It’s hard to ignore the worldwide protests happening as of the past few months. The Ukrainian people have been protesting to keep themselves independent of Russian and become part of the European Union, and Venezuelan college students have been protesting for change in social inequalities.
Just this week 500 Russian protesters were arrested because the rally was unapproved, and students in Turkey faced police force for protesting the building of road through the forest near their campus. The key thing to remember is that these countries do not have the same types of laws and rights that Americans have come to take for granted.
At the core of the Ukrainian and Venezuelan protests are oppressive governments, lack of social equality, and use of unnecessary police force. It is not fair for Americans to say that any of this is happening in the U.S.A. We have our own set of problems, but we do not live in a country where the government is stripping us from our basic human rights, no citizen has rights, spelled out in the Bill of Rights/ Constitution, being taken from them, and the police force are not killing people on a wide scale and purposely inflicting harm on peaceful protesters.
The best part about being an American (citizen of the U.S.A.) is the existence of the First Amendment. Without this, any rallies done anywhere in the country would be shut down in similar ways as to those in the Ukraine and Venezuela. The police force of the area do show up to these rallies, but not since the Vietnam War has there been reports of police violently intruding on peaceful protests.
Not only were those protests in the 1960s and 1970s in opposition to the Vietnam War, but also were part of the Civil Rights Movement. Americans have protested and rose up before for social inequalities in the past; what is keeping us from doing it again?
Truth is, American citizens are doing the same type of protests and rallies. For the past decade, gay rights activists have been conducting marches and protests around the country. Just last fall, there was a rally on Capitol Hill going the moniker: “Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance,” in which over 2,000 people attended to protest the NSA spying that broke summer of 2013.
This week, USA Today posted a column about bills the federal government was going to present being tabled because of the uneasiness of the American populace in the wake of the NSA scandals and global protests. The bills were in support of license plate database to track citizen’s “comings and goings” similar to that of the NSA call monitoring.
Although these protests happen sometimes and even smaller scale rallies happen regularly, we, as Americans, do not need to fear for our lives when doing so. We can protest against the wrong doings of the government and demand reform knowing full well that we will come out of the rally alive and voices heard.