Political Protests Some people believe protesting is our right while others believe it does no change.


Defense mechanism- how to deal with a conflict or issue.

Controversy- a debatable and opinionated topic, person, etc.

Passionate- to have strong emotions and feelings towards something.

Riot- a violent form of protesting

Historical Protests- Protests from our history. For example, March on Washington, Anti-Vietnam War protest, Anti-nuclear march, etc.

Political Outburst- a release of emotions triggered by politics.

Why do people protest?

Political protesting has been a way for people to fight for their rights, let their voices be heard, and educate many different people all throughout history. In fact, to this day many people still protest passionately throughout the world. According Jr Thorpe from Bustle, he states that researchers from Journal of Applied Social Psychology, interviewed 231 people at a rally spoke out on their perspectives on why they were protesting, “They wanted to build a community of protestors, influence third parties or the public, and ‘express values.’” By doing this, protesting has become one of the most known defense mechanisms when it came to arguing against the government and policies. On the other hand, not many of the people believe that protests don’t work. Moises Naim from Atlantic expresses that, “no formal affiliation with one another, no clear hierarchy, and no obvious leaders”. Although many people find inspiration and passion from protesting other believe it is disruptive and unorganized.

How has the recent presidency caused backlash?

Recently, November 2016’s U.S. presidential election and the two candidates have caused controversy throughout the world. The government is the root cause of political protesting, thus showing us how much it affects people and their rights. Vick Karl, writer for the Times says “ Backlash protests formed daily outside Trump Tower and turned violent in Portland, Ore. The frustration was aggravated by the fact of Hillary Clinton's popular-vote lead, which has reached more than a million votes, even though Trump dominated the Electoral College”. A disagreement, argument, and a passion for change towards politics fuels protesting. According to CNBC international, “In downtown Chicago, an estimated 1,800 people gathered outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower, chanting phrases like "No Trump! No KKK! No racist USA." Although both of the presidential candidates can cause political protests from the public, Donald Trump specifically has shown a many sides of America. By mentioning different groups of people, he has caused controversy and political outbursts like protesting. Ultimately, he has raised eyebrows and caused controversy leading to many political protesting.

Why does violence happen in protesting?

Violent protesting naturally occurs in protesting and is one of the flaws of protesting. Protesting gets raw and serious when violence happens. According to Chief police at the University of Maryland College Park states “When you have that and it’s a peaceful protest, then suddenly there’s an infiltration with fires starting, it reinforces the bias against college kids and college students protesting. Certainly we don’t want that here. I don’t think my students want that here” Although violence is one of the biggest problems tries to be avoided in protesting, students like in University of Maryland understand that they don’t want a violent protest. Eric Liu, founder and CEO of Citizens University in the “We the Voters” video states that “protesting is inherently about passion. It’s expressing pain, fear, hope, aspiration, anger and of course it can get raw sometimes and confrontational” Violence is a mix of these emotions that happens in protesting so it is a given when it comes to passionate protesting. Overall, violence happens in protesting because of many emotions of people from protesting and sometimes can get out of hand.

What are the consequences of protesting?

When people are protesting, it is forgotten what the consequences of it are. These protests are filled with passion that can put you in danger. In recent anti-trump protests, the KATU digital staff association press reports that “Officers began physically pushing back against the crowd that at times threw objects at them as midnight approached, arresting several people and using flash-bang devices and types of smoke or tear gas to force people to disperse” When protests intentions are meant to make a change and difference in a society, it can be underestimated what can actually happen in a protest. People don’t realize dangerous things like flash-bang devices, smoke, and tear gasses. To add on to that, issues with the police during protesting become ugly. NPR reporter Colin Dwyer states that in “police, some wearing riot gear, chased the protesters on motorcycles and used the pepper spray and an unidentified concussive device to subdue the demonstration.” People also don’t understand the troubles you and the police will go through in a protest. Protesters and police get hurt in these violent protests. Thus, the more issues with police and dangerous devices occur.

How has past protests from our history influence protests today?

Historical protests has taught us a lot and continue to inspire protests today. Specifically, it has shown us mistakes and flaws of protesting. According to L.A. Kauffman, author and movement historian, states that “ a lot of protests felt to me in the late-'80s. There were a lot of times when it just felt like you can bring large numbers of people together but what are you doing but shouting slogans, you know, about changes that are never going to happen.” Bigger protests with more people don’t necessarily determine the protestors. America starts to learn that many different people go to protests for different reasons, therefore may create flaws within protesting. On the contrary, protesting has shown us a new world of passion that can make a difference when done right. Robert Y. Shapiro, writer for Washington Post states that “that protests put and keep issues on the political agenda. That is how the civil rights, Vietnam War and women’s movement protests ultimately had their effects: Political leaders and voters paid attention to the issues raised, which eventually led to political and legal change.” Iconic protests that shape our society today are examples of how protesting can manage to make a huge difference in our world. All in all, history has taught us the ups and downs of protesting, but also that it make a difference.

We The Voters organization's video helps us capture what is really protesting is made of. This video interviews organizers, activists, and real people of all ages protesting passionately.


CBNC. “Thousands of anti-Trump protestors take the streets of US cities” Division of NBCUniversal, 10 Nov 2016, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/09/thousands-protest-across-us-over-trumps-shock-election-win.html?scrlybrkr=c1b52ec3# Accessed 6 Feb 2017.

KATU Digital Staff. “Aftermath: Cleaning up damage after election protest took destructive turn”, Associated Press, 11 Nov 2016, http://katu.com/news/local/aftermath-cleaning-up-damage-after-election-protests-took-destructive-turn Accessed 15 Feb 2017.

Naim, Moises. “Why Street Protests Don’t Work” Atlantic Monthly, 7 April 2014 https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/04/why-street-protests-dont-work/360264/ Accessed 6 Feb 2017.

NPR National Public Radio. “In D.C., Group of Protesters Breaks Windows; Police Use Pepper Spray” NPR, 20 Jan 2017.http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/20/510770716/in-d-c-group-of-protesters-breaks-windows-police-use-pepper-spray?scrlybrkr=961a981c Accessed 22 Feb 2017.

Tate, Emily. “Bracing for Black Bloc” Inside Higher Ed, 13 Feb 2017, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/13/wake-violent-protests-colleges-prepare-chaos Accessed Feb 15 2017.

Thorpe, Jr. “Do Political Protests Actually Change Anything?” Bustle, 1 August 2013, https://www.bustle.com/p/do-political-protests-actually-change-anything-29952 Accessed 26 Jan 2017.

Vick, Karl, et al. "The U.S. Continues to Come Apart in the Wake of a Divisive Election." Time, vol. 188, no. 22-23, 28 Nov. 2016, p. 9. EBSCOhost,search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih&AN=119512433&site=ehost-live. Accessed 7 Feb 2017.

Westervelt, Eric. “What Makes An Effective Protest Movement?” WBUR, 23 Feb 2017. http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/02/23/effective-protest-movement Accessed 24 Feb 2017.

“We The Voters: Why we march” Youtube, uploaded by CBS News, 12 Oct 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLUeLbexHH8&scrlybrkr=9d6eda3f


Created with images by johnpotter - "aerial view protest" • RaeAllen - "Protest rally"

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