Making Waves: Protest as seen through starry eyes

At first only a few came to protest, others would follow.

Theirs was a forgotten race and they believed that blocking the road and protesting would get them their rights as a people, rights that had been denied them for so long.

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They had won in the past, gained some ground. A sacred place had been bombed, they spoke out, and the public had been so outraged that the bombings finally stopped, at least for a while.

They were being recognized as a force to be reckoned with.

A few concessions were made for them, a few laws passed to protect them.

As the protesting grew the few ragtag leaders and protesters were becoming powerful, and the public was getting nervous that they could have such power. Blocking roads and protesting was breaking the law and the public started to get mad.

They wrote letters to the newspaper and to their politicians saying they should enforce the law against these rabble-rousers.

The letters always had the same theme,“We elected you to enforce the law, you should do it and not back down from these law breakers.”

The governor and the local mayor tried to enforce the law and arrested some of them, but they were so sincere and peaceful that the governor and mayor held back. The state leaders secretly felt for these people so did not enforce the law.

It was a standoff. They would not move, and the law would not be enforced.

Some recognized that the protesters’ cause was just, and what they were doing was above the law, and because of public opinion the governor held back. He sent police to keep watch on things but other than that he could do nothing.

As they gathered at the access road, celebrities joined them. Famous actors and singers, and well-known politicians stood with them. Soon their cause gained momentum and swept across the country, other similar protests sprung up. People stood by the roadsides waving signs, the entire country was riled up and the media talked on and on about the issue.

Even the president took notice, lawmakers spoke out, many agreeing with their feelings. But the fact remained, trespassing was breaking the law and this was a problem for elected leaders.

Blocking the access roads and standing in the way of business was preventing the public from going to work, but the protesters remained steadfast. Their cause was more important than day-to-day work. The future would bear them out.

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They would not be moved, they joined arms and as the police moved in to arrest them they sang and looked to the mountain and believed their cause was just, as the protesters stood on the road to Montgomery, Alabama, following their leader Martin Luther King.

Dennis Gregory writes a bimonthly column for West Hawaii Today and welcomes your comments at makewavess@yahoo.com