Modern Day Non-violent ProtestingHistory is repeating itself though the acts of non-violent protesting. The Black Lives Matter protests are one of the most familiar protests to people throughout the country. Modern day non-violent protests are still held in streets or areas with large crowds. The Black Lives Matter movement is a that fights for the rights of black queer and trans, disabled, women, undocumented, and blacks of all genders. Their purpose is to fight to end the racial inequality and discrimination that is still seen today and throughout society. From police brutality, racist related harassment, white supremacy, and the oppression amongst the race. They spread the word through protests, though they have sometimes ended in violence. Their purpose isn't meant to do any harm, but many people only see them as violent protests. This ties back to the sit ins that took place in the 60s as a new way of peaceful protesting. Both strive to get their point across through protesting peacefully. Another example of peaceful protesting today would be the Save the Earth protests, the Women's March, and marches for peace and ending war.
On February 1st, 1960, four African American college students were ordering coffee at the local Woolworth coffee shop in Greensboro North Carolina. As they attempted to order, the server refused to serve them because of their skin color. This caused the four students to patiently sit and wait to be served. This was the first known sit-in type protest. The new non violent way of protesting was inspired through Martin Luther King Jr. and his belief of peaceful protesting. The Black Lives Matter Movement was created in 2012 after the murder of a 17 year old African American boy named Trayvon Martin was shot by George Zimmerman and Trayvon was put on trial for his own murder. This was the beginning of the movement to put an end to the unfair treatment of those like Trayvon and other killings of black Americans.
Goals of the Movements
Each of the movements had relatively similar goals. One of the main goals was to get attention and spread awareness of the problem in the least harmful way possible. Political, economical, and social issues were spread through the acts of sit ins and protesting. These would be the apples on the tree.
A lot of younger, African American students were involved as well as people who supported racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. was the main icon of the non-violent protesting. His ways of peaceful protesting spread around quickly and many people began following his ways of protesting. In the 1960's, African American's were the most involved because a very large percentage of whites didn't support the equality of the races, but it eventually turned around as more people began to support racial equality. Today, a wide variety of races are fighting for African American rights as long as the rights for other races as well.
Obstacles and Impacts
Sit ins were very hard because most of the time people didn't like the protesting so they would retaliate to the protest and because the sit ins were a peaceful protest they couldn't do anything back. To fix that they just rallied together and took beatings but at the end of the day they knew they won. Another obstacle that had to be faced was police and those who were against their views. Though their protests were peaceful, it often ended up with some sort of violent act as people disliked the large crowds of people in public places.
The Final Outcome
Sit ins had a very big impact on protests today whereas a lot of peaceful protests occur just to grab attention like blocking a road or laying down in a mall. Sit ins aren't as common anymore, as there is no longer extreme segregation between whites and blacks. But MLK's beliefs of peace and equality started a revolution for equality and fair treatment of the races in present time.
(2017, May 3). Black Lives Matter. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://blacklivesmatter.com/about/
Peaceful Protests Are Not a Crime. (2017, February 11). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/opinion/sunday/peaceful-protests-are-not-a-crime.html?_r=0