At least that seems to be the idea spreading across the globe.
The world will always commend those who peacefully speak out for the people who cannot. A most recent example is Nobel Peace Price Winner, Malala Yousafzai. Unfortunately, even peaceful Malala, who at 17 is the youngest person to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, experienced violent retaliation. So much so, her life was nearly taken from her by the Taliban.
But, while advocates of rights and protestors in general may start out with the best intentions, too often brutality breaks through. This is the case numerous cities across the globe. What the media indicates to be the most pressing of the moment is the police’s sudden retaliation to protestors opposing the Chinese government’s involvement in Hong Kong’s upcoming elections. Footage of this retaliation emerged today, showing a police officer violently attempting to restrain a protestor. Despite indications of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s wishes to engages in talks with the demonstrators, this footage follows reports of previous usage of pepper spray and dangerous bouts to block the crowds. Even with speculation of such talks, the Hong Kong chief shows no wishes to negotiate.
When protesting takes a turn for the worst, as it almost inevitably does in most situations, the media takes it upon themselves to report that moment. While the public does have a right to be informed before, during and after these instances, the public also has a right to feel safe in standing up for their rights. The issue here is how can governments, police officials, other influential bodies and the acting protestors work together to maintain the peaceful nature that seems to be lost over time? Some may say the answer is don’t protest in the first place, but that does not seem to be a realistic solution. Then it must be asked, does any realistic solution even exist?