How to run an effective protest

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The recent gun violence protests have been rather troubling to me. I find the Parkland students that are running these protests incredibly impressive because of their ability to rally a nation despite major, unimaginable trauma. Although these students are inspiring change, I’ve found their protests and overall message could use a little work.

Part of the reason I feel this way was how divisive the protests are.  A great example of this was the March for our Lives march on Washington. Because of the title, “March for our Lives,” if you are critical of the protest in any way, you are made to seem automatically against ‘lives’ instead of against the issue at hand: gun control.

Now, this divisiveness galvanizes supporters for their cause, but when it comes to getting legislation passed, it shuts down any meaningful dialogue. The way to spark change is to respectfully bring in the other side in order to discuss moderate solutions rather than (no pun intended) building a wall and shutting down any critical conversation. It also certainly doesn’t help that some of the Parkland shooting victims made incredibly abrasive statements toward political members on the right and members of the NRA. These are the same people who, like it or not, wield power to help create effective gun control legislation.

At the CNN town hall meeting, Parkland survivor, Emma Gonzalez, said to Dana Loesch, an NRA spokeswoman that, “We will support your two children in a way that you will not.” Another survivor, Cameron Kasky, told Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican senator in the same Town Hall that, “It’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at [the shooter].”

Whether or not Kasky actually thinks of Rubio as a school shooter is unknown, but the point is, it’s ineffective to insult and belittle the other side when the other side is ultimately voting on this legislation. That being said, this trend isn’t just singular to the March for our Lives.  It now seems like, if you’re against the Women’s march, you’re against women; if you’re against the March for Science, you’re against science.  Everyone is for women and everyone is for science (well, mostly), and everyone is for lives. But if this polarity shuts down any meaningful discussion that could get legislation passed, then frankly, the protests work against the cause.

In the future, instead of immediately shutting down any opposing viewpoints, be open to listen to the opposition.  Although it may be uncomfortable at first it will lead to much-needed compromise as well as solutions that both sides can agree on.

As a lover of the constitution, I think protesting is incredibly important. It’s an essential way for the American populace to not only be heard but have a say in political discourse.  It’s important that we don’t take this right for granted and that we make the change that we want to see in this country, but we do so in an effective, civil way.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “How to run an effective protest”

  1. Amnon Levy on May 16th, 2018 4:05 PM

    This article is a refreshing and unorthodox look at issues like, gun’s control, global warming, black life matter etc.
    Many young people tend to follow the herd without using critical thinking or facts check or consider a different view point.
    I think Mr. Castroll touch an important point of our public dialogue.
    All the power to you, VC, for your courage.