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Methods of activism and Forms of protest[edit]

Many of the methods listed under Protest#Forms_of_protest might also be categorized in Activism#Methods of activism. I would like to hear what other WPs think about merging them. What belongs in which article? Should there be a hierarchical list?

Please respond on Talk:Activism. Dforest 08:24, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

User:SchuminWeb removed all secondary subcategories made by me but kept the order. I had put many of the categories as subcategories of “direct action”, or “public demonstration”, but not everything fit well. So now I tried to sort the list so that similar categories are near each other, but I still think more of those should go back under direct action, at least.
Some merging would be good. Many forms of protest I think would fit more accurately in direct action or demonstration with a link to those lists in the protest article. I posted more about merging on Talk:Activism Edno 05:18, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

“protest is ... sometimes in favor, though more often opposed“[edit]

Isn't a protest, necessarily protesting something it is opposed to? What would be an example of a “protest” in favor of something?

I would think a protest is always in favor of something and opposed to something else, but what makes it a protest is that it is opposed to something.

I think the statement “sometimes in favor, though more often opposed” would better apply to a public demonstration. Many public demonstrations are at the same time protests and celebrations or rallies. Edno 05:18, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Take a look at abortion centres around the world. It isn't uncommon to see two sets of protesters. One protesting against abortion the other protesting in favour of abortion. The expression "protesting X" doesn't actually make any sense unless one says whether one is protesting AGAINST something or IN SUPPORT of something. Sue De Nimes (talk) 16:48, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Pardon my prudishness...[edit]

Pardon my prudishness, but I really think two of the images on this page - the top one and the one about baring breasts - are unnecessary and gratuitous. The issue of protesting can be discussed without either rude language or exposure. Judging from the discussion, the article as it stands is offending some. Yet without those two photos it would be acceptable to everyone. El T 13:19, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

I tend to disagree with you on this, and I believe that these photos do fit the article, and are not unnecessary and gratuitous.
In the first one, I presume that you're referring to the large neon-colored sign that says "Imperial Mother [profanity]". The guy carrying that sign is actually a regular attendee at protests in DC, and all of his signs are of that style. Large, neon-colored, with both sides carrying the "f-bomb" on them. Additionally, many people's signs do carry some sort of profane language (though many more do not). I chose that image for the top of the page because it's a nice cross-section of what you've got at a typical protest, all marching in the street. You have people carrying huge signs, pre-printed signs, small handmade posters, banners (two visible in the background), props (the hand), people wearing costumes (the girl in the hard-hat), masked demonstrators (to the right of the image), and just plain marchers.
The second photo is not one that I chose myself, but it is a sight that you do see at protests during warm-weather months. I've seen it in the format presented here, where people carry the sign and actually do bear their breasts, and I've also seen a more "sanitized" version of the message, where the breasts are drawn on the sign and the person carrying it is fully clothed. [1] Again, I didn't choose this photo for the article, but I will defend its placement in the article, since many do use shock value at protests, and that's one form of it (and a mild form at that compared to other stuff I've seen).
SchuminWeb (Talk) 11:47, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Is the guy with the neon sign chuck(O) munson? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I do not know the name of the gentleman holding the neon sign. SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:00, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Chuck Munson runs, one of the most well known anarchist websites and he used to live in DC and did a lot of activism there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Oh, I know who Chuck Munson is, but I don't think that the neon-sign-carrying gentleman is Chuck Munson (faces don't match). SchuminWeb (Talk) 08:35, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
It was hard to tell cause the guy was turning to the side and the pic on his page is fuzzy. I've never actually met him, it just sounded like something he might do. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I totally agree about the first image being offensive. Protest is not characterized by slurs such as "Mother Fucker." The photo should be replaced with a more indicative image.

