Peaceful Protesting And U.C. Berkleley

In light of the recent events that have occurred in America, we have been seeing a number of protests erupt across the country. These are in response to the Presidential election, women's rights, etc. The United States Constitution protects your right to peaceably protest the government. Let us not take this right for granted.

This past week, a protest was staged at U.C Berkeley after Republican speaker Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to the school by a Republican student group to give a speech. According to the New York Times, many students and faculty had petitioned for the university to cancel the event, but the chancellor declined, claiming it was free speech. This further angered the students and faculty who were protesting, so on the day of Milo's scheduled visit, they gathered outside of Berkeley's student union center in hopes that the event would be canceled.

The protest began creatively and peacefully but quickly turned violent. The demonstration allegedly caused over $100,000 worth of damage to Berkeley's campus. Two students were attacked, protesters threw Molotov cocktails to ignite flames and commercial-grade fireworks at police. The windows of the student union center were smashed, and the campus fell victim to vandalism. Not all of the protesters were Berkeley students; some of the protesters were part of a group known as "Black Bloc" that has allegedly been causing problems in the Oakland area for quite some time. (Read about it here.)

Students were pepper sprayed and hurt, Trump supporters and students alike. Mr. Yiannopoulos had to be evacuated from the area, out of concern for public safety. Even after the police dispersed the protesters from Berkeley's campus, a group that remained moved downtown and began smashing the windows of banks.

This chain of events begs the question: is this how we get things done? Some people have claimed that peaceful protesting would not have succeeded in canceling the event. Does this mean the violence was justified?

Can violence ever be justified?

The Constitution protects our right to peacefully protest - not smash windows or vandalize a campus.

How can we ask for the government to protect our right to freedom of speech if we shun those who disagree? Intolerance of speech and rhetoric that is different from your own does nothing to help this country. This is not how you "peacefully protest". Regardless of your personal opinion on the situation or your opinion of Yiannopoulos, this violent demonstration was an attack on the freedom of speech that the public has been trying so very hard to preserve.

Peaceful protests are non-violent and do not infringe on the rights of others. protest that blocks "vehicular or pedestrian traffic" is illegal without a permit, nor do you have the right to block the entrance of a building. You cannot advocate for peace while destroying property or infringing on other people's lives or rights.

In the words of Desmond Tutu, "Don't raise your voice, improve your argument."

This country has a history of peaceful protests, ones that have shaped society today. Through peaceful protesting, women gained the right to vote, made racial segregation unlawful in Alabama and later the rest of the country, and more. Peaceful protest often takes time to gain traction and for a difference to be made. Violence is not the way we bring about a more progressive society. Silencing other people's voices is not how we fight injustice.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Listen, you can do whatever you want with your free time. It's yours to spend and you have free range. However, I hope you recognize that there are a ton of proactive things you can do right now instead of stalking your man's ex – yes, I know you do it becuase we are all guilty of it.

Take this time to research your privilege. There are always new things to learn and ways to deepen your understanding of yourself, this world, and your surroundings. We live in a multi-dimensional, ever-changing society that needs your help and your time. By that, I mean there are so many layers to each and every one of us, and with our physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional selves, we can create real, positive change.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Preview These Top Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Picks — From Luxury Purses To Skincare

Currently 3 million people viewing the Stella McCartney purse I absolutely must have.

Online shopping has been a guilty pleasure of ours for years, but now more than ever it's been a shopping lover's outlet for all our home redecorating projects and resort wear we're purchasing for that trip we had to cancel.

One of my favorite places to (virtually) window shop has always been Nordstrom. I admittedly can't afford to go on sprees there often, but I still get a high off of adding things to my cart I know I'll never actually end up buying. But sometimes, that's not enough — that's when I, like the masses of luxury-, beauty-, fashion-, and decor-lovers around the world count the days down to the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Keep Reading... Show less

I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.

I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you are quarantining away from your significant other because of coronavirus or separated by the country lines at this time, it's fair to say that long-distance relationships are tough no matter what. However, there are ways to show love from a distance whether that's through daily FaceTime calls, cute Snapchats, or sexy pics sent to them on their phone. You can brighten up their day even more with some of these unique gifts that can fit any price range and a variety of interests.

Keep Reading... Show less

Rihanna is known for many things: her music, fashion, makeup, and now skincare. As a makeup artist myself, I can confidently say that she rocked the makeup world when she released her makeup line in 2017 and has been influencing the beauty world ever since.

Trying some of her makeup products myself, I know that she doesn't skimp on quality, and even though some of her products may be a little pricey, trust me, you get what you pay for.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, no one needs to be reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the U.S. Frankly, this is because we have all collectively decided not to do the one simple thing that was asked of us and wear a mask.

I could make this a very boring article, and berate you with facts and statistics and the importance of wearing a mask, but I have opted against that for both of our sakes. Instead, I will attempt to reach you in another way. You might not care about a disapproving look from me, but from Nick Miller? Maybe that will be enough to change your mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments