This person has the same feelings towards protestors that are too focussed on shocking and shaming people outside of the debate and/or on the opposing side. If people are too focused on making sure they are noticed and heard then the message they are trying to convey can actually take a back seat. It becomes a circus of angry chants and graphic imagery. One that confronts people to aggressively so that they are too put off to actually give the arguments being shoved in their faces a chance!
There are of course extremists involved in most political movements, especially those that broach on religion. There should be no room in the law for those who exploit civil and human rights to harass, harm, or bully others with conflicting values!
Definitely worth a read, just goes to show why we need to be #civilaboutliberties . The issue itself becomes overlooked, protestors start to use shock tactics, intimidation and bullying so they are heard. But it costs them the grounds of a rational argument.
This prolifer understands that if she wants to make a change she can protest with out bullying. It gets a bit preachy towards the end, but i really respect the fact that she recognises that anger is getting in the way of a constructive dialogue. When people are abusing each other the issue is put the side and no one gets anywhere. A protest is about representing a message, not forcing your beliefs on to others by way of intimidation and harassment.
In Australia, we do not have a constitution that guarantees us the first amendment rights that so many protestors in America jump behind when questioned about what they are doing standing outside abortion clinics protesting as aggressively as they do. We do have however, our own constitution that provides us with 5 basic freedoms. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of movement. The first 3 from that list would suggest that in a protest situation the protestors are merely exercising these freedoms and as such have every right to be there expressing themselves, and for the most part they do. However as soon as other parties start feeling harassed, intimidated or bullied, there are other laws that are in place to protect them from being persecuted, and as such the law is obligated to intervene. Protestors should be free express themselves, but not at anyone else expense. One persons liberties do not out way anyone else’s. Offensive signage and stand over tactics are protest strategies that cross the line when it comes to public decency and civil liberties.
Those of us lucky enough to live in a democracy understand the true power of civilised debate. Our governments function by looking at issues, discussing them, and negotiating law and policy based on the best interests of their constituents. Whilst the actual parliamentary debates might not be as “civilised” as we would like them to be, they do take place in accordance to certain protocols that assure that everyone involved is respected and has a chance to express their views, thoughts and beliefs rationally. Essentially it is a dialogue designed to argue one point of view against another.
I have been looking at a lot of content over the internet, searching for anything related to our cause and i keep hearing people coming back to freedom of speech, “you cant stop me from protesting, i have freedom of speech”. Yes we understand you are entitled to certain civil liberties that do give you the right to protest abortion. But they are CIVIL liberties, and as the name would suggest they need to be exercised with a certain degree of civility.
So if you do decide to protest an issue please make sure to be civil about your liberties!
As I write this, my government’s been out of commission for 13 days. Locked in an epic standoff, the two polarized parties running Washington would rather run us into the rocks than find a middle ground.
One only need visit Twitter, Facebook, or even their local church to see that the poisonous polarization in Washington is being played out regularly in every American city. Somehow we’ve come to a place where every political, theological, or ideological discussion becomes a zero-sum game—I can’t win unless you lose.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
While it’s important to have convictions, they don’t have to be held in a way that undermines public dialog and civility.
Here are some tips to help you hold tight to your principles without being an insufferable jerk.
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Bullying, its everywhere. Every facet of society, from the school yard to the office, to the side walk. In many cases it can be a matter of perspective. Some people don’t even know that they are doing it. But they are. Standing outside an abortion clinic offering council or an alternative to a woman exploring her options sounds fine. But in reality there is an obvious element of intimidation at play. To think otherwise is a bit ridiculous.
These women are already struggling with their situation, having to face a gauntlet of judging faces and being handed literature that demonizes them while they are trying to enter a building is not peaceful.
I support society’s right to protest for the things that they believe in. We live in a democracy and as such people have a right to voice an opinion and everyone should be heard. But just because your views don’t match mine doesn’t mean that i should stand outside your home or work once a year for 40 days, giving you flyers that tell you that I’m right and why as you are until you eventually concede.