This page is about protests. For alternate uses see Demonstration (disambiguation)
A demonstration is the public display of the common opinion of an activist group, often economically, political, or socially, by gathering in a crowd, usually at a symbolic place or date, associated with that opinion. The purpose of a demonstration is to show that a significant amount of people are for or against a certain issue, person, law, etc.
A demonstration is usually considered more successful the more people participate. A growing trend in the United States has been the implementation of "free speech zones," a fenced-in area which is often far-removed from the event which is being protested; critics of free-speech zones argue that they are unconstitutional by their very nature and that they lessen the impact the demonstration might have otherwise had.
Some demonstrations and riots turn, at least partially, into violence against things (like cars and shops), bystanders and the police. These acts of destruction against private property -- which are not thought to be acts of "violence" by some, since they do not hurt people -- are targeted toward major corporations and chain stores, and rarely affect independently-owned businesses. Police often use "less than lethal" weapons, such as Tasers, rubber-bullets and pepper spay against the crowd; it is believed by some that they use agent provocateurs to rile the crowd, thereby justifying the use of violence against demonstrators.
History of demonstrations
On May 1, 1886, the American Federation of Labor declared a national strike to demand an 8-hour workday and 350,000 workers across the country participated. On top of the 8-hour workday, they demanded unity against racism, national chauvinism, and imperialistic war.On may 3rd in Haymarket Square, Chicago a bomb exploded on the scene and a policeman was killed instantly. Shots were fired in all directions by who knows whom exactly and the end result was injuries to over 60 people and death to seven officers.By 1889, the Socialist International had declared May 1 as an International Working Class Holiday and a day of demonstrations by various labor movements in commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs.