I remember well the protests on the Mall, between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. There were hundreds of thousands of protestors from all over the country, united for a cause they believed in. They weren't there for a few hours "when all the offices were closed". They were there for days, sometimes weeks. Sometimes they formed "tent cities". I remember the civil rights protests, where a sea of the citizenry demanded their voices be heard--"We will overcome." These protests of 50 years ago were NOTHING like ows. It seems to me, these old fashioned protests garnered, at least, some measure of results.
The main thing was, they exercised their inherent right to express their dissatisfaction and outrage to the existing government that was in place at the time--legitimate or not.
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