Protests are not inherently bad. There is much good that can be accomplished through protesting in fact. But not all protests are the same.
There is, in fact, a difference between peaceful protesting and rioting.
By definition, the Black Lives Matter demonstrations which largely took place in the summer of 2020 crossed the line from protest to riot very quickly.
Cornell Law School defines a riot as a “concerted action made … through the use or threat of violence, disorder, or terror to the public; and resulting in a disturbance of the peace. Under common law, the crime of riot requires the assemblage of three or more actors.”
A protest, by contrast, is a “public remonstrance or demonstration (usually expressing dissent) centered around an act or policy of a governing body … [which] constitutes as an instance of civil resistance, or nonviolent resistance, when it is part of a larger systematic and peaceful nonviolent campaign aimed at achieving a specific objective by use of pressure and persuasion.”
So by definition, BLM demonstrations can be called riots.
In 2020, the world watched as BLM riots swept across the country. After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, thousands turned out to take a stand against police violence. Sadly, many of those “peaceful protests” resulted in violence, vandalism and even death.
Headlines like “14 Days Of Protests, 19 Dead,” “Deaths at protests from Kenosha to Portland, but motive tells different story,” and “At least 25 Americans were killed during protests and political unrest in 2020.” should be a pretty strong indication that not all the BLM demonstrations were as peaceful as media outlets were saying.
If the headlines don’t say enough, then watch videos from the riots to see the damage that was done.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic content.
Look at Portland, Oregon, which began looking like a war zone.
Yet the media is insistent that the violence and damage that these “protests” did was only marginal.
“The vast majority of Black Lives Matter protests — more than 93% — have been peaceful, according to a new report published Thursday by a nonprofit that researches political violence and protests across the world,” Time Magazine reported.
Harvard Radcliffe Institute wrote, “In fact, the Black Lives Matter uprisings were remarkably nonviolent. When there was violence, very often police or counterprotesters were reportedly directing it at the protesters.”
But in the same breath, the media wants to vilify those who are protesting the vaccine, mask and lockdown mandates which have swept America in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. News headlined that “Mask, Vaccine Conflicts Descend Into Violence and Harassment.” But then the article went on to describe that protesters merely showed shouted at people and showed their anger.
“The Hawaii lieutenant governor watched in horror as protesters showed up outside his condo, yelled at him through bullhorns and beamed strobe lights into the building to harass him over vaccine requirements,” U.S. News reported.
Sure, it’s not ideal for protesters to harass officials and show up outside their homes, but that is a far cry from being shot dead while simply on guard duty outside a federal courthouse, as happened to 53-year-old Dave Underwood. That is the fundamental difference between a protest and a riot.
In fact, the COVID-related protests have been marked by unusual peace.
In New Zealand, after knocking down a barricade, protesters made sure to put it back up.
Meanwhile, in September, when COVID protesters gathered in Los Angeles, there were no problems.
“Dozens of anti-vaccination protesters gathered for a rally Saturday in front of Los Angeles City Hall, but unlike previous gatherings no counter-demonstrators turned out and things remained mostly peaceful,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
You can disagree with anti-vaccination, mask and lockdown arguments, but it’s undeniable that these protests have been largely peaceful. They are actual protests, not riots.
Interested people — everyone who is being asked to get the vaccine, wear a mask or stay home — are declaring their dissent or disapproval. They are not looting stores, they are not targeting and killing officers, they are not destroying billions of dollars of property.
If you have any doubts, look no further than the reports, videos and articles on each to see the difference.
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