The 'better than life' simulations are made possible by implants that everyone is given at birth. These also serve as a means for those in power to keep the population subservient and docile, rewarding them with pleasure and interrupting their natural vision to give them something akin to rose colored glasses that changes their view of the world and gives them that rosy outlook.
The implants malfunction in some people which allows them to learn the truth and become disgruntled. They spread this truth by inventing devices to disrupt the implants temporarily in others. It is these devices and devices like it that are the actual weapons. They disrupt communications signals.
Cell phone/radar jammers.
The police force is now remotely controlled robots with limited AI to enable them to be somewhat autonomous. Protesting in the streets really isn't going to get anyone's attention because the implants will twist it into a celebration and nobody would physically leave their better than life simulations to join in the celebration because it's 'better' to join in via cyber link. So an actual futuristic protest would require them to hack into the server so as to get the word out en mass. Nobody talks face to face anymore.
Throughout the day people get exercise generating electricity, so they are all healthy and fit for the most part. But government corruption still exists and people are allowed to eat rotten food which makes them sick, but they don't realize it because of the implants that simply makes whatever they eat taste delicious. So some people die. The government doesn't care so long as they remain in power. And turning potatoes into electricity through the populous gives them power that other people don't have. So those who manage to see things the way they are really do have something to complain about.
They don't protest in the streets though, although a showdown against the robotic remote controlled police might take place in the streets. Basically, nobody goes anywhere since their food can be liquified and delivered via pipeline and anything else they need can be delivered by robotic couriers.
Those that escape the illusion find that they are living in cockroach infested hot or cold cramped apartments and when they actually look outside, instead of seeing lush green lawn, they see a narrow passageway with robot couriers going about their routes. Some couriers are carrying corpses with cockroaches still eating out the eyes. Some are carrying children who are ready to take the place of the corpses in their apartment where they will produce electricity to more than power the illusions they are given.
So the weapon of the protester is related to the tech that enslaves everyone. It is a simple bit of electronics with a large enough power supply to block signals long enough that they can dismantle and/or rewire the robotic police force.
One thing they have on their side is that the uncaring government hasn't bothered to upgrade old equipment, so some of it is not very reliable and allows them to escape many close calls. Guns which the police bots have installed misfire due to neglect. Old security cameras have long since been sabotaged and replaced with a repeating loop of generic footage so that corrupt security at one time were able to steal.
Not everyone joins the rebellion. Many treat the interruption of their illusion with contempt. 'How dare you interrupt my pleasure with this? Ugh! Let me go back immediately!' They blame the messenger.
The first interruption devices are crudely built out of old appliances that simply were never disposed of, and some are overpowered resulting in the destructing of the sensitive electronics in the implants when activated too close. This results in a number of people who don't want to be awake trying to get to the government to have their implants repaired. Unfortunately, as they are not in their hovels, they are considered rogue and dealt with ruthlessly. They are unable to communicate well without their implants. They mumble because without functional implants they don't have the automatic inflection correction, which is similar to auto spell correct anyway.
The leaders are smart and cynical electronics engineers. They are able to reverse engineer most tech in a short time, mostly because the tech used on the robots is modular and meant to be re-used or repurposed. The problem is in reprogramming it. They need to find or build an interface like a laptop or a phone, none of which are in use anymore since all communication was done through the implants, which are themselves too small to rework.
Through sheer luck they are able to find an old Raspberry Pi 5 and they boot it to find it is running GNU Hurd.
Although recruiting police to their cause is an initial strategy, they find that using the government's own reality manipulation A.I. works better at shutting them down as they are fooled into thinking all insurgents have been caught or put asunder.
The final (maybe) showdown reveals the city to be run by a fat cigar smoking red meat eating fossil fuel burning elitist who has opted to experience carnal pleasure without any implants of his own. He and the other elitists of the world number about 1000 altogether and he calls his brethren for help. They decide the easiest thing to do would be to detonate a neutron bomb so that they will clearly have the upper hand with their fossil fuel burning tanks against these nearly naked citizens who have very muscular bodies from creating electricity most of the day for most of their lives. What weaponry they have is all electronics based and susceptible to the neutron bomb. As the rebellion seems to be crushed, suddenly the elites realize that there are a trillion new protestors to deal with as the neutron bomb has awaken the masses! Their electricity production ceases and their own opulent lifestyle has not left them with much fossil fuel to combat the masses. Who will win?