Terça-feira, 16/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

No Power in Numbers: Have protests lost their meaning amidst the crowd?

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The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Feminism Protest against Donald Trump in March. In Michigan, there are 11.3 protesters for every thousand residents; compared to the largest amount: 1,737.9 demonstrators per thousand in Washington D.C.,  many people coming from out of state. Photo taken from Max Pixel

But, 242 years later, has our right to protest started to seem unnecessary? Do protests cause more trouble than the cause they are fighting for? The difference between our modern protests and, say, the Vietnam War protests is that these protests are happening in every state. According to Count Love, since January 20, 2017, there have been 2,752 gun related protests, 2,710 civil rights protests, and 2,411 immigration policy protests for the top three reasons of protests in the United States. Approximately 35 of these protests have been in Michigan.

In Michigan, there are 11.3 protesters for every thousand residents compared to the largest amount: 1,737.9 demonstrators per thousand in Washington D.C.,  many people coming from out of state. The Guardian is calling this “The Golden Age of Protesting.”

While there are other forms of public organization, such as door-to-door canvassing and voter registration, they are much more under the radar compared to the street-blocking protests we see on TV.

But even the protests we see on TV have a very small impact. Yes, we have people marching and rallying in the thousands, but rallying is not as strong as sit-ins or street blockades, which have become increasingly rare. Out of the 13,000 protests tallied by the Crowd Counting Consortium between January 2017 and March 2018, less than 200 involved civil disobedience.

We have recorded millions of people who have protested all around the country, yet, even with all this activity, there have been roughly 3,000 arrests for nonviolent direct action.


Lainie Scott
About

This is my senior year at Gull Lake High school, and my second year apart of The Reflection staff.  This year I am the feature/entertainment editor, and I am looking forward to see where my writing can take me.

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