In the pursuit of gaining the ears of officials, either elected or in the private sector, many fail to use the viable tactic of taunting officials. This means of nonviolent protest is not something that has entered into the public discourse and political sector within the last few decades. There have been many examples of taunting officials used throughout the ages.
Such examples can be found from ancient China to the Roman Empire. Taunts, both distracting and detracting verbiage, were used against administration policies of the Roman and Chinese emperors as their representatives were confronted by crowds of people, or just individuals, shouting their displeasure or outright hatred of a particular policy, judgment, or new taxation.
Using 2012 as a more immediate guide, taunting officials has been used extensively, and has been well documented in media around the world, by the Aboriginal peoples of Australia by storming a shop that the Australian Prime Minister was present in by shouting taunts, demonstrating their lack of support for new Constitutional measures being discussed to the point that the Prime Minister had to leave the establishment in a hurry, leaving a shoe behind in the process. The effect has generated considerable discussions and debates about the Aboriginal cause well beyond the confines of Australia all the way to media information centers in the United Kingdom, European Union, and the United States, and has led to an apology by the Prime Minister.
The use of taunting officials is used in the United States during various election debates and when officials, public or private, are greeted by taunts that directly respond to the official, company, or agencies policies or responses to the public at large.
With the ancient examples provided, as well as this year’s examples, taunting officials has become a popular and increasingly effective way of generating media attention to a cause, plight (such as the Australian Aboriginal peoples), or policy issue by putting pressure on individuals. The use of common taunts among an organized group can either get the point across to officials not willing to discuss issues openly in a public forum, or by generating enough commotion that the public at large and the media groups that follow officials have to take notice and begin a dialogue.
Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.