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Have you ever participated in a protest?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 14, 2006

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Photo of Erick Shields

“No sir, I haven’t. I guess I just haven’t had a cause. I suppose I should be out there saying something.”

Photo of Kristine Werth

“Yes. When I lived in St. Louis I participated in a pro-choice protest organized by NOW and other pro-choice organizations.”

Photo of Tonya Williams

“No. I just haven’t been around when one was happening, but I would protest for a good cause”

Photo of Steven Rehmer

“I have not. I do think it’s an effective way to have your voice heard, but I’ve just never been that passionate about an issue.”


jonas 12 years, 1 month ago

ä,ç Nope. My level of disagreeance hasn't been met yet. I mean the last protests we've had have been the war, which I don't disagree with enough, and (cough) starbucks.

YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 1 month ago

No I haven't yet, but you can never say never. I still see the groups that protest the war at the old court house though. I know and realize that they are protesting for a good cause, but the war started and is still going. I don't want to get anyone in here mad, but its kind of worthless protesting for this anymore. I'm not into war, but its happening and theres nothing we can do about it.

My son's court trial begins this morning against the drunk driver who hit him in December. I'm hoping for the best of course and that justice will be served.

Have a great Friday everyone, its going to be another hot one so try and stay cool.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 12 years, 1 month ago

Protesting usually doesn't accomplish much. People often do it to intentionally get arrested and create a spectacle of themselves, but it rarely changes policy. How is banging a bongo drum while wearing a tie-dye shirt going to 1) end the war, 2) abolish the death penalty, 3) free Mumia?? Only one in ten people in the 18-24 group voted in the last presidential election. Sure, it's fun to have a drum circle and chant catchy anti-establishment sayings, but if you're too lazy to get off the couch on election day you only have yourself to blame.

bmwjhawk 12 years, 1 month ago

I chained myself to the couch one weekend when I wanted to watch Wimbledon. But, I eventually had to pee.

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

Oh yes! At Area 51, protesting the cover-up of the ongoing invasion of the United States of America by Alien advance troops and subsequent colonizing immigrants. I'm not into war with them anymore or anything like that, because its happening and there's nothing we can do about it. But, the people have a right to know about it so that they can make real efforts to assimilate them, as best they can be assimilated.

acg 12 years, 1 month ago

I used to protest all the time. Back in high school and college, I used to love to stand up and holler about this injustice or that wrong doing. But now I have kids and a real job and who has the time for all of that? Protesting is for the young, adventurous kids that have no responsibilities. I think I would freak out today if I had to have a confrontation with crowd control cops. 15-20 years ago I would've been right in there faces, along with the rest of the "hippies". Ahhh, the good old days. :)

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

I protest getting out of bed before I want to every morning. It never works. Sometimes guilt gets me up and sometimes the hubby grabs an ankle and literally drags me out of bed (me whining, begging, acting like a lazy teenager). But this morning, since my kiddies didn't have school, I slept 'til 7 and then stayed in bed listening to all the birds singing and feeling the glorious breeze come through the open window. Ahhhhh! That's how every morning should start. The hubby did try to ruin it for me when he was off to work (at whatever hour it was) and came in to inform me that one of said kiddies had left a full 1/2 gallon of ice cream out on the kitchen counter all night. I opened one eye and said "hey, I'm trying to sleep here!" He apologized, gave me a kiss, and left. When I got up there were no traces of an ice cream mess. I love that man! It's a beautiful day!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

acg, I like mine with lettuce and tomato, heinz 57 and french fried potato...

Sorry, couldn't resist the temptation to get that stuck in your head again. Hee Hee!

cutny 12 years, 1 month ago

Well, at least we have Marion as the arbiter of right and wrong. Thank goodness for that. Here's a thought. If you want be wrong about what you did, be wrong about it, but don't tell other people that their protesting of the Iraq War, a joke with dwindling support at best, is wrong.

cutny 12 years, 1 month ago

Bad decisions based on "faulty intelligence" kill soldiers and civilians, protesting does not kill soldiers and civilians.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

You know, I don't think I have participated in one. I did happen to be in Switzerland the day the Iraq war (v2) started, and I saw a sizable anti-war (well, really, anti-America) protest. It made me chuckle because it was almost entirely high school- and college-age people (on a school day).

However, I didn't chuckle too loudly. We also tried to keep quiet on the street. No sense in advertising our country of origin in a situation like that. We felt safe talking inside the shops, as shopeepers tend to be nice if you might buy something.

Anyway, the protesters marched down the street (a nice stretch of expensive shops in Zurich) yelling slogans and carrying signs (mostly in German), stopped in a more open square, yelled some more, and burned an American flag. It was all very fascinating to witness.

By the way, thanks to all for your kind words yesterday. I appreciate them. It was a rough day in southeastern Michigan. I had the funeral for my friend, then I was supposed to photograph a high school baseball game. When I arrived at the field, I found the other team had canceled the game (and I think school for that day) because a student there had died in a car crash and the funeral was yesterday. Then, during the JV game, I learned that a firefighter and the police chief from my town had died in a helicopter crash.

