Let’s talk about what goes on when we criticize social/pollitical movements, not because of their ideas, but because of their choice of methods. There can be valid discussions on this topic, but too often, they seem to fall into this pattern:
In other words, if you’re denouncing extreme protests, but also refused to listen to less disruptive protests, you might just be critiquing methods as an excuse to dismiss a movement you don’t want to listen to.
That’s not to say we can’t discuss the effectiveness of different protest methods and whether some choices are counterproductive or harmful–especially if violence is involved. But let’s avoid reducing it to a question of which one is right–moderate or radical approaches, negotiation or boycott, politeness or disruption–as if there was one right method that would change every mind and institution on its own.
“Moderate” and “radical” advocates of a cause–whether or not they like each other–often function as part of the same process for making change:
Sometimes “moderates” gain more traction at the negotiating table once their “radical” counterparts are camped outside the building. And that’s how a lot of change–for better or for worse–gets made.