Protests: Why They Are Happening and Why They Are Important

Delaney Morgan, Staff Writer

Currently, there are a lot of protests going on about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. Junior Grace Chaney says, “It is a good thing that the protests are happening to help people be aware of police brutality and racism.” People feel that police are using excessive force towards others because of their different skin tones and are abusing their power when handling some situations. People are also protesting to support the Black Lives Matter movement because they feel like people with different skin tones are treated differently and more unequally than people who are white. 

Some of these protests are turning into riots. In general, most people do not believe that most of the protestors are rioters. According to junior Niclas Isensee most of the protestors are peaceful and not rioters. Freshman Arya Krishnamoorthy mentioned that “the majority of people are just trying to get their voice heard and others are just using [the protests] to create chaos. People are trying to make protests seem bad by writing more about the riots than the peaceful protesting.” According to math teacher Kurtis Evans, “I believe it is a fundamental American right to assemble and peacefully protest. Protesting is an important component of a representative democracy. Regardless of my stance on a particular issue, if my fellow Americans feel an action, decision, law or behavior is wrong – peaceful assembly and protest is something I support.” Some people feel like the rioters are taking advantage of these protests to cause destruction. Other people feel like the rioters want attention so they are using the protests to cause destruction. A staff member says, “I do not think the protesters should stop due to rioters. That gives the rioters all the power. I think the rioters need to be dealt with and peaceful protesting should be encouraged.” 

Being able to peacefully protest is a form of the right to Freedom of Speech. People should be able to peacefully protest without worrying that they will be shut down by police or get attacked by police. According to Krishnamoorthy., the police are doing a bad job handling the protests because they shot into a crowd of peaceful protestors. According to Chaney, some police are doing a good job in handling the protestors but most are not. Freshman Cooper Cha says that he does not think that the police are doing a good job in handling the protests, while Isensee says that the police are doing a good job handling the peaceful protests, but a bad job handling the riots. Evans says, “I wish that our police officers were not needed at protests. The reality is, there are those who are breaking law and behaving recklessly under the guise of protest. I hope that American’s recognize that, in general, the police are American citizens too, who are a part of our communities with families and dreams like the rest of us. The actions of a few bad apples should not spoil the bunch.” One staff member says, “I am not sure what the police can do. They certainly should not be beating people with billy clubs, shooting rubber bullets, and spraying pepper spray into crowds. Enforce a curfew.” The police are put in a bad situation trying to support peaceful protesting but control rioting.

Some cities have more protests than other cities. Sophomore Evan Prout says that California has more protests than other areas in the country. According to sophomore Maya Ryan, “Seattle has more people protesting.” Cooper Cha says there are more protests in the cities than the rural areas. Krishnamoorthy believes that there are more protests in Texas. Chaney says that there are more protests in the bigger cities up North and in Texas. It is clear that people have a different view on where the majority of the protests are but everyone acknowledges that the protests are  not happening in one area and are happening in multiple locations. 

There are some people that believe that the protests are doing something good for our country, and others think they are doing only a bad thing towards our country. According to senior Hawani Harper, “They have a good cause, but the media is tearing it apart because it doesn’t go along with what the people in power say.” According to senior Oscar Cha, “I don’t like protests.” People each have a different opinion on what should be brought to others’ attention. According to Cooper Cha, people mostly protest about the Black Lives Matter movement. I think the question for everyone is, do people think that the protestors should not be protesting because of the rioting? Evans sums it up well by saying, “I think we can look to what happened during the Civil Rights Movement for an answer to this question. Martin Luther King Jr., among many others, was a champion for change and for pushing for justice and equality fervently, but peacefully. There were other groups who demanded change during the Civil Rights Movement that promoted violence and retribution. In the end, it seems that pushing for change through peaceful means delivers lasting results.”