You know what really grinds my gears?
This protest against the Albuquerque Police Department.
What started off as a somewhat peaceful protest against the Albuquerque Police Department for their constant use of excessive force and recent killing of a homeless man, has now progressed into something much larger. The protest turned into a riot as more people joined the group and began to get rowdier. As Sunday wore on, the protest began to grow into something entirely different that strayed from its original cause.
I’ll start off by saying that I was not at the protest. However from what my friends have been sharing and the constant coverage being shown both online as well as on TV, I can see that what started off as a good protest, has slowly dwindled into an ineffective form of rioting.
First of all, this event has attracted four main groups of people: those who truly believe in the cause, those who hate the cops in general, those who just want to feel like they’re making a difference, and those who are simply there because they want to be cool and join the bandwagon. Now, I’ll express my own opinions on how these people have had an effect on this protest.
Yes, the APD has been known for using excessive force and I fully support those people who are protesting the cause. They are the ones who are 100% educated in the cause and fully support what they are protesting against. However, I do not agree with the rest of the people I previously mentioned. Because this is a protest against the Albuquerque Police Department, it has drawn in a numerous amount of “rebellious” people who just want to cause a ruckus and be destructive. I’ve seen countless images and videos of people flipping off and yelling obscenities at the Albuquerque S.W.A.T. members and APD officers. HOW IS THIS HELPING OR CONTRIBUTING TO THE CAUSE?! Firstly, NOT ALL POLICE OFFICERS ARE BAD. The cops that you are flipping off are the same cops that have caught drunk drivers, arrested criminals, and helped keep you safe. Yes, I KNOW that there are cops who are straight-up a**holes, BUT HOW IS FLIPPING THEM OFF OR SHOUTING PROFANITIES AT THEM HELPING ANYTHING?! Secondly, by being destructive and disrespectful, you are making it harder for anyone who has any authority to change things to agree with your cause. Do people not remember Martin Luther King Jr’s belief in peaceful protests? By resorting to violence/destruction as protesters, you are no better than the cops that are using excessive force on other people.
Another group of people that this protest has attracted are people who want to make a difference in the world, and so they join in on whatever protest is available. Now, this isn’t entirely bad because they have good intentions, but in order to be an effective member of a protest, you should at least have SOME knowledge on what it is you are protesting against. And I hate to be the one to burst people’s bubbles, but sitting on the floor and holding up a peace sign to the Albuquerque S.W.A.T. members isn’t doing much to help the cause. Yes, it makes for some great pictures, but it’s not necessarily going to make a difference…
Finally, the last group I want to talk about are the people who only want to be a part of the protest so that they can say they were there and feel included. These are the worst people because they contribute absolutely nothing to the cause. They are seriously just there because everyone else is doing it. It’s these types of people who make it even harder for officials to take the protest seriously because those people have no clue what they are talking about and are just there to look cool. I’ve been seeing countless images of people taking “selfies” with the S.W.A.T. team in the background just because it makes them look “cool” or “funny.”
I know I’ve definitely insulted several people with this post, but that is NOT my intention. The point I am trying to make is that in order to have a successful protest, people need to be aware and well-informed on whatever it is that they are protesting. If you want to make a difference, you need to TRULY believe in the cause you are participating in, or else it’s just chaos and ignorance. YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESORT TO VIOLENCE TO HAVE AN EFFECTIVE PROTEST.