Editorial: Protests can create change, violent or peaceful

Throughout the past year the country’s news coverage has been filled with protests, ranging from the pandemic lockdowns to Black Lives Matter. It may begin to make you wonder about the productivity of protests and whether they truly work or not.

Having been to protests before, we can base our experience to say they’e been mind-changing and thought provoking. Speakers who share their stories, protestors holding their signs, and the large number of people who gather together creates an energy unknown in any other circumstance.

The big question is, what comes out of these protests?

In American history there have been countless protests and riots that have shaped our country. The Boston Tea Party is arguably one of the more famous ones, but there are others in modern politics that have changed the way of American law.

The women’s suffrage movement grabbed the attention of the American people by holding their parade the night before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. This organization fought for women’s rights, and because of the planning and execution of the protest, they were able to accomplish many of the ideologies they held. 

Years later in New York the Stonewall riots took place, using more violence than other protests. While some are critical about this, the violence can also be seen as a necessary tactic. Leading up to these riots, the New York Police Department would raid gay bars and tormnet those inside the bars. 

When the community got sick and tired of this abuse for simply existing, they turned against the police department and resisted any arrest they tried to make. In result, this created tension between the communities and the riots took place. Following the riots there have been nationwide Pride parades and the Supreme Court has created anti-discriminatory laws.

The March for Our Lives campaign was created following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Students, faculty, and community members gathered together to voice their unease with gun laws and regulation in the state.

With petitions being signed, marches in Washington D.C., and emotions running high the March for Our Lives organization was able to help pass the Safety Act, which increased gun restrictions in Florida.

Protests, as part of the First Amendment, allow the American people to voice any concerns about lack of governmental law and implement the change they wish to see. 

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