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Which Protests Work?

OPB | July 13, 2009 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:54 p.m.

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Duke Geren/ Flickr /Creative Commons None

Environmental activists were arrested outside Reedsport this week for their demonstration to block loggers from cutting down trees that are more than 100 years old. Members of Earth First! and Cascadia Rising Tide erected a blockade so they could physically stop loggers from getting to the trees they were seeking to protect. Direct action like this is not new and has been used in Oregon over the years with various results.

Oregonians express their dissent towards logging, war, abortion, budget cuts and many other issues in many different ways. Some choose legal methods to draw attention to their cause, while others feel it’s more productive to cross the legal line. Why do people choose to protest? What works — and what doesn’t — when they do? And why?

Have you participated in a protest? What choices did you make about how to express yourself? What effect did your demonstration have? Have you ever witnessed a protest that changed your mind?

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