AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Protests continue across the country. The demonstrations show no sign of stopping. There’s no denying that a movement is sweeping the nation.
It’s a lesson in democracy unfolding before our very eyes.
“This is a cry for justice and this must not fall on deaf ears.”
Doctor Todd Powell-Williams is a social scientist. He’s an expert on social movements, social control and police science at Augusta University.
“Democracy is messy.”
“It is messy and these things are terribly complicated Mary, but this is part of the process. Its not a mistake why these rights are so deeply embedded in the first amendment of our constitution.”
He’s talking about our right to protest. To stand up for what you believe.
Powell-Williams says it’s the responsibility of the police to make sure our constitutional rights are protected.
“They swear an oath to that and I have researched that area for years and I can tell you it’s something they take seriously.”
Ironically, this latest protest is largely over the action of a white police officer in Minnesota that resulted in the death of a black man. But the problem goes beyond the murder of George Floyd that was caught on video for the world to see. It goes way back to the beginning of our country.
“The grievances that are being articulated here are serious, they are severe and they are generational and we need to look at them very seriously.”
Unlike the civil rights marches in the 1960’s this latest movement isn’t being organized by one person or group, but by people across the country who are willing to take a stand against social injustice.
“I am very hopeful because when you see large numbers of people getting out on the streets and taking the risks, the risk of arrest the risk of being tear gassed, people don’t enter into this lightly.”
Clearly for a lot of these protestors, the risks are worth the price of freedom.
As for the alleged criminals who wreck havoc during the demonstrations when police are distracted, Dr Powell-Williams says that does not undermine the legitimacy of the protests themselves.
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