With the wave of anti-LGBT laws being proposed and enacted across the country it’s very easy to get angry and want to act out. It has happened in history more times then we can count. Yes protests are a way to express our displeasure with an issue but they need to be peaceful and lawful. Having violent protests or protests that cause people to be hurt or arrested for doing things totally unrelated to the cause never actually helps the cause other than to get some camera time.
Whenever the police arrest people at protests people are actually helping the government. It causes large amounts of bail money along with court costs and fines that the government then gets to put in their pockets. It also gives all those people that were arrested criminal records that will follow them for the rest of their life. History shows us that laws don’t get changed by being arrested. Laws are either changed in the courts or by voting out the people who enacted them.
In the case that just happened in North Carolina, rallies and sign waving are great ways to show the people’s displeasure with HB-2. However, blocking offices and hallways which creates a fire hazard does nothing to change anything and being arrested on purpose for no reason is just a waste of time and money.
The real way to fix this is to create a test case that can be sent thru the courts all the way to the top if necessary. Have trans women use the women’s room everyday peacefully with witnesses at the capitol until they arrest one or take some other action against that person. Make it so the only reason they are being arrested is for using the restroom. Don’t give them any reason to add extra charges like resisting arrest or disorderly conduct, etc. Then fight it out in court. In the long run, that will give the cause a 1000 times more camera time than a group of people being arrested for breaking other laws in protest.
You can guarantee that if Missouri ever passed a bathroom bill, on that first day it took affect I would show up at the capitol with the press in tow and would violate it in front of the whole world. I would do it in a way that my only charge would be using the women’s bathroom. That would be a justifiable arrest as it can then be used to legally fight the constitutionality of the law all the way to the Supreme Court.
We have to work smart to battle these laws. The LGBT community is already under a microscope and opponents of our existence are looking for any dirt they can find to justify these hateful laws. Don’t give them ammunition to use against us by senseless law breaking.