Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Protesting Leads to War Not Peace

Washington, DC is a symbol for democracy, growth and empowerment; and what would the district be without its common protesters?

For those that have not been following the news: Washington, DC has received another tirade from angry protesters ( “October 2001/Stop the Machine” ) fighting with those that will listen, in an effort to end all wars (ironic, isn't it?). This only came two weeks after the NYC protest which lead to 700 arrests.

But, 2pm yesterday marked the end of the protesters' alloted time to stand blocks away from the White House gates to fight for the freedom of our troops.

Police were ready to arrest yesterday at 2pm - and the protesters were ready to be arrested - stating that they would fight for their cause. But, protesters received an offer yesterday from police announcing that the protesters would be allowed to march for another four months. And, after hours of consideration, they politely accepted.

“It was a no brainer,” said Mr. Kauff, adding that protesters are willing to share with such groups as those participating in the dedication this weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. However, he was unsure how long protesters would stay.

Margaret Flowers, another organizer, called the offer a “transformative moment.”

“And I mean that 100 percent,” she said.

These anti-war advocates won the battle this week; but what happens when advocates fight for a cause such as anti-sweatshop labor which should be heard across the globe? We don't hear about it much in the States, but it is common in Asia and in Central Asia, mainly used on child workers and women. Advocacy Across Borders reveals the relationships that Northern-based NGOs forge in order to exert influence on powerful actors in the sweatshop industry. Shae Garwood’s study of these organizations points the way forward for civil society actors reaching across borders to advocate for a better world.

Our right to protest comes with its own cost. Protesting ignites the fire and only spreads the flame. We seem to be the cause of our own war. African Security and the African Command discusses how the US created a new military presence in Africa, thus taking it upon ourselves to help Africa by enforcing our own ways of thinking. Some would suggest we only made the Africans more westernized, spreading our way of life onto them. But, does this make Africa better, or were we only trying to act as the Supreme Power?

Overall, protesting may make leaders listen, but is it worth having a civil war to end the ultimate war?

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