Protesting a right, but not at expense of other's property, highways

Protesting a right, but not at expense of

By Eric Becker

The Write Team

CARLINVILLE (Oct. 19, 2017) – Let me start by saying I am not anti-protest, although I don’t think I’d ever join a protest movement.

The biggest thing I ever protested was when J.D. Drew arrived in Philadelphia to play his first game there in 1999, I traveled there just to boo him in person.

While he scratched a fingernail and couldn’t play that night in August, 1999, I still felt a sense of belonging, as I was able to boo him alongside several other bitter Phillie fans during batting practice.

However, there is a good way to protest and an evil way to protest. See Ferguson, circa 2014.

Whatever attempt for people to air out their complaints in a forum where everybody can be seen and heard.

I dreaded the day the decision came on the most recent police shooting verdict. It came on Friday, Sept. 15. I heard about it on the radio driving back from the grocery store.

Not guilty. One little word – not – can conjure up so much emotion, and I don’t blame anybody for their views. I do blame those who feel the need to take out frustrations on the innocent and their property, however.

I thought the officer might be found guilty given some evidence, but the judicial system apparently did its part and the judge ruled for the defendant in this case.

It’s a hard pill to swallow for many. African-Americans in St. Louis and all over the country for that matter have called for an overhaul of the judicial system.

Their frustrations are understandable. I cannot be put in their position.   But what’s not fair is how a small group of antagonists can create fear, chaos and terrible destruction of property that don’t belong to them.

Protesters want their voices to be heard. Which is fine. They want to inconvenience some, cause them to turn around and look. Which is fine.

Disrupting an interstate freeway at any time is something I don’t condone, however. There are better venues to express one’s view. I feel like you are just threatening your own life if you decide to try that method.

I dread the day I hear about a protest on an interstate that turned deadly when someone who is not patient decided to ram through the crowd with his or her vehicle. That day is coming.

While I admit I was surprised there weren’t more violent protests in the St. Louis area, there were those vandals who decided to break windows of small-business owners in the downtown and the Delmar Loop areas of St. Louis, along with the Central West End.

This is unacceptable. Weekend concerts had to be canceled by the fear these thugs put to the city. Security could not be guaranteed at these venues because of the need to be protecting other areas of St. Louis that evening.

A canceled concert seems small in the whole grand scheme of things.

I applaud all the protesters who protested in a peaceful, hopefully meaningful way over the past couple of weeks. It’s the start of a healing process. Maybe some good will come out of it, like intellectual conversation, perhaps?

I’ve been disappointed in the way this country has been showing hatred and disdain for either the president, or protesters, the media, the police, or whomever.

It’s our right to protest. It’s our right to be upset. But let’s just do it in a sensible manner, please.