Denying people’s rights to protest is like denying babies their nature to cry

Alyaa Alhadjri

COMMENT: A “protest” by standard definition is a statement or action expressing disapproval, distress or objection to something.

The very nature of the word itself signifies a rebellion and defiance against the “authorities” in every aspect of life.

Babies cry in protest if left unattended to; children throw tantrums if their wants are refused; unhappy partners sulk…and the list goes on.

Babies cry as they have no other way of “expressing their disapproval” when rolling around in ‘poopy’ diapers and to ignore such cries will only result in a stinking mess.

Taking the analogy a step further, imagine what will happen if a  parent can arbitrarily ‘silence’ the cries of their babies?

They would either become automated robots, or have their “diaper” needs lie neglected until they perish in the stink.

While it may be convenient if a baby can be told to poop or feed at specific hours, or agree to cry only with prior consent — that does not make it right for the parents who are “supposed to know better” to do so, as the problems remain unresolved.

An irresponsible parent can afford to ignore their crying child if they are assured that the ‘noise’ will eventually stop after a certain time without risk of being charged for abuse.

An irresponsible government can similarly allow its citizens to shout themselves hoarse but refuse to take any actions until and unless they are “forced” to do so.

The Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 requires rally organisers to notify authorities of their plans to “protest” and provide a guarantee that it will be carried out in a peaceful manner.

This, in itself, arguably makes it easier for the government to contain the people’s cries and ignore the “stinking problems” that is at the root cause of such protests.

While the language of the Act seems to promote peaceful assemblies which includes protests, it is anything but, as provisions within seems more like it seeks to limit protests.

It would therefore be almost absurd to expect any person to seek permission to protest, especially from the very authorities that they are protesting against.

More when seeking permission will actually allow the government to control or even silence your protest to begin with, because it is just that much easier to ignore their cries then heed them.

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