To Captivate The Media, You Have To Peacefully Protest

Gabriel Moreno Freedom of speech has always held an essential role in this country. There are several disputes, however, on whether or not violent protesting is more effective than peaceful protest. Violent protesting has its place when peaceful protest is not getting media attention. Take, for example, the Dakota Access Pipeline. People from all over the world have come to protest, yet, because it is not as exciting to the media, it has not been covered as well as it should be. The story just isn’t “entertaining” or eye-catching enough to make major headlines, even though it is a large-scale protest. This may be the only acceptable time to ever use violence as a form of protesting. If a protest on something as important as an oil pipeline that has brought global attention is not being covered, then the protesters need to have their voice shared with the public, which means getting the media’s attention. However, peaceful protest is the most effective protest. It enables the protesters to be the “bigger people,” so to speak. It enables the media to start rooting for the protesters that are being mistreated. Often, violent protest allows the very thing that you are protesting to win. If they (the oppressors) get a violent reaction out of the protesters, they may be proving their point. By using violence, you are only aiding the side of the oppressors. The very goal of protesting is to engage the media and the general population and get them to support your cause. Violent protesting therefore can have a negative impact on the way the media and the general population view and use these protests, potentially turning against them. If the general population witnesses peaceful protesters being arrested or mistreated, they are more likely to stand behind the protesters. In a protest, you need the media to stand behind you and make your cause look not only reasonable, but admirable, so that then the general population can stand behind you. That is the art of protesting, then, to be able to get the media’s attention, and then to be able to get the media’s support. You need both to have a successful and efficient protest, which means the better you can make your case to the media, the more likely they will be to support you.]]>