Disruptive Protests Don’t Serve a Purpose

Ann-Marie Villicana
Former Pasadena City Council Member and Realtor

Protests around the country, sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent have both helped and hurt the cause of protestors. Protests may be designed to cause discomfort but they also create negative attitudes. 

My recent experience tells the story. 

My 11-year-old boys and I were caught on the freeway this week in San Luis Obispo, which is in central California. We were going to go to have fun and go to a drive-in movie to see an old Indiana Jones film after dinner. 

On the way, through the beautiful rolling golden hills on either side of the 101 freeway, at 6 pm, I saw two police cars behind us flashing their lights. They were slowing the cars on the freeway down to a stop. A mile or so ahead of us the traffic was at a standstill. We figured that there was a bad car accident. Not wanting to get stuck on the 101 freeway for a long unknown amount of time, we got off the freeway. 

There was traffic everywhere. This is a rural area and there should not be traffic, especially in time of a pandemic quarantine. We crossed over the freeway overpass where there were 20 or so people gathered looking down at the freeway. We thought that the accident must have been terrible to attract this much attention. I glanced over the guard rails on the bridge overpass and saw that there were hundreds of people from one side to the other side on the freeway, blocking all traffic heading north and south. We stopped in the middle of the overpass and I asked one of my boys to take photos, as I could not believe what we were seeing. 

It was a “peaceful protest”  with many people carrying Black Lives Matter signs.  When I saw that it was a protest stopping all flow of traffic, all I could think was “How many people needed an ambulance or emergency service and could not get one because of this protest? “ 

The protest commenced at a park and then they veered over to the 101 freeway.  The protestors were stopping drivers, taunting drivers, they broke a windshield and injured a 4-year-old with the falling glass. Protest organizers were arrested.   

These protestors did not accomplish their goals if they planned to convince people that black lives matter, but the story is a recurring one, in that they upset many people with a protest that caused damage and injury.  They disrespected the citizens of the community and the police officers who had to be present to maintain some sort of order, but the police are unable to stop the protest once the peaceful segment ends and the evil side erupts.  Enough!

 

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