I have heard, too many times, in response to the current riots and looting that arose from protests related to the murder of George Floyd, that "they are accomplishing nothing," or "they are only hurting themselves."
This, of course, is wrong. They are accomplishing everything.
The strategy of rioting and looting is to make doing nothing about a problem more expensive than doing something about a problem.
The problem now (among others, and certainly oversimplified) is institutionalized racism. As manifested on a local level, the police have too often been "given a pass" when they kill black people. The problem can be solved, but it hasn't been solved. Certainly the current administration in Washington, DC has no intention of solving it and has, in fact, encouraged it. (Contrast the current response from Washington to that which existed when the Rodney King officers were acquitted in Simi Valley: The federal government stepped and initiated a federal case against those officers. After the Rampart scandal, the federal government stepped in and subjected the LAPD to the consent decree.)
Considering the current administration in Washington, it is probable that the ONLY way to get action is to make complacency MORE EXPENSIVE than solving the problem. That is exactly what the rioters and looters are doing and they are doing it effectively.
The rioters and looters are not the problem. The encouragement and protection of institutionalized racism coming from Washington is the problem. The rioting and looting are logical responses to that.
Peaceful protests following past manifestations of this institutionalized racism didn't do much for George Floyd. It is possible that the economics of civil unrest will save lives to come.