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The Silent Protest Is the Best Protest

May 14, 2012


Official portrait of Vladimir Putin Suomi: Vla...

I don’t know about you, but if I was a protestor shouting stupid slogans and I saw Vladimir Putin giving me a death stare, I’d probably quiet down. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russians get grief for drinking a lot of booze and writing really long novels that don’t translate into English very well, but I think they’re onto something with this thing called a silent protest.  

First of all, I’m not sure what the Russians are protesting about.  It has something to do with Vladimir Putin, and that’s all I need to know.  Vladimir Putin is the kind of guy that makes Americans proud of the United States political system. Take the worst qualities of Presidents Bush and Obama, multiply them by ten, and you have Vladimir Putin.    Yeah, our politicians suck, but they’re not as bad as Putin. 

If Vladimir Putin were our president, or premiere, or prime minister, or dictator, I’d probably want to protest as well.  The problem is that I despise protestors almost as much as I don’t like Vladimir Putin, so this is a tough call.  The Russians have made this decision much easier by organizing a silent protest, a quiet march through the streets of Moscow.  

This is genius.  The anti-Putin protestors have taken everything that I dislike about political rallies and gotten rid of them to protest a person whom I (don’t know but still) don’t like very much.

What’s so awesome about this silent protest?


No slogans.  Stupid slogans are one of the most annoying aspects of protesting, and you can’t have slogans if you’re marching silently.  American slogans are usually pretty stupid. 

“What do we want?” 

“No interest on our student loans!” 

“When do we want it?” 

“Five years ago!” 

Every once in a while a protestor thinks of a clever slogan (“Hey, George, stay out of my…”), but then it gets repeated so many times that it becomes annoying.  With the silent protest, nobody becomes annoying, unless a bunch of mimes show up determined to ruin everything. 


No violence.   Anytime that I’m in a large crowd, I’m paranoid that I’m going to get conked on the head.  I’ve been conked on the head before, and it was a horrible experience.  I’ve vowed that I will do anything reasonable to make sure I  never get conked on the head again. 

It’s tough to get a mob riled up enough to commit violence during a silent protest.  Most violence is loud, and any noise would be noticed during a silent protest.  I would feel pretty safe in a silent protest.  I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get conked on the head at a silent protest, unless I show up as a mime. 


No property damage.  I can park my car near a silent protest and not worry about it getting overturned, broken into, keyed, tire slashed, or defecated on.  There’s nothing worse than spending an afternoon with a bunch of shrill screamers denouncing injustice, and then returning to find my car upside down, on fire, with a big load of steaming defecation on it. 

That’s the problem with protestors that vandalize.  They don’t care whose property they destroy.  


No standing around.  The silent protest is a quiet march through a public place.  I like walking on a nice day.  When people are walking, they have to keep moving and usually won’t cause any trouble.  Most problems at protests occur because people are just standing around, and when people are standing around, they get irritable and tempers flare. 

During a silent protest, when you’re marching and the police tell you to move, you can smile pleasantly and whisper, “We’re already moving, officer,” and there’s a sense of good will. 

If people are standing around shouting slogans and the police tell you to move, some yahoo who just took a dump on the sidewalk will say something derogatory to the cop, and the next thing you know, pepper spray’s flying around and protestors are getting conked on the head (sometimes by other protestors).  Like I said, I hate getting conked on the head. 


No defecation.  When people are marching, there’s no time to urinate or defecate on the streets.  Everybody’s on the move, and anybody who tries to stop to urinate in public is going to get pushed or nudged.  Nobody likes to get pushed or nudged while urinating. 

I have never understood how a guy could urinate in public during a protest anyway.  Even if I wanted to urinate in public during a protest, I’d probably get stage fright and stand around too long in that compromising position, and I’d end up getting arrested for public lewdness. 

I wouldn’t want to try explaining that one to the judge.  


I respect the Russian protestors.  The Russians have more to lose when they protest than Americans do.  If we protest, we might get arrested or pepper sprayed, but that just means we can sue the government and get a cash payout in a few months.  Russians risk getting shot or having their families disappear, and I don’t think they have the option of suing Vladimir Putin.  Protesting in Russia can have serious consequences, so I respect the Russian protestor. 

The Russians could even shout stupid slogans (I wouldn’t understand them if they shouted them), and I would still respect them.  That’s how much I respect the Russian protestor.

From → Dysfunctileaks

  1. I think you’re onto something with the advantage of no stupid slogans. Protest slogans really are usually embarrassingly bad. If you’re going to stage a non-silent protest, you should wait until you have a pithy chant. Otherwise you just lose street cred.

    • This might be more difficult than we think. You have to first come up with a good slogan, and then you have to convince a large group of people (who probably aren’t used to working well with others) to chant it together. It’s probably much easier to overturn a car instead.

  2. I just want to point out that Vladimir Putin isn’t giving the Putin Death Stare in the picture above. It’s his Puss in Boots Stare:

    • Maybe it’s not the stare itself that would intimidate me. I think it’s the guns behind him that are pointed at me that would make me quiet down (and maybe make me beg for my life).

  3. I, too, avoid being conked on the head whenever possible. Still laughing about that! Smiles upon you.

  4. “Nobody likes to get pushed or nudged while urinating.”



  5. Good one. Just in time for Nato summit here in Chicago.

  6. I also hate getting conked on the head. It’s where I keep my brain and I often use that thing.

  7. Awesome stuff. Although I do have a (silent) appreciation for mimes, but mimes probably would lessen the effect of the protest. . . 🙂

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