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Abuse of power?

In Editorials on December 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

By: Drew Marshall

            In the past weeks, protestors have been in the media constantly. Many are protesting Wall Street, and others are just sitting in for personal beliefs. What is gaining more attention than the protestors, however, is the way in which the authorities deal with them. In the recent U.C. Davis protest, a video was taken showing a police officer pepper spraying a group of protestors at a sit-in. The video, although brief, caused a great stir in the world, as people became outraged at the apparent abuse of power. But, the story cannot be that one-sided. In my opinion, protests are important to an extent, but the recent ones seem to only want to stir a reaction in the authorities.

Protests are a simple way of getting what one wants, but when it becomes a way to exploit the authorities present, it becomes a problem for society. Photo courtesy of Kristen Hegel

Protests have their place in modern society. If people do not like something, the American thing to do is to fight for what you believe in. But there is a limit. Eventually, police officers or other types of authority must take control of the situation, as it is their job. The U.C. Davis protestors may have had their place, but the police officer who took action was only trying to do his job. The only thing that was shown to the public was the abuse, and this is what protestors today really want. They want to make the authority in the situation abuse them in some way so that they can be the martyr.

            There are always two sides to an argument. That is what protests are: simple arguments between two sides who are not receiving what they want. The Wall Street protestors are the same way. They are not receiving what they desire, the money that they think they are entitled to, and they are trying to do something about it. But this is not the way to go about it. The Occupy Wall Street movement simply wants people who have money to give other people money. Capitalism only works if people receive money who have earned it. Though the economy is tough at the time, people who have money should not be painted in a negative light, because they have worked just as hard as anyone else. This is America, and people who work hard earn money, not people who simply demand it.

            Protests are not my favorite way of going about a movement, but they have their place. Sometimes points must be made, but once they are, the movement should stop. The Wall Street movement is now meaningless, as it has lost value to the public. The only point of the protest is to make the authorities look bad, which paints the protestors in the positive light. Trying to get your way in America has its place like anything else: you have to work for it. If people are not happy with the way their life is, they have the option to vote for their own representatives in Congress. America has ways of getting what you want, and long-term protests is not the way to do it, especially if the only goal is to express the right.

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