Thoughts On Protesting As We See It Today In America
Protests have been in the news a lot lately. With the recent mass shooting in Florida, high school students even at HHS have mobilized like never before to protest gun violence. However, this rise in political action has left me wondering whether protest actually brings about political change or whether it simply acts as a way for people who support an issue to get their frustration out in a large. In my opinion, protest in America, at least in its current state, is not very effective. One reason for this is that when at a protest people are not really thinking rationally. If you are in a large, angry crowd, the people in the crowd will feed off of each other’s anger. This means that when trying to express your political views and argue with people who disagree with you, you will not be able to express nuance in your views because of the anger that comes with being in a protest.
Another aspect of American protest is the amount of red tape involved in setting up protests. Obviously the rules are there in part for the protection of the protestors, but if you want to affect change in the government, then why are you only doing that when and where it is convenient for the police? If a protest is going to be successful, it has to be disruptive, and tell those in power and other citizens that you feel strongly enough about this issue that you will fight for it whatever the consequences. Having to follow this many rules for a protest does not send that message.
For example, there is a student walkout planned on Friday. Before going ahead with this plan, the students checked with the administration in order to make sure it was okay. What message does this send? Do students only care about this issue enough to protest only if there are no consequences? If that is the case, then I don’t see any reason to protest in the first place.