LegCircus 19:21, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Many demonstrators do use profanity on their signage. As this image was selected to represent a cross-section of what you will find at a typical protest, containing large signs, black bloc, props, costumes, etc., it is accurate, and contributes positively to the article. SchuminWeb (Talk) 21:15, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
The problem I have is that those things could be demonstrated very well without a highly offensive word. I think you should be able to read a Wikipedia article on protesting without being affronted by that. If there's a way to present material that conveys the same depth of information but is less offensive, then we should go for it. Using crude language is not so fundamental a part of protesting that it must be not merely discussed but also demonstrated. El T 01:57, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Also, these four photo are NOT a cross section of protest. All four photos are of young, white, english speaking folks protesting on international issues. LegCircus 04:49, 28 October 2005 (UTC)
Criticism regarding the white-and-international-issues accepted. I managed to dig up an image from the Million Worker March which shows a number of non-white individuals in the crowd for a domestic issue, and will be swapping out the bottom image for it (since the breasts one is fairuse, and not free license). SchuminWeb (Talk) 06:07, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Because there are a (very) few people who do this (protest naked), does that make it sufficient enough to make is representative of the word "protest"? Also, is protest really a recent phenomenon? Where are the 1950s civil rights marches? The pictures are all very recent examples. And why are all the pictures depicting traditional left-side causes? Is protest only a tool of the left? Don't pro-life people protest? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Again we appreciate the discussion, because it does end up rounding out the photo coverage. Your point makes a good point - I have seen right-wing protests before, and went through my archives and found a photo from this past February 1 of a right-wing group at the Supreme Court that I'm going to add to the article shortly. The topless protest photo, however, as well as the large photo from A16, are staying. SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:08, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

As someone who has attended a large number of protests on a wide range of issues, and in a wide variety of forms, I fully agree that the pictures depicting profantiy and nudity are not in any way a representative depiction of the topic, and serve to distract from the broader subject rather than illustrate it. An encyclopedic topic is not well served by focusing illustrations on perceived extremes associated with it, rather than illustrations that address the focus of the article.

Additionally, the focus on demonstrations and marches fails to illustrate the very wide range of forms of protest. Finally, the selection of photos are all from just the past few years, and set only Canada and the U.S.—which is not reflective of a world–wide viewpoint on the topic.

I'll try to see what I can do about finding a more representative range (temporally, geographically and topically) of images. —GrantNeufeld 00:27, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Words and images that would be considered offensive, profane, or obscene by typical Wikipedia readers should be used if and only if their omission would cause the article to be less informative, relevant, or accurate, and no equally suitable alternatives are available. Additionally the pictures currently used appear to be very recent examples and not geographically diverse... possibly all taken by the same photographer. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Explanation of revision from 00:15, 7 February 2006[edit]

So as to better explain my rationale for this revision...

The biggest change on this revision was removal of Image:Protest.jpg. The reason for removal has nothing to do with the content of the photo, but with the licensing of the photo - it's a fair-use image. According to Wikipedia:Fair use criteria, we should always use a free alternative to a fair use image if one is available. Image:Breasts-not-bombs.jpg is a free alternative to Image:Protest.jpg, as Image:Breasts-not-bombs.jpg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license.

I'm just glad we finally have a similar free-license alternative to that fair-use image. SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The Status of Protest on Wikipedia[edit]

Wikipedia it seems does not delineate between freedom of expression and the right to protest and vandalism. Let me be frank, since perhaps some of the WPs and contributors to this article might be a bit more open minded. Wikipedia is supposed to be a viable source of information. In my mind it must also be an "appropriate" source of information. But if we can't conduct peaceful, nonviolent protests on the texts of actual articles which people find disturbing (i.e. queef) what kind of message are we sending across to people who wish to protest but find themselves being blocked as a result of what editors consider "vandalism". I agree with the sentiments expressed by some that a template that has been termed as "nonsense" (Wiki-Protest) should be allowed in order for editors, WPs, and contributors to protest what they consider as harsh, racist, or inappropriate wikipedia articles in a manner outside of the normal spectrum for wikipedia. What do you all think about this? A friend of mine was blocked recently for participating in this kind of protest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dominick Turner (talkcontribs)

I think that this really has nothing to do with the subject at hand and should be discussed elsewhere, like perhaps the other talk pages that you cross-posted this to. SchuminWeb (Talk) 03:34, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Highly POV[edit]

