Street Protests Seem to Have Little Effect on New Yorkers

by Fa-Tung Chen

Political and social protests in the New York City happen with such frequency that they seem like part of the daily routine for locals. Yet, are the rallies and protests effective after all? Are they worth the effort?

An example was the anti-Donald Trump protest on July 7. This was organized to demand Walmart to withdraw its financial support for the Republican National Convention and denounce Donald Trump. It was said to be effective eventually, according to the organizers.

Members from organizations including RWDSU, UFCW, The Black Institute, Walmart Free NYC, and Making Change at Walmart gathered and asked Walmart to take action and stop economically supporting the RNC, which later nominated Donald Trump as its presidential candidate.

“While Walmart did not denounce Donald Trump outright, it did say it would only be donating $15,000 to the convention. This is a much smaller number than they have donated in previous years,” one of the organizations that arranged the rally, RWDSU, said in an e-mail.

The protesters’ purposes were to call on Walmart to join the other major companies that have withdrawn their support for the 2016 Republican National Convention due to Trump’s history of bigotry and offensive statements against countless groups, and to raise public awareness regarding the issue, organizers said.

Yet, these protests seem to have little effect on regular New Yorkers, according to an informal survey made on the streets of the city. Most of the people value convenience more than political stands of the companies.

“I wouldn’t go to another store just because the company supports Donald Trump,” saidJasmine from Brooklyn, who is in her 30s.

Other than the protest in front of Trump Tower, rallies have also taken place in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Bank of America building in California, and the Trump International Hotel site in Washington, DC.

The owner of a street food cart in front of Trump Tower said that the protesters blocked the streets.

“I sell less products than usual when there’s a protest,” he said. He said that most of the time he is not interested in what they’re protesting.

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