Sunday, March 22, 2015

One Thing I Learned

Back in grad school one of the things that they taught in the community organizing class is make sure when you protest that the action is directed at the target of you protest.
Protesters block traffic, highlight violence against transgender people
LA Times
By Hailey Branson-Potts
March 20, 2015

Dozens of protesters shut down a busy intersection outside the Beverly Center during the evening rush hour Friday to call for an end to violence against transgender people.

As horns blared and police helicopters circled, protesters marched into the center of the intersection at 3rd Street and La Cienega Boulevard, shouting, "Trans lives matter!"

Some wore fake blood and lay down in the street. Others clutched signs with messages such as "Stop killing us."
So some of the questions that we learned ask about an action…
  • What are your goals for you action? In this instant I would say it is to end violence against trans people
  • Who is your target? I would have to say the target is the people who are doing the violence.
  • Who can bring about the change needed to achieve your goals? This one is a little vague; the courts, the police, the perpetrators, and maybe the general public.
  • What action will bring about those goals? Now this is where I have to question the action. Was the action directed at those who can bring about change to the target? I have to say no. 
I do not think those who were affected by the action (the commuters) even knew what the action was about. I think a commenter to article said it best,
I don't get the thought process of these protests. Look I support the cause they are pushing. Fine. But when you impact people's lives like this all you do is promote negative feelings about your issue. Is the news coverage worth it? I wasn't caught up in it but now I get the feeling that those involved are selfish and self-centered.
It's just not good PR IMO.
So what would have been a better social action plan?
  • Protesting at the trial of the criminal who killed the trans woman?
  • Protesting at the police headquarters?
  • A vigil at the site of the murder?
Just to be clear I'm not saying protesting is wrong but rather target your protest. One of the other things we learned was that having both an inside game and an outside game is important. Having people working for legislative changes and education is just as important as the protesters outside.

No comments:

Post a Comment