EcoTrain QOTW: Are Activists who inconvenience the General Public justified?

in ecoTrainlast month
This is not a question that can be answered with a straight yes or no answer. At least not when I answer it. There are parts of me that want to yell a resolute YESSSS!!! And there is a small part of me that tries to answer with a yes...but.

You must have noticed that I didn't even consider giving an answer that contains a 'No', and in this post I will tell you why.

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Freedom of Speech & The Right to Protest go Hand in Hand

This is very important to remember, since we've seen both being stripped away in these past two year, and especially in the last few months.

"Where", you ask? "I didn't see this happen!"

If this is the case, then you haven't been paying attention!

Did you not notice that there were some protests that were 'allowed' and others weren't?
Like the BLM protests, where it oftentimes resulted in violence, and destruction of property, even property of the black American community?
But peaceful protests against Covid mandates and restrictions were met with violence by the police. This didn't just happen in one country but many.
Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, among others...

And as for freedom of speech:
Have you not noticed that information that fit the narrative was supported everywhere, and even encouraged?
But information given by doctors, scientists, and other professionals that went against the narrative was restricted, criticised and even censored altogether?
All under the guise of: 'It's (dangerous) misinformation given to the public.'
Why do authorities believe they need to keep the public by the hand and guide them into their belief system like they are toddlers? Why not leave it to the public to decide what they feel is best for them?

The fact is, that freedom of speech as well as the right to protest go hand in hand, and neither should be subjected to any kind of censorship or violence by authorities.

Violence during protests or acts of Activism

In the case of the BLM protests, the violence and destruction that it resulted in at times, was excused with expressions such as: 'But they have the right to be angry. It's normal that emotions run high, etc. etc.'
And while I agree, that certainly some protesters and activists have every right to be angry and emotional, it is never a good reason to destroy anything, especially our fellow human's property, nor to use violence against anyone.
Nor is it OK for authorities to use violence against (peaceful) protesters.
Violence is often met with violence, and it doesn't bring us any closer to any solution. If anything, it will do the opposite.

That being said, if a protest or an activist group 'inconveniences' the public by
blocking roads, or brings complete traffic to a halt, then so be it.
If it was me who was inconvenienced, I'd not be happy no. But I'd try to understand their reasoning for doing what they do. Does it serve the greater good?
That's not for me to decide either.
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Conclusion

If violence & destruction is a result of a protest or an act of activism, I will not condone it. However, one will have to look at whether this makes the reason of the protest less valid. Not every protester resorts to violence, it's usually a handful of bad apples who do this. And sometimes it is in fact because emotions have run high for a long period of time. A handful of people with high emotions will sometimes entice a larger group to react in the same way as they are, without them really wanting this to happen.
I've said this many times before: Hormones like adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisone, and testosterone are contagious and people in the same area will feel this.
Just look at how riots happen during soccer matches.
But the same is also true for other hormones, like oxytocin, endorphins, etc.
Therefore, a peaceful protest where love radiates, will have a greater effect than a violent one.

Whether a protest is held for the greater good is not for us to decide.
We may not understand or agree with a reason for something but it may, in the end, be indeed for the greater good. Whether we know it or not.

I could go on and on about this because I have a lot to say on this subject. But it wouldn't be possible without my bias taking overhand. And this shouldn't be about that.
So I will finish with the following:

When activists protest, most of them will have the whole population (or all animals) in mind, not just a small group. Protests to end restrictions were held for everyone, not just those who protested. While other protests might have been held under the guise of 'it's for the greater good', when in reality it was only done to divide us even more, and to serve an agenda against us all.

Which is which is up to each individual to decide.

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I love your:

a peaceful protest where love radiates, will have a greater effect than a violent one.

So perfectly put!

And regarding the issue you used as an example, there is something a friend of mine from Canada shared with me today. It's not so much the meme, but her comment to her post that completely floored me.

The other thing I like is:

Whether a protest is held for the greater good is not for us to decide.

Absolutely! I agree that we should give everyone their space to speak their mind, even if it is completely contradictory to what we believe. Wouldn't expect anything less myself.

 last month  

I can't open that link, unfortunately. :(

I'm glad we agree on a few things about this subject. To be honest, I didn't expect anything else hehe. I was just about to read your post!

Yes, I truly believe love will solve more than violence. I'm pretty sure that's why the powers in charge want to keep us divided, and create all these issues to fight and argue about. As well as wars...

Thank you for stopping by :)

It's a fb post where she explains how restricted and excluded she is in Canada (still!) for being unvaxed. It brings us off topic a bit, but she has been involved in activism long before Covid, and now this is another way how she feels she's being silenced (=deactivated).

 last month  

Yeah, Canada and some other countries have gone crazy. And that's an understatement.
But what is worse, is all the people who actually agree with it.

What a nightmare for these people. I'm glad to be in Mexico. I think I would have felt
similar in Ireland. It sure was going there!

 last month  

The fact is, that freedom of speech as well as the right to protest go hand in hand, and neither should be subjected to any kind of censorship or violence by authorities.

Well put! Excellent insights and nicely argued as well. I couldn’t agree with you more.
Also, your understanding of crowd dynamics is spot on (the IQ of a crowd is about 30, while the norm is about 116)
Violence is seldom the answer ❤️😊🤔😊❤️🤗

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I agree with so much of what you say. There are some interesting videos on youtube about the police tactics used to move a peaceful protest into a violent one.

The only thing that I'm not convinced about protests is that it is like asking a bully to please stop bullying you. Better to confront the bully directly.

 last month  

Yeah, the police in the Netherlands are quite good at these types of things.
They have what they call 'Romeos'. They're undercover cops who show up at protests. They usually arrive in white vans, jump out into the crowd and just start beating down peaceful protesters, who sometimes fight back.
Then the media picks up the footage, making it look like the protesters were the ones becoming violent, when in reality they were just defending themselves.
It happened at almost every protest these past 2 years.
Uhuh, as if all violent protesters just jump from white vans...
But people don't see it. They only see what the media wants them to see...

The only thing that I'm not convinced about protests is that it is like asking a bully to please stop bullying you. Better to confront the bully directly.

True. But it's often easier said than done.
But I agree. It doesn't make any sense.
Just like it doesn't make any sense to fight a corrupt system through their own court system.

I think we are in agreement! :)

Oh I love chewing on topics such as this one! I'm a big believer in not ceding the power of the only thing we have control of (our reasoned choices) to an external factor. So, if I am inconvenienced by people who are passionate about a cause, that's no biggie.

However, if those same protesting people are violent or endanger others, then issues arise. How is causing harm furthering your cause? Media bias is also grotesque, as is the use of passionate people's actions for nefarious power grabs.

Also, one thousand percent this:

Therefore, a peaceful protest where love radiates, will have a greater effect than a violent one.

 last month  

So, if I am inconvenienced by people who are passionate about a cause, that's no biggie.

Right? I feel the same. Yeah, I might be annoyed about being inconvenienced but if the cause is right, I might even join the protesters hehe.

Yeah, using violence is never OK. Nor is the destruction of people's property.
Taking down statues is one thing, but damaging someone's property (store, shop etc.) to the point that it's taking away their livelihood is quite another.

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