This article is astoundingly POV. There are 8 photos used. 3 are profane and objectionable, and worse are not indicative of protesters. I was at the 9-24-06 march in DC. I walked the whole route of the march, and saw about 12 people engaged in "Breasts, not bombs." Using a conservative estimate of 240,000 participants, that would make them .005% of the participants. Same figures for the guy with the f-bomb sign (who I have seen in DC twice). This is not "many." We can either believe my anecdote, or we can believe yours Ben Schumin, or we can rely on scientific studies on the use of profanity during protest. Failing such a scientific study, the topic should be relegated to a subsection, merely noting that some folks use such profanity, without photos.

5 photos are from the U.S. And many of the issues reflected are issues on the U.S. agenda right now (primarily the war and abortion). Photo of South Africans defying water privitization? Riots in France? Autonomy protests in Oaxaca?

7 of the photos are from the last 4 years. The second-oldest photo is from the March 03 global war protests. Civil rights marches of the 50s and 60s? The Flint sit-in in the 30s? Even Martin Luther's act should have mention.

All 8 of the photos are from public demonstrations (for which there is already an article). Vandalism of draft boards in the 60s? Bombings of U.S. facilities in the 70s? Soldiers refusing to deploy? Ballot initiatives? Squatting in public spaces? Filibusters? Protest takes many forms. This article should be a supercategory for demonstrations, including them and others.

This article needs a lot of work, something I would be happy to work on if I have time in the future. I'd be happy to work with you Ben, but I'm concerned, judging by this talk page, that you have taken an undue ownership of the article, telling people the objectionable photos will stay despite repeated criticisms of their inclusion.WallyCuddeford 00:18, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Re: Vandalism of draft boards in the 60s? Bombings of U.S. facilities in the 70s? Soldiers refusing to deploy? Ballot initiatives? Squatting in public spaces? Filibusters? If you can find some good public domain or free-license images for such things, then let's add some more images.
Also, I have no problem in removing the "Breasts not bombs" image from the article, as it's also in three other articles, so it's already quite well-loved. Plus I don't particularly like being locked into a specific caption, which that image requires.
As for the other two that you consider objectionable, take in mind that Wikipedia is not censored, but I have seen a LOT of protest signs that use profanity, and the "fucking for virginity" sign it seems is in there more for historical reasons, being Vietnam-era. SchuminWeb (Talk) 05:38, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Two Things[edit]

The first things is: What category would protesting for youth rights be under? And to is the first pic should be taken down. I'm eleven, and could read that word. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

First of all, regarding protesting for youth rights, I'd start at Youth rights and browse the categories from there. As for the photo, Wikipedia is not censored. SchuminWeb (Talk) 16:52, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Project Chronology Photo[edit]

I think there is enough coverage on Wikipedia of this topic. If we're going to have photos of examples of protest I don't think that is quite on-par with WTO/IMF, G8, and Anti-War protests, Carlo Giuliani, the Heymarket Martys are some examples of what could more accurately depict a protest. I know this topic is extremely sensitive but we should be careful in regards to the over-zealous spread of Anonymous, having that photo at the top of the page as a prime example of protest doesn't seem to do the practice justice. Nihiletnihil (talk) 23:18, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

