Are supposed to demonstrate our strength.
All too often they demonstrate our weakness, lack o fo numbers, imagination etc.
“In all their variants, demonstrations involve at least four actors: demonstrators, objects of their claims, specialists in official control of public space (usually police), and spectators. They often involve others: reporters for mass media; counter-demonstrators; allies such as dissident members of the ruling class; spies; operators of nearby establishments that crowd action might engage or endanger; pickpockets; gangs itching for a fight; political scientists eager to observe street politics, and so on…” Tilly in Traugott, M. ed (1995) Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action
“By the 1820s political organizers and public authorities were clearly negotiating agreements about street demonstrations, although the word itself gained currency only in the 1830s. (The term apparently leaped almost immediately from its military version, a deliberate show of force for intimidation of potential opponents, to a civilian analog.)”Tilly in Traugott, M. ed (1995) Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action