The Duties to Protest and to Listen to Protest

Communicative Resistance, Enabler’s Responsibility, and Echoing

in Democratic Theory
Author:
José MedinaProfessor, Northwestern University, USA jose.medina@northwestern.edu

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This article argues that the duties to protest and to listen to protest are central democratic obligations required for active citizenship. Section 1 sketches protest as communicative resistance. Section 2 argues that we always have a duty to listen to felicitous protests against injustice and that, under conditions of social uprising, we also have a duty to protest. Section 3 defends a view of protest participation that takes into account subjects’ positionality with respect to the injustice being protested, arguing for the special prerogatives of victims and the duties to defer and yield of non-victims within protest movements. Finally, Section 4 elucidates the notion of giving proper uptake to protest and what I call echoing a protest, that is, expressing communicative solidarity with that protest.

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