Sunday, 6 February 2011

I Protest!

So yesterday I once again discovered something I despised.
Normal people probably aren't too bothered by it, quite a few even indulge in it, take part in it.
But I abhor it.

What is this, I hear you ask.
It's Protesting.

Yes, the human right to protest is what really pees me off.
Predominantly because protests are supposed to be peaceful, but do you really call jerking around placards (thanks to Ed for that wonderful word) saying possibly aggressive things, whilst yelling about being wronged and shouting at others to do the same peaceful?
Student protest
And that's just the usual, well-mannered protesters.

In the past, and in particular in the student population, the right to protest has well and truly been worn out. People used to protest quite a lot. And it's been getting more like that recently. People usually seemed to only protest to say that they had done it, and that was OK. It was a major part of student life. Did you really care if you didn't protest?  Of course you did, about certain things, but maybe you just didn't see the need to do things quite so overtly.

Protester and photographers
And these days, it just gets worse.
There are the ones who go out there only to attack people, to cause criminal damage and to get in the papers. And this is sometimes only for their 15 minutes of fame. To get a tiny bit of attention.
Others want to be seen to be doing something about their cause. To make it known.
But why would you need that?
If you really cared about your cause you would do something about it by yourself, make small changes to your life, and do it quietly.
For example, I care about people dying from not having working organs, so I've been an organ doner for quite a while now. I don't rave about it because I know I'd be making a difference to another persons life at some point.
Why would you want to stampede around the street gibbering like a monkey?

I think this is the same principle.
Plus, protesting for whatever it is doesn't really make too much of a difference. All it does is bring attention to your cause. Yes, this is a good thing, especially if the cause is well justified.
But the same thing would apply if, for example, MPs were inundated with letters. They would have to address the issue, whether they liked it or not. A well worded letter is a far better channel than shouting about it and possible violence.

Police and Protesters
There are also added drawbacks. One is that some people will try to hijack a protest. Certain gangs for example. And they do this with the sole purpose of causing damage and being violent.
The other is that protesting wastes police time.
Which would you rather have? A) The police using their time to catch the real criminals (robbers, murderers, terrorists) or B) The police using their time to watch over an unruly crowd of normal people protesting about, say, cuts.

So really, what I'm saying is, why protest when there are other means of doing things? You'd just have to be a little more creative.
And also, is there really anything 'peaceful' about protesting?
I don't think so.

Some useful webpages:
-Your Rights- The Right to Peaceful Protest
-How to become an Organ Doner

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