The rebirth of the protest

It seems like every few weeks, the media covers yet another grand and powerful protest over an issue that, in 2017, should no longer be contested. The increasing protests indicate that there are more and more people willing to make their voices heard. This gradual escalation could also correspond with the increase in controversial issues raised by political figures and corporations. The subsequent dissension could be a direct result of these issues not being properly handled as well as their lack of empathy towards the feelings and concerns of the people they affect. Protests remain an effective tool for galvanizing public support, convincing politicians to change their policies, and inspiring the public.

By definition, protests are non-violent demonstrations of resistance for a specific cause. From a glance at any newspaper in the past month, one can see that more and more protests are taking place this year. This observation should serve as an inspiration to individuals, because it proves that more and more people are exercising their right to speak out against issues on which they don’t agree. For example, Trump’s recent election was a great source of contention. Trump’s inauguration and his subsequent executive orders resulted in the largest American protest in the U.S. history: the Women’s March on Washington.

Protests have become such a commonplace occurrence in our country because we have become increasingly aware of and comfortable with the idea that peaceful actions can end unendurable injustice. We have every right to voice our opinions as we see fit. We were born in era where uncontroversial subjects are being disputed such as equal pay for equal work or the value of immigrants. In light of this, the younger generation has been reminded that it is our civic duty to hold our government accountable, as well as other authoritative figures, and remind them that their power is given to them by us, the people, because they serve us, the people, not their own personal corrupt agendas. They were granted such influential and powerful positions because we need them to maintain peace, order, and promote the public good. Once they seem to forget this important detail, we have no other choice but to respond.

Peaceful protests are an extremely effective way to hold the government accountable for their actions. It also allows each of us to have a voice, despite everyone and everything trying to suppress it. Protests do so much more than what the mass media likes to portray. They give people hope that we, too, have an impact on the future. They also provide a unique opportunity for people to understand their position in today’s society, as well as to take advantage of a privilege they might not have realized they had otherwise. Some people protest to fight for a cause that others may not have even known affected people as intensely as it actually does. Protests prove that people care, that they are willing to take the time and energy out of their days to demonstrate.

The widespread influence of social media has also amplified the effect and respective value of protests. Protests tend to get a lot of press and attention from the media is often the first step in the process of solving and addressing issues. The government likes to put on the façade that they have pure intentions, but protests suggest otherwise. The government’s self-important vanity alone drives the significant value of protests in today’s era.

Mass media and conservatives incessantly criticize modern activists, calling the act of protesting un-American or a product of this overly coddled generation’s angst. Regardless of what they have to say, no one can say that protests are grandiose, fruitless efforts that have no purpose. Protests have become one of the most invaluable methods we have of trying to make a change in today’s America. Slowly but surely, protests are an impactful effort that unites people and draws attention to the significance of our concerns.

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