Peaceful Protest — Does it cause Evil?

I finally figured it out. Most of you might already understand this principle, but it has escaped me since 1969. Thanks to the fine coverage Rachel Maddow has been giving the Egyptian protests of 2011, I finally get it!

Please read the chapter on my blog entitled “The Mystery of Evil” for some background information. A short synopsis… While I was participating in a peaceful protest in Grant Park in 1969, a group of Chicago policemen walked up to us and looked as though they wanted to bash our heads in, like they had done to the protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

At that point I made a decision that although protest against war and tyranny was a good thing, and no matter how peaceful my intent, I had also caused the opposite of peace in the form of warlike beings who appeared there because I was there.

Now, during the last few days, as I watched the protesters in Egypt peacefully demonstrating, hundreds of government supporters marched in and threw Molotov cocktails and attacked members of the media. It became clear to me that the reason that those government supporters were there was to provoke violence from the protesters. If the protesters then had become violent in return, the government supporters would have successfully created a reason for the army to step in and start shooting the protesters.

The situation is similar to my 1969 experience in that if I had made a move towards the policeman standing in front of me, he would have reason to hurt me. Since my group and I remained peaceful, the police were marched away.

As I am close to age 70, I’m going to say that I will probably no longer put my body out there to protest what I see are terrible wrongs in this society and the world. I also don’t believe that I have all the answers, because people kill and hurt others with no provocation. All I can hope for is if I ever do decide to participate in a peaceful protest, even though violent, hurtful people may come and try to provoke me to violence, if I remain non-violent, I am not creating evil. As the song goes, “We shall overcome…” if “…we are not afraid.”


About feistylynnie

I am a closet explorer of the weird, unusual and extraordinary sides of life, masquerading as a normal person. I play viola and violin in many styles including classical, blues, folk and disco. I am also a horse, donkey, cat and dog lover and total geek.
This entry was posted in 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, Egypt, evil, pacifism, peaceful demonstration, peaceful protest, Protests in Egypt, Rachel Maddow, riot, Uncategorized, we are not afraid, we shall overcome. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Peaceful Protest — Does it cause Evil?

  1. Sissy says:

    That’s assuming there are people in the world who are good and people who are evil. Blaxk, white. The Good Guys, and the Bad Guys. Us against them.

  2. feistylynnie says:

    OK, that wasn’t clear in my post. No, I don’t believe that people are either good or evil. I think each of us has the potential for both good and evil in us. I’ve been trying to write up what I was thinking for the last 15 minutes and can’t quite put it into words. Later.

  3. Kim W. says:

    Hi, Lynn —

    I’m the harpist with the wonky gallbladder you contacted over the summer. Now that the holidays are past, I’m back to attending Irish classes and can probably get together to “jam” if you’re still interested. I tried to send you a message through, but it wouldn’t let me send a message to you without signing up for a paid membership. I went to your Facebook profile, but you don’t have it set to accept messages, and it wouldn’t let me send a friend request with a message, so I figured I would let you know who I was here so that you’d know the request wasn’t coming from some random person. Sorry for spamming your blog!

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