On November 22, 2018, in the Hoover Galleria, in Hoover, Alabama, E. J. was killed by the Hoover Police. Later on, police announced that it was a mistake and that the actual suspect was arrested in Georgia. His name is Erron martez dequan Brown. There were two more injured people one was 18 years old boy Barline Wilson and another one was 12 years old girl Molly. Protesters became angry because a white police officer had killed an African-American man. So, Protester are blaming that, it was a racial murder. Right after that, people began protesting in the hundreds, and caused major and noisy disruptions in the city. The wide range protests caused ambulance delays, late office arrivals, late school arrivals, and other public disruptions.
These disruptions are a major problem, and we must guard against them. According to the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU), each person in this country is protected by the constitution and by the laws of the United States. It is a non-profit organization whose statement protects and secures the rights and laws. Recent social movements do not use proper techniques according to the Mazumder statement “The civil rights movement and more recent social movements, like the tea party, succeeded because they worked hard on three key factors: organizational, messaging and nonviolence (Mazumder).” Although there was potentially an unjust shooting, nevertheless endless protesting does not accomplish much, and it actually is against the law unless under very controlled circumstances; Therefore, we should take a step back and reconsider our lawful methods of social protest.
A gunshot aimed at the wrong person has caused many questions in Birmingham. A man with a concealed carry license died on the floor of a mall. The man was black, like the suspects. A loud and large amount of grieving and possible protest is a natural outcome of a serious police event. People have decided to protest everywhere, including the major highway 459. People have even entered the property of the mayor, getting arrested. But even though they are getting arrested, they are continuing to protest. When they promised to protest every night, “a caravan of dozens of vehicles arrived en masse at Walmart on Highway 150 about 8 p.m. Police officers from Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Alabaster, as well as Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies, were at the business and flanked protesters as they chanted and marched through the store” (Robinson, Carol). It was danger and inconvenience for the people who came to shop was the last thing the protesters cared about. Anger ruled the day.
Nevertheless, protesting creates social problems and it is a crime to violently protest. Protesters are a danger to themselves. Destruction of property during violence is not acceptable. Speeches that encourage violence are also unacceptable. When looking for authorities that address public protest, a reader may turn to the ACLU. Although the ACLU is supporting people’s rights, it also stands in support of the justice under the law. The ACLU states that one may march in a public place and even on a sidewalk without getting in trouble. But protesters have to obey traffic laws. The ACLU advises against certain behaviors: ‘… symbolic acts and civil disobedience that involve illegal conduct may be outside the realm of constitutional protections and can sometimes lead to arrest and conviction.
Therefore, Therefore, a political opinion may be expressed while sitting on the road, the law to stop traffic can be a criminal punishment.” In the past four months, Alabama has seen the kind of violent protests that spill over the line. In recent times, Birmingham protesters have pushed beyond “constitutional protections” into the gray area. This is how it all happened: According to the AL.com, “More than 100 protesters angry over the Thanksgiving night shooting death of Emantic Fitzgerald “E.J.” Bradford Jr. descended upon a couple of Hoover businesses Tuesday night and then briefly shut down a portion of Interstate 459.”
Not only did they block the highway, but they also protested in Galleria, Hoover City Hall, Sam’s Club, Target, Buffalo Wild Wings and the home of Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, which was against the law. The protests continue; they noisily protested at the Hoover Mayor’s House again, with signs that read “NO Justice NO Peace.” Even though, the listed protesting above was not a good idea for the protestors; some people might say that it was an extraordinary event, and that we have to make exceptions when public feeling runs high. In my opinion if you do something peaceful that might can bring peaceful result for you. it will create more problems if you try to break the law so, don’t try to break the law which.
All protests can be staged in places recognized for public forums and the First Amendment protects our rights to do so. Nonviolent campaigns usually attract more participants than violent campaigns because people do not want to take the risk or moral burden with guns and explosives. As well as Police does not want to gunshot to unarmed civilians or peaceful protestors, especially when people protesting with their mother, daughter, friends and neighbors. on the other hand, when people are involving in violating protest, police have to take some official step to stop them to save other non-protestors which might can be bad for violating protester. For avoid violating protester ACLU make easy solution for the people.
The solution is simply answering the following questions:
- “Can my free speech be restricted because of what I say — even if it is controversial (ACLU).” First of all, disruptive protesting is prohibited according to the first amendment rights. So, the answer of the first question is no but not for all the time because “Police and government officials are allowed to place certain nondiscriminatory and narrowly drawn “time, place and manner” restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights (McClure).”
- Do I have the right to photograph or videotape during protests? Yes, everyone has right to photograph or videotape during protests but there is a condition that you have to be lawfully in public space.
- Where can I engage in free speech activity? All citizen has right for free speech in any kind of unrestricted area such as streets, sidewalks, and parks.
- How about on private property? The law of protesting in private property is based on the property owner.
- Do I need a permit before I engage in free speech activity? Permit is not required for free speech.
- May I distribute leaflets and other literature on public sidewalks without a permit? Yes, you can distribute leaflets, newspapers, literature in unrestricted area and solicitations for donations without a permit.
- Do I have a right to picket on public sidewalks? Yes, protesters have right to picket on public sidewalks, but they have to make sure that they are not bothering other people who are not protesting.
- What do I do if I get stopped by the police? And if I’m under arrest? Can I be searched? Based on McClure statement if you are get stopped by the police “Stay calm, be polite, and don’t run. Don’t argue, resist, or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or you believe that the police are violating your rights (McClure).”
All of these questions are directly borrowed from the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU).”
In conclusion, protesting is a human right? Peaceful protesting can bring justice where disruptive protesting would create more problems. I have never believed that peace is enough answers to a world of torture – which are really exceptional cases – to respond to the armed reaction. But there is a lot of dire evidence for caution – and the reason for giving peace a chance. So, the moral of my essay is that, if you want justice, don’t break the law.
- Robinson, Carol. “Hoover Officials Say No to School Protests; Ask Public to Avoid ‘Expressions of Anger’.” AL.com, AL.com, 5 Dec. 2018, https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2018/12/hoover-officials-say-no-to-school-protests-asks-public-to-avoid-expressions-of-anger.html
- Mazumder, Shom. “Yes, Marches Can Make a Difference. It Depends on These Three Factors.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 27 Jan. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/01/27/yes-marches-can-really-matter-these-three-factors-make-the-difference/?utm_term=.059d82b817a9.
- ACLU, ACLU. “Demonstrations and Protests.” American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, 2019, https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/demonstrations-and-protests
- McClure, Laura. “What Are Your Rights at a Protest?” TED-Ed Blog, TEDEd, 29 Mar. 2017, https://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/03/28/what-are-your-rights-at-a-protest/