The problem with cheering for zero arrests 

If you didn’t hear already there were no arrests in DC, where over 500,000 people gathered for the Women’s March on Washington.


Here in lies the problem, a “successful” protest. Let’s unpack this a little bit.

  • It is implying that a protest is only successful when no one is arrested
    • People are arrested for protesting peacefully all the time
  • It is ignoring that the march was mainly made up of white women
    • Police officers are less likely to see white women as a threat
  • When people of color peacefully assemble police arrive in riot gear

This narrative allows us to ignore the issues when a protest involves arrest. It assumes that every arrest is justified and there is no racial bias involved


Image result for mlk montgomery mugshot


Image result for mlk montgomery mugshot


Were his protests not successful just because he was arrested?

No, the arrests had nothing to do with the successfulness of the protests and instead had everything to do with the racial biases the police officers [local government and majority of citizens] held at that time.

So, when we praise the Women’s March as successful because there were no arrests we ignore the larger picture, erase the societal structures, and we forget this:

One has the moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws – Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham jail


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