Eileen Liddy reflects on silence at the Women in Black vigil:
like the silence at the vigil. I think it's appropriate because of the
reason we are doing the vigil. I've been at other vigils for other causes
where we talked and that was OK for those causes/vigils.
I don't know how effective silence is as a political tool in this situation or other situations. I think it may depend on the event. For WIB, I think it is effective if passers by know we are silent and why we are silent, but for those that just see women and men standing there, I'm not sure. Those that take our handouts learn about the silence, so that is an important thing to continue doing.
At the last planning meeting I attended for the 10/26 Stop the War March and Rally we had an extended discussion about the pros and cons of silence in that march. One point of view was the silence would turn off people who liked more active forms of demonstrations. The other point of view was that more active demonstrations alienated the very people we were trying to reach. This discussion apparently is going on in other places. I've learned of a radio program by Amy Goodman where it was discussed.
The bottom line is I haven't talked with enough different kinds of people to have a sense of silence's effectiveness. It probably would be a good idea to learn what is most effective in a community.