There are few things more powerful than a large crowd of people gathered to send a message. The chanting in unison to let the world know injustices are being done, that people are being oppressed, or killed can really stir up empathy. We've seen this in cities across the globe, in the U-S and even in Portland. However, there is a fine line to this method of getting attention and empathy. When people start breaking windows and starting fires in trash bins and fighting with the police, the empathy wanes. That was the subject of my discussion on May Day as some friends and I watched protesters on TV. We saw the police say they wouldn't arrested protesters for not having a permit but they would force them to stay on the sidewalks so the traffic could get by. Then we saw some wayward protesters say "we'll walk in the streets if they want to" even if it means clashing with police. There were clashes too. As I'm writing this, 35 protesters were arrested. Watching the damage made some of the people I was with cringe or roll their eyes and say "now they've gone too far." ((To be fair MOST of the protesters on Tuesday did so peacefully and lawfully.)) School closures make us all mad, unfair wages are uncool, and no one wants to see the banks take advantage of every day citizens, but how we send that message is just as important as the message itself.
KXL News Anchor and News Director