Here in the UK we have a right to freedom of speech, protesting is a well known part of that. Protesting and lobbying has achieved significant change over the years but when it erupts in to violence and criminality we have a serious problem. Not only does violence and criminal acts damage the very cause for which people are protesting for but it causes significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of those who are trying to create change.
Those who are protesting for equality, saving the planet and many other essentially important causes have a right to do so safely and have their voices heard. When a minority trigger violence the cause is lost in chaos, innocent professionals and protesters are injured and traumatised which can leave lasting damage for years to come as well as having their voice and cause lost amongst the missiles, shouting, fighting and aggression.
These current protests are being seen by young people across the UK. Do we want them to believe that the only way to get what they want in life is to be violent or commit vandalism, or do we want them to grow up in a safe world where they can continue to protest causes of importance and achieve peaceful change? Trying to change the way a whole society thinks is no mean feat and is a slow process but it does happen. Keep on protesting, keep on making your voices heard but please do so safely and with respect to your fellow protesters who are also there for the same reason you are.
Violence begets violence. We know that violence does not lead to peaceful revolution but simply replaces one unjust regime with another and the change does not sustain. We also know that violence spreads through communities like a virus which also spreads from generation to generation. We must make our voices heard in a peaceful manner, leading by example and embodying the world we want to create.