My main concern with that image is that it's already on five different pages, and seeing the same image over and over again makes things kind of bland. SchuminWeb (Talk) 03:13, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes. That's along the lines of what I said about maybe pruning the over-zealous spread of Anonymous-related content which seems to be wedging its way into many pages that aren't very related. I do strongly believe it should not be the very first photo for this page, that seems a bit absurd when I think of a protest I think of the Million Man March or Seattle '99! Nihiletnihil (talk) 23:30, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, while it certainly is a legitimate example of a protest, I agree it shouldn't be at the top of the page - so let's lose it. While we're at it, that page could stand a prune anyway... SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:54, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I've gotten rid of that "stack" of photos to the right. They're now relatively evenly spread through the article. And the Scientology photo is gone, since it's still on a LOT of pages... SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:05, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
And I am for diversity of photos - I was annoyed when someone used my photo of radical cheerleaders at the Million Worker March on the Million Worker March article. Why? Because it was already being used on the Radical cheerleading article. I don't want to see the same photos over and over again... SchuminWeb (Talk) 01:07, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with the photo being removed, but the philosophy is that we need images on articles, and we need good images. Although Wikipedians are constantly flipping through the same pages, casual readers often are not. They might just visit one page, and if some media is more noteworthy, or difficult to come by, but that illustrates the article well, then it should be used. That is not the case here, though. --David Shankbone 01:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Anonymous has now had monthly protests around the globe (See: Project Chanology) every month (January 20(?)th, February 10th, March 15th, April 12th) with tens of thousands of participants and will continue to do so each month, this makes the photo relevant in this article. Ccnx
I realize that Anonymous has monthly actions (I've been in some of them). However, that particular photo has been seen all over the place on Wikipedia, and so we need some more image diversity. SchuminWeb (Talk) 18:34, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Can you please be more specific than "that particular photo has been seen all over the place on Wikipedia", this is the page I saw it first then in the "Anonymous" entry.Ccnx (talk) 19:40, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
That one particular photo was on like four different pages at one point. It was on this one, it was on Anonymous (group), and two others that I don't recall. Thank you, though, for uploading the two lovely photos to Commons. I fixed the source and licensing information on them, so they're good to go. SchuminWeb (Talk) 23:17, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Examples of Protests (photos)[edit]

To talk a little bit more about photos, as discussed above, I think it would be wise to further diversify the selection of pictures on the page. It may not seem very important but I don't believe that simply having photos of marches (with the one exception of the protesters with their mouths covered) could accurately depict the full effect of a protest. I'm thinking something more along the lines of the Haymarket affair, photos of black-blocs, civil rights marches, etc. Any suggestions? Nihiletnihil (talk) 21:50, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I do have some issue with adding more photos (we just revamped the photos and spaced them through the article), however, I have no problem swapping out photos. So let's get specific. We want a black bloc photo, perhaps an historic photo, what else? SchuminWeb (Talk) 06:10, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
File:Jantarmantar protest.jpg
Tribals protest in Sansad at Jantar Mantar against a forestry act.
Well, I uploaded a photo of an interesting march, I think it would add to both the less recent, and more international categories of images; both of which I think this article lacks. As for Black Bloc photos, I'm sure those are easy to come by, since we have a such a variety of choices, we should be able to choose a really good one, not some point-and-click photos of black-clothed blurs. If we are to have photos of American protests, we should probably include some of the Seattle protest, as that is the most notable second only to the Million Man March. I'm curious what you'd think of more historical photos or illustrations, if they would accurately depict current ideas of protest, or if the article should maybe go more in-depth about the history of protests rather than the various types. Nihiletnihil (talk) 08:17, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
My concern with the images isn't the content. There are several concerns related to MOS:IMAGES. The images are stacked up in a manner that is using the page as a gallery. The images should be complimenting the article's encyclopedic text and the surplus images (there are some good ones) need to be accessible via the commons link. Does any one want to tackle fixing this? A few images will more than likely have to be removed. I do think some older images need to be in if some can be found that are related. Cptnono (talk)

Follow-up: Please see the MOS wikilink above and reinsert as appropriate. Please make sure to not stack images and caption them so the reader can understand their relevance to the associated section. For your convenience, below is a list of images that have been removed. The reader cans till find these through the commons link at the bottom of the article or in any other articles where they are also used.

