In my visits to scenes of historic protests for the Surmountable book project, there are certain themes that are near universal when political and media institutions resistant to change seek to affect public opinion.

The activists are tools of outside agitators.

They have ulterior motives.

They have personal flaws to be exposed and attacked.

There is a problem (racism, pollution, social injustice) but be patient, now is not the time to act.

Protests such as strikes or missing school days are rude and disruptive, thus unacceptable.

 

These objections are, in most, cases, nonsense, and attempt to obfuscate important messages and block action on public issues.

 

Have a listen.

 

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