6.4.2.1 Demonstrations of Concern: ‘People-Power’

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6421.htm)

The population needs to be able to raise issues on an impromptu basis and to exert ‘people-power’ directly upon its politicians (who should represent people who may differ from them in ethnicity or political views):

  • People should have access to a politician who represents them and who should be prepared to take up issues on their behalf. Some former congressional staffers published a guide on how to use politicians effectively, based on successful Tea Party tactics, called Indivisible: A Practical Guide For Resisting The Trump Agenda.
  • People can make their views known by letters to newspapers or by blogging on the Internet.
  • They can sign petitions.
  • They can step up the pressure by participating in demonstrations. For example, protests in Cairo ultimately unseated President Hosni Mubarak – as described in a BBC article entitled Tahrir Square’s place in Egypt’s history.
  • Protests can turn into riots, such as the poll-tax riots which led to the toppling of Margaret Thatcher; the BBC published a retrospective article on these, entitled 1990: Violence flares in poll tax demonstration.

As noted later in this chapter, direct popular pressure is one of the ways of communicating with politicians to ask for changes in governance (6.8.3.1).

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