Some of us may remember the many riots and other violent protests which caused major damages in cities here in the U.S., much of which was probably obtained from reading about them than being there. I remember seeing the aftermath and wondering why businesses had to suffer and people had to be harmed over a difference in a point of view.
“Protesters attacked government buildings and damaged a car carrying Prince Charles after parliament voted on Thursday to raise fees paid by university students in a vote which divided Britain’s coalition government. The move to shift the burden of paying for university teaching from state to student is the first test of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s intent to push through austerity cuts as it tries to erase a record budget deficit. It provoked fury from young protesters who have staged a series of demonstrations in recent weeks. The clashes were the worst political violence in London since a mass riot in 1990 over a local tax which helped to end to Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher’s decade in power. The lower house of parliament approved the plan by a majority of 21 votes, with 27 members of the coalition parties voting against and a handful abstaining. Students protested in the thousands across the country against the higher fees, arguing they will price out the poor.” (Abbas, Mohammed and Falloon, Matt, 12/09/2010, Reuters, Clashes as UK parliament votes for student fee rise, Retrieved from www.news.yahoo.com ).
Like many protests which may be convened as peaceful, very few end up that way, whether it is instigated by those dong the protest or by others on the opposite side. Either way it seems that the real ones who suffer is not often those arrested or jailed but those business owners who happen to locate in the area of the protest. It should be considered that any protest about any topic is a healthy thing and may be the primary way for others to take notice but the burning, looting and violence take away from the possible settlement. We spend so much time being angry at anyone and anything that we feel the need to take out that anger on our families, leaders and even businesses only to finally realize that it solves nothing and only creates other problems.
There is an old adage which says that there is power in numbers but with power comes great responsibilities and those who conduct these protests should always consider the possibilities of things getting out of control and someone getting hurt. Assaulting a building may not seem like people are getting harmed but what if you are the one who owns that building?