Protests allow students to have voices heard

NW Staff

Staff Editorial

Although they are typically low-key, protests are not new to Marquette. Students who have been around a while should recall protests regarding the Kennecott Mine and Planned Parenthood ethics. However, unlike bigger cities, protests are not so typical that they pass by unnoticed.

Occupy the U.P. took place in downtown Marquette last weekend, incorporating approximately 200 peaceful demonstrators from NMU and the Marquette community.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the purpose of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the students and community members should be applauded for expressing their opinions in productive and symbolic ways.

Students participated not just in the protest itself, but the organization of it. Marquette’s version of the movement came together in just a few days of planning.

Unlike some mutations of the “occupy” protest around the world, Marquette’s vision of the movement was carried out peacefully, respectfully and in a way that demonstrated the character of the U.P. community.

Albeit unaccustomed to the enormity of the protest, the Marquette community and police responded well to those marching.

The police drove past the protest several times, but made no attempt to break it up. Even employees of the Wells Fargo branch in which marchers withdrew their money were respectful and treated the demonstrators like any other customer.

While we at The North Wind don’t collectively agree nor disagree with the protesters goals, we encourage students to exercise their rights, namely their right to free speech and the freedom to assemble.

As a student newspaper, we employ staffers with a multitude of different beliefs and ideologies. However, one belief we all share is that our first amendment rights should be exercised whenever appropriate and possible.

As college students, it is our responsibility to make a change in the world around us. This cannot be done by sitting idly on the couch watching Oprah or complaining to friends.

Whether it is against corporate corruption, against Planned Parenthood or against Dining Services going trayless, it’s important that students turn up the volume and make their voices heard.