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The Right to Protest or The Right to Destroy

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posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:08 PM
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Like many, I have watched the recent protesters in a mixture of disgust and confusion. Not just the anti-Trump protests (although those are fresh in my mind), but many protests throughout the years. Anti-Trump, Occupy Wall Street, the Vietnam War, Civil Rights... many, many protests. Some I agreed with; others I did not. But some I considered disgusting displays of immaturity and ignorance.

That got me to thinking. What was the difference? What was it that made me so disgusted at some, accepting of others, and in agreement with still others. I think I understand that difference now, and I present it here.

There is no right to protest. Nowhere in the US Constitution is there an enumerated right to walk the streets with signs chanting slogans. But there are related rights. We have the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of speech. Combined, those give us our right to protest, if that protest us an organized effort to get many to combine their freedom of speech to be heard more effectively. But, those basic rights have limits. The right to free speech does not cover yelling "FIRE!" In a crowded theater. The right to peaceful assembly does not include the right to block an ambulance. So, since there are restrictions on the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, there are even greater restrictions on the 'right' to combine the two into protest. Any protest, in order to be considered a right, must comply with the restrictions on all the rights involved to make it legal and proper.

Protest, if it involves commission of a crime not protected by basic enumerated rights, is not protected. As soon as someone breaks a car window or commits a similar crime, they become criminals. There is no right to break a law, unless the law itself is illegal.

Why are you protesting? It should be obvious that in order for a protest to be successful, there has to be something positive accomplished. There has to be a goal in order to achieve a goal. Without fail, all of the protests that have made a difference have had a realistic goal. The Civil Rights protests, for example, had goals concerning equality. The protesters wanted integration in schools, or equal access to jobs, or equal consideration under the law. These were specific goals and were reasonable. Those who protested the Vietnam War wanted an end to hostilities against a country not attacking the United States directly, a specific and reasonable goal. Those who protested for Gay Marriage wanted recognition of marriage vows they consider proper, specific and reasonable. The protests for Women Suffrage demanded the right for women to vote, again, specific and reasonable. Those protests may not have been agreeable to everyone who saw them, but they were legitimate and successful in the end.

In contrast, the Black Lives Matter movement may have a reasonable goal (stop killing black folk) but the unconditional nature is not reasonable. If someone is trying to kill a police officer, that officer may have no choice but to kill them first, regardless of skin color. In addition, it sets the entire community against itself, as black-on-black violence us worse than white-on-black violence. Thus, it has been rejected by the population at large. The Occupy Wall Street movement had no specific goal at all... it was just a group of angry people with no specific goal other than to prove they were angry. The few goals that were expressed (I distinctly remember one protester demanding paychecks for the unemployed without considering who would write them) were not widely agreed on by the entire movement and were unreasonable. Occupy Wall Street accomplished nothing. Likewise, the anti-Trump protests had a goal that was barely defined (stop Trump. From what exactly?) and unreasonable (remove a President without cause). It will fail as well.

A protest cannot succeed without support. The true rulers of the United States are the people. Thus, for a protest to serve any useful purpose, it must be geared toward garnering the sympathy and support of others. The Civil Rights protests did this: by exposing whites to the injustices suffered by blacks, and by portraying themselves as intelligent equals (thank you Dr. King), whites became convinced of the veracity of the claims and the fairness of the demands. Likewise, Womens Suffrage caught the attention of the public and focused it on an injustice. The Vietnam War protests were hampered by angry mobs disrespecting soldiers, and while they eventually succeeded, it took longer because of this. The Gay Marriage protests were mired with exhibitions that offended many others as well as vicious vengeful rhetoric, and their success is still not completely assured because of that.

Black Lives Matter has been plagued with examples of racism from the supporters and destructive acts. So, too have the protests against Trump. While it is true that these acts are committed by a minority of the protesters, these acts are committed in tandem with the protests and are distasteful to others. Thus, they destroy the chances that others will respond favorably to the protests and work against the goal of changing public opinion in support of the associated causes.

 


Those are my thoughts on protesting in general, and as a member of the public, the true power behind society, I believe they are valid.

