Why Do People Protest

Throughout history, you will find social movements and nonviolent protests written on them. These can be small or large groups that are loosely connected and united by a shared purpose. Protests can gather a massive number of people, young and old, local and foreigners alike. Nonviolent campaigns are becoming increasingly successful and will continue doing so until the good for humanity is achieved. Peaceful protests are the greatest weapon of destruction devised by man itself. 

Given the social importance of activism or protest, in other words, it is crucial to understand what motivates individuals to engage in it. Moyler’s book on A Comparative Investigation of activists Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Camus, On Freedom and Revolt, these two figures are motivated to fight for freedom and injustice. These are issues that we may be experiencing in today’s era. With their work, they find many people looking up to them and fight the same fight with them through peaceful protests. Protests can happen anytime, anywhere. There is a trigger that causes so many people to do it. Below are the main reasons why there are social movements. 

A Cry for Help 

George Floyd, a black man, killed during an arrest by a white police officer who knelt on his neck, caused his death. A video of the incident went viral, which caused civil unrest and uproar of people, no matter what color or race. However, this was not the first incident in which a man of color was killed by police brutality despite being innocent or vulnerable. Many gathered together as a cry for help to stop the killings of people of color. These people are connected through the same emotions of helplessness. And the only way they can cry for help and create change is through protests. Many raise their voice to speak about the struggles and fear of all African Americans. George Floyd was the powerful cause that sparked the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. The common goal of protesters in this is to encourage every one of justness and justice. 

For Their Opinions to be Heard

People gather to protest to make their opinions be heard publicly. These opinions typically focus on bad governance. This social movement is a way for the government to listen to its side on the particular law, rules, or regulations implemented. This is also a means to influence public opinion and government policy. A desired change or action is what these people want. Most of the time, these are systematic and peaceful campaigns. Pressure and persuasion are the only methods they use. Sometimes, this is described as nonviolent resistance. This social movement invites media to gain coverage and takes place in significant territories to make a statement. This boldly challenges the status quo without resorting to violence. A historical example of this is Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 

Constitute Change

Protests play an essential role when done right as it is crucial for creating the groundwork of change. This can inspire millions of people to take action towards injustice or oppression. Constituting change is not for a specific group but everyone affected by the same issue. Protests are the pioneering step to a transformational change. Without protests, women are still unable to vote. Without protests, civil rights would still be unjust for many. Crises offer the opportunity for progressive change. Protesters want to remove the tyrants and tyrannies of life through campaigns. However, protests are not enough to create change. People need other tools, and that is to vote. Voting is necessary for change as the people are the government, not the people sitting in the government. 

To Propel a Great Cause

Freedom, poverty, war, racism, injustice, and tyranny are a few of the many reasons people protest. Depending on the cause, some movements set clear short-term and long-term goals. Protesters have a vision towards this cause that extends beyond the immediate issues that paved the movement. This cause aims to transform a society that is lasting. A message is sent in hopes of achieving this cause. Successful social movements focus their messages on issues and causes that will touch many people and encourage them to learn more about this underpinning movement. 

In conclusion, many rights and changes would not have occurred without these protests. However, protests must be with good intentions and not just a rebellion or resistance to the government. 


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