Please help me argue against this statement: "Violence is never justified as a form of public protest."The topic ‘Violence is never justified as a form of public protest’ (based on the London...

Please help me argue against this statement: "Violence is never justified as a form of public protest."

The topic ‘Violence is never justified as a form of public protest’ (based on the London riots) and I’m going to go against it that it can be justified. Can someone please help me get started with the contention?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Perhaps the best way to approach this would be to point to places like Libya or Syria, or South Africa in the Apartheid era.  Looking at countries like those, you could argue that there are clearly times when violence is justifiable because the government is so oppressive and because it offers so little in the way of opportunities for non-violent political expression.  (If you really want to go all-out, just ask rhetorically whether it would have been right for Jews to engage in violent protest in Nazi Germany.)

Now, it will be hard to argue that the London riots were caused by these sorts of conditions.  Even underprivileged youths in Britain have the right to express themselves politically and are relatively unoppressed by the government.  However, you could argue that the British political system allows youths to be heard, but never gives them what they demand.  You could argue that police activities are oppressive in a country where the police treat other people so well.  In this way, you could argue (if you have to) that the London riots were justified.

Even if the London riots were not justified, it seems clear that there are times when violence is justified.

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