Protest is a variety of policy conflict, more direct than dipolomacy or political negotiation and less extreme than insurrection or rebellion. Protesters may wish to view their actions as a form of negotiation and their opponents may wish to view the protests as a form of insurrection. It is neither one nor the other. Negotiation takes place between parties who mutally recognize each other's political power. Rebellion denies that opposing parties can co-exist and retain their respective power. On the continuum of conflict, protests occur when the political establishment excludes or surpresses a sizeable plurality of opinion and seeks to make that opinion illegitimate. Protest demonstrates the size of the dissenting plurality and forces the establishment to recognize that assent to a political policy is insufficient. In such a situation, consent is absent. Protest makes what Noam Choamsky calls the "manufacture of consent" impossible.
1. Victory in protest is obtained when the establishment concedes the protesters right to exist.
2. There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. (Elie Wiesel).
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