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Take your child to a peace march or peaceful antiwar protest?
I have a decision to make. I grew up in Kent, Ohio. I was born there, raised there, and lived almost my entire adult life there. Even when I moved out, I was still there LOL. You never really leave Kent.
My home town is most known for the four students that were killed in an antiwar protest at Kent State University (also my alma-mater) The song "Four Dead in Ohio" is about my hometown, or at least the events that happened there. This happened on May 4, 1970. Every year on may fourth, there is a commemoration for these students, and several peace vigils and marches. I have take part in them since I was in high school.
This year, if the weather is nice enough, I am considering taking Jonah. He is too young to know anything about it... even in two or three or four or five years... hell I am just coming around to understanding a lot of it myself, and I'm sure most of the other adults don't quite understand either... but anyway I'm torn. There is always a peace march after the commemoration. There are speakers, and then we all march from one side of town to the other. It happens every year and doesn't get much notice anymore. It's pretty quiet (unfortunately) but we still do it. I think I want to make a t-shirt for him to wear that says "I don't want to fight your wars" but on the same hand I don't know if I even want to take him. I have even more reason to be against this war now than I ever did, and he is that reason so part of me says take him, but I also don't want to be forcing views upon him that he couldn't possibly understand. KWIM?
I don't want this to be a political discussion about whether the war is right or whether we are right to be marching; I am just asking would you take your child to a peaceful protest for something you believed in with all your heart.
As long as you are completely sure it will be quite peaceful, which it seems that it will be, I see no problem with it. You are not indoctrinating him with your views, simply making a him a part of something you feel strongly about. When he is old enough you can explain more to him, and once he is old enough he may form his own opinions. Here it would be a different situation because anything like that has the potential to turn ugly, but I really cant see a kent state memorial descending into a riot.
I don't think that taking your baby along to a protest or march means that you are enforcing your beliefs upon him. Although personally, I would wear the slogan t-shirt myself, rather than put one on him. I think that makes it clearer it is my own voice and opinion, rather than one I am projecting onto him, kwim? But that's just my own feeling on the matter, as I've never been one keen seeing children at marches carrying or wearing messages that they are too young to understand. I don't think it's harmful or disrespectful to him to put him in a slogan t-shirt if that's what you want do.
My bigger concern would be the potential for things to turn chaotic (I am not good in crowds myself). But if it's really unlikely, and I could tag along at the edges so that I could move away quickly if needed, then it could be ok.
The other two ladies said everything I'm thinking - I would worry about safety in crowds first and if I was sure he'd be safe I'd go. You are not forcing your beliefs on him, you are exposing him to them and there is a big difference. I know a lot of people find political slogan onesies cute - I am notone of those people and we'll leave it at that.
If it were any other protest, I'd probably be more worried about safety too. This march has gone on since I can remember, and it's been highly unnoticed. So unnoticed that most people say why bother, but it is important to us. There's a permit etc, and the police are used to it quite frankly, and most support it as it is also a part of the commemoration of something everyone in the town thinks should be kept in remembrance.
Thank you all for giving me your views. I really like that we can all respect each other here and ask questions/give views with honesty
Click the blinkies!
Thank You, Pattyandthemoos, for my beautiful siggy!
I would take Lily. I went to UC Berkeley, which is known worldwide for its protests and the whole Free Speech Movement started there, so there are always protests/marches going on. I attended quite a few as a student and I would take Lily to some, but not until she's older. The only reason I would wait is because the ones at Cal tend to get out of control and there are almost always arrests. But if I knew it would be super peaceful and not chaotic I would definitely take her now.