We have seen a lot of protests about science, guns, and even women’s rights lately. With our current government, especially how the news is constantly portraying it, it makes sense to speak out. However, I feel protesting has become “mainstream” for certain issues and is turning into fun street parties while they are at it.
So do we shun the people who go out to protest because, well everyone is doing it? Or do we encourage them because, hey, at least they are protesting.
I think it is somewhere in the middle where we can be encouraging, but we can also point out the hypocrisy. Such as people protesting for the environment, well then why did you not protest the Dakota Access Pipeline? Or if you are protesting gun control, why are we not protesting the war we are still in, or what about all violence including towards farm workers, (Cesar Chavez day is coming up by the way on March 31), or against slaughterhouses?
By pointing some of these out people can see the connections or you can see if they are just protesting for the face value. If it is for face value, then that is disheartening. There is also the problem of people being sole activists for one specific issue, versus what is called intersectional activism. Most intersectional activists believe in ending all oppression to all living beings and to take care of the earth that holds us. The mainstream really dislikes intersectional activists because we don’t make them any money, representing minorities and the innocent, which typically does not have that much money.
I think here are some questions below to really think about before you protest so that you can honor past activists who really put their lives on the line for everyone else’s benefit:
- Why are you protesting?
- Who is funding the protest?
- What is the message?
- Why are you not protesting other injustices?
These four questions should be asked every time. That way you are true to yourself and to the people protesting. It really does matter who is funding it, because they could be manipulating you for some political reason. Protesting is not politics, it is a group of people coming together to show the force behind protecting living beings or the earth which cannot protect itself.