Forms of Protest

The Civil Rights Vs. Today

1950s & 60s

During the Civil Rights Movement the African-American community and their supporters fought for blacks to be treated equally in public, in the justice system, and in the voting booths. To get their point across they used very successful forms of protest such as sit-ins, boycotts, marches, and freedom rides. What each form of protest has in common is that each participant did not use violence towards the people against them. They took each blow to the face, degrading remark, and terrifying threat with strong confidence. They made sure to do the right thing even if it wasn't the easiest thing, and not stoop down to their enemy's level with a punch or comment in return. These courageous acts can be seen in a lot of events of the Civil Rights movement including the Montgomery Bus Boycott during 1955 & 1956, the Little Rock Nine of 1957, the Lunch Counter Sit-ins in 1960, the Freedom Rides during 1961, & the Birmingham, Alabama Demonstrations of 1963. The African-American community's nonviolent forms of protest were extremely successful in making the enemy look just like that, an enemy.
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Today the list of issues being brought to society's attention by protesters continues to grow on a daily basis. People are protesting about politics, LGBT rights, religious beliefs, equality in the workplace, and, most recently, racial profiling. For the most part people are using the same tactics as the Civil Rights Movement such as strikes, sit-ins, and marches. Those peaceful protesters are overshadowed, however, by those protesting through vandalism, murders, and starting towns on fire. The people behind the violent protesting do not realize that their ways are not supporting their cause. It makes them look like the enemy even though they are trying to show the world that they are the innocent ones. These unsuccessful forms of protest have mostly been seen in racial profiling issues like in Ferguson and Baltimore. The citizens of America have ended up more upset with the protesters rather than with what they are protesting, which goes to show that the protesters aren't helping to bring positive attention to the issues at hand.
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