Protests and strikes have always been closely connected to democracy and many say that they have a right to protest. However, there is no constitution or law that grants the right to protest. We do have the right to freedom of assembly, but only if it remains violent less and in order.
In order for protests to be effective, participants need to realize that only if they stay calm, show dignity and remain within the framework of the law, the will be heard, listened too and even respected for what they believe in. Unfortunately though, not all governments respect the right of a peaceful assembly and intervene more often than not with violence to stop the masses.
The best example for a peaceful protest that turned into violent chaos are the on-going rallies and demonstrations in Ukraine. The masses just wanted to be heard but it turned ugly when the government of Ukraine responded with arrests, beatings and useless violence. After a respect less reaction of Ukrainian officials protesters had nothing to loose anymore and started taking control. They fought back, took over government buildings and lost their respect for their regime.
The Ukraine is a war zone now but other nations have realised that, if remaining calm and respectful, protests can be effective. In Hong Kong a professor started the movement called “Occupy Central with Love and Peace”. Thousands of students and more and more members of the community from other social classes are joining in for a peaceful fight for the influence of the public in politics. Hong Kong is ought to be democratic but in reality far from it.
The protests began on September 27 of this year and are still ongoing. I’m very curious to see if everyone (public and government) will be able to keep peace until the end or if it will turn out to be another Ukrainian crisis. What do you think?