News Ticker

What makes us want to protest?

by Sofia Paborji, In-Depth staff

Photo by: Arman Nikfar

We’ve seen protesters march in the millions, but really, why do they do it? It, being taking to the streets with rally cries in mind, ready to be reported on.

It’s in the air and everyone (well, probably everyone) can feel it. The political climate of today is tense. We see epithets, articles, and memes, yes memes, about our new commander in chief, Donald Trump- but besides these posts and articles, we’re seeing something happening in the streets. Marching in the masses, protests are being organized around the world.

“But does it, you know, work?” It’s not an uncommon question, asked by supporters of any political party and even those who take to the streets themselves.

Rather than a demand for immediate reform, protesting is a call to action, a reminder that “hey, something should happen.”

Noting the historical impacts that non-violent protesting has made, english teacher Robert Castillo said, “[Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.] did see reform in laws that they were protesting, there is a historical precedent.”

Exercising their rights in free speech, citizens use protests to march with a sense that their action are being executed with purpose and political representation fulfilled; many feel as if what needs to be done is actually happening.

“It is to have their voices heard and to make people aware of the situation, usually where there is a group of people being mistreated,”said sociology and history teacher, Stephanie Theodule.

Theodule too mentioned that protesting, whether it be via boycott, social media, or the streets, brings an overall awareness to the cause. With this harnessed attention to the targeted problem, a domino effect can be triggered, assisting in a possible resolution.  

In favor of peaceful protesting, Women’s March attendee and Leigh junior, Emily Kissinger said, “Peaceful protest is a way to have your voice heard in the world where people usually would not want to be heard.”

Protesting does not consist of the act of breaking windows, looting, or anything that calls for the use of tears gas. Protesting is a respectful ritual of speaking out. Rioting and peaceful street protests can be mashed together, creating a blurred illusion- leaving some witnesses to judge that that protests are just an act of ineffective civil unrest.

If the lines are blurred and intentions are mistaken, the act of protesting is mislabeled as petty business, perhaps just an excuse for people to dig out that unused poster board. An emblem of freedom, protesting in the United States holds a long timeline- throughout the decades it is undeniable that the entity of the crowd itself is a catalyst for action to be made.