What does ATS think?

TheRedneck

edit on 1/22/2017 by TheRedneck because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:13 PM
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Where do the Tea Party get their name from?
Destruction wasn't it?

I guess it all depends what you destroy.


If it's small local businesses, you're a wrongun.

If it's a police car, I'll probably just laugh.


There is a line in there somewhere.
I'll be f*cked if I can figure out where though.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408

A fair point. My first gut instinct is that there is a difference between revolution and protest. A protest is an attempt to affect public opinion to change the direction of a country; a revolution is a complete removal of one country for another.

The Tea Party took their name from an act of violence in a revolution. Perhaps that is the difference?

TheRedneck



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:23 PM
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On these protests, I think it's unfortunate that so many people find their motivation to get involved after the process is complete and they don't like the outcome. As long as relatively organized lawful and peaceful, people should be able to express themselves however they wish. It's one of if not the only rights we have in this country worthy of fighting for.

I also think it's unfortunate that the process so often produces candidates that are so polarizing so many people find themselves "on the fence" and feel undecided, and having to choose between two candidates of which neither seem worthy to them. In this last election cycle for example I personally encountered more people "on the fence" than openly supporting one or the other.

In short, I wish all of these people so upset with the outcome, in the future will find a way to discover that passion and put their energy into getting more involved in the process long before it is complete. That is where the only real change in this country can come from.

Protesting afterward is ultimately pointless.

imo



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:30 PM
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I thnk you could have included some content about Soros.

He definitely has had his signature on protests throughout not just this year, but the decade and beyond.

Protests require leaders, leaders require support, support equates to money = Soros.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:30 PM
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The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech exist.

The right to smash up everything that represents capatalism doesn't. Wanton damage in the name of protesting is a poor excuse.

It appears some people only believe in democracy if it goes their way.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:42 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Not all protests are riots, but all riots are protests.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:44 PM
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a reply to: six67seven

Well, that's still an unproven (although believeable IMO) theory on George Soros... but your point is valid. Many protests, if not all, have someone behind them that expects to profit, and it's not always someone who agrees with the protests themselves. Sometimes it's people who just want to manipulate for profit, not unlike an arms dealer that instigated a war just to sell arms to both sides.

TheRedneck



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:47 PM
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originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: TheRedneck

Not all protests are riots, but all riots are protests.


Riots are also dangerous, damaging, illegal in most cases, and pretty much solve nothing.

What they do is: Get people hurt. Get people killed. Destroy property. Destroy business. Destroy infrastructure, and show us just how people can act like animals.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:47 PM
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"Rights" are a concept based upon a group of dead guys setting "Rules" we are born inherently free, we don't need people telling us how we can be "Free" at the same time setting up rules and parameters of where our freedoms begin and end.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:47 PM
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The problem with protesting, from a law stand point, is it consumes so many different aspects.

The constitution for example. You have the freedom of speech and to peacefully organize. You also have the right to bear arms as part of a militia to fight a tyrannical government. What is a militia? Any armed American citizen with the goal to protect this country from any enemy foreign OR domestic.

It becomes a slippery slope when judging others intentions as well. That's why we have Amendment 10. States rights. Here in NV, you can protest anytime, any public place (sidewalks, parks, ect.), as long as you are not impeding others rights. In Washington D.C. and many States, you have to go apply for a permit.

Were the black panthers breaking the law when they stood with guns outside polling stations? No. They felt like they could intimidate the voting public (mostly white voters who they deemed a domestic enemy of the state) with their constitutional rights. Intentions.

Is it OK to break the law during a protest? Yes and No. It all depends on what your overall goal is. Look at the Bundy ranch, or Oregon incidents. The Bundy's and militia men from around the country pushed back the government for over reach here in NV (they are currently detained for this 3 years later). BUT...they went a lot further in Oregon by taking over a government building and almost starting a war with the FBI after LaVoy was killed. The Oregon 8 have gone through trial and were set free.

The law is tricky.

