This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Protest or Parade?

This Magazine Staff

When I was a teenager I spent a lot of time at public rallies and protests. Back then I really believed that if I raised a little hell the world would become a better place. I travelled all around North America, mobilizing other youth and standing up for what I believed was right and true. I’ve been shot at close range by rubber bullets (painful) pepper sprayed until my skin started to rot (very painful) and hit by flying canisters of tear gas (extremely painful). I don’t go to protests any more, not only because they’ve proved to be physically painful experiences, but also because I view them as contextually ineffective. Naomi Wolf agrees. She argues that protests always work when they raise the stakes, but that today’s protests can’t due to the “Disney-fication” of political dissent. Check out her nine minute clip above to learn more about what she views as the end of democracy as we know it. Is the end of true political dissent and discourse upon us?

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