I sure am sticking my neck out trying to prescribe etiquette for what essentially is "mobism". But here goes.
Two days ago, I was walking along Durbar Marg when the Maoist street protest passed me by, on the way to the President's residence. There were a few hundred people with banners decrying "the Presidential Coup" and lots of Maoist flags waving merrily. One individual ran well ahead of the procession assuring all shopkeepers politely that they could keep their shops open, and there was no danger from the procession. This, I thought, was a very considerate gesture. I could observe the shopkeepers skeptically eying this messenger; but they did leave their shops open, and there was no damage.
Now I come to the crux of the matter. Sure, it is the democratic right of every citizen to march peacefully protesting whatever they wish - from stinking garbage to presidential decisions. BUT, there is something called traffic in this city of ours. It has far too many vehicles for its roads. So when these protest marches block entire streets, the already horrendous traffic situation becomes manic. Okay, I concede, those who own vehicles are the elite minority. But what about the taxis who need to earn a livelihood, or all the middle class motor cyclists?
I have seen political protests in many countries. For example, in the United States, they are controlled well by the police and their protest areas are designated beforehand. Traffic is never hampered. By exercising our democratic right to protest (or freedom of expression), we surely do not have the right to tie up traffic, cause commotion and destroy the peace. But this is exactly what our protestors - be they red or of any other hue - are doing. The police apparently do not know that protesters do not have the right to block traffic. Or they do, and don't give a damn!