Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tracking U.S. protest activity

I've been getting Facebook updates from a former student about a protest she's been involved with, about budget discussions of some sort. Yesterday I guess they had an event - 400 people attended, 19 were arrested. I was thinking about the fact that this was a relatively small and typical, but really still substantial action. Hundreds of participants in a public political confrontation, with over a dozen arrested.

The U.S. has a reputation for being pretty riot- and protest-averse compared to our global neighbors in both the developed and developing world. At the same time, stuff like this small protest is going on all the time without garnering much news coverage. The Occupy movement continues as the prime example of continued large-scale protest that really doesn't get much coverage any more.

I was wondering... in the absence of broad news coverage, does anyone know of a place that tracks protest movements in this country? I wonder whether we really are a more status quo society, or whether the commitment to the status quo is more characteristic of our press than our populace. My anecdotal perspective is that we actually have a pretty robust culture of political protest, but I may be wrong. Or it may be that while protest is alive and well in the U.S., it's primarily a practice of a politically active minority, and for the most part the status quo does reign pretty supreme. Thoughts?

3 comments:

  1. Remember when "status quo" was a descriptive term, rather than a judgmental one?

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  2. Just by way of clarification if it's needed... I think I'm using it as a descriptive term here. I'm not trying to say that it's good or bad to have the status quo and/or protests.

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