demonstration, a medium


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demonstration medium

Definition / A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers. Actions such as blockades and sit-ins may also be referred to as demonstrations. Demonstrations can be nonviolent or violent (usually referred to by participants as “militant”), or can begin as nonviolent and turn violent dependent on circumstances. Sometimes riot police or other forms of law enforcement become involved. In some cases this may be in order to try to prevent the protest from taking place at all. In other cases it may be to prevent clashes between rival groups, or to prevent a demonstration from spreading and turning into a riot. 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. 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.
Forms / 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.
– Picketing, in which people surround an area.
– Sit-ins, 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.
– Nudity, either threatened or carried out.
Demonstrations are sometimes spontaneous gatherings, but are also utilized as a tactical choice by movements. They often form part of a larger campaign of nonviolent resistance, often also called civil resistance. 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. Government-organized demonstrations are demonstrations which are organized by a government. The Islamic Republic of Iran, the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Cuba, the Soviet Union and Argentina, among other nations, have had government-organized demonstrations.
Times and locations / 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.
Nonviolence or violence / Protest marches and demonstrations are a common nonviolent tactic. They are thus one tactic available to proponents of strategic nonviolence. However, the reasons for avoiding the use of violence may also derive, not from a general doctrine of nonviolence or pacifism, but from considerations relating to the particular situation that is faced, including its legal, cultural and power-political dimensions: this has been the case in many campaigns of civil resistance. Some demonstrations and protests can turn, at least partially, into riots or mob violence against objects such as automobiles and businesses, bystanders and the police. Police and military authorities often use non-lethal force or less-lethal weapons, such as tasers, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and tear gas against demonstrators in these situations.[citation needed] Sometimes violent situations are caused by the preemptive or offensive use of these weapons which can provoke, destabilize, or escalate a conflict. As a known tool to prevent the infiltration by agents provocateurs, the organizers of large or controversial assemblies may deploy and coordinate demonstration marshals, also called stewards.
demostration (people), Wikipedia

choice repetition

Revolutions are often resolved in more picturesque forms of integration.
Umberto Eco, from Towards a Semiological Guerrilla Warfare, 1967

The faithful are gathered together at appointed places and times and, through performances which are always the same, they are transported into a mild state of crowd feeling sufficient to impress itself on them without becoming dangerous, and to which they grow accustomed. Their feeling of unity is dispensed to them in doses and the continuance of the church depends on the rightness of dosage. Wherever men have grown accustomed to his precisely repeated and limited experience in their churches or temples they can no longer do without it. They need it as they need food and anything else which is part of their existence. No sudden suppression of their cult, no prohibition by edict of the state, can remain without consequences.
Elias Canetti, from Crowds and Power, 1960

Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.
Thomas Jefferson,  1816

public opinion outside

The normal social conflict, demonstrations, they do not make the news. Or you smash a window or I don’t consider you. This is the law of the chronicle.
Il Manifesto, italian newspaper

I found the window of my car smoked-black, and partly cracked. It’s something inconceivable to leave you car parked and to find it like this, it is a shame.
italian lady to media after a demonstration, 2012

The shame within the shame.
Emilio Fede, journalist

A civilized people, as we are, should intervene in those situations. Intervene and beat, because they only understand when they’re beaten.
Emilio Fede, journalist

Property damage is not violence. you can’t violate a building or a window. it’s very different to us than the question of violence. that isn’t violent, unless you’re advocating attacking individuals – which we do not do.
From Surplus, Terrorized into Being Consumers

It’s ok to protest, but not with violence
Giorgio Napolitano, Presidente della Repubblica

Real students are at home studying, those who protest are the squatters and the off-course
Silvio Berlusconi, 2010

The police should send them all to hospital
Francesco Cossiga, senator for life (2008)

appeareance mass

A man attending a sermon honestly believed that it was a sermon which mattered to him, and he would have felt astonished or even indignant had it been explained to him that the large number of listeners present gave him more satisfaction than the sermon itself
Elias Canetti, from Crowds and Power, 1960

I am not so much myself but rather the function that I do, well represented by our business cards – we are visualized starting from our roles and functions.
psychologist, explaining Freud

The being necessarily acts through forms, which are the appearances that he creates, and to which we give the value of reality. A value that changes naturally, depending on the being in that form, it appears to us in that act. And it necessarily seems to us that the others are wrong; that a given shape, a particular act is not that and not such. But inevitably, a little later, if we move a bit, we realize that we were wrong too, and that it is not this and not such; so in the end we are forced to recognize that it will be neither this nor such in any stable and secure way, but now in a way and now in another way, as that any of them at some point will seem wrong, or all of them true – that is the same.
Luigi Pirandello, from One, No One and One Hundred Thousands

Many of humankind’s primitive instincts (for example, the desire to kill and the insatiable craving for sexual gratification) are clearly harmful to the well-being of a human community. As a result, civilization creates laws that prohibit killing, rape, and adultery, and it implements severe punishments if such rules are broken. This process is an inherent quality of civilization that instills perpetual feelings of discontent in its citizens.
Sigmund Freud, from Civilization and Its Discontents

individuals listening

On the other hand barricade the heart of the city to prevent us from young people entering to say what they think is a bit like thinking to armor the balconies of hospitals with high railings to prevent patients from jump. One could listen to them, since life is theirs. You might ask those who are sick: what do you want to do with your life and your death? We are here to help you. Instead they make you a prisoner, and then you have to do the revolution.
Concita De Gregorio, journalist, 2010

The traffic lights at an intersection is not important, but personally I split it because I have a rage that I cannot address.
Italian protester, 1975

In short, if sometimes barely you advise not to appear to the others the same as you, what do you do? (Be honest). You do nothing, or very little. At most you would think, with nice and full self-confidence, that others have misunderstood you, misjudged you – and that’s it. If it’s important for you, maybe you would try to straighten that judgment, giving clarifications, explanations. If it’s not, you would let it go, you would shrug your shoulders, exclaiming, “Oh finally, I have my conscience – it is enough for me”.
Luigi Pirandello, from One, No One and One Hundred Thousands

Probably in the interrelation of the various communications media, one medium can be employed to communicate a series of opinions on another medium. To some extent this is what a newspaper does when it criticizes a TV program. But who can assure us that the newspaper article will be read in the way we wish? Will we have to have recourse to another medium to teach people how to read the newspaper in a critical fashion?
Umberto Eco, from Towards a Semiological Guerrilla Warfare, 1967