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The Proper Way to Protest

Ellen Levitt

Posted on January 11, 2021 00:39

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Here's an example of a protest that is civil, unlike the horrifying mayhem in the US

There were hundreds of people who broke laws in Washington, DC on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Many committed violent acts, trespassed federal property, assaulted police officers, stole federal property, wore clothing and accessories identified with anti-Semitic, racist, crackpot groups. 

These people tried to disrupt a Constitutionally set process that is part of our elections. They were full-grown adults, gripped with anger and frenzy, choosing to do horrible things. Most did not wear masks. 

I am one of the millions of Americans who believe these people did something treasonous, traitorous, criminal on so many levels. And many of those people will possibly carry the Covid virus and spread it outward. How utterly disgusting.

And people who make excuses for them are part of the problem too. 

Wanna know a better, more responsible manner in which to protest?

Late morning on Saturday, January 9, after I attended an online Sabbath service, I went to a protest held in Brooklyn's Bay Ridge neighborhood (3rd Avenue and 77th Street). Nearly 200 hundred people convened at the office of newly elected Representative Nicole Malliotakis, to protest her role in the electoral vote objections. I've followed her political career for the past few years, and have been outraged by many of her statements and votes. Thus I decided to join with other people who are disgusted by her actions.

I found out about this event, the "25th Amendment Rally at Malliotakis Office" on Facebook. I came to the group and noticed that everyone and I mean everyone, wore a mask, unlike those who created mayhem in DC. People at this protest carried signs but didn't display weapons or flexible handcuffs, unlike many people who ran amok in DC. People at this protest represented a wide variety of racial and ethnic groups, unlike the mass of people who showed up in DC.

The event ran for an hour and received local press and media coverage  (in this video you can see me from the back, at the 30-second mark), It was peaceful. Lawful. Calm. Rational. And no one was arrested. 

We listened to speakers, including NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (who once chatted with high school students I'd brought to an event at John Jay College). State Senator Diane Savino and a few other local pols.

I'm not sure what impact this will have on Rep. Malliotakis, although I hope it gives her a sobering lesson on how to comport herself, especially as a freshman Representative.

But my main point here is that there are ways in which to protest, and ways you should not. During the springtime of 2020, I attended three peaceful rallies dedicated to supporting Black Lives Matter. On January 5th, 2020 I attended a peaceful rally against Anti-Semitism, and on January 18th I attended the peaceful NYC Women's March. Since I was a teenager I've attended various peaceful and meaningful rallies and protests. I've attended solo, with family, and with friends.

Democracy and decency demand peaceful, thoughtful, dignified protest at times. 

Ellen Levitt

Posted on January 11, 2021 00:39

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Before they resigned in protest, pro-democracy lawmakers unfurled a banner in a final act.

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