Peaceful Protest: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 What Is a Peaceful Protest?
  • 0:49 Examples of Peaceful Protests
  • 2:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Deborah Teasley

Deborah has 4 years of teaching experience and a master's degree in program development & management.

In this lesson, we will take a look at peaceful protests and some of the methods used to accomplish them. We will also review examples of this type of protest and how they have been successful agents of social change.

What is a Peaceful Protest?

Have you ever felt that a law was unjust? Or, has your country gotten involved in a war that you did not support? There are a number of different ways that you can express your dissatisfaction with these issues, and one of them is through peaceful protesting.

A peaceful protest, also known as nonviolent resistance or nonviolent action, is the act of expressing disapproval through a statement or action without the use of violence. This type of protest has been used to advocate for a number of different causes, including human rights issues, anti-war campaigns, and expressing disapproval of various political/governmental policy issues. Some general methods include boycotting certain products, participating in a march or a sit-in, displaying a particular symbol, and handing out flyers.

Examples of Peaceful Protests

One of the most well-known peaceful protesters was Indian activist and spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi. His efforts to liberate British-ruled India would later inspire a number of other nonviolent action movements all around the globe. Gandhi believed that civil disobedience, instead of violence, would help India to gain its independence. An excellent example of his efforts was the Salt March of 1930. At the time, Britain had made it illegal for the people of India to collect or sell salt. This forced citizens to purchase the mineral from the British, who taxed them heavily. Gandhi decided to form a demonstration. He traveled 240 miles along the coast encouraging others to collect salt to show their disapproval of both the law and tax. Thousands ended up joining the movement. Consequently, many were arrested, including Gandhi himself. However, because of this protest and the other peaceful protests that followed, India eventually gained its freedom.

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