Protesting is as old as human civilization. Individuals and groups of people are used to express disapproval towards people, policies, laws, governments, etc. In Hinduism people even protest against God. It is legally and morally equitable to protest. At present, in democratic countries, an individual or group of individuals are allowed to peacefully convey their disapproval towards policies and actions of the government.

This process of protesting suddenly changed and it became violent. Protesters started carrying weapons, harassing public, beating police and media persons, and vandalizing properties. This caught my attention and I had certain questions in my mind. Who is responsible for violence in protests? Who are those people who love to vandalize property? Why they don’t fear the law of the land? Why they are trying to justify one unjust with bunch of unjust?

In the recent past, the violent protests were started in India in December 2019, in response to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Numerous people started protesting in several places across India. Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, the protest was the most famous one. Initially, it was peaceful, but later protesters harassed media persons, ranted slogans against the government, spread misinformation, made strategies for diving country, and instigated communal riots. In protest and riot planning, students of three major universities in India were involved. Apart from India, students of several top universities of the world protested against CAA. They posted videos and pictures on social media platforms with placards stating Anti-CAA slogans. Several protesters of Shaheen Bagh involved in the Delhi riots. In Delhi riots, 53 people lost their lives, including an IB officer and a policeman.  

Another series of riots started in Minneapolis, the USA after death of a George Floyd on May 27, 2020. He was killed by a police officer, who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck until he died. The policeman’s action was condemnable legally and ethically.  Protests against this murder started and quickly it became anti-racism protest. Soon, it spread to several cities across the US, and it became protest against racism which finally turns into loot and riots. At least, 15 people died in these riots. 

In no time this protest spread across Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia. A group “Migrant women and daughters network” protested in Rome in front of the war memorial. People also protested in front of Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa. News and images of people protesting for racism against black people are reported from Tel Aviv, Mexico City, Helsinki, Buenos Aires, Auckland, London, Belfast, Wales, Sydney, Dogali, Berlin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Tunis, Vilnius, Seoul, Pretoria, Karachi, Galway, Birmingham, Hamburg, Oslo, Vienna, Stockholm, Utrecht, and several other cities.

Several things were similar in these protests around the world. A similar type of people was involved in these protests around the world. Mostly people ranging age 20-40 were involved in these riots; out of which thousands of the university students from top universities around the world. They looted several stores of top brands in the US. They also vandalized restaurants, trains, school buses, police vehicles, government buildings, etc. around the world.

Those protesters and rioters also posted videos and images of riots on social media platforms. Several videos have been viral in which semi-naked women were dancing and arguing with cops. They were feeling very proud by doing this, and they were trying to justify their involvement in such anti-national and anti-social activities.

Apart from this, people in the US, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, India, and in several other countries protested against lockdown due to Covid-19. In the USA, people gave absurd logic for not wearing masks and those videos went viral; millions of people viewed them. Group of people came on the roads along with placard saying you can’t restrict us; it is our right to roam freely. They call tyrant to President Donald Trump and also fought with police officials who were trying to stop them; even when hundreds of people were dying every day in country from Covid-19.

Dozens of protestors came together in Queen’s park, Toronto, to call for an end to lockdown. They were holding placards with “bye-bye democracy”. In south Italy, economically disadvantaged people protested against Covid-19 lockdown which turned into riots.

In Germany also people took to the streets of Berlin and Stuttgart to protest against a loss of freedom during the lockdown. Several protesters clearly violating the restrictions imposed for curbing Covid-19. They were holding placards and shouting “I want my life back” and “Protect constitutional rights.”

In Paris, motorcyclists protested for four days, created violent unrest, and broke lockdown rules. Police attempted to stop them and punish them. In the suburbs of Paris, protesters launched fireworks on police and burn the cars. In Spain, people took the roads of Madrid with thousands of cars and motorbikes. They drove in the process with honking and waving Spanish flags.

In India, people did not literally protest against the lockdown, but they created a nuisance everywhere. Few people spread false information which motivates migrant workers to walk to thousands kilometers towards their hometown. In some places, stones were pelted by people on medical staff and police officials while collecting samples for Covid-19 testing.  In several hospitals and quarantine centers suspects and patients misbehaved with medical staff.

Participating in such protests and riots is becoming trendy and new cool. They think they should protest against all contemporary social and political issues. Being part of that mad crowd they experience a sense of acceptance among their peers. Posting pictures and videos of such controversial protests and riots on social media give them recognition, their followers increased, and viewership of their content also increased.

I want to bring your attention to an important thing here; all these protest incidences occurred in democratic countries. What this suggests, these people were misusing freedom of expression. Is it possible in countries like North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, and other non-democratic countries? No, it’s not possible. Here, I am not saying, what is wrong and what is right. I am leaving the verdict to the readers.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.