The Pros and Cons of Protest in American History Essay

The Pros and Cons of Protest in American History Essay

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Assembly can lead to change or it can lead to horrible circumstances, sometimes planned or sometimes accidental. Over the years people have used and abused their right to assemble, many have died, even more have been arrested. But, many issues have changed because of this right. Violence has been endured, and people’s lives have been changed. The Vietnam War is a perfect example of a group of protests that had many different outcomes. The Kent State shootings and the Democratic Convention of 1968 are examples of protests that went terribly wrong. Sit-ins and singing protest songs against violence are examples of peaceful protest.
The Democratic Convention of 1968 took place in Chicago, Illinois. This convention is known as the people’s convention because it was put on during a time of confusion and turmoil over the Vietnam War and youth protests that had sprung up all over the country. The protest movement at the convention was planned to be peaceful and non- violent. “The movement would march peacefully to the Amphitheatre and proclaim its issues in contrast with the Democrats.” (David Dellinger) The protest area was to be Lincoln Park where hundreds of protesters had gathered. The mayor of Chicago had a different approach than peace to the protests. He brought in the National Guard and other law enforcement. The enforcement agencies raided the park at night while the protesters and leaders gave speeches. Protesters were arrested for anything from disorderly conduct to curfew. Over the course of five days before the convention 668 people were arrested. On August 27, 1968 the peaceful march to the amphitheatre was to take place. Protesters marched up the street as police moved down it trying to control the protesters and pus...


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...iddle age women) held many sit-in candle light vigils all over the country. The Youth Campaign against Conscription was made of university students who organized marches and sit-ins. These protesters were the ones that made the most radical difference in the youth movement and the movement against the Vietnam War forcing the United States government to pull out of Vietnam. (Anti-Vietnam War Protests)
The Vietnam War changed the course of American History forever. The war showed the American people they had a voice and with protest they could make a difference. Vietnam was an area that many believed we had no business being in. It was a civil war and American sons were being sent there to die for something that did not affect them. This angered people all over the United States. Some took matters into their own hands and used their first amendment right to protest.

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