Last week, a group of Green Peace activists protested drilling in the Arctic.
They suspended themselves from the St. John’s Bridge in collaboration with people in boats, kayaks, and canoes to stop the ship Icebreaker from going to the Arctic.
I brought my kids to see this demonstration on its last day. The protesters had been out there already for two days in the open with temperatures peaking up to 100 degrees. I salute their bravery and sacrifice for standing up for and bringing attention to the environment.
It brought up a lot of questions for us, awareness, and thought on the act of protesting, on our environment, and why people put immediate needs before the well-being of our planet and its long-term future. It brought up whether people are inherently “good or bad.” Those are good conversations to have with our children.
Some people complained about how disruptive this was. People were late to work.
I think any protest has to be disruptive. The point is to bring attention to an issue that people are in denial about. They were trying to shake us up out of our slumber. People like slumbering. It is uncomfortable to be awakened.
Protesting is not for everyone, but I think there is a place for it. I do not support violent protest, but this example of it was not with any harmful intent. It was not violent or ultimately destructive. No one was bombing or shooting anyone else. Yes, it was disruptive, but someone has to “shout” out and tell people to wake up sometimes. In light of how some people protest their angst; this was refreshing to me.
It was also a sacrifice to those who were willing to do this. Two days in the hot sun; and taking the consequences of whatever punishment society has to give them for “breaking the law.”
Not everyone is willing to do that and for that, I respect this action, and its disruption. I think it was a noble enough reason, and it was non-violent. Now the mayor is going to speak to the president about this issue as well. That is a victory in and of itself.