Protesting should be bold, not angry
The snow’s finally starting to melt, and the sun’s still up when you get out of class. Spring is just around the corner.
It’s the season for protest.
And how could it not be? For weeks, we’ve watched as Egyptians rose up against a government that they didn’t want. Now, we see similar rallies starting in Tunisia and the start of small protests in Iraq.
So why not Wisconsin?
State workers and students who will be state workers once they graduate are gathering in Madison to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s bill that would get rid of
(To read more about the bill, see the front page and Sam Rosenberry’s column on this page.)
For an age group that is proclaimed to be apathetic and disinterested in politics, it’s pretty astounding to see students getting involved in a political issue. Students are finally starting to realize, “Hey, politics actually effect me,” and they’re reacting.
It’s democracy at its finest.
Freedom of speech and the right to assemble is all well and good, and it’s fantastic that young people are getting involved in politics, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it.
Protests have evolved into unnecessarily violent acts fueled more by anger than reason.
A lot of the time, protest does nothing except make both sides of an issue look stupid. Screaming at the top of your lungs while holding a cryptic (yet somehow meaningful) sign and shoving people is commonplace at a protest. You may as well be at a concert.
While protestors are obviously passionate, there is a way to be composed in the midst of that passion.
Protests gained their momentum in the ’60s with the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement.
At the 1967 March on the Pentagon, protesters held flowers up to more than 2000 Army national guard troops. And that was all they did.
Yes, it’s totally hippy (which was totally the point), but such a small action got the point across. To this day, the image of a protestor boldly placing a flower in the barrel of a soldier’s gun is one of the most well known images from the anti-war movement and continues to cover the pages of history books.
The goal of a protest is to stand up against something that you feel should be abhorred by all. If you start fist-pumping like you’re the newest cast member of Jersey Shore, well, wouldn’t that just turn people’s hatred toward you instead? And they are going to assume that you share Snookie’s IQ. Not the most intelligent way to present your disagreement.
With too much anger, the reasons you’re protesting become less important.
And with anger comes violence. Look at the Kent State shooting. We don’t ever need to see another event like that just because someone wanted their government to listen.
In the end, if you want your voice heard, you can’t let it be muffled by your anger.