June 18, 2024

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An informed declaration of love for protest

An informed declaration of love for protest

What would actually happen if it was not those who protested who had to justify themselves, but rather those who sat at home indifferent? He asks these and many other questions Author, journalist, and podcaster Friedman Carrig In his new book, “What Do You Want,” in which he describes the issue of protest and its effects. And it shows again: no matter what you read from Carrig, you always feel intelligently informed in this calm and friendly way.

Carrig's book provides plenty of food for thought and resources, such as references Jane Sharp So is he 198 Nonviolent protest tacticson books By Robert Helvey (PDF) Or “This is an Uprising” by Mark and Paul Engler. With theoretical support from Arendt, Thoreau, Foucault, and Marcuse, Carrig frames his understanding of protest and, above all, civil disobedience.

“What you Want” was published by Ullstein in March. – All rights reserved to Olstein

Carrig presents these different sources and with numerous examples from the history of protests – above all “Otpor” in Serbia!, Indian independence movement And the American Civil Rights Movement – That protest can be effective and where it should start in order to have an impact on the various pillars of society.

The focus is on what Carrig calls “trigger points,” i.e. an appropriate topic, place, and form of protest, which together, as if in a magnifying glass, focus the issue, revealing the opponent’s sore spot and putting him or her in trouble. .

These tactics and sources may not be new to protest enthusiasts, as recent protest movements such as Extinction Rebellion and The Last Generation also draw on these theories and have demonstrated this theory-based approach to activism, which relies more on specific tactics and methods rather than just protest. In an active way it can attract at least attention.

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Apathy is the final boss

The book is an informed love letter to politicking, civil disobedience, creative protests and large social movements that want to achieve something and change the world.

The climate crisis is at the heart of Carrig's political universe; He sees neither the federal government nor international organizations as actors who can currently change something to stop the impending disaster. The inaction of those in power is fueled by our own desperate inaction and apathy, as we do not realize the potential and scope of protest that exists in the streets.

So it is up to us to join our fists and protest together to force change from those in power. And with the full spectrum of protests – from guerrilla warfare in communications to civil disobedience. Carrig strategically rejects violent protest only because it turns protest actors into adversaries and makes it too easy for the protest addressee to escape the dilemma.

On page 162, Carrig summarizes his understanding of effective protest:

Effective movements create a hopeful collective consciousness weWhich is determined by the violated values ​​and norms, i.e. a shared sense of injustice. To do this, protest requires narrative condensation in the form of an injustice narrative that is symbolically conveyed to the audience. If he creates clear contradictions, that is, he divides the structure of conflict into opposites such as us-them, right-wrong, and constructive-destructive, he achieves a moral and communicative clarity that can have a healing essence in all spheres of society. Composed by its own impressive narrative, the group must stubbornly search for allies in all pillars of society and repeatedly place its opponents in dilemmatic situations where severe repression and setbacks ultimately confirm the movement's positions.

You can see from the book that it was written during the protest period of resignation in 2023 as a kind of wake-up call and to give hope – and then, shortly before the book was published, the wave of protests against the right suddenly broke out across the country, in January and February, Several million people took to the streets. Carrig puts this somewhat hastily into a hopeful conclusion, in which he describes the warm feeling that this great protest aroused in him and many others. For all the pessimism about impending climate catastrophe, throughout the book he points to the hope that the protests carry with them and that they and the search for answers are important and beautiful. He's right.

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