than tell the Canadian government that they carry out all these unethical actions in support of megarich oil and gas companies?
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