Monday, 6 July 2009
A demonstration is a form of nonviolent action by groups of people in favor of a political or other cause, normally consisting of walking in a march and a meeting (rally) to hear speakers. Actions such as blockades and sit-ins may also be referred to as demonstrations.
The term has been in use since the mid-19th century, as was the term 'monster meeting', which was coined initially with reference to the huge assemblies of protesters inspired by Daniel O'Connell in Ireland. Demonstrations are a form of activism, usually taking the form of a public gathering of people in a rally or walking in a march. At times, more interventionist actions such as blockades and sit-ins have been referred to as demonstrations. Thus, the opinion is demonstrated to be significant by gathering in a crowd associated with that opinion.
Demonstrations can be used to show a viewpoint (either positive or negative) regarding a public issue, especially relating to a perceived grievance or social injustice. A demonstration is usually considered more successful if more people participate. Topics of demonstrations often deal with political, economic, and social issues.
There are many types of demonstrations, including a variety of elements. These may include:
• Marches, in which a parade of people proceeds from one location to another.
• Rallies, in which people gather to listen to speakers or musicians.
• Sits- in which demonstrators occupy an area, sometimes for a stated period of time and sometimes indefinitely, until they feel their issue has been addressed, or they are otherwise convinced or forced to leave.
Demonstrations are sometimes spontaneous gatherings, but are also utilized as a tactical choice by movements. They are one tactic available to proponents of strategic non violence demonstrations are generally staged in public, but private demonstrations are certainly possible, especially if the demonstrators wish to influence the opinions of a small or very specific group of people. Demonstrations are usually physical gatherings, but virtual or online demonstrations are certainly possible.
Sometimes, particularly with controversial issues, groups of people opposed to the aims of a demonstration may themselves launch a counter-demonstration with the aim of opposing the demonstrators and presenting their view. Clashes between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators may turn violent
Times and location:
Sometimes the date or location chosen for the demonstration is of historical or cultural significance, such as the anniversary of some event that is relevant to the topic of the demonstration.
Locations are also frequently chosen because of some relevance to the issue at hand. For example, if a demonstration is targeted at issues relating to foreign nation, the demonstration may take place at a location associated with that nation, such as an embassy of the nation in question.
“ what we do in the world is a consequences of what we think. And how we do in this world is a result of how we think”