10 Reasons ‘Acceptable Protesting’ Is An Oxymoron

1. The clearest example of dominance is the ability to determine the legitimacy of ‘acceptable questions’ and how they are asked.

You can only question me if you ask my prepared questions. Raise your hand – wait for my answer. I’ll get around to answering if it doesn’t threaten my control.

‘Kettling’ tactics in Montréal on an ‘illegal’ protest

2. Riots in Baltimore exemplify that oppressed people have never sat idly by: a voice and resistance exemplified in violence is more a reflection of the violence they are subject to on a daily basis than an aberration or ‘deviancy’ of which they are often presumed guilty before innocent. 

3. When you’re doing well in a game, the last thing you think is to question if the game is fun or fair for everyonebecause you judge the world from your treatment, your bias brings you to believe that if things aren’t bothering you, people who are bothered must be overreacting. 

Celebrities who question those who do not have faith in the game because they are being slaughtered are assuming that everyone enjoys the same privilege, and that only questioning in an ‘acceptable way’ will bring about change. 


“The anger and the selfishness of the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease,” said David Simon, creator of The Wire. 

4. “Designated protest-space” is an oxymoron. 

Let me count exactly how many of you there are so I can plan exactly how to erase you – don’t move.

5. The revolution will not only be realized through one-hundred and fifty character sentences.

6. The revolution will be realized on twitter and in protests and riots and speeches and community centres and cooperatives and within state institutions and on the lawns and in what companies grocery stores support and on our highways and ports and in the design of our video games.

Dwelling on the legitimacy of a method produces rust in the movement. People of all skills and activities come together to articulate the practical application of a question in different ways and none are less valid.

Divide and conquer is a tactic used to suppress dissent by wasting the valuable energy of people who believe in the same idea in fighting each other.

No protester should be told to go home and write because they are protesting the wrong way.

No tweeter should be told to go in the streets.

No writer should be told to go and cook for the movement.

No cook should be told to start designing posters.

No artist should be told to cook.

No politician should be told to write.

Past revolutions have been a product of many talents and types of people converging for a single goal. The diversity of their talents, physical and mental abilities, their interconnectedness, and their dispersion was necessary for the change.

7. The goal of the anti-oppressive revolution is to confront and radically change a fundamentally insecure system that requires dead bodies to show its supporters that it is doing something.


via ahscolwara

8. Focusing on the reaction of an attacked community rather than the act of their being attacked is a useful tactic to sidestep accountability.  

9. But non-violence is the only way, because MLK.

MLK, who was threatened by the FBI and then assassinated by the US Government (the Government was found guilty of conspiracy that resulted in his assassination)… that MLK?

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

10. The narrative of ‘our city’ in talks against protests assumes the city was working well for everyone in the collective ‘our’ and not systemically destroying people. It reveals a care more for buildings than human beings. 

Awareness of social and economic inequality and the profit-driven push to incarcerate, murder, and erase entire groups of people is prompting a revolution, today.

Which role will you take?


art by Marcus Denomme & words by Liam Lachance, a writer at our upcoming live art event

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