Persepolis student sit-in: Just an excuse to miss class?

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Almasa Pecanin

By Almasa Pecanin


We all know the Persepolis student sit-in was a complete failure. The hallway between staircases A and D was flooded with people, making it impossible to get through. It was 20 minutes of chaos until everyone was eventually sent back to their first period classes.

The sad thing is, no one was really upset that they had to leave. This goes back to why the sit-in was a failure: students were only there to get out of class. The rumor was flying around that cuts would not not be given if the protest was kept peaceful, so everyone jumped at the opportunity and hundreds showed up to “protest”.

Protests are a great thing. They give you a chance to express your opinions and beliefs and meet a load of people who have the same thoughts as you. But these protests lose meaning once they are filled with people who don’t support the cause.

When the Persepolis controversy first started, it was the hottest topic on Facebook. Some were arguing that students should take action and protest the banning of the book. Others thought a protest was unwarranted. I saw a couple of statuses from people saying things such as “This is not a reason to protest” or “You are all just looking for a reason to protest.”