Monday, November 30, 2015

Black Friday Protests

Because of another recent incident of police brutality against an African American, this time in Chicago, people are outraged. Although there were protests and mobs earlier this past week, the biggest protest happened on Friday, the 27th of November, also known as Black Friday because of the Holiday shopping that takes place after Thanksgiving.
               These organized protests took place around some of the busiest shopping areas of Chicago. They included group chants, human barriers, and a few violent exchanges, requiring police intervention. About the violence, Parrett, a protester, said “If we get hurt, you gotta hurt too.” (USA Today).
               The protesters (and others) are petitioning for the mayor, county prosecutor, and police superintendent to be fired and for an investigation into the Justice department.

Questions:
Do you think that violent protests are allowable in this case?
Is vengeance justified even if the victims of revenge were not the perpetrators of the original sin?
Should the mayor, county prosecutor, and police superintendent be fired?

Sources:

4 comments:

Charles Cao said...

I think your first question is the interesting question in relation to the violent protests we've seen in our recent times. Obviously this was a big topic in the Ferguson Riots and the Baltimore Riots just to name a few and we've seen a lot of criticisms of violent protests as well. However, my general opinion to this issue is that How can you tell someone who feels they've been discriminated against their entire life, how to respond? Basically, I think it's extremely difficult to tell someone how they should and shouldn't behave in their demonstrations. In addition, violent protests are not just a spur of the moment, irrational act. To me, it's a strategy. The reason the Baltimore Riots and Ferguson riots got as much traction and attention as they did was because of the extreme protests that we saw. If you want national attention to your issue, sometimes it takes more than a petition or demonstration. To me, violent/extreme protests adds substance to the issue at hand, and often opens the eyes of society. Without the overwhelming number of protests, some violent and some not; events like Ferguson, Baltimore, and now even this might not have been addressed by our society at all.

Christopher Griffis said...

Although, as Charles said, it is true that violent protests do lead to a greater national impact I disagree with the idea that violent protests are needed. If the point is to protest police brutality and unjust violence it does not make sense to use violence. It would be like if someone said they hated Obama but they vote for them in an election, because they themselves are not following what they are protesting the strength and meaning of the protest weakens. Not only violent protests lead to destruction of property which means more tax money coming from the individuals protesting. It is like when a baby is crying and dumps the cereal the baby was eating and gets even sadder. Especially since we live in a society of organized government and peace there is no need to create extra violence and advocate against violence.

Cami Nemschoff said...

I think that like Charles said, the protests are a strategy to bring attention to the issue. However, I think that if taken to far, the protests can have the inverse effect. Too much violence, ruckus, and blockading can lead people to become angry, and less likely to respond to their demands. I disagree with the quote saying something about "if they hurt us we have to hurt them." This relates to the whole idea of "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Countering violence with violence is counterintuitive and can even be seen as hypocritical. I do believe though that some sort of response to the crime was necessary. If nobody ever made a reaction to events like this, nothing would ever change

TJ Bonbright said...

Violent protesting is definitely an efficient way to attract publicity and get the attention of the public. It may indeed seem justifiable to retaliate with violence against a violent opposition. If other methods fail, then it is logically to think that something more radical is necessary. However, as enticing as violence may seem in the moment, it should not been used in this case. In the short term, violent protest are successful at generating discussion about the issue, but these discussions also produce criticisms to those protesting. As Cami pointed out, responding to police brutality with violence is very hypocritical. This will cause some observers to reject the protests altogether because the means by which protesters attempt to achieve their goals may seem immoral. Even if there is an overall net gain in support for protesters, violence still is not justified. The acceptance of violent protests indirectly encourages unruly responses to issues. In order to promote a civil and orderly society, violence cannot be condoned, especially not when in protest to violence. Thus, vengeance in this form is not justified. It does not matter if those protesting did not commit the original offense, for their actions are also violent. This kind of protesting will not lead society in the direction intended by the protesters, but rather it will perpetuate the tension and violence that exists in the city of Chicago.