Thursday, December 15, 2011

Should Children Be Involved in Protests?

How strongly do you believe in your cause? Would you risk your child's life? Where do your loyalties lie?

One woman apparently believes in the Occupy movement so much that she put her four-year-old daughter on train tracks to help shut down the Port of Portland.



Did it work?

Yes.

Was it worth it?

It wouldn't have been to me.

First off, no matter how strong your faith in humanity is, that faith cannot overcome the laws of physics to stop an oncoming train. No matter how moral the engineer is at the controls, his morality or sheer will cannot force a speeding object to stop in time.

Now, obviously, there are other factors at play (we hope) making this more safe than it would appear, but still, I would say this is a huge risk. Not one that I would take. Not one that I would have my unwitting children take. I have beliefs, but my love for my children outweighs them. I support the Occupy Wall Street movement, but I'm not going to put my kids in front of an oncoming train for it.

Let's take the life and death situation out of it for a moment, and look at how this statement affects the movement as a whole.

I would venture to say it make it weaker.

When protesting, you want to show that you believe in your cause without doubt or cause for remorse. A dead child would certainly be cause for remorse. You can do whatever you want with your own life. Why involve your child? Surely she does not hate the one percent so much that she doesn't even care if she sees kindergarten.

Actions like these take power away from the movement their activists are trying to purport and lend it to their enemies. If you look at this forum on Weasel Zipper, you'll see the comments full of rabid conservatives mingling with concerned parents, in turn mingling with people just there to say dumb things (like, kill them all. Oh, okay. Thanks for your imput.)

Like I said, I support the Occupy movement. Did I see this through them? Absolutely not. I saw this, along with a long diatribe on CPS and President Barack Obama, on my Facebook feed, posted by people who support shutting the protests down.

I'm sure that was not the mother's intent, just as an injury to or the death of her child would not have been her intent. But that's what happened.

When you protest, take stock of what your actions really say. You could hurt yourself, your loved ones or your very cause.

There's a difference, after all, between posting a cute picture of your twins in front of a paper sign,

and throwing them in front of an oncoming train.

I might be an armchair activist, but I'll take that over any inadvertent injury to my family. I'll take inaction and big talk over any action of mine giving fodder to those against what I believe in.

Don't use kids in your public service announcements. I've never once seen it work the way you hope it would.

1 comment:

  1. Good grief. Her faith in humanity just made me loose a little bit of hope for the future.

    ReplyDelete

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