With protests happening this past week in and around the Bradley community regarding the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, there is a lot to digest about different forms of activism, how to get involved and why activism is important.
Before getting involved with a particular cause, it is crucial that you do extensive research to understand the topic before you speak out about it. You must be careful to provide the facts and avoid spreading misinformation. Make sure to research both sides of the conflict and consume news from various sources.
If you want to participate in a protest, ensure that your language is respectful. Do not express hate to individuals or groups, otherwise you risk undermining a worthy cause and the people impacted by it.
That being said, remember protests are significant events that are to be taken seriously. Protests should not be used as an opportunity to elevate your social media status or as a fun event for you and your friends to participate in.
More often than not, a portion of people supporting a cause have personal connections to it. If you are considering protesting, you should attend with the goal of learning from others and using your voice to make a difference in the community.
Another thing to prioritize when protesting is safety. Refrain from entering potentially dangerous situations, attend protests with others if possible and alert the authorities if you feel that your safety has been compromised.
It is also wise to consider the backlash that may result from protests or other forms of activism that you participate in. There will always be people on the other side of the cause you support, so prepare yourself for criticism and disapproval.
If you are uninterested or unable to participate in in-person forms of activism, there are other ways to show support. You can sign petitions, write letters to your congress people and share posts online with verified and fact-checked information.
Activism plays a vital role in spreading awareness of injustices and it is a great way to stand up for what you believe in. Everyone has a voice and it should be heard. Advocating for a cause is also a way to give a voice to those who may not be able to speak out.
If you feel strongly about a subject, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Just make sure you are doing so in the most responsible, considered and safe way possible.