My fellow citizens, it is my guess that if Martin Luther King junior peered into our society today, he would be vexed after realizing that all his efforts to fight for equity were just wrapped with velvet and dumped in a flowing sewer. Despite all the tribulations and afflictions endured by billions of civil workers in the previous generations in fight for their rights, it still seems that all their pleas have been falling on deaf ears (Dorian Cope p2). It would be unwise for the present generation to relax and wait for matters to solve themselves out. In deed, that would be analogous to the foolish ostrich that buries its head in the sand with the assumption that no danger can befall it as long as it does not see its adversary.
My friends, with the current intimidations by the top ranking government officials on the potential negative effects of holding peaceful demonstrations by the civil workers to claim for their rights, many have been held a bay and feel that they should comply with the so-called peaceful resolutions. Well, learning from the past should guide you on deciding whether or not to comply with the set “declarations”. It is high time that we ask ourselves for how long these promises have been set forth before and how many of the promises have been fulfilled.
There are some prickly issues that can be resolved by just a two-party dialogue or what I simply refer to as “solving a matter over a cup of tea” but there is a level that a case may no longer be considered to be prickly (Dorian Cope p1). At its prickliest level, it perhaps demands a more advanced strategy to express your feelings in a language that the authorities will understand, which is mostly a peaceful protest. Due to the notion that the government is thrilled by the fact that protests attract international ridicule, it hastens its response towards requests that are likely to be followed by a protest. I am pretty sure that you all understand the simple procedure that is followed when carrying out a non-violent campaign. There are normally four major steps that are followed: collecting facts to establish whether there really are injustices as people claim, cooperation, self purification and finally taking a direct action (Research and Education Institute p4).
All these steps are what the civil workers have been undergoing but it is only a pity that the government is either too rude to respond or it procrastinates a lot to fulfill its “promises” to the future generations. In fact, we are not guaranteed that there will ever be proper exercising of the civil workers’ rights as up to date none of the promises made to Martin Luther has been fulfilled apart from the very basic that nature seems to dictate their fulfillment. These gaping facts justify the saying that injustice has engulfed this nation and unless something is done, workers will dwell in the quagmire of oppression and other injustices as their rights continue to be violated day after the other.
As a result of civil disobedience which involves disobeying the law on the basis of political and social backgrounds, many unions have been able to incite the society to accept a dissenting point of view. Most of the time, if not always, these protests have succeeded in their quests and the people involved have been receiving their requests. If I may call unto you to flashback on the American history, peaceful demonstrations have been a key strategy to seek reforms that we today take for granted (Starr p2).
There are innumerable cases but the some of the most renowned include the Boston Tea Party when the citizens of the Massachusetts’ colony felt that they ought not to pay taxes to the British without having a representative. It was after this protest that the United States was established as a sovereign state. You can also recall what happened in the late 19th century when women had been denied the right to vote. They all harmoniously embarked on the Women Suffrage Movement that lasted from 1848 to 1920, when large numbers of women marched along the streets, persevered hunger and some were arrested and locked in jails in order to gain the right to vote (Starr p5). Well, did they achieve their objective? Sure they did.
Slavery abolition was another prickly issue that was resolved by demonstrations. Many resistance actions by those who were demonstrating including the underground railway by Tubman which acted as a sanctuary aided in ending slavery completely. I also refer you back to what happened after the labor unions felt that they are being over exploited: there was introduction of labor laws and unions which organized for the sit-down strikes led by the IWW. This in addition to the unrestricted speech confrontations facilitated improvement of the working conditions, improved job security and benefits, initiated the 40-hour work week and eradicated child labor (Starr p7).
Time, like money, is a very crucial element that dictates how everything will be done. It further adjusts procedures that had earlier planned to be used in carrying out a particular activity due to its perishable nature. Squandering time and procrastination are the sole reasons as to why some people are regarded as potential managers and others as incapable hence the old adage that time is money. It would not only sound bizarre but also insane for an upcoming researcher to spend ten years researching on a certain drug that was earlier on discovered by other researchers a decade ago. Similarly, from the above accounts, many people have reached a concurrence that calm legal measures in addressing issues do not always work. The individuals earlier mentioned had tried lobbying, writing letters, petitioning, voting for candidates that they thought would hearken to their cries but all of these did not bear any fruits. Their views had ever been ignored.
