tactic in which demonstrators move through streets
in a rather spontaneous fashion. The philosophy and goal is to emphatically claim streets as public space for public use. Often demonstrators lock hand
s or arm
s as a way of establishing a safe space and to prevent the march from being broken up. In this way, snake marches can be seen as a contrast to more general mass protest rallies, which are often governed by the terms of a police- or government-issued permit and follow pre-arranged routes agreed to by authorities.
The term 'snake march' was first used in the 1930s for such an activity. The tactic has been resurrected recently during protest actions in the movement against corporate globalization. It has taken on a new importance as national and local authorities have attempted to marginalize dissent by being stingy with rally permits and enforcing archaic and unconstitutional (in the U.S. anyway) laws regulating public assembly.