Make Some Noise
Not since the Vietnam conflict have our nation’s streets been riddled with so many protests, and Arizona is no exception. While Trump apologists struggle to spin a narrative about “paid protestors” being responsible, the truth is something else altogether. Every week – and often several times a week – your friends and neighbors are taking to the streets to agitate against the greed and hate that has infected our nation. So many people – young and old, men and women, people of color and white – have become activists virtually over night, including many of the people responsible for this website.
What’s the Thinking Behind Protests?
Some would argue there really isn’t any – that it’s more a gut reaction to policies and attitudes that offend people on a personal level, and there may be something to that. But the bigger question is this: “Do protests actually do any good?”
1) They bring like-minded people together. In a state as “mixed” as ours – conservatives and liberals living in close proximity to each other – being able to share your fears and frustrations with others is deeply therapeutic. The relationships that are forged in protests can also be used for other actions – postcard writing campaigns, etc.
2) They can be a spur to action for members of congress. Nobody likes a pain in the ass client; you’ll do just about anything to make them stop bothering you. The same is true for our elected officials. Do you think Jeff Flake loves the fact that he can’t go to his local office without squeezing past picketers? Over time this is bound to shape their actions, particularly as election time nears.
3) They are a release valve. As history has taught us, when you stifle protests you get violence in its place. Simple as that.
How do I Stay Safe at a Protest?
Anytime you have a large number of people in a small geographic location, you run the risk of things going wrong. For small scale protests (50 or fewer people) there’s really not much to worry about for the most part. For large scale demonstrations (think the “Women’s March”) things can go south pretty quickly, particularly if there are people there who’ve come solely to make trouble. This short guide is a pretty good one for preparing for an event that you think might get out of hand.
I’m in: When’s the Next Protest?
If you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’ll find a constantly-updated list of protests, marches and rallies on our website. (We’re still trying to work out what the differences are between the three…)