Let the NATO protests begin
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
This May, thousands of people from around the world plan to flock to the streets of Chicago to protest the upcoming NATO summit.
Protests for such events provide hope for the citizens of the world. The fact that people are standing up for what they believe in shows the bright side of humanity. If governments are unaware of what their people believe in, then the economy and other struggling aspects of our current society can never be fixed. In addition, the true meaning of the word democracy would not be represented. Each and every citizen of the United States is entitled to his or her own opinion.
Much like the Occupy Wall Street protests, the NATO protests have similar goals and agendas. Both movements aim to reclaim the security of the American economy as well as end the corruption and corporate influence in every aspect of today’s society. Unlike the Occupy movement, the NATO protests will focus more closely on ending NATO’s militarily- and politically-driven agendas. The majority of NATO’s protesting population will likely be made up of Occupiers aimed at taking power away from the one percent that they feel the summit represents. Several DePaul students feel the protests are justified, although they believe the meeting is also an important part of our country’s decision making.
“I think that people should protest if they strongly believe that the meetings are unjust,” said Nathan McDuffue, a freshman. “In my opinion, I enjoy the meeting because the country I’m affiliated with is a part of the decision-making process. I do completely understand why people would oppose the meetings, though.”
“In my opinion, the meetings are essential to our country’s success,” said Jack Lapinski, a freshman. “Decisions regarding the economy and our military position are vital to pointing our country in the correct direction.”
“I understand that not everyone is positively affected by these decisions, but our main goal is to lead each and every country [who are] a part of the NATO organization in the right way,” said Lapinski.
A common misconception of the word “protest” is that these acts have the potential to become violent. Violent protests often occur when the oppressed are violently dealt with. The central goal of these activists is to simply be heard. If the beliefs that they hold strongly are not voiced, the strength of their movement cannot be fully expressed.
The protests against the NATO summit meeting are justified. While most can agree that none of what occurs should turn violent, these people have every right to be heard in a non-violent environment. If these protests were to be eliminated from the meeting, a significant portion of what the people believe would never be heard. The city of Chicago must uphold the rights awarded to the people by the First Amendment, and demonstrate to those in attendance at the NATO summit, and those around the world watching, that we welcome dialogue and free speech.
That being said, it is likely the Chicago Police Department, not the protesters, who pose the largest threat of escalating violence.