Turning To Violence?

We all know that violence is wrong and should not be used but we also know that it occurs quite frequently in our world. I want to discuss violence when protesting and campaigning for change.

Why do people feel the need to turn to violence when protesting on the streets? The fact is, those issues which run right through the core of our society are things which will not change through a gentle request to those in power. It is a sad but true and undemocratic fact. High unemployment, low wages, growing divisions between the rich and poor, racism and so on; these things are issues that those who hold power are not really willing to do anything about. This may be because it is advantageous to their position, to their friends or capitalism itself. 

So is violence the way forward? No, but I think we have to acknowledge that those who want to protest do not have much hope in peaceful measures. If you take a look at violent protests, it is often said that many of those involved have nothing to do with the cause they are supposedly protesting for but that is quite a sweeping statement. They may have nothing to do with the spark but they may still feel wronged, along with all of their fellow protesters.

Peaceful protests were once held up as the idealised way forward to bring change in a democratic society but the reality is democracy is failing. If it wasn’t then in 2003 when over a million people marched against the Iraq War in the UK, it would have resulted in the government not getting involved. If democracy truly worked, then there would have been no raise of the tuition fee in the UK two years ago when hundreds of thousands of people campaigned against it. If democracy worked, then the only peaceful protests which were successful would not be ones which only call for more women’s rights or to save the forests. Not that these things aren’t worth campaigning for, it is merely that they are mostly advantageous to those in power or they simply have no problem with it. Very rarely, have governments truly responded to the requests of their people without any hidden motive or agenda.

So whilst violence is of course unacceptable, you can trace the shift from peaceful protests to violent ones over the last few decades. Disenfranchised masses have lost hope in their government which is why many have taken to the streets in places like North London a few years ago or in Ferguson today. Direct democracy needs to increase and the people need to really be listened to. 

How can this change? Well, democracy needs to work. If the people want a change, then they should receive it even if the people in charge are not of the same opinion. 

I am sure you will agree with me that there is very little chance of that happening so in the meantime, I fear that violent protests will become more frequent.

11 thoughts on “Turning To Violence?

  1. Violence is absolutely NOT the way to achieve change, whether it’s in the UK or America. I’m guessing that you watched coverage of our violence last night in the US because of the legal judgement of the jury. Many, many of those protesting were setting fires in businesses owned by people of their own race! What does that achieve? It really just reinforces the feeling among prejudiced people that “they’re all the same.” Well, they’re NOT all the same! Most people want to become independent financially and spiritually and are decent people. This small fringe of our citizens wanted to take advantage of situation to loot businesses for cell phones and liquor! Martin Luther King would be appalled at this behavior. So would Mother Teresa! Education and individuals’ spiritual renewal will solve most of these problems. Satan was having a field day last night in many of our cities! Thank God, I Who wins the battle. Okay, I’m done preaching! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Gandhi’s example worked – peaceful non co operation. The British government sure didn’t want to free India but in the end they had to. That method took a long time and immense courage on behalf of the demonstrators though. You are right a peaceful protest is not sufficient when the cause goes against the powers that be, but as has been stated violence doesn’t work either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm of course Ghandi’s methods weren’t the only thing which caused the British government to give up India but yes, it certainly played a great role. However, would Ghandi’s methods work in the US or UK today?
      I think many of the people are turning to violence in desperation and perhaps even ‘experimenting’ with their methods of protest.


  3. Agreed (about other factors)
    I think they could still work were there a leader of Gandhi’s caliber (incredibly brave, dedicated, persuasive and extremely smart) sadly I don’t see one around so the violence is liable to escalate.
    An interesting aspect is whether the violence is “homegrown” or instigated. It certainly plays right into the hands of the powers that be, making excusable more stringent laws and loss of liberty in order to “protect” the populace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. great post .

    i blogged about this a year ago it was called ” Stripping freedom and democracy” but i didnt address the late trend of resolving to violence .
    i think democracy is a vague term and it is simply the dictatorship of the majority over the minority cause that is what voting is about, back in the days there wasnt enough social media for the minorities to rally that layer was easy to track and quell plus when injustice is present the triggering event cant be controlled it will be tweeted facebooked etc etc.
    plus according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs a person needs to belong to a group especially in early stages of life and with society now being broken and most people have virtual friends but no real ties it is easy for radical groups to recruit those who need to feel loved and to feel that they serve a purpose and a calling that factor is is a major factor in societies were there is a struggle perhaps like occupied countries or after wars were one would lose parents , friends loved ones .
    thanks again for a great post
    best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

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