In all those struggles, protesters were compelled to embrace yet more advanced strategies and this made them move a step further to sacrifice their own comfort, to risk going to jail, give up their freedoms, as well as face untold dangers (Starr p8). They were propelled into action by their love for truth and justice. Though they did not enjoy what they were fighting for, we, their descendants, are enjoying the fruits of their labor. On top of that, we consider them legendary worriers whose efforts totally transformed this nation from worse to better. It is thus true that whoever wants to retain his or her life must give it away for the sake of the others. It is ridiculous that despite living in a time that we should be working hard towards the prosperity of our future generations, we still laze at the belief things will ever solve themselves out. How selfish have we been that we would only like to enjoy the sweat of others that existed before us but we find it unworthy to persevere for the sake of the forthcoming generations?
I should be well understood that I am not for the idea that people should become aggressively violent, but it is clear that peaceful demonstrations have mostly, if not always been associated with success. The authorities out there must understand that peaceful protests are not intended to be hostile acts to compete with the police officers and the jail guards (Taibbi p14). On the contrary, they are designed to make the government perceive the importance of a particular group of people and heed their pleas. Protesters will always take positive steps to reaffirm their position that they are not criminals and that they are working towards freeing the nation from oppression, social injustices and above all environmental suicide.
Normally, decision on whether to carry out a demonstration is hard to make since the subjects involved have to get prepared for both the physical and psychological pain that associate the action. Additionally, such people are mistaken by the law enforcement bodies as rebels. It also posses a dilemma for protesters who might want to talk to the arresting officer, but is not ready to listen and drags them across the ground. This confirms that everything valuable comes by at a cost and they have to sacrifice their reputation for their future. It has also been said that what costs nothing is worth nothing and hence we should not relax and wait for manna from heaven that we have not worked for. In fact, God helps those who help themselves.
We are a nation that is living in the perilous times when the gluttonous leaders are restlessly working hard towards exploitation in order to fill their bottomless stomachs. For those of you who think that we protests are to be shunned, you are just but deluded. What you should understand is that assuming that there will come a time when things will normalize and the fierce lions will resemble a harmless docile lamb, get your answer now that such will never happen. On the contrary, what is likely to happen is they will earn yet another position of becoming the aggressive lionesses which devours even what it is not feeding on just because it is an obstacle along its way.
I personally was wrong about something sometimes back: I did not like the way protesters focused on their problems and hindered normal running of businesses along the streets. I thought it primitive and unwise. I thought, after all these are just but troops of rebels who found it fun marching along the streets and chanting slogans to motivate the weaklings amongst themselves. I sometimes justified the police for mopping the ground with a human’s bottom and painting the walls of the streets with bleeding bruises of the protesters. I later realized that I was terribly wrong. Police officers are symbols of problem themselves (Taibbi p12).
All around the country, thousands of armed police officers have been deployed to not only discourage riots but also to assault the innocent crowds of protesters with extreme brutality. Some of the pains inflicted to the protesters sometimes last throughout their lives and some are even forced to sacrifice their careers not mentioning tens of them who lose their lives leaving behind innumerable numbers of orphans, widows and widowers (Taibbi p14). These are just a few of the reasons as to why there is a chain of problems in a nation that regards itself to be democratic. People can hardly express themselves freely without being literally gagged by the authorities after being labeled as rebels whose intentions are overthrowing the government or inciting the rest of the public into violence.
Finally, there is one more thing that all humans would like to attain in life; contentment. Just like Thomas Macaulay put it, “The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.” It has ever been said that the end justifies the means and as such, if it is only through protests that our quests can be quenched, I would recommend that everyone devote themselves for the well-being of the entire society. Let each one of us ask ourselves: am I making the right choice worth? In conclusion, I would like to once again congratulate all of you for this honor. You are undoubtedly the best of the best. Enjoy yourselves but do not forget what Mother Teresa said, “life is a promise, fulfill it”