I fully support freedom of speech and the right to protest, but some recent events have really raised my ire. We were watching the news on Thursday night and decided to turn on some regular television. We flipped the channel over to he local NBC station out of Chicago, but were in the middle of an interuption. A group of around 1,000 protesters flooded Lake Shore Drive, a major road that runs alone the lakefront. NBC had a camera on the scene and was panning the ground. Protesters were walking among the vehicles, pounding on them with their hands.
A protest organizer with a bullhorn challenged police to try to shun the image they gained from the 1968 protests. Police waded into the crowd to grab the protester.
The thing that bothers me is that these protesters crossed the line. They went beyond expressing their freedom of speech by blocking vehicles and taunting police. The following day, protesters gathered downtown and tried to block the entrance to federal buildings by laying down in front of the entrance, forcing police to restrain them and drag them away.
I understand the desire to have your voice heard, and protesting is a natural extension of that. Holding a captive audience, taunting police, and other acts of so-called civil disobedience do nothing but hurt your cause. It takes away from the credibility your voice might have had otherwise.