Why Marching Matters

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Why marching matters. Think of any street protest, and the images that come to mind are those of people walking purposefully down a city street. It’s a picture of movement, not of standing still. Last weekend, New York City officials denied anti-war activists a permit to march. Gathering was permitted, but not marching. But it’s hardly the same, says anyone who’s ever taken part in a protest.

Scholars agree. They say marching has emotional and political power that rallying does not. Walk with thousands of strangers and together you become a powerful group. Historically, marchers have transformed local causes into national movements, changed legislation and helped to end war. Analyzing the footsteps of protest.


Lucy G. Barber, author, “Marching on Washington: the forging of an American political tradition”
Frances Crowe, 83-year old antiwar activist from Northampton, Mass.