Protesting anything helps to inflict change–be it for civil rights in the 60s, for increased saleries, or for environmental initiatives. So, yes, I think that protesting can be an effective way to insitutde change in environmental policies.
Protesting puts a lot pressure on representatives of the people. Protesting could be marching, picketing, or striking. All of these are usually done by constituents who are hoping to incite change in policy. Essentially, protestors hope that by making the problem a public issue their representatives will vote to change policy. This process works for correcting all types of problem, including environmental issues.
Protests change the way that media frames an issue, and leads to empathy with the protestors, especially when there is some sort of police brutality. Changes in public opinion lead to changes in the way lawmakers vote, hopefully leading to change — often, though, these sorts of movements raise awareness and little else. Even that, though, can help the cause of environmentalism.
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