Demonstrations, violent or peaceful, must achieve results if they are to maintain their usefulness. If demos yield no results, they become a total waste of time, air and space.
In recent times, we have heard of pockets of demonstrations here and there. The reasons for people going on the street has been diverse.
It is worth noting that the notion that demonstration is equal to looting and violence is dying. Why, one wonders, should businesses close just because some individuals are going on the street for justified or unjustified reasons?
The world over, demonstrations have been an integral part of social, economic and political transformation. From the protests that led to the tearing down of the Bastille Prison to ignite a fall of the monarchy in France to give birth to a republic, to the non-violent protests led by noble souls like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jnr and many more brought changes in the landscape.
In Malawi, protests have been known to bring change from the fight for freedom from the colonizer through the ending of the dictatorial one party state. There have been unforgettable demonstrations like the July 20 2012 demos that saw a good number killed in the process.
There were the anti-Jane Ansah demos that were a landmark and the turning point of running affairs as usual.
Recently, there have been spots of demonstrations across the country. Whether the demos are meaningful or not is neither here nor there.
What is the point that everyone seems to organise protests over each and every issue? We know times are hard, economically, politically and socially, but what is the point of going on the street just for the sake of it?
Wait a minute. How do you go on the street to call on the President to resign or call for a referendum? Doesn’t the Constitution and the laws spell it outright what should necessitate the president to resign or call for a referendum?
What is baffling to note is that every time demonstrations are held, petitions are delivered, targeting particular persons. It is more baffling to note that whether those petitioned have time to go through the grievances and act of them. It is most baffling that those petitioned, if at all they went through the matters raised, act with impunity and continue doing business as usual.
Demonstrations have been watered down with recent happenings. Going on the street has been seen as a way for some to get higher on the runges of the social ladder. Remember how some landed ministerial positions and diplomatic posts at the expense of the many who fought on the street.
There is no point to go on the street if it yields little or no result at all.