Meetings and demonstrations – are a mass forms of public events, expression of public opinion.
A rally is the mass presence of citizens in a certain place for public expression of opinion about actual problems of a social and political nature. A demonstration is an organized public expression of moods by a group of citizens on the move using posters and other means.
The right of citizens to gather peacefully and without weapons, to hold meetings, rallies and demonstrations, processions and pickets is allowed, as a rule, on the constitution level.
Upon receipt of a request for a rally, the relevant executive body documents its receipt and has the right to change the place, time, number of participants, the form of a public event.
The main purpose of the rally is to draw attention to the problem through the public and media coverage. If there are media outlets, the problem will be reported, the facts of the problem will be disseminated, and the public will be informed about it.
The most important work of the demonstrations in the conversations that occur after him. After the rally is over, the problem still exists. If the problem at the rally is clear and if the media coverage is large enough to provoke personal conversations and share stories of people affected by inequality.
Let’s see some examples of the most famous rallies and demonstrations in human history:
The history of the English colonization of India is a history of the infringement of the rights of the Indian population. World War I exacerbated relations between British colonists and the local population. The workers were unhappy with the deterioration of their position, high taxes and rising prices, and the prohibition to carry weapons. The last straw was the law on salt monopoly, which prohibited the evaporation of sea salt without special permission and thus deprived many local residents of their livelihood.
In response, the local population, led by Mahatma Gandhi, conducted a peaceful protest action, called the “salt campaign”. The small group initially turned into a huge crowd, which in the course of the 390-kilometer hike evaporated the salt, without paying taxes. Gandhi was arrested, but he was released as a result of annual protests. The salt rebellion became a world sensation and one of the first effective steps to the independence of India.
This photo was taken on the famous hippie march in Washington on April 17, 1965. The Flower Children opposed the Vietnam War. This was the first and last peaceful anti-Vietnamese demonstration, which, unfortunately, did not have the desired effect on American power. But only one captured frame became the symbol of all subsequent numerous protests against this war.
The student demonstrations of 1968 in France, which became known as the May Demonstration, turned into a general French strike. The protests began with demands for the abolition of censorship, changes in the teaching program; later, attempts to shift authoritarianism of President Charles de Gaulle, and ended with the call to abolish exams, end the war in Vietnam, increase the portion of spaghetti in the cafeterias. It was a moment of deep crisis. This demonstration had a huge impact on the hippie movement, becoming a turning point between the old traditional order and the free modern world.
The fall of the Berlin Wall was made possible thanks to the numerous protest actions that took place in Berlin in the late 1980s. Сitizens of the could get visas for immediate visits to West Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. Hundreds of thousands of East Germans, not waiting for the appointed date, rushed in the evening of November 9 to the border. The border guards, who did not receive orders, tried to push the crowd first, used water cannons, but then, yielding to the mass pressure, were forced to open the border. Thousands of West Berliners came out to greet guests from the East. What was happening resembled a national holiday. The feeling of happiness and brotherhood washed away all state barriers and obstacles. West Berliners, in turn, began to cross the border, breaking into the eastern part of the city.
Martin Luther King’s historical speech, “I Have a Dream,” was made at a rally in August 1963 in support of racial equality in the United States. Over 200,000 demonstrators peacefully gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in the District of Columbia, and this event is attributed to pressure on President John F. Kennedy.
On March 3, 1913, a five-thousandth suffragest march took place in Washington demanding to give women the right to vote. The women’s rights movement was gaining momentum. In the end, President Woodrow Wilson persuaded Congress to adopt a legislative act, after ratification in 1920, which became the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, prohibiting gender discrimination in elections.
The anti-war rally of February 2003 is one of the largest world protests in human history. They affected hundreds of cities in Europe, America and Africa. By that time, the United States had already explained to the international community that the Saddam Hussein regime possesses weapons of mass destruction and the intervention of Iraq is necessary. Opponents of military intervention agreed to hold a demonstration for peace in different parts of the globe. As a result, about 3 million people came to the rally in Rome. Today this rally is even in the Guinness Book of Records.
Ukrainians deceived by Viktor Yanukovych staged a rally on the main Kiev square. At the last moment, he refused to sign an integration agreement with the European Union and asked for a loan from Russia. At first, the students, whose camp was roughly dispersed by the police, expressed their dissatisfaction. In response, up to a million people came to the center of the capital and came from other regions. On the Independence Square, a real town has already emerged with all the necessary infrastructure, catering facilities, medical service and security.
Opposition is an important part of a developed democratic and civilized society and its government. But you can’t give yourself to provocations, since everyone has different opinions and someone will always be dissatisfied with something. Always listen only to your head!