While protest in many ways epitomises the democratic principles of freedom of expression and association, it can challenge other democratic ideals. This ability to both exemplify and undermine democracy results in a tension within the concept of “protest”, which is tangible in the bandhas (shutdowns) of Nepal. Ranging in scale from localised to nationwide, the most effective and influential bandhas take the form of an involuntary, enforced general strike. Despite allowing people a way to express their views on policy and other decisions, in circumventing processes of negotiation, curtailing the freedoms of others, inflicting physical and emotional violence on the population and crippling fragile economies, this chapter demonstrates how bandhas can be seen to undermine the very essence of democracy.