Protesting: Effective or Hindrance?


By Kelsey Hor

Staff Reporter

Do you believe protesting is an effective tool that can help after an election?

In today’s era, some people believe that protesting during a presidential election is a good idea as long as it does not involve physical violence.

“I have no problem with non-violent protests, in fact I would endorse anyone who wishes to speak out sincerely and reasonably on an issue,” said Religious Studies and Theology professor June-Ann Greeley. “In many countries, such free assembly was not always allowed or guaranteed as safe. So it is a testimony to our democratic principles that any American can lawfully stand in protest against or for a political, social, or cultural event.”

Along with individuals taking part in non-violent acts, people feel it is good to protest due to the fact that as American citizens, the Constitution allows us.

“Peaceful protesting is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” said Dr. Gary Rose, Professor and Chair of the Department of Government, Politics, and Global Studies. “While many may not agree with the rhetoric of current protests, this right and very American tradition has to be legally protected. Alternative viewpoints are always healthy for the polity.”

On the other hand, many people believe that protesting is wrong and in the current case of the presidential election, it does not help the country move forward. Some think it will only divide the country more.

“I am against protesting because it does not get the country anywhere,but into fights with others that have clashing opinions. People protesting against Trump are not going to change the election. I think it will only make individuals fight more for no reason. You cannot change the outcome or the way others feel about the election,” said junior Amanda Hawkins.

As far as Trump’s presidency goes, some people understand why those who protest might feel the need to stand up for what they believe in.

Some people may feel that in certain circumstances like these, that an injustice has occurred and think their voices need to be heard.

“I am not sure that most protestors expect any changes in what has transpired, especially in this presidential election,” said Greeley. “They seek to be heard because they feel, in many cases, that their voices have been silenced. Useful examples of peaceful protest would be the marches of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. They led
protest that decried the inequalities fostered by the respective cultures and political
systems.”

Although individuals may think they know the reasoning behind why certain groups of people protest, they still believe that there are bad outcomes that can result from not protesting peacefully.

“There was a Trump rally in my hometown and people were attacking each other
physically and verbally,“ said junior Sarah Morris. “Protests have a purpose, but once
violence gets involved individuals talk about the violence instead of the issues that are
being protested. There are some people who protest the right way, but sometimes the media talks about the violent acts that are being involved.”

In the future, some individuals believe that time will soon pass after the induction of Trump’s presidency and people will learn to accept their differences along with the things they cannot change.

“People will continue to protest Trump’s presidency but the fact of the matter is that the Trump presidency will soon be in motion and major changes will be forthcoming,” said Rose.

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