All humans have their rights. Human rights are natural and universal. Therefore, any life that has the status of human deserves the right to have all human rights and freedom so long as they do not infringe other people rights. All humans have the right to equal treatment and incase of denial of any of their right without any good reason, they have the right to demand for their rights. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human right activists struggled for equal treatment, freedoms and rights using both violent and non-violent means. Leading human rights activists like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Martin Luther King among others employed peaceful demonstrations in the struggle for human rights and they achieved their purpose for the struggle. This paper shall discuss on the value of peaceful and non-violent struggle in safeguarding human rights.
Importance of Peaceful Demonstrations
The primary reason to why peaceful struggles are important is that it is the best approach when demanding for human rights. All humans have the right to have basic human rights and freedoms. They need to enjoy all universal rights so long as they do not infringe other people’s rights. However, when the government or any other institution denies them their rights, they need to demand for these rights. Many institutions take advantage of their workers and oppress them. It is evident that most institutions do not pay their workers adequately even after reaping profits of over billions of dollars. Some institutions also refuse to pay for their workers the health insurance. The management is obstinate when it comes to paying or getting into extra expenses in terms of workers allowances or welfare. The companies want to capitalize on maximization of profits at reduction of expenses. Peaceful demonstrators have license from police and other internal security forces. They lobby and demand for their rights and freedoms. This means the police will not feel their threat and will not fire live or rubber ammunition on them. They deny the workers their basic right to good pay and working conditions. In such a scenario, the workers need to approach the management for discussion and if the management fails to give into their demands, the workers have the right to use other means to get their right and good working conditions. In evaluation of other means of demanding their rights, peaceful demonstrations is the only means get their rights (Gibbens 1). When evaluating the value of peaceful demonstrations, it is important to focus on other modes that workers use to get their demands. However, people may think that peaceful demonstrations is ineffective, it is the best. The basic reason to why it is good is that it respects other people’s rights. As much as it appears useless and ineffective, peaceful demonstrations achieve its purpose without infringing other peoples’ rights (Taibbi 66). When workers go on violent demonstrations, they destroy the property of the company. They also put other public members at risk because they attack buildings, throw stones, put up fires and cause chaos all over the region. This attracts police into action who fire teargas or employ other inhuman means to calm the demonstrators down and restore order. This also put the non-demonstrating citizens into problems.
However, this does not mean that people’s rights should be infringed and when institutions are unwilling to give people their rights, people should demand for their rights. The basic way of demanding for individual rights is through diplomatic negotiations and when the institutions fail to give them what they want; they should go into peaceful demonstrations. Peaceful demonstrations are the best ways of demanding their rights. People may use peaceful means to get their rights. They may also have sit in and peaceful boycotts especially for workers and institutions. This is because it values human life and respects other people’s property. Therefore, after the people demonstrate, they gain media attention and set their demands. When institutions get into media, the employers really care about their reputation in media because poor reputation develops into crisis. The organizations know the effects of media attention and when the workers go into peaceful demonstrations they will definitely get the attention.
Peaceful demonstrations are also effective because it is suitable for economic growth and development of the society. Peaceful demonstrators are the most responsible persons because they know what they want and they know what they do. Therefore, when they are oppressed or their rights are not safeguarded, they get into streets and get correct attention to their issues before they go back to their homes and wait for solution. The violent demonstrations also slow down the economic development of a region because more businesses close down as consumers and suppliers fear participating in the economic activities because of their personal security. Moreover, violent demonstrators go on putting up fire, throwing stones and destroying buildings apart from engaging in some of the activities that cost lives. The stone they throw and fires they put up destroy property. This property costs a lot of money to put up be it roads, buildings and any other form of infrastructure. The people who die in such incidents or people who are wounded from violent demonstration miss out at work. This people are productive and highly skilled. They greatly contribute to economic growth and when their minute is wasted let alone their life, the economic development process slows down (v Gibbens1). On the other hand, citizens have the right to demand for their universal rights. Therefore, peaceful demonstration is the best solution to workers problems as well as economic development of any given country because it is safe for the countries assets, people lives and productivity.
The other reason to why citizens should embrace peaceful and non-violent protest is that they are safe. As Star (1) highlights, this approach is safe and unlikely to cause other conflicts that may arise like loss of jobs or conflicts with the state. Employers or government will not have any reason to sue peaceful demonstrators. Moreover, they will be unable to fir their workers because it is their constitutional right to demonstrate and solicit for change. This also means that the peaceful demonstrators will not destroy property or cause any form of harm to public. Moreover, they will not suffer from bullets or police tear gas. Therefore, after they rise to demand for change all the other activities will resume and their cause of action will be considered because peaceful demonstrations seek win-to-win situation. The result of both violent and non-violent protests is realization of human rights. Therefore, demonstrators need to practice safety even in demand of their rights. They need to avoid being threat to internal security and it is for this reason that demonstrators should adopt this practice.
To sum up, Non-violent and peaceful protest is the best and the most effective approach to a modern human right activists and any person seeking justice should embrace it. It is safe and secure for both the public and the demonstrators. Therefore, non-violent and peaceful protest is very important because it can abolish social injustice, give citizens their rights, respect other people’s rights and do less or no harm to the economic development of the country. A patriot is an individual who seeks justice using just means and there is no better means of seeking justice other than peaceful and non-violent protest.