Archives for protest



Comedian Turns Pledge-a-Picket Tactic on Westboro Baptist Church Protesters

Back in 2005, Levitt wrote about Planned Parenthood’s clever strategy in response to people picketing one of its clinics in Philadelphia. The tactic, known as Pledge-a-Picket, worked like this: for every protester that picketed the clinic, people pledged to donate a certain amount of money (minimum 10 cents). The event raised a reported $40,000, and is now a part of the clinic’s annual calendar.

At the time, Levitt predicted that abortion clinics around the country would soon adopt the approach. It turns out, so has comedian Lisa Lampenelli. The Daily What reports: Read More »



Memo to Syria

Readers of this blog may be surprised to learn that in 2005 I coauthored an article with Jonathan Macey which made explicit predictions about the future of democratization in Egypt. In 2005, Jonathan and I wrote: “We also posit that economic reform will bring increased pressure for democratization in countries such as Egypt and Syria. For this reason, economic reform of the kind we discuss in this Article (simplifying and reducing the costs of business formation) will be a good “leading indicator” of political leaders’ real interest in implementing meaningful democratic reforms that go beyond mere public relations gimmicks.” Read More »



How Much Do Protests Matter? A Freakonomics Quorum

Iran’s citizens take to the streets en masse after a disputed election. Gay men in Salt Lake City hold a kissing protest. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church voice their anti-just-about-everything views to military funerals and elsewhere.

Beyond the media attention they inevitably garner, what do protests actually accomplish? Read More »



Révolte des Vignerons

Levitt‘s cheap wine advocacy may have met its match. To protest the falling price of wine, a French group calling itself the Regional Union for Viticultural Action has attacked French supermarkets in the past. Now it has adopted a more supply-side approach: the wine militants recently broke into a cooperative in the south of France, […] Read More »



When Scare Tactics Backfire

| Greenpeace Canada believes Toronto’s Pickering Nuclear power plant is putting the city’s residents in mortal danger. So last week, the group distributed leaflets around town warning of impending radiological disaster, each leaflet carrying a pill made of seaweed that was supposed to represent an anti-radiation iodine pill. Alarmed and bewildered, residents alerted the police, […] Read More »



On Riots

Sudhir Venkatesh wondered recently on this blog why the Wall Street meltdown hadn’t set off a wave of rioting in the streets. But riots may not be so far off, if the continuing unrest in Greece is any indication. (Take a look at a compelling set of photos from the always-compelling Big Picture blog.) In […] Read More »



Is France Due for Riots?

Photo: cicilief In my last post, I offered several reasons why the urban riot has gone out of style in the U.S. However, France will not be spared the sword. I predict that the world will watch French cities light up in youth unrest in 2009, 2010 at the latest … 2011 for sure. I […] Read More »



Whither the Riot?

Photo: Mika Hiironniemi I have been struck by the absence of collective protest over the actions of those in the financial industry. Free market advocates have been rendered impotent; why aren’t they up in arms that their belief system has been forever invalidated? Leftists watch as our elected leaders hand over the oversight function to […] Read More »