Sit-Ins and non-violent protests

Sit-ins are a very common form of social protest. The point of these types of protests would be to, peacefully, promote a change in society. The Greensboro sit-ins, during the civil rights movement, consisted of people occupying a certain space in hopes to gain more rights for African-Americans. At the time, there was severe public racial discrimination, and the goal of this protests was to abolish that.

The Greensboro Sit-Ins had four main leaders. Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr, and David Richmond were all students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. They were inspired by the work of Marin Luther King Jr. and the non-violent protests, and they wanted to see a similar change in their town. They went into a store, sat in the "white only" section, and asked to be served. When they were denied service, they refused to leave.

This protest was not easy, and the four men went through a lot of trouble to achieve their goals. While partaking in the sit-ins, participators were harassed physically and verbally by white people in the store. There were several occasions at which the other white customers became very angry at the protesters. However, because this was a non-violent protest, none of them fought back.

These sit-ins quickly became very noticed in the media, and many news companies reported on the situation. Eventually, even the government noticed and President Eisenhower spoke on the subject, saying that he was "deeply sympathetic with the efforts of any group to enjoy the rights of equality that they are guaranteed by the Constitution". After lasting 174 days, the protest was successful, and desegregation started to occur. This protest led to the spark of other, similar protests in other cities all across America. It is estimated that about 70,000 people partook in the sit-ins.

In 2014, a protest similar to that of the Greensboro sit-ins occurred. In Pakistan, a large group of citizens wanted political and social reform. They believed that the elections had been rigged and the government had been corrupted. This is known as the Azadi March. Similar to the Greensboro sit-ins, the protesters were non-violent. Imran Khan was the leader of this group, and they held similar morals to that of the original civil rights protesters. However, this battle was not easily fought, as the protesters faced many government and police backlash. The protest lasted 125 days, and is considered the longest-lasting public sit-in in Pakistan's history.

Works Cited

History.com Staff. (2010). The Greensboro Sit-In. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/the-greensboro-sit-in

Woolworth's Lunch Counter - Separate Is Not Equal. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/history/6-legacy/freedom-struggle-2.html

THE GREENSBORO CHRONOLOGY. (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.sitinmovement.org/history/greensboro-chronology.asp

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