Saludada’s Blog

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Right to Protest


Of course protests dont always go right. They can easily turn into riots. That, generally, is the reason cited by authoritarian regimes to clamp down on protesters. Their methods are primitive. Batons, tear gas, arrests and the one odd protester shot and killed.

But we have seen that these tactics dont deter protests. On the contrary, I would say the harder a government tries to come down on its people, the harder the people push back.

The crowds will gather & dispersing them without incident is next to impossible. Or atleast used to be ….

So did you hear about the new non-lethal weapons they are making. There is one that emits a low frequency sounds that confuses a person’s sense into thinking they are off balance. That makes them dizzy, causes headaches & nausea. You cant really protest if your protesters cant even stand straight and are puking all over.

& In comes the “Active Denial System”
It effectively is a Giant microwave oven. Fires microwaves at the crowd which excite water molecules and make you feel extreme heat. You cant stand it. You can stand a water cannon – tear Gas and baton charge but you cant stand the “Active Denial System”. You have to get away from the beam. Its just too painful, while leave no marks and causes no actual burns.

So what when dictators get their hands on these things. Without actually engaging in human rights violations, murder, torture, detentions, beatings or anything else – these dictators could have the power to turn away protesters.
Well the protesters are getting clever too. Its likes an arms race. They control the press and we start blogging. You know how it works. Like a friend of mine said “People will nearly always find other way though”.

Protesters have gotten smarter.

.. Consider last month’s seizure of the airports in Bangkok, a development understandably overshadowed by the much more violent terrorist acts in Mumbai. While the world focused on India, anti-government mobs in the Thai capital shut down both Bangkok’s relatively new international airport and its older domestic facility. When the airports finally reopened over the weekend, the 10-day occupation had accomplished its goal: The prime minister was ousted, his party banned, and most of his top functionaries banished from politics.

.. A three-month-long siege of the prime minister’s office had been fruitless. In fact, halfway through the airports crisis, protesters abandoned the prime minister’s office and moved in with the mobs occupying Suvarnabhumi International and Don Muang airports.

Why did a week-and-a-half-long airport shutdown effect political change when a three-month-long occupation of the putative seat of Thai political power had failed? The power of the purse. By shutting down Bangkok’s airports, demonstrators essentially shut down the Thai economy. ( MSNBC: Like it or not, travel terrorism works )

Focussed protests. Like the author said – a three month long protest around couldnt do what a 10 day protest did. Of course it would have hurt the economy but the protesters got what they wanted.

It feels like it wasnt their numbers that pulled them through – feels almost like blackmail.

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January 9, 2009 - Posted by | Politics

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