When a person is killed during the course of a peaceful protest, or by the person or cause being protested, it can lead to a demonstrative funeral. Also if a person is killed who is an innocent bystander, but has been victimized by the cause one is objecting to, this can also can be cause for a demonstrative funeral.
This form of protest happens mainly during a time of political unrest. This is in essence a protest at a person’s funeral. Many times as a result, the person who died becomes a martyr to the cause. They also can be cast into the spotlight as a hero for the same reason. This has happened quite often throughout history.
A demonstrative funeral is usually attended by a large amount of people who feel strongly about the cause that the protester was killed amid. A well-known occurrence of a demonstrative funeral took place in 1770, in colonial America. In an attempt to resist the Townsend Acts, a group of school-aged children were protesting, and one of them was shot and killed. He was eleven years old. This boy’s funeral became a large demonstration and thusly, he was declared a hero and a martyr for the cause.
There are also cases where people have starved themselves to death over a cause or have killed themselves in some other way, in the name of what they believe in. Therefore, a demonstrative funeral is completely appropriate here, because as humans, emotional protests such as the demonstrative funeral are important from both an honoring standpoint and a causal viewpoint as well.
A demonstrative funeral does not only stress the importance of the cause. It also honors the person who has died. Especially if this cause was one they felt was worthy to die for. A progressive walk, followed with a speech or song, can leave a message etched in the hearts of all emotionally and for the movement the person died for. If it is done with reverence for the person who has passed, and with respect for the mourners, this can be an entirely effective peaceful protest.
Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.