Participate in a Protest
Why participate in a protest?
Of the many ways to participate in democracy, protest is one of the most involved. It requires you to be in a certain place at a certain time. Sometimes protesting can be uncomfortable, or you could be met with counter-protesters. Protests are typically political in nature, but some product boycotts are also protests. Protests have the advantage of being highly visible. Shutting down traffic or blocking sidewalks forces your local representatives to pay attention to you. In other words, if you want to make a direct impact on your local government, protesting is one of the best methods.
How do I participate?
The most important key to participating is finding a protest to join. You may find a protest because you belong to the group who is organizing the protest. If not, social media has made it increasingly easier to access information regarding protests. Information such as time, location, and other guiding principles of the given protest could be easily spread on Facebook or Twitter. Keep an eye out for local hashtags or local groups who are organizing protests. The biggest barrier to participating in protests is the significant time and energy investment you must make. So when you hear about a protest you want to attend, put it on your calendar so you won’t forget about it. When you arrive, remember to follow legal guidelines and other rules that the organizers have set out. Following rules and procedures will keep you from being arrested or injured by police. Of course, this is always a risk when protesting, so keep that in mind.
The protest is over. Now what?
Once the protest is over, you may be feeling a few different things. Perhaps you feel energized and motivated to invest more time and energy into the cause. If you feel this way, keep an eye out for the organizer of the protest. If the cause is gaining traction, you may be caught up in the beginnings of a social movement, and these have the potential to enact big change. If you feel unimpressed with the results and overall dissatisfaction, that 's okay! Protesting may not be for you, and there plenty of other ways to participate in our democracy.