Pro: Protesting is more than just effective, it is necessary


Laura Amador-Toro

Students protest as a demonstration of support for tighter gun control. The student-led March for Our Lives took place in downtown Dallas on March 24, resulting in a turn out of about 5,000 people.

Camila Villarreal, Staff Writer

Protests induce change.


Three simple words can cause heated arguments at the dinner table. Headlines flash with immediate news of the Women’s March and the Time’s Up movement and everyone suddenly has an opinion about everything.


This is nothing we have not seen before, but when does the debate end? At some point, the people deserve some facts.


There are several types of protests that have been used to get a point across, such as the chain-yourself-to-a-tree protests and your classic hold-up-signs-and-walk-around protests. Mentioning them may have pulled up an image in your brain of what I mean, probably because some of them have been so big and controversial they became historical presences in society.


Let’s take racism, for example. In today’s world, the modern anti-racism movement is Black Lives Matter, an organization intent on intervening between violence against black communities by law enforcement.


Fighting against oppression, racial inequality, biased political and social views… sound familiar? If the 1960s in the United States did not pop into your head, something is wrong.


Protests and uprisings that began because of these same reasons include the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Sit-Ins, the Freedom Ride, Birmingham, the March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer and Selma – just to name a few.


The outcomes? Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice and Negro History Week extended to Black History Month.


With all of this proof, it is still a wonder that people doubt the effectiveness of what protesting can do.


“Awareness has a way bigger effect than people think it does,” said Coppell High School junior Molly McGill, who helped organize the CHS March For Our Lives walkout in March. “When someone forces you to listen by interrupting your daily schedule and protesting, you notice. Especially through social media.”


Social media is an easy way for any person to access the progress or status of any march they would like in seconds, and it also serves as a good way to keep us politically informed in the most convenient way possible. Take the #MeToo hashtag movement for example. Whether you think it has strayed from its original path or you love and support the cause with all your being, this movement essentially dismantled Hollywood and put it back together again.


“I watch the news every single morning and I have a ton of news apps on my phone,” CHS sophomore Natalie Adams said. “I’m very involved in public events or protests that can get my voice out there. I feel that it’s really important to be informed about the society I’m living in.”


March For Our Lives is another extremely predominant torpedo of change that paved its way into the limelight this past year. It put the government on the spot about student safety in America and gun violence, which influenced thousands of schools across America to take extra precautions concerning the admittance of strangers into the building, including our own.


It also invigorated the debate about whether or not politicians should accept money from the National Rifle Association. March For Our Lives provided an overall awareness of gun violence and the consequences – the lost lives of children who were just trying to go to school – of not taking protective action the moment it is called for.


“A lot of people that are against protesting view is as something full of aggression and violence, when most of the time, that’s not the case,” Adams said.


Protesting pushes modern society to keep thinking and debating about new things. It brings up issues that we need to solve to better the situations of everyone who requires it. In these forms, it is effective. If not for protesting and misalignment amongst people in the world, would anyone ever have the drive to keep going?


It is not just societies or countries that are influenced, it is the individuals who change, too.


“Politics has shaped who I am because it’s made me a lot more open to certains things I wouldn’t have considered before, such as accepting different groups of people whose struggles I didn’t really understand before I got into politics,” CHS sophomore Jordyn Morris said.


There is no doubt people will continue to protest about things they believe need to change.


Whether it be a disturbance in politics such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 or a societal conversion like the Suffrage Movement in 1848, protests do something. We need to acknowledge that sometimes chanting and holding up signs is the only way to get the government’s attention.


Instead of refusing to participate in protests because we believe they will not do much, we should stop limiting ourselves before we even take steps to try and put our voice out there.