If they want to perceive what they demand, protests by students should never be violent. We are living in a modern society where people are expected to respect others. Therefore, the society expects something peaceful and rational from university students. If not, people might say that students are thoughtless to express themselves or ask what they want aggressively without understanding the real world. Students should act like students, which made me think that violent protests are negative 99 percent of the time. I once argued with my friend who does active and effective protests that involve violence. He insisted that without visible action and stimulation, the people receiving and watching the protest would not feel the need to change. Peaceful and rational behavior cannot coexist with protests since it is another kind of war to achieve what the protestors need and want. However, I have a totally different perspective. When we think of history and protest for independence of our nation, big Hurrah Movements, one of which took place on March 1st, 1919, come into our minds. Also, Gandhi’s nonviolent protest became extremely significant that those who follow Gandhi’s method a Gandhian. When we consider the French Revolution, we can see that the intention was good, but the result did nothing but bring about the need of a leader like Napoleon. There might be effective protests with violence, but it does not mean that violence is always needed for protests. Like the examples I have mentioned, protests without violence can be effective too.
I see the possibilities of rational and intellectual movements at Dongguk University. Even though protesting or raising our voices without strong action might be difficult, that should be the form our students should pursue. I believe such actions will influence the whole society too, as the students who raise their voices through nonviolence will enter the society, affecting the people around who observe those students. Based on this influence, I hope South Korea can become a nation where nonviolent protest can work out effectively. As a conclusion, I wish to quote the famous saying from Gandhi. “Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence.”
Song Jun-hak .
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