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As Millions March to Demand Climate Action, Research Reveals Protests Make People More Optimistic About Affecting Change

As Millions March to Demand Climate Action, Research Reveals Protests Make People More Optimistic About Affecting Change

Julia Conley, staff writer

As an estimated 1.8 million people in 125 countries took part in a global climate strike Friday, researchers delivered good news about such protests: they work.

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Wow. It takes research to verify that? What a measure of losing the context of empathy. Not a good metric. Worse… all you need to do is look at the history and present of abusive powers actively working to undermine and destroy the fully natural human propensity to gather together for public dissent. It scares the living daylights out of abusers because the mugwumps (fence sitters) actually begin to think and change. March with a million or even a thousand or even 50 people feels FABULOUS! and permanently changes your life.

In the I Ching there is a character called Fire in the Lake made notable in the west by Francis Fitzgerald of the same title about what the west was never able to understand about waging war in Viet Nam.
“Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.”


If this game plan is the same as the previous massive rallies, it will be another exercise in futility. How many Coal or Big Oil plants have shut down or compiled? Not one! Direct Action against the Corporate CEO’s and Officers is the only way to get results as all before have failed. None of the Leaders of these Peaceful Protest Groups wants to do what is obviously necessary. Time to fight for our Planet and our Future. We’re facing an Extinction Event and the Rally Organizers have no idea how to handle it!

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I felt good protesting the Viet Nam, and Iraq wars, it didn’t do a damn thing though.


If optimism inspires significant action, that is great!

Protesting and Ending the Nam War didn’t do damn thing? Really? Maybe you were not there at all!

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The only thing our masters fear is the power of the vote, hence all their funding and campaigns to dissuade the electorate and disempower voters.

Protest must progress to political action.


They do fear the power of our vote, but above all, they fear organized nonviolent resistance.

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During the Viet Nam occupation era the US mainstream media provided extensive daily coverage of marches and other protest actions, resulting in a wide swath of the electorate (who had no direct exposure to those actions) realizing the folly of the Viet Nam occupation. Public opinion was thus shifted from jingoism to evidence based decision making.

War profiteering corporations realized the power of the media so they started buying up more media and requiring that media to ignore protests against military action and other oppression. Clinton’s 1996 telecom consolidation and the launch of FOX (faux noise) accelerated this trend. Not only are most protests (that target so many issues) ignored by media, the media, especially faux noise create stories that distract the electorate from being aware that some issues exist while promoting jingoism.


Mugwumps!!! I had a buddy once, back in the days of the ‘Newsreel’ film collective. He was a member of Vietnam Vets Against the War, in the early days of Winter Soldiers, who used the term ‘mugwumps’. I thought it meant a carpetbagger type fat cat full of their own self importance? God bless him and all the vets against the war, wars then and now, this Memorial Day.

Hey Big John! You still got that hat?

The young (like we were young) are marching in protest with the same intensity as we once did and they will not stop. We marched to stop a war and they march to stop climate change. I’m sure you can feel it just like I do that these young’uns are strong and determined and they will not stop! Power to the People has become Power to the Planet!

God bless them all too!

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You are full of crap! You sit at home and keep egging on other people ‘to do what is obviously necessary’ (stuff that you won’t do yourself, of course) and constantly putting down peaceful protest. For all your drama, it seems pretty obvious that you never did much back then either. Maybe you marched once, if at all, but nothing else. In any case, now you should stop acting like a troll on CD and trying to sour everyone and instigate problems. Grow up!

People who did - do! They don’t go around telling others to do what they themselves have no intention of doing.

Peaceful protest stopped the Vietnam War!
Peaceful protest stopped legal segregation and won Civil Rights!
Peaceful protest has been the only thing to win anything from the powerful ever! Whether it is a government with a vast military or a mega corporation with unlimited security and legal resources, only mass protest has ever been successful in achieving change.

They have the money, the guns and the power. We have the people. Which is why eventually, we always win


I’ll grant you that the protest during Viet Nam had good impact an did bring troops home, but it was soon forgotten . The Iraq protests where large but did nothing to stop it. The MIC is now in control.

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That is precisely the reason for the war on truth telling and whistle blowers like Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning. The public can begin to comprehend the sheer scale of dependency on organized violence for institutionalized terrorism via the military and knotting local police forces with PTSD damaged individuals who shoot first and do not think.


Yes but I’m sure you’d agree they’re not incompatible but complementary.

1,800,000 people.
Out of over 7,700,000,000 people.
.023% of us protesting
99.97% not


our machine rolls on…

I protested the shocking and awful attack on Iraq and even though millions joined me, you are correct: “IT DIDN’T DO A DAMN THING” and being naive, I thought America was a democracy but talk about a wake-up call!

For a different perspective on all this social media movement to affect action for climate change, have a read of this: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg - For Consent: The Political Economy of The Non-Profit Industrial Complex

Cory Morningstar’s investigation, over six related articles, shows how the youth of the world have been co-opted to support global corporate efforts to save capitalism - and corrupt the global process to reduce carbon emissions.

I want to know, what any of these marchers are going to give up… ? Their lattes?..or any of the diesel shipped food…like chocolate… … their phones, computers, their make up, their cars… their brand new clothing … their plastic toys for their little ones… their meat 2-3 times a day… their little gadgets in the kitchen, their diamonds for their engagement rings or little diamond earrings… oh, or gold, in most of their jewelry, or silver??? Are they going to give up buying brand new furniture from IKEA or RAYMORE AND FLANIGAN?.. which, after the trees are cut down here, in the U.S. …are shipped to China, on a diesel ship and made into that furniture, then shipped back on a diesel ship… will they give up ANY of the consumer products that our civilization pretty much demands us to have, in order to fit in???..now, there is this… every one of them, can decide they are NOT going to purchase any of the everyday ridiculousness and therefore maybe, at least make a REAL effort that would make a difference… and not just for a damn day… come one… WHAT DOES "doing something " look like… well not much if you ask me… It is still Capitalism on a finite planet.

Wereflea, you’re totally right. I marched in the 60’s and we did eventually bring America to its senses. I also marched against the Iraq War and oddly, saw mostly old (or older) people there. The Yuppies just couldn’t be bothered. Today the Yuppies are between 45 and 60 and they have experienced the consequences of their belief in the corporate ladder and imperial greed. So today they live on anti-depressants and cell phones and wonder what happened to their mortgages. That’s why the Iraq marches didn’t work. Today thank the gods, we have the 10 to 35 year olds, and wow, are they changing things! Take heart.

I am of the opinion that many Americans felt that the Iraq war was in response to our country being attacked in 9/11. The war was presented as a defensive measure ‘lest WMDs become a mushroom cloud’. Thus many people were reluctant about opposing it. The sad and tragic result has been the intense disruption of the Middle East, the death of hundreds of thousands of civilians and America entering the Forever War mode of foreign policy.