I'm grateful it's Friday now. This has been an exhausting week.

But I think I would protest ... for a Klondike bar.

(Site staff removed by this post.)

enochville 12 years, 1 month ago

No, I have never participated in a protest, but I have written my elected officials, encouraged others to write, and I vote.

I wonder if there have been any studies that look at the effectiveness of peaceable protests in the US, versus a writing politicians campaign. I imagine that those variables confound each other since they co-occur.

Everyone can point to famous protests like Tiananmen square and the Vietnam war protest at the Washington Mall. How immediate is the change in public opinion or expression of opinion as a result of media coverage of a major protest?

I think politicians pay more attention to poll numbers than protests nowadays, but if protests change public opinion or make the dissidents more vocal, they may be effective.

Chris Tackett 12 years, 1 month ago


if the media doesn't cover it, it didn't happen.

i was at the big protests in DC in late September and there was an estimate (by police, which is usually lower) that there were 500,000 people there. The only place it got coverage was Cspan and CNN for about 1 segment the entire day.

i'm sure the politicians in dc saw and heard about it, but it wasn't plastered on tv like the protests during the civil rights movement were.

i think protests are better at energizing the protesters, reminding them they aren't alone, and occassionaly inspiring others when they have the chance to see the protests.

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago

Most people would not protest because the government has passed the (un)Patriot Act. They are afraid of being called a terrorist by the government and treated as such.

"When the people are afraid of the government, there is tyranny. When the government is afraid of the people, there is freedom."

Grundoon Luna 12 years, 1 month ago

Yup. I was at a vigil on behalf of ACES, an organization the promotes awareness in child support issues, or tha lack thereof actually. My ex was a bum and wouldn't think of paying voluntarily. When it got deducted from his check we both got a lot happier about it, and actually started to get along, finally. I would protest again in a heartbeat for a worthy cause and I think demonstrating against the war is going to be it. I'm sick of it and the lame @$$ administration running it. Freakin' Fools!

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

RI, I bow down to your lyrical knowledge! (It is the last line in the 2nd verse!) Who knew? Well, besides you?

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

The question that enters my mind when I see protests is this: are they suggesting good alternatives, or are they just saying what they think is wrong? I can stand here and tell you what you're doing wrong, but if that's all I do, I have less of a chance of actually having some positive influence.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

RI, OK, I also have to bow down to your superior knowledge on spelling. BUT, if you knew anything about the OTS, then you would know that we NEVER criticize someone's poor intellect. ;)

MD, You can blame nothing on me! acg started it yesterday. Must be post-partum or something so she also cannot be held accountable. Once again, it's the mens' fault.

YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 1 month ago

Well gues what happened this morning in court. The drunk driver that hit my son's car of course never showed up, so of course the trial was dismissed. Theres a warrent out for his arrest now, so here we go again.

I don't think keeping my fingers crossed that the judge will set his bail high enough so that he can't pay and will sit there until the next one is set. All I can hope is that the judge issues the warrent, they arrest him and he sits in jail until the next trial date. That way he can't skip town, leave state, etc. I'm sure thats not going to happen. He got out on bond 8 hours after the accident happened, so you can see where I'm going with this.

What a loser this guy is. He has six counts against him as of yesterday and now you can add another one. My son is so mad right now and I the mom am again the venting post for him to let his agressions out. I really understand and don't mind it that much because I know hes so angry.

Well this happy Friday hasn't started out so good, but we are having our daycare Easter party after naptime today. Parties are always fun and cheer me up.

Have a great day everyone and Happy Easter.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 1 month ago

RI, I no longer know what I'm talking about. I thought that you were making fun of my spelling of the word "truly" but now that I re-read, I see I never wrote that word in the first place. You have my permission to make fun of me today all you want. And, no, it wasn't THAT good of a morning. (Sometimes takes me days to catch up on the joke.) sigh feeling very slow witted all of a sudden.

Would you accept a basket of muffins as an apology?

classclown 12 years, 1 month ago

I was going to go the the Procastinators protest against scheduling, but it kept getting put off until later.

Side note... To Gootsie and Multidisciplinary. Thanks for the jokes.

