Jenifer the frustration of inadequate governments and unjust

Jenifer GomezEnglish 1A1/23/18Oppression: Call out or Bail outAccording to Merrim-Webster, oppression is the unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power. Since the creation of man, there has always been oppression, the oppressor and the oppressed. With time, societies have discovered three different ways to cope and deal with oppression; acquiescence, violence and non-violence.  Societies often have groups of individuals who display either one of the three characteristics. With the array of difficult problems that continue to be perpetuated by older and uneducated individuals, society has been forced to rely on the younger and more educated individuals that have begun to break the cycle of perpetuation. As society continues to evolve, groups of individuals have begun to criticize, dismantle and protest the oppressive system with non-violent resistance.With the frustration of inadequate governments and unjust laws being passed, individuals have gone to social media to spread their movement and protests. In Guatemala, when a UN anti-corruption agency CICIG exposed that several high-profile politicians including the Vice President, Roxana Baldetti, were linked with organized crime there was public outrage. When it was clear that outrage was not enough, one young woman went to Facebook and created an event that would spark a nonviolent movement. #RenunciaYa (Resign Now) was an event that she invited her friends to go to, a protest in Guatemala City, asking for the resignation of Baldetti. However in the days that followed, over 10,000 people said they would attend. The organizers made it clear, this was a nonviolent protest and so it was. In Guatemala, most protests end in violence, its very rare for nonviolent protests to succeed but #RenunciaYa was one of the few. On the day planned, tens of thousands of people marched the streets of Guatemala City in a nonviolent protest. The result was successful, Baldetti resigned a few days after the protest. Another form of nonviolent protest that has become popular among younger individuals, especially those that are not old enough or do not have the right to vote, is to call congress. Social media is a useful tool when it comes to protesting, so when net neutrality began to surface once again, social media and it’s creators did not hesitate to remind everyone of their right to call congress. Famous youtubers, celebrities and even ordinary citizens came together to protest net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle or belief that internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon etc, should enable access to all content regardless of where it comes from, without blocking material or favoring certain products or websites. So when the FCC decided that they wanted to stop net neutrality and allow internet services to filter what individuals could and could not see, a very big invasion and restriction on individual’s access to information, the entire world web went on a peaceful strike. Congress was bombarded with calls, texting RESTRICT to bots in order for them to call congress on the individual’s behalf became so clogged up that no one could get their calls in. When it comes to important topics such as sexual harassment and women’s rights, society has begun to protest in nonviolent ways. The Women’s March on Washington is a prime example of individuals taking oppressive matters into their own hands and protesting in a way that screams for change without violence or harassment to those who disagree.  The founders of the march themselves have described the march as a way of  “dismantling systems of oppression through non-violent resistance guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.” Marches like the Women’s March on Washington follow the principles of Martin Luther King Jr’s. Non-violent protests like marches help create a systematic change that can’t be properly obtained through violence. The Women’s March on Washington has stated that their intentions are “systematic change to the experience of women and girls in America.” Although it is difficult for society to learn from the past, our current society is learning to find a solution in a way that does not, in the words of Dr. King, “leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue.” Non-violent protests create conversations, it allows people to tell their opinions and educate others correctly. The protests “extends beyond one political actor or even one political party” meaning that these protests are changing the rules of “who” should be protesting and who should not. It switches the narrative, allowing the oppressor to see and distinguish their privilege and ultimately change society as a wholeThe ways of nonviolence are peaceful and achieve the desired goal, however some will say that non-violence takes too long and ultimately is not the most effective way to combat oppression. While it is true that most nonviolent protests take longer than violent ones, nonviolent protests achieve their goal 54 percent of the time which is more than the 25 percent that violent protests achieve. Nonviolent protests also create a space where conversations can be had without either side worrying about repercussions. In order for social or political change to occur, there must be a conversation and there has to be a process of educating the other “side” of how harmful their oppression is. Nonviolent protests  spread locally and globally faster than violent protests do. Nonviolent protests attract citizen participation 11 times greater than their violent counterpart. Nonviolent protest create a space for diversity, skill and networking, therefore they are more likely to create social or political change. Society is currently dismantling and destroying oppressive systems with nonviolence. There will always be violent protesters and people who prefer to accept the oppressive system then fight it, but they are a minority in a sea of social and political change. Some individuals will never cease to understand the ways of nonviolence but it is a hindrance that must not be focused on. To  conclude, years of nonviolent protest create better and longer lasting results than violent ones do. Violent protests only create temporary results with harmful after effects. Nonviolent resistance may have flaws and overall take longer and require more effort, but as society has proven in the last few decades, it is the only form of protest that truly works.Work Cited:Schulz, Kathryn. “What Calling Congress Achieves.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 19 June 2017,, Fred. “How Women Drive Nonviolent Movements for Change.” United States Institute of Peace, 6 Feb. 2017,, Gabriela. “How a Peaceful Protest Changed a Violent Country.” BBC News, BBC, 27 May 2015, “Women’s March Draws Huge Crowds in LA.” Women’s March Draws Huge Crowds in LA – Xinhua |, 26 Jan. 2018,


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