I’m a slow-healing old coot, so I’d be scared enough to demonstrate in France these days. They’ve been hurting people over there.
But maybe you’re right, I’ve seen plenty of what I’d call “Not so Scary” demonstrations on the USA side of the pond. What do you want? That’s where your comment leaves me at a loss. What distinguishes a properly scary demonstration (a threat to power) from just another prophylactic siphoning-off of righteous energy?
I remember the huge eruption of demonstrations worldwide trying to head-off the impending war on Iraq in 2003. Then we went home, and watched the war proceed. That episode had a profound impact on the engagement of people over a certain age – people who remember antiwar demonstrations.