We live in a culture with many people unaware of how to protest without creating a greater divide between the problem and the solution.
Online social movements and community involvement can act more like a hobby rather than a civic duty. Educating the people is a way to teach them to lead.
“If you just show up on a street corner to panhandle or picket without a permit you could be asked to leave or even get arrested,” says adjunct professor Joel Campbell.
Knowing your rights and rules of your surrounding area is a civic duty as an American citizen. The problem isn’t a lack of attempts, but of how effective these attempts have been.
“The famous case that is in the Supreme Court case law is where Neo-Nazis wanted to have a parade in Skokie, Illinois, a heavily Jewish town. Obviously [this is] going to be offensive to the Jewish community, but completely protected and controlled by time, manner and place. Allowing them to march on this street, at this time, in a peaceful non-violent manner,” says Campbell.
While anyone has the right to protest, the law says that the government can tell a person when and where to do so.
“You have a right to protest but the government can control time, manner and place with regards to protesting,” says Campbell.
A simple cool head and a permit can avoid riots. A person will need to compromise based on the government’s right to decide where to hold an assembly but not what is said during an assembly.
SLCC students have many ways to get their voice heard. One way is to be a part of the SLCC Student Association (SLCCSA). The primary purpose of SLCCSA is to inspire and provide opportunities for students to be leaders and have their voice heard.
Students in COMM 1610 travel to the capitol to report the “happenings on the hill” at our State Capitol every week. Every day from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. students can attend these House Floor Debates or listen to audio and video captured at these events.
Clean Air, No Excuses photo gallery by Jayde Adam