The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

Protesting does more harm than good.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,059 times Debate No: 65797
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Round 1 is acceptance
Rounds 2&3 are arguments and rebuttals
Round 4 is rebuttals and conclusion

Can use any means necessary to make cases including news articles.


I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thinking of the protesting that is going on right now in Ferguson, this only adds to my point that protesting is harmful. Over one decision the whole nation is in an uproar over this. The protesting is spreading across the nation and seems to be getting worse as it goes. So far that I know of 1 innocent person has been killed due to protesting that has been going on in Ferguson.

Protesters will use any means necessary to get their point across. I have heard about them setting cars on fire, burning buildings, smashing windows and even stealing things from stores.

All this does is get people arrested and thrown in jail. Nothing good can ever come out of a protest. The decision is already made and nobody cares after that.


I agree that violent protests do not do any good, but that is no reason to damn protests in general. Violent people are trying find any means to relieve their aggression. They only use protests to do harm which they could not do on their own. It is not the protesters that set cars on fire or steal, it's criminals that basically do what they have always done.

The reasons for the protests in Ferguson, though, are valid ones. Inequality can only ever be fought through people standing up and peacefully protesting. The anger of the peaceful protestants is understandable, because of the importance of the matter. Without protesting a defined group of people would have no way of showing their disagreement with the leadership, or legal framework. Protests force the whole of the population and the leaders of a country to notice their dissatisfaction with the current situation. The example of Ferguson shows that the protests created awareness in the general population. And as you have already mentioned the protests are spreading, which I doubt to be a bad thing.

You said that nothing good ever comes from people protesting, but ...
...without the protesting in England that lead to the Magna Carta Libertatum, King John never would have had to accept the limitations on his power as Sovereign of England. There would never have been a rebirth of democracy in Europe or even in the at that time undiscovered America after the fall of the first democracy in Greece.
" without people pushing boxes at the Boston Tea Party, and thereby protesting against the power of Britain's government over the American Colonies, America would have never become a free state. The Boston Tea Party also lead to the American Revolution and the dawn of a democratic state.
And to give some more recent examples:
The protests of the Solidarnosc (Solidarity) in Poland lead to the Perestroika (the restructuring of the political and social system), which resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Monday Protests in Eastern Germany, also known as the Peaceful Revolution lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall and were another factor that caused the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.
A very recent effect of protests was the downfall of the Egyptian dictator Muhammed Mubarak and the establishment of a democracy in Egypt.
There are many other examples for successful protests during the Arab Spring.

Civil resistance in general, which was wildly used in the examples I have given above is a good example of useful protests. It has been defined as absolutely nonviolent and includes demonstrations, strikes, petitions, boycotts and emigration movements.
Without protests the status quo would never be changed. Women would never have gotten the right to vote in Western countries. Black people in America would never have been able to archive equal rights, either.
Debate Round No. 2


Protesting is not a good way to act out aggression. Protesting can turn people into criminals, it is the excuse that they need to do anything they want and most of them will do that.

Again there are plenty of ways that you can get your points across without having to protest to get it. That is the only thing that people think of to do when something is done that they don't agree with. If a decision is big enough everybody is going to know about it anyway so protesting to get things heard is just a waste of time.

Those protests mentioned above were good ones, but at what expense?


Protesting is in no way a way to act out aggression.
To clear things up. Here you have the definition of protest as given by Merriam Webster. (
: a solemn declaration of opinion and usually of dissent: as
a : a sworn declaration that payment of a note or bill has been refused and that all responsible signers or debtors are liable for resulting loss or damage
b : a declaration made especially before or while paying that a tax is illegal and that payment is not voluntary
: the act of objecting or a gesture of disapproval ; especially : a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval
: a complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness usually to an idea or a course of action
: an objection made to an official or a governing body of a sport

Only one of those forms of protests requires a mass of people and even then they are in no way defined to be aggressive. And as I have already mentioned: Protesting does not turn people into criminals, people use demonstrations as cover to do illegal things, they already are criminals.
I think you misunderstand the concept of protests. A protest is not only, as I have already shown above a public demonstration. Without protests nothing would get done.

