A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers. Historian Eric Hobsbawm says, "Next to sex, the activity combining bodily experience and intense emotion to the highest degree is the participation in a mass demonstration at a time of great public exaltation. Unlike sex, which is essentially individual, it is by its nature collective... and it can be prolonged for hours... It implies some physical action — marching, chanting slogans, singing — through which the merger of the individual in the mass, which is the essence of the collective experience, finds expression."
Actions such as blockades and sit-ins may also be referred to as demonstrations. Demonstrations can be nonviolent or violent (usually referred to by participants as "militant"), or can begin as nonviolent and turn violent dependent on circumstances. Sometimes riot police or other forms of law enforcement become involved. In some cases this may be in order to try to prevent the protest from taking place at all. In other cases it may be to prevent clashes between rival groups, or to prevent a demonstration from spreading and turning into a riot.
The term has been in use since the mid-19th century, as was the term 'monster meeting', which was coined initially with reference to the huge assemblies of protesters inspired by Daniel O'Connell in Ireland. Demonstrations are a form of activism, usually taking the form of a public gathering of people in a rally or walking in a march. Thus, the opinion is demonstrated to be significant by gathering in a crowd associated with that opinion.
Demonstrations can be used to show a viewpoint (either positive or negative) regarding a public issue, especially relating to a perceived grievance or social injustice. A demonstration is usually considered more successful if more people participate. Topics of demonstrations often deal with political, economic, and social issues.
|60s model & muse Pattie Boyd attended at a peace demonstration the 27th July 1969 in Trafalgar Square, London with her sister Jenny Boyd (not shown in the pic).|
|Actress Shannen Doherty attends Shepherd Conservation Society's 2nd Annual 'World Love For Dolphins Day' at Japanese Consulate on February 13, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.|
|German model and actress Uschi Obermaier attending at a demostration in Berlin in 1970.|
John Lennon and Yoko Ono sing during a demonstration by about 500 in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices on Fifth Avenue in New York, Feb. 5, 1972. Demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1971.0121.beatles.html and http://purple--lady.blogspot.com.es/2011_02_01_archive.html
22nd April 1972 - Yoko Ono and John Lennon at a peace rally in Bryant Park. First photo from: http://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2015/06/24/new-yorks-long-history-of-peace-activism/ second photo our scan from the book John Lennon by Michael Heatley, Reed Internationa Books LTD, 1992.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration, organised by WILPF in Washington DC, in 1973. From: http://www.wilpfinternational.org/give-peace-a-chance/