DUELING COLUMN: Protests done right can make a change

Students protesting in front of Primera Casa on Feb. 8 | Danette Heredia, PantherNOW

Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer

It seems almost every semester there is some major protest occurring, whether it’s FIU-centric or a global issue. Some may brush them off as inefficient but protesting can be majorly impactful if done correctly.

Protests have long been a cornerstone of societal change, serving as a vital tool for citizens to voice their grievances and demand action from their governments and institutions. 

Throughout history, countless movements have showcased the efficiency and effectiveness of protesting in bringing about tangible change.

From the Civil Rights Movement in the United States to the Arab Spring in the Middle East, these protests have demonstrated the power of collective action in shaping the course of history. 

To give a blanket statement like “protests don’t work” would not only ignorant but factually incorrect.

As per the protests we have on campus, if done correctly, these protests can have an impact on both the students, faculty and staff. However, for protesting to be efficient, it must have a clear and established goal. 

A successful protest requires more than just anger and frustration—it needs a cohesive vision for change and a strategic plan to achieve it.

If not, the protest could be deemed largely inefficient and worthless. What does marching across camping yelling you want change do? There are other forms of protest that are more effective.

For instance, the Women’s Suffrage Movement had a clear goal: securing the right to vote for women. Through marches, hunger strikes and lobbying efforts, suffragists campaigned tirelessly for political enfranchisement. 

Their persistent advocacy eventually culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, granting women the right to vote.

Efficient protests are marked by strategic planning, clear objectives and widespread support. They leverage nonviolent tactics, engage the media effectively and apply pressure on decision-makers. In my opinion, these key factors contribute to their effectiveness.

By incorporating these strategies, protesters can maximize their impact and advance the cause of justice and equality. 

When these elements come together, protests have the potential to catalyze meaningful change and advance the cause of justice and equality.

Overall, it’s vital to be aware that protests work and how exactly we can form protests to be efficient. Especially as our generation emerges into adulthood and the workforce, it’s pivotal we do not have the “just give up, it doesn’t work” mindset.

No one will fight for us, we must fight for ourselves. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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