Disgusted 12 years, 1 month ago

I would protest this thing that's going on called mobbing or gangstalking and more people should look this up on their computers so they are aware of what is going on--they could be victims of this and not realize it.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

Did any of you Lawrence to KC commuters have trouble getting to work because k-10 was closed? Really bad accident, second time this week someone was killed on that highway.

kcwarpony 12 years, 1 month ago

Yes. Spent the entire month of November 99' in Washington D.C. for the Leonard Peltier Freedom Month. Had morning ceremonies each day at the Ellipse (the park behind the White House) and in Lafayette Park in front of White House in the afternoons. Had a very cold morning across the street from the FBI building for a protest and a few of us managed to catch up with Clinton one day and we got to shake your signs at him. Had lots of media coverage from other countries. Had some U.S. coverage and had Danny Glover with us one morning. (He's a little grumpy when he's sleepy, shhhh...) Basically did a lot of educating of Leonard's case to the American tourist who came through, the foreign tourist all seemed to know who he is and know his case. I encountered Park Police, Metro Police, FBI agents, probably Secret Service (but how would you know, it's a secret)...and never got into trouble. Guess I wasn't doing it right :) Now gearing up for a few weeks protest in Bear Butte, S. Dakota this summer.

sgtwolverine 12 years, 1 month ago

Is that it, Bob? Or is the Autobahn is actually the German K10?

Disgusted 12 years, 1 month ago

I just looked up gangstalking on the iWon site and there is much information there. You will be amazed. It has a place to click where it shows the cops are in on it, too.

beatrice 12 years, 1 month ago

"Protesting usually doesn't accomplish much." ??? Ever heard of the Civil Rights Movement? And yes, I have taken part in protests, including some opposed to this current administration's lies that took us into an unjustified war to liberate the Iraqi people (from their oil). Operation Iraqi Liberation. OIL.

Besides, everyone must know:

You gotta fight

for your right

to PARTY!!!!!

kansas_prairieland 12 years, 1 month ago


I looked it up. It's very disturbing.

Did this happen to you? Here in Lawrence?

Can you tell us about it (in some detail)??

I'd like to hear your story.

bankboy119 12 years, 1 month ago

Speaking of protesting, what about the people that won't pay their taxes because they're "protesting?" Any thoughts?

paladin 12 years, 1 month ago

I am, by nature, not a protestor, but I've played one on TV. I don't remeber what it was supposed to be about, but it doesn't really matter. It was just TV.

kansas_prairieland 12 years, 1 month ago


I wouldn't advise doing so.

Some guy a while back was found guilty of not paying his taxes for several years because, according to him, the federal income tax is unconstitutional.

The only way we Americans can ever make any changes with regards to federal taxes is through our elected representatives. (Just don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen any time soon!!)

Linda Aikins 12 years, 1 month ago

Yep RonB. I had to go south on 7 to 111th where, along with 10,000 of my closest friends, we drove a one-lane-each-direction road past two schools. Then I could go back to 10 once I hit Woodland. A co-worker drove by the accident as the emergency vehicles were arriving. He said it was pretty awful.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

I have participated in both organized and spontaneous protests. My freshman year, my dorm was slated for closure, with the announcement made less than two weeks before finals, long after all the dorm preference sheets had been turned in and we'd all finalized plans for the next year. This gave those of us planning to come back (our particular hall, despite being a little out of the way, had the highest return rate on campus - but sadly it was also exactly the size dorm they needed to close, with its own dining facility) little to no time to make new plans. The Honors/International program (which I was part of) was moved to a dorm all the way across campus, which was supposed to be 'just as good' because it was close to the business school but four times as far from all the science, lab, and general lecture classrooms, but right across the street from the majority of the Greek houses, so we could be entertained by their loud parties, screaming, and drunken driving all hours of the day and night.

We organized a delegation to rally outside the Honors College and request that they intercede with Student Life on behalf of the HIO program, and when that didn't work, we all slept on the front lawn of the dorm with a big sign reading 'Kicked Out Camp Out'. They still refused to even consider alternate plans, so a bunch of people responded (and OF COURSE I have no knowledge of the identities of any of these people) by climbing up onto the roof of one of the dorms and throwing most of the University-issued lounge furniture off the roof to the parking lot below (It landed in a loading zone, not on students' cars).

Some of it may or may not have been on fire, and there may or may not have been video of the event...

I've been involved in other protests over the years, but that episode sticks out most clearly because it was my first introduction to the realization that people don't have to listen to you if you don't control their funding, even if you have the benefit of being both passionate and right, no matter how many facts you have on your side.

They ended up having to reopen the dorm a year later, but they'd already painted over all the flags the HIO program had put up - some of them from countries that no longer existed. The flags represented every country a student had come to the HIO program from. My Freshman year, three students left their hometowns in the USSR in August 1991 and technically never returned to their native nation. Most of us stayed up all night with them, the night they painted the new Russian flag up there, and when we tried to explain the history involved in our residence hall, we were overruled. I'm kind of surprised the violence was limited to burning lounge furniture.

letsgetwise 12 years, 1 month ago

I was on K10 this a.m. but luckily the radio station mentioned someone had called in and said there was a wreck, etc. etc. I was watching for traffic and when I came just to ?Cedar Circle? I could see traffic was already backed up west of K7. I managed to turn around because the station said by then the police were making both west-bound and east-bound traffic turn back. Anyway, I backtracked and detoured through DeSoto. Still 30 minutes late...

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 1 month ago

HANDS ACROSS AMERICA although I don't think that was a protest as much as it was a coming together of the people of our nation. We need to do another one.

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