And what did the Boston Tea Party yield? The closing of the port of Boston and the abolition of Massachusetts self-government, resulting in a buildup of events that led to an unnecessary War of Independence.
Violence is fun!
Some might argue that independence was necessary, and the point is that it is hypocritical to condemn the looters for their vandalism and laud the Sons of Liberty as patriots. It doesn’t click however because people like president Obama and Freddie Gray’s familly aren’t condemning the vandalism because they don’t believe it is never justified to destroy property to protest but because the property destruction is counter productive and improperly focused. Had the Sons of Liberty responded to the tea tax by burning Boston down I’m not sure they would be celebrated today. The meme is simplistic, imagine someone making this argument about the Oklahoma bombing by comparing it with the bombing of Nazi Berlin.
Yes, I think that that is a most sensible way to respond – saying in essence, “If you think that this is a case in which the only way to make your frustration heard is through destruction of property, then please, please, try to find a way to target the property of those who need to hear the message, and not just random people.”
Of course, when it is a case of wealth inequality or political oppression, the targets that are most appropriate may also be most heavily guarded, and attacking them most likely to get you killed.
But your point nonetheless remains an important one. I’ve thought about it in cases like the financial pressure that was placed on Indiana in relation to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. On the one hand, it clearly worked. On the other hand, those liable to suffer most from the economic impact were places like Indianapolis, which already had laws protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and whose representatives voted against RFRA. And so the question of how to target such efforts is a question that needs more attention than it has been getting.