@bigzaphod a lot of protest is the public image you want to convey. Getting arrested peaceably can be good for emphasizing the non-violence aspect. Fighting the man is a different image.
The image they want to convey is just as much for the people that oppose them as for their supporters.
Also peaceable arrests can really emphasize how many protestors their were. Trump might claim "only a handful showed up" but then there were hundreds of arrests.
@kevin (obviously not everyone agrees on this point... yet.)
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