All over the world, protest meetings act as non-violent action for communicating grievances. These are gatherings by people with a common concern against the public or an opponent. Often the assemblies could be in support of an issue or against it. People meet in public squares to protest unlawful or illegal terms and conditions in their environment. Such groups could feature two people or tens of thousands. They could be open-air street meetings, small local meetings, and mass protests. These involve different kinds of actions including speeches, hunger strikes, and other causes. As people, express their views they use meetings to meet their goal.
In the US since the 1770s, mass meetings have characterized political reactions to unfair conditions. Used against colonialism, the British constitution, forced taxation, and oppressions, the meetings served as effective tools for public demonstrations. This was similar in South Africa against the brutalities of the apartheid regimes. Usually a leader of the opposing side calls for the gathering with a call to action against their oppressors. Adults and young people participate in such moves through actions for change. In other parts of the world, the trend was the same. England UK 1961-62, had both small and large meetings to support policies through forums.
The anti-government protests will in most cases lead to the prosecution of leaders involved in the civil disobedience. Such meetings can also be peaceful. Student rallies like China’s 1957 protest meeting geared against the communist suppression contributed to the growth of democracy and freedom in the country. The meetings held during a student’s anniversary celebration involved nationwide gatherings of students for a legal cause. When a regime is tyrannical, the protests are held under the disguise of an approved cause. Such camouflage meetings come in different avenues for other causes like sports, amusement, art, or religion. This happened in France between 1847 and 1848 with banquets being centers for protests meetings. This campaign of banquets was against famine conditions in the country. The same applied in Imperial Russia during the 1905 Revolution. These political banquets were avenues for political speeches against the regimes.
Protests meetings have been in society for a long time. Often they feature public speeches and demonstrations against an opponent. Such gatherings have an audience and leaders with a common cause. They could have:
- violent revolt
- camouflaged intentions
The protest meetings express opposition through words or actions and could be walk out demonstrations, strikes, marches and rise ups.
Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.