Protest vs. Demonstration vs. Revolution

I have heard the words protest, demonstration, and revolution used interchangeably since the the beginning of the OWS movement, that I have gotten the definitions of the words confused. While they seem like synonyms, each word has its own meaning and context, so I have decided to post a quick definition of each, just to clear the terms up.

  1. Protest — A protest is a way to express an objections with any event, situation, or policy. These objections can be manifested either by actions or by words.
  2. Demonstration — A demonstration is a large group of people, usually gathering for a political cause. It usually includes a group march, ending with a rally or a speaker. A demonstration is similar to a protest in that they both can use the same or similar methods to achieve goals. However, demonstrations tend to be more abrasive and spontaneous, whereas protests tend to be more organized.
  3. Revolution — A revolution is a major change in the power structure and takes place in a short amount of time. Most revolutions are violent and tend to focus on cultural, political, and economic issues.

I will be posting later in the week a more analytic response about the differences between the Bolshevik Revolution and the OWS protests.

Feel free to offer up any suggestions or comments.



6 responses to “Protest vs. Demonstration vs. Revolution

  1. I think that it’s a good idea to define these three terms for everyone on the blog but I guess I would have liked to see you take these three definitions and their differences to make some sort of claim about the movement. How is someone using these terms interchangeably when describing the movement perhaps altering the perception that people are developing of OWS? Just a thought!

  2. I think a part of the confusion is that technically a demonstration isn’t close to a protest, but a form of protest. A protest can take many forms and can be used very liberally. So since protest can be pretty much all encompassing, it gets thrown around a lot and used when other terms could better describe the action.

  3. It would be really informative to expand on this post by investigating the different connotations of each of these terms and why/how they are used interchangeably. This post is a very useful reference, thanks for sharing!

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