An anti-choice protester chaining themselves to a physician’s car is wrong, plain and simple. So is it not also wrong to shout obscenities at an official’s children? Vulgarly protesting the funeral of a fallen soldier is likely one of the most reprehensible acts imaginable, I am sure most of us can agree. I am not saying these people do not have a right to their opinion – or even a right to express it (as disgusting as it is). But there is a time and place. There needs to be respect and decorum. There needs to be boundaries.
Drumming 12 hours a day outside of a school is taking away a student’s right to an education. Shouting curse words during a Special Olympics Ceremony is only hurting the Olympic participants and their families. Protesters on all sides, for all causes, with all beliefs need to realize that their points would be far more respected and acknowledged if they were a little shrewder about their strategies, logistics and practices.
Shortly after the Dem 14 returned to Madison, spurring the last REALLY big rally at the Capitol, the people began focusing their energies on the forthcoming recalls. Protesters returned home, returned to work (if they could) and became active on the internet.
Of course, there still stood a group of activists who were clawing into the rotunda every day. And some were irritated that the numbers had dwindled – suggesting that those who decided to step into a new direction were less committed. But mostly, the protesters knew that it was time to evolve and sleeping on the ground in Walkerville would no longer have the impact that it once had.
There is a time to say ‘when.’ And doing so does not imply surrender. It simply means that efforts should now mature to the next level. Protesting has a shelf life. After a while, it is barely even noticed. And when it is, it is usually mocked and often the entire cause becomes misrepresented. The people within Occupy who ignore the fact that people are dying and health issues are rising are not doing their movement any favors.
Now, with all of that being said, I will be enjoying a wonderful day in Madison this Saturday cheering on the recall efforts. I do not consider it a protest persay, but a rally to inspire, invigorate and inform. I hope it is reminiscent of the events in February and March. The Capitol and surrounding streets were filled with respectful, kind, diverse citizens. I witnessed no fights, no vulgarity, no damage and no crime. Everyone I encountered was pleasant and considerate. It was really quite remarkable and unforgettable. See, I don’t believe you need to yell profanities, dole out threats or tip over trucks to make a point or support a cause.
Whether it be Occupy Wall Street, anti-Walker protests, anti-choice barricades, Penn State tantrums, people who cheer on executions or churches who picket funerals – protesting, while a right, musthave boundaries in order to be effective, respected and understood. Please, protest wisely so that it can still mean something significant when it really counts.
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