The Peaceful Route for Change


This peaceful protest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin shows fast food workers going on strike for increased wages.

Natalie De La Rosa, Staff Writer

Protesting has always been an effective way to get a point across-whether to the government or to an organization. Peaceful protests are expressed through passive means such as: petitions, strikes and boycotts. A peaceful protest, if done correctly, does not put anyone in danger and does not lead to violent brawls; making it one of the most effective and safest forms of civil disobedience.

One of the greatest leaders known for his peaceful protests is, Martin Luther King Jr., a man who avoided any use of violence when standing up for what he believed in. For example his Montgomery Bus Boycott, with not an ounce of violence, the boycott proved to be effective and the buses began to see a deficit in revenues. In addition to the boycott, MLK did several peaceful marches and gave powerful speeches like his “I Have a Dream Speech” which shook America. MLK set the example of what peaceful protests should be and how effective they really are in making your voice heard.

A march led by MLK for voting rights that went from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

“Why use violence when you can follow Martin Luther King Jr.’s footsteps and use peaceful measures and be just as effective if not even more,” senior Jose Gonzalez said.

However, some can argue that a peaceful protest takes time and thus believe aggressive protests are a better route to take. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is one of the many examples of groups that use violence in order to spread their message to the public. Throughout history the KKK has been known for its various acts of murder, rape and even bombings, to oppose the rights of African Americans and other minorities.

We all know that violence is never the answer. However, recently the KKK had an anti-immigration rally in California which resulted in the arrest of 13 people, five of which were KKK members, and three people were stabbed. It’s said that the KKK member stabbed the counter protesters with flag poles and knives in self-defense after a mob of around 10-20 angry individuals began assaulting them. The use of violence does not make anyone’s ideas more justified.

The use of the flag pole as a weapon in seen in this picture from the recent rally the KKK had.
The decorative tip of a flag pole was used in self defense by a KKK member at a recent anti-immigration demonstration they had.

“Using violence only portrays immaturity which will not get your point taken seriously,” sophomore Eda Munguia said.

When you think about it, all the arrests and injuries were unnecessary and could have been prevented if both parties had used peaceful protest methods in order to spread their message. Acts of violence simply erupt in chaos and put people in danger, all while failing to spread the protesters’  ideas. Everyone is entitled to their own views, however, that does not make it excusable to limit others’ rights through violence.