Everyone keeps advocating for peaceful protests. People brag about the cities that were able to manage demonstrations that specifically didn’t lead to looting and rioting. But what does it even mean to protest peacefully? People shouting and yelling and marching down the street in a huge crowd. Is that peace? Is that even the point? Peace may be the goal, but protests are meant to disturb. They’re supposed to make people uncomfortable, to force people to stop and listen to your demands in the face of injustice.
Part of the problem with so-called peaceful protesting is that it’s the exact type of protesting that the government wants you to do. Shit, they’ll hire the police to go oversee the protest themselves to make sure everyone stays in line. It’s cool as long as people protest in a nice, pre-approved way. And then we have celebrities asking everyone to calm down and kindly stop looting. Regular people are also worrying about stuff getting ruined or stolen. But we know now more than ever how fleeting life is. It’s just stuff.
Especially at a time when people are told to stay home, looting says no. We won’t stay home, we won’t buy these things, we won’t do it your way. We’re out of line. Now what? Stealing from major corporations has a lot to do with life in a police state. Our entire society is designed like a prison, including retail stores and schools and hospitals. We are all trapped, following directions raising our hands clocking in and out, keeping our heads down. But there’s more than one way to break out.