  • File:Pro-Life Demonstration at Supreme Court.jpg
  • File:NudeProtestMexicoCity240908.JPG
  • File:Tea Party Protest, Hartford, Connecticut, 15 April 2009 - 041.jpg
  • File:NATO protests Istanbul(2).jpg
  • [edit]File:AnonymousProtest.jpg
  • File:Sydprot.JPG Cptnono (talk) 02:07, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Teach Ins[edit]

The article states that teach ins are "an early form of protest" starting in the 1960s. The article also lists historic protests going back to the 16th century. Obviously both can't be true, so I suspect this section comes from a US 1960s view point, so should at least be edited to fit in with the rest of the article. At any rate, 2 sentences don't deserve their own section. Kenhullett (talk) 22:33, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, it needs some work, though I wouldn't dump the section - rather, it should be expanded. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:32, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Teach-in has it's own page that's already linked from this article. Clearly this section is unnecessary. Kenhullett (talk) 08:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Its own article - that's awesome. The section then isn't redundant, but it needs a {{main}} tag and a little intro. SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:21, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks good. Are you planning to create a section for every other type mentioned in the "Forms of Protest" section? Or is a Teach-in deserving of its own section while the others are not? Kenhullett (talk) 20:43, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
You know, it's not necessarily a bad idea to do that for the others. What do others think? SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:10, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Over a month and no follow up. Clearly it's absurd to have a list of protest types followed by a section for one and only one. Unless there's some compelling argument as to why this section is uniquely special, it should not be there. Ken (talk) 23:19, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


I really would like a discussion of the effectiveness of these strategies in this article. I can't for the life of me imagine what a giant multinational corporation would care about a bunch of ugly pierced misfits carrying around signs with kindergarten expressions painted on them. -- (talk) 07:42, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

See also[edit]

The current see also section needs to have specific protests removed. It gives undue weight to certain protests. There is a protests category link at the bottom of the page with a list of protests. Some of the philosophies should be worked into the prose. Please see WP:SEEALSO.Cptnono (talk) 04:59, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

The following have been removed. Please use them as needed or make surre they ar ein the appropriate catagories/navigationboxes/wherever:
I would like to see these notable protests put back in the See also list, until they become incorporated as links in the main text. There is no reason to simply rely on categories or navboxes for access to these important articles. Johnfos (talk) 00:39, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Anyone can access these without this page. It is against the guidelines and editors should have been more proactive in keeping this article clean.Cptnono (talk) 01:08, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Someone requested a third opinion on this disagreement at WP:Third opinion. So here are my thoughts. I have to agree with Cptnono. If you include these individual protests in the see also section then other people will feel free to add their favorite protests to the list, and there are probably scores of such articles that are everybit as important as the ones listed above. A see also list that grows too long looses its impact because nobody will bother to sort through it all, and this article already reads too much like a collection of lists as it is. The correct way to tie together a long list of articles that have something in common is a category. However, if you want something with more visual impact consider creating a protests project and/or a related topics footer box that displays related articles in a much more compact and visually effective format. For an example see the footers that are defined at Wikipedia:WikiProject Evolutionary biology and that appear at the end of evolution and related articles. Rusty Cashman (talk) 18:12, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The external links section does not follow the guidelines found here. The following have been removed. Please convert them into Wikipedia:Citing sources if links seciton does not follow the guidelines found here. The following have been removed. Please convert them into Wikipedia:Citing sources if appropriate.

Fair enough. SchuminWeb (Talk) 10:26, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Seems OK the way it is[edit]

I'm removing the tag opining that the article should have more prose and less list. I am not didactic on this, but it seems like the community has developed the article in its current fashion — in bits and pieces and fits and starts, but there it is — and it should probably be continued in the way it has been forming over the years. No harm done, anyway. Yours, GeorgeLouis (talk) 01:28, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I disagree - the article may be lists, and you're likely correct that the article probably developed in fits and starts, but just because it developed with all the bullet points and lists doesn't mean it should be that way. SchuminWeb (Talk) 02:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Related proposal[edit]

Please see Category_talk:Riots#Proposal_to_categorize_riots_under_protests. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:11, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

What is the difference between protest and demonstration[edit]

What is the difference between protest and demonstration? The article on protests lists demonstrations as a type of protest.OnBeyondZebraxTALK 01:08, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

The article on Demonstration (protest) uses the term "protest" right in the title. Hmmm.... Hardly a rock-solid demarcation between the two terms! A merge might be appropriate...OnBeyondZebraxTALK 16:38, 12 May 2015 (UTC)