I hate to get political in a blog post. Note, I don’t hate getting political. I can talk politics for days. I just try to avoid spouting off on my blog because I respect all my reader’s opinions and don’t want to alienate anyone. But sometimes I can’t help myself.
This is one of those times.
If I see one more tweet, Facebook post, or comment along the lines of:
“These protesters are idiots/so dumb/pointless.”
“Protesting doesn’t even make a difference.”
“Don’t these people have jobs?”
“Way to block a major road and almost cause an accident. So dumb.”
I may scream.
History lesson for all the ignorant children on social media!
The United States Constitution was written in 1787 after the American Revolution and was followed shortly thereafter by the Bill of Rights in 1789. The founding fathers wanted a supreme law of the land that enabled a checks and balances systems, spelled out our individual civil rights, and prevented the government from oppressing us.
Are you rolling your eyes yet? Sorry, if so. I just really need all the clueless people to understand.
The very first amendment of the Bill of Rights within the wonderful document that is the United States Constitution outlines the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, AND WAIT FOR IT:
The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Our country was LITERALLY built on our right to assemble together and petition injustices. Our forefathers fought for this to prevent the United States of America from becoming a monarchy or dictatorship like the countries they’d left.
Whether you agree with what people are protesting for OR NOT, it is SO incredibly important that people can protest.
Yes, there are rules for protesting. The American Civil Liberties Union spells them out here. Yes, creating an unsafe environment for pedestrians, drivers, or other citizens isn’t the best situation.
But as long as a protest is peaceful and neither violent or destructive, this is what I have to say for anyone bitching about protesters blocking roads:
Do you think when women were fighting for their right to vote they should have stayed on sidewalks and not disrupted anything? Do you think African-Americans fighting for their right to be treated as equal human beings should have quietly stayed off roads and not made a statement? Anti-war movements? Women’s rights groups? I could go on….
Sometimes, people have to make a statement. Sometimes they have to make a grand gesture to be heard.
And those grand gestures are about as American as you can get. I mean HELLO, Americans dumped tea in a harbor to tell the British they could eff off. Historically, we’re a nation of law breakers standing up for what’s right.
I’m sorry, but it’s our right to protest the injustices our authority/government/leaders are imposing on us. Obedience doesn’t create change.
Sometimes you have to make a statement. Had people before us “gone to work, shut up, and not tried to protest because it doesn’t make a difference” we’d be a nation of disgusting racists and sexists only allowing white men to vote and rule the country.
Thank God those people before us ignored the negativity. I encourage all present and future protesters to do the same. You are making a difference. You are following in the steps of people who’ve changed the world. Again, I’d look over the ACLU website so you understand what your rights are and what the repercussions of any illegal actions you take will be…
But if we don’t get loud when it truly matters, our government will keep us quiet.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”