SR

Peaceful Assemblies Actually DO Speak Loudly

By: Scott Robbins

This past year and especially in the months following the presidential election have been tumultuous. With a new president, and the country now heading in an entirely different direction, no one really knows what the future holds. However, one thing remains certain: Nonviolent assemblies that express the opinions of Americans continue to be a big part of the news.

Although some may feel that the consequences of the elections have been all negative, the sharp divide has led to the largest peaceful protests in American history! Now, it may seem like something coming out of a feeling of despair. But, there is hope that things will be ok and things can change much quicker than most critics of Trump are expecting.  There are only 2 years left until the elections for the members of Congress and in the Senate. Although the president is constantly signing contentious executive orders, if he doesn’t control the Senate and House, he won’t be able to get nearly as many conservative bills passed.

This means that the more political activism people take part in for the causes they support raises more attention towards the issues people protest for and it is incredibly important. If people are showing disapproval of the new laws, the protests are reminding people who didn’t vote or voted for the opposite party to ponder the views of the Democrats. Also, civil conversations about the issues and changes occurring right now in Washington bring attention to the issues people care about. So, people who sit at home on election days because they don’t care or know about the problems in our society become more cognizant when these marches and protests take place.

When Obama critics protested against Obama’s victory in 2008, some people protested in the streets in much smaller numbers than the resistance to Trump’s victory. In 2010, the Republicans gained a lot of political power in the midterm elections, and who knows if this would have happened without the resistance? So, doesn’t the women’s march, the largest peaceful protest in American history speak, too? Hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully expressing their support for gender equality, more of a reminder for all to be vigilant and concerned about women’s rights, mostly to President Trump. Because of the size of the march, it was widely broadcasted, so maybe some of the people who didn’t care enough to cast their ballots on election will think otherwise in the future in 4 years. The Women’s March may remind some voters to factor women’s rights into their decision, and it could plausibly alter the election results in the midterm elections and/or in 4 years.

So, why do I bring this up and what does this mean for our future? The peaceful assemblies and civil conversations happening in our country in reaction to the presidential election are creating change. I assume this will continue in the next 4 years. In the United States of America, Americans have First Amendment rights, as Americans who exercise these rights help spread messages. I believe that we could very well be seeing a change in the 2 years during midterm elections and possibly the reelection of the presidency in 4 years if people continue to respond in logical and peaceful ways that attract a wide range of attention rooted in equal rights for all.

So, if you think civil discussions or your presence at a political public rally is worthless, you’re wrong because this is how peaceful change for social justice takes place. The struggle in gaining women’s suffrage rights started like this, where people just started to bring it to the attention of others on the streets with pamphlets. The topic of women’s suffrage later found it’s way to Washington and then into the Constitution. The same goes for desegregation and anti-discrimination movements. Today, it’s legacy speaks loud and is guiding movements and principles in the present day.

I encourage everyone to be politically active and advocate for what they passionately believe in because that is an essential part of change. The way I think of social justice is like a puzzle where everyone is a piece and every piece is needed. So, if you can help interest one person to be connected to the other parts of the puzzle, you are paving the way for the future you want to see. So, while it may seem like it doesn’t matter how ordinary people feel, we are a democracy. So, theoretically, it’s the only thing that matters, but due to big businesses and the flaws in the distribution of power, it has changed. But, it still matters, and when peaceful assemblies, like the women’s march, take place, this is a reminder of equality and democracy. And remember, small acts largely contributes to political changes, not just what the most powerful people do and say.

3 Comments

  • Bev:

    This is such a powerful article, Scott!

  • Sue:

    Protests are powerful.
    Everyone should be free to protest and stand up for what they believe.

  • Elizabeth:

    Thank you for this thoughtful, well written article!

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