Over the last few weeks, protests have become more prevalent.
Protesting is a means for people with common opinions on an issue to band together and stand up for what they believe in.
It’s a way for people to speak out loudly against an event that has happened that they don’t agree with.
Our right — as Americans citizens — to protest is protected by the First Amendment. It allows people to voice opinions without the fear of prosecution.
Amendment I of the United States Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
What the amendment doesn’t allow is for people to be violent when stating that opinion in the form of protesting.
Violent protesting is what gets the attention of most people because it’s hurting others or destroying property.
Violent protesting is never appropriate. Harming someone or something is not an effective way to get your point across.
Protesting can be an effective method of standing up against what you believe is unjust, or at least have your opinion noticed. We should exercise these rights peacefully.
Peaceful protesting is okay. People are more willing to listen to you if you remain civil.
Getting violent, hurting others or destroying buildings and businesses don’t typical get willing to listen to you. It often adds dangerous fuel to an already dangerous fire, and it can lead to a lot more violent situations that could have been avoided.
When people protest effectively, it’s for a major cause that they are passionate about.
People protested about same-sex marriage equality. People protested during the civil rights movements. People protest for women’s rights still today.
These protests happened because people wanted to see a change and wanted their thoughts to be heard.
Groups who don’t understand the importance and value of protesting take away from the power of those who do understand.
For instance, some people are paid to protest. Paid protesting is exactly what it sounds like: Organizations pay citizens to exercise their rights to protest against injustice.
However, these people are misleading. They aren’t doing it because they want to see a change; they’re just in it for the paycheck.
The right to protest is something we should value as Americans. We are lucky to have the opportunity to express our concerns actively, and violence and paid protesting devalue this right.
OUR POSITION: The majority of the opinion staff is in agreement that protesting peacefully is okay to do because it is our right to do so.
Current issues being protested:
Dakota Access Pipeline
The Army Corps of Engineers’ have a permit to build a pipeline a half-mile away from the Standing Rock Nation. The tribe claims that they were not consulted about it and that a survey of the area shows that it had cultural and historic value and that there is a burial ground in the path of the pipeline.
The Election of Donald Trump
Many people are protesting the results of the election because they are angry over the President-elects policies on various issues such as immigration, the environment and LGBT rights.
The editorial board represents the opinion of The Franklin and its staff members. Opinion editor Christina Ramey moderates the board and its members, including Brittney Corum and Ashley Steeb. Leigh Durphey, the executive editor, sits on the board. If you have an issue you would like the board to cover, email email@example.com.