Protests in England:
result: The Magna Carta
expense: loss of power for the King (time for the council) and some happy rebel leaders and Englishmen

Boston Tea Party:
result: American Independence
expense: a bunch of tea

Solidarnosc (their main "weapon" was civil resistance, which I have already explained):
result: fall of the Soviet Union
expense: money, because of the strikes and one dictatorial state

Monday Protests (they are know for a reason as Peaceful Revolution):
result: fall of the GDR (another dictatorship that killed thousands of people)
expense: not a single life, linen and paint for the posters and one really long wall

Egyptian Revolution:
result: downfall of Mubarak (who has been acquitted two days ago, but still lost his power)
I admit that this last one is quite different from the others, because when the dictators security forces and protesters lead to 846 deaths, most of those were the protesters themselves (and it was hardly their fault). The revolution still consisted mainly of demonstrations, marches, plaza occupations, non-violent civil resistance, acts of civil disobedience and strikes.

Now, let us do a little thought experiment: Imagine you live in a dictatorial surveillance society, just like Eastern Germany and Poland used to be. Without being absolutely compliant and having a lot of friends in high places you can not get into politics, hence you have no way of changing the law. You can not flee the regime, because there is a 12ft high wall and some very trigger happy border patrols stopping you from even thinking about it. Every one of your friends could work for the government and betray you, if you said something against the dictatorship. The police is violent and their prisons feared. Now imagine, what you would do when people start a peaceful demonstration. Stop them? Or join them?
What else could you do besides protesting?
Debate Round No. 3


When people are protesting they most certainly are acting out aggression. People getting angry is why they are protesting in the first place. They don't protest because they are happy.

I have not heard of a peaceful demonstration in a very long time. The only ones you hear about on the news are bad ones that lead to people getting hurt and lot of money in damages.


First of all I want to point out that you have in no way reacted to my question. What, if protests are as harmful as you claim, would be an alternative?
That someone is not happy does not imply they're angry. Protesters can be disappointed, they can be annoyed or just trying to support their ideals. Of course the people in Ferguson are angry, it is after all their equality that's under attack, but anger doesn't always lead to aggression. Or do you always start rioting when you are angry at someone?
I still think that you haven't quite grasped the meaning of protesting. Every strike is a peaceful protest and many European countries have them in heaps. Every petition is a protest, many books, pamphlets, some documentaries are protests. If you sum all of them up there are really a lot of peaceful protests all over the world.
Even if you exclude those other forms of protests and just focus on demonstrations, there are still a lot of peaceful ones. Because I think this is the protest on your mind when you claim that protests do more harm than good, I'll take a peaceful demonstration in Ferguson as an example.
"Citizens protesting the death of black Missouri teenager Michael Brown appeared to be getting along peacefully as they marched alongside state troopers, who took over operational control of the protest scenes Thursday.
Several marchers stopped to shake hands with police and troopers. Some people stopped to hug and chat with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Highway Patrol, who was born and grew up near this community and is now overseeing security."
This protest in Ferguson, I believe, is a good example for a peaceful demonstration, or don't you agree?
Most violence during protests comes from the side of he police and not from the protesters themselves. In many dictatorial states all over the world protests are suppressed, because they can actually archive something.
To forbid protesting is to take away the rights of citizens to publicly make their opinion known.
To end the last round, I'd like to once again point out the importance of protests. Without them we would still have child labor, inequality of both sex and race (Martin Luther King and the Suffragettes), monarchies (democratic movements in a lot of European, Asian and African countries), colonies (Gandhi, the Boston Tea Party), dictatorships (USSR, GDR, Egypt, Tunisia, etc.), unfair wages and oppression. Protests do so much more good than they do harm and suppressing them infringes on one of the most basic rights of citizens: The right to express their opinion and to have their voice heard.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by jmcnutt 2 years ago
The violence in the Ferguson protests is fueled by something deeper than one instance of a cop shooting a young black man. I don't know what it is but hopefully these protesters will let us know what's really going on in their hearts so we can end this.
Posted by Synergetics 2 years ago
This should be a good topic, especially with what"s going ijn Missouri.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by gomergcc 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro used no sources. Pro made a very weak argument and failed to back it up in any way. Pro failed to understand the meaning of the word protest even after Con gave them a definition. Pro failed to show any harm coming from any protest ever.
Vote Placed by WillRiley 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro doesn't understand the difference between rioting and protesting. Even after Con defined protest, Pro showed ignorance by not bothering to research protests, and overgeneralizes that they are all bad. There is a reason that we have a right to protest people!