Joy Bivins
Joy Bivins
Curator
Chicago History Museum

What if others don’t agree with your cause?

Recent protests like the Occupy Wall Street movement, remind us of the important role that public dissent has played in the nation’s history. Taking to the streets to make your voice heard is your right but it isn’t always easy to do. As today’s protests prove, not everyone will agree with you or with the way you express yourself. Protests offer challenges to local government officials who have health and safety concerns and logistical problems such as blocked streets.

You probably already know about the important protests of the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. Old film and history photos can make it seem like almost everyone participated or agreed with the activists’ stance, which wasn’t the case. The choice to speak out was often a lonely one.

Could you speak out on an issue that was really important to you even if others disagreed? Would you risk physical injury or arrest? Why or why not? I can’t wait to read what you have to say.

Discussion closed on March 12, 2012