With the new breed protesters, who set fires and assault police. What is your end goal? Is it to get your voice heard? Then by all means, protest, but stop breaking the law. Is your end goal to cause a left/right war? Then by all means, learn how to organize, get actual weapons and learn to use them, then read a book or two. The problem here, after you complete those 3 things, you will probably drop your new breed way of thinking.

P.S. - For all the people on the left calling for a war - Know your enemy. Your enemy joins actual organized militias. Your enemy buys, and plays with, guns for fun. Your enemy preps food and water for just an occasion. Your enemy loves this country and will die to protect it. Do you have these attributes? Can you logically win said war?



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:49 PM
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a reply to: ausername

While I agree it is pretty pointless to protest after the fact, maybe they just want to send a message similar to the "don't tread on me" based on their current idea's on Mr.Trump and his past affairs on women.

Though yea I have no idea if it'll have any effect, at least they aren't rioting



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:50 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

There is no right that allows for the infringement of another's rights.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:53 PM
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originally posted by: TerminalVelocity

originally posted by: underwerks
a reply to: TheRedneck

Not all protests are riots, but all riots are protests.


Riots are also dangerous, damaging, illegal in most cases, and pretty much solve nothing.

What they do is: Get people hurt. Get people killed. Destroy property. Destroy business. Destroy infrastructure, and show us just how people can act like animals.

True as well. That's something that will happen whenever you get a large mass of emotional people in one place, under any banner. That's a human problem, not a political one.

Yeah, things might get destroyed and sat on fire, but the alternative is limiting one of the types of free speech this country was founded on.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

the way i see it, nothing wrong with protesting. but the very moment your protesting turns into destruction of someone elses property or harming or threatening to harm another, you just became a criminal and should be treated as such. unless of course you are fighting against tyranny!



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

There is a difference between protesting and rioting. Protesting, while stopping traffic, commerce, etc. is peaceful. Anything that involves the destruction of property is rioting.
edit on 22/1/2017 by Iamonlyhuman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

When protest involves committing of crimes it is no longer a protest. I encourage peaceful protest (even if there is no common, set goal) but when you destroy or harm property that does not belong to you, when you make death threats or commit physical harm, when you commit slander or libel you are no longer a protester- you are a criminal and should be arrested and prosecuted as such.

There is a vast difference between refusing to give up your seat on the bus and trashing the bus.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: XAnarchistX

I think you misunderstand the difference between the Constitution and the law. The law imposes rules on the people; the Constitution imposes rules on the government that makes the laws.

Nothing in the Constitution restricts people from doing anything... only government.

TheRedneck



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Wrong.

Amendment 18 restricted (prohibited) the purchase, or sale of alcohol (later overturned).

Amendment 26 restricts the voting age to 18. Prohibits children from voting.



posted on Jan, 22 2017 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck


A protest is an attempt to affect public opinion to change the direction of a country;

Yes. But not just public opinion but also the opinion of legislators. But back to public opinion.
This public opinion in the past had been influenced not so much by those who were there watching the protests, but more those who came to know of those protests via the nation wide information networks. The media.

Back when protest arguably were more successful, the media was trusted much more than today. The media was trusted by protesters and media consumers alike and so the message was hoped by the protesters to get, reliably, to the general public. But that is no longer the case. Now, there is general distrust in of the media. There will no longer be any 'changing of minds when the protests run counter to those who favor what the protests are against. All that can happen is that the protesters, left or right, will be singing to their own choirs, trying to encourage their own supporters to greater action. Again I see this as either left or right. There no longer will be any Gandhi type of protests that help bring about social change.

And as far as the violence associated with protests, even though the honest and non-violent protesters may be in the vast majority of any protest, there is little to no ability to control those hangers on who have little if any motivation in common with those who honestly protest peacefully. Left or right. So from my perspective, mass peaceful protests are doomed to failure for at least those two reasons.

But what I really hate is those from either side who find themselves on the opposite side of the protest that take the actions of those few hangers on of violent nature and paint with a large and inaccurate brush the actions and intent of the larger group. While that general stereotyping may feel good and help to bolster the resolve of those who disagree with the spirit of the true protesters, it does nothing but obfuscate the true nature of the problem from their understanding of complex issues.



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