People protesting on the streets could be useful at times but I think that is not the right way to protest and communicate the message.
There could be numerous reasons for a protest and if we take a proper channel or the right path to protest then I think this method of protesting will be more favorable then protesting on the streets.
Some of the ethical ways of protesting is following the right escalation path. So if it's tied to a government matter then the protest should first start with a complaint in the local government official house. Give some time for the authorities to investigate and in the meantime, you could do follow-ups just to check the status of the complaint.
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If you do not get an answer or is not satisfied you can further escalate the issue and in some countries, people approach the Courts. So file an official lawsuit against the party you are protesting with. When the matter is the court it becomes far more official and the parties quarreling will need to fulfill all the formalities and proof that they are innocent and the final decision will be of the Judge to decide upon and resolve conflicts.
Hence, following the right path of the escalations is the right way to protest. Protesting in the streets I think will create much chaos and delay in getting the protest resolved.
Protests are caused as a result of governments non compliance to the demands of the populace and protests if it's very peaceful is actually very and well useful just like you mentioned.
For example public workers who work in government cooperations are not well paid, some certain times it could be that the working conditions are very poor and as a result of these they write letters to the government ministries asking for better terms in their working contracts, but in most situations the government hardly reply to the demand and that's why the resort to public protest.
Protests involves a lot of people walking or marching to a government house and demanding to see the people in charge in other to publicly ask them why their working demands have not been met, and in a few other cases the leader of the protests comes to a consensus with the government on how their demands will be met if not protests sometimes results to boycotting and strike but at the ends it still brings the desired result of bringing the government to total compliance.
Protest are very helpful if it's peaceful but sometimes it can be very violent and result to the death of life and property that's when police with tear gases gets involved, that's why people who do protests always keep it peaceful in order to achieve the desired results.