Publication Details

Martin, B. (2016). Suppression of protest. Protest Cultures: A Companion (pp. 462-471). New York: Berghahn Books.


Protesters—especially when they are dramatic, colorful, or innovative—are a magnet for attention. But there are others to be aware of: opponents of the protesters. Individuals and groups that disagree with the aims or methods of protest sometimes ignore protest activity, hoping it will fade away, and sometimes compete with it by more vigorously advocating their own positions and values. Other options for opponents are to attack protest or to co-opt it, incorporating less-threatening components, modifying its demands, and isolating radical elements. A social movement during its life cycle may experience all of these responses, sometimes simultaneously by different opposing forces. The focus here is on one particular response: attack.