I am not writing this to convince anyone to support the Occupy Wall Street movement, nor I’m writing this to convince anyone they should be against it. I’m writing this because I have seen something that shocked me. The video was captured in Oakland, yet it look like something one might have seen in a newsreel showing protesting during the Arab Spring. Seeing something like that in a country that is not your own makes it difficult to attach emotion to the event, it simply does not seem real. It’s just another fact, a piece of information that is not tangible. However this is here. It isn’t over there. It isn’t across an ocean. This is home, and that completely alters how one perceives and event like this. Upon viewing this I was immediately jolted from watching another youtube video or news clip with a sense of disconnection from the reality of the images in the video when the grenade went off in the group of people trying to help the injured man on the ground. I am disturbed in the fullest sense of the word. The name of the injured man is Scott Olsen. He is currently in critical condition.
However this was not the only disturbing thing I saw in the video. Early in the video, protesters can be seen throwing objects at the police. This is not peaceful demonstration. Because of that the impact of the harm inflicted upon Mr. Olsen will be diminished. Now that is a damn shame because what I saw shocked and upset me. I would like others to empathize with my feelings of disbelief and sadness because what I saw was wrong. However, many people will tell me that I am sympathizing with rioters, not protesters.
If you are going to protest, please remain peaceful. Study the peaceful protest techniques that Dr. Martin Luther King employed. Do not resort to violence, even if violence is inflicted upon you. If you resort to violence, than you have damaged your cause irreparably. Encourage other protesters to be peaceful as well. If a protester is not being peaceful, tell him or her to stop. Tell them that they are weakening your cause. Dr. King lead an oppressed race to equality peacefully against the greatest of odds. If Dr. King was able to do this, your cause can succeed peacefully too.