Despite repercussions, students should voice their opinion

Matt Shamshoian

Matt Shamshoian

Despite the backlash that students may receive for taking part in protests, protesting is still an effective and vital tool
for change.

Change isn’t going to happen on its own, and students who seek change can take a step toward their goal by voicing their concerns.

With countless news stories detailing the harsh punishments that have been doled out to protesting students, it’s easy to conclude that protesting isn’t worth the repercussions it can generate.

However, even though protests may have devastating consequences for the protesters, they still illuminate existing problems and raise awareness.

The Central University of Venezuela in Caracas has been attacked at least 10 times since student-led protests began sweeping the country and the Venezuelan government has arrested many leaders of protests, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

Although these protests have had negative consequences, the severity and cruel nature of government-sponsored suppression of free speech has raised a considerable amount of awareness. News of protests in Venezuela have made it to the Los Angeles Times and countless other newspapers across the world.

The student protests in Venezuela weren’t the only ones to make the news, and countless other stories detailing injustices committed against students have been brought to the public’s attention.

Photo Credit: Aitalina Indeeva

It’s this type of large-scale awareness that is the first step in making any sort of large change.

Not only have student protesters in Venezuela and in countless other places around the world brought awareness to the issues they were protesting about, but those that have been subject to unfair punishments from administration and police have brought attention to abuses of authority that have become all too frequent.

If students choose not to voice their concerns about important issues, they stand no chance at actually engendering the sort of change they hope to see in the world.

While students can effectively express their concerns about important issues through protests, it’s important to remember that protests that become violent harm more than they help. Violence undermines the main cause and in most cases, puts lives in danger.

Although students may face severe backlash for taking part in protests, it’s important for students to voice their opinions freely and feel comfortable doing so.