Essay on Charlottesville Violence Highlights Cities' Struggle to Balance Rights and Safety

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George Washington University
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Charlottesville is referred by many as a peaceful college town, but following the latest violence in the city, many people are bitter and angry about the aftermath. The violence erupted on 13th of August following a clash between the protesters and counter-protesters. Every person has a right to speak and hold a public protest in any state as long as the demonstrations are peaceful (Sarah and Lambert, n.p). In Charlottesville, The white supremacists were permitted to go to the street to voice their ideology, but other groups were against white supremacist ideology. Hence, they planned to protest against them. During the demonstrations, there were more than three groups in the street amongst which were the neo-Nazi, the white supremacist, Antifa, the unite the rally group and individual protesters (Farah, paragraph 5). The counter-protesters felt threatened by the claims of increased violence and brutality against people of other races, and therefore, they turned in large numbers to show unity against the white supremacist.

A crowd with such large number of people angry and with the diverse opinions did not turn out well, as people from each side spilled insult and threats to each other. The protesters come to the streets armed with different weapons and battle gears. It was evident that any spark of violence would be a trigger for the worst. The worst turned out when one of the protesters run his car through a crowd of protesters killing one person and injuring many people (Laurel, paragraph 3). Hell broke loose as the counter-protesters turned against each other. What was a peaceful city turned out chaotic, threatening the lives of many.

As the violence enraptured and many injured, the big question that arises is where were the police who are sworn to protect the life of the people. The city was aware of the protest for months, and the city authority together with the police are expected to have put all necessary measure in place and prepare the cops well to protect the people from the long-dreaded nightmare that turned true. According to reports, the police were on the standby, but the protesters and other witnesses said that they maintained a distance instead of intervening between the different protesters. The blame does not only fall on the police but also on the government of Virginia (Laurel, paragraph 13). The government was aware of the coming protest and the turmoil likely to spill following the permit granted to counter protesters. The state of Virginia would have acted first in stopping the rallies from happening. After following the aftermath, no one is willing to take the blame for the incidence, and people are busy turning fingers on one another.

The city of Charlottesvilles and its residents feel threatened, and people want nothing but for the dust to settle and things go back to normal. However, the state of Virginia and those responsible for restoring order and justice in the city need to address the significant question which is, is the city of Charlottesville safe from a similar nightmare. Strategic measures should be discussed and put in place to solve a similar incidence in the feature. After following the aftermath of the violence, the city authority struggles to keep the city safe and at the same time balance the peoples rights. The people have the freedom of speech and right to demonstrate, but the law fails to define when the freedom of speech and right to express is limited. The human rights and liberties are reasonable as they safeguard people and create room for change but the rights to some extent can be venomous when misused (Sarah and Lambert, p.n). The government should come up with reasonable set limits, which dictate to what extent a right remain relevant and when the liberty and freedom can be terminated. In the case of Charlottesville's, there was too much going on in the same day, and none of the group agreed with the other group ideology, such an instance is an obvious trigger for violence and a threat to peoples life. Such a situation holds reasonable grounds for the government to terminate all permits for the rallies without bias.

Safety of the people comes first, although the protests were held to air peoples grievances and create reasons for change, the safety of the people need to be addressed. The police should be put in place well equipped and trained to prevent violence and deadly attacks on protesters and counter-protester. According to Laurel (paragraph 9), the police who seem to seat far blocking people from the park should have been deployed in large numbers to stand in between the protesters and at the same time block protesters from the park.

The violence in the city is a big wakeup call to the authority. It is essential for the state to ensure that people safety is well addressed and at the same time the people constitutional rights are granted (Sarah and Lambert n. p). To prevent a similar case from happening in the future, it requires not only the police but the government of Virginia and the judiciary to work together (Farah 6). The state of Virginia raised concerns to the court of the many granted permitted to the different counter protesters and protester, but the judicially failed to acknowledge the issue. The government had predicted the likely outcome, but the judiciary acted against their wish and proceeded to give the permits. To keep the city safe from a similar incidence in the futures, its multiple factors need to be address or else the city will incur similar tension and damages which is not good for the city economy and welfare.

Works cited

Farah Stockmanaug. Who Were the Counter protesters in Charlottesville? New York Times 14, 2017

Laurel wamsley. Charlottesville Violence Highlights Cities' Struggle to Balance Rights and Safety the two way. August 14, 2017

Sarah N. Lynch and Lisa Lambert Far-Right Protests Leave U.S. Cities Scrambling to Balance Safety, Free Speech U.S news & reports Aug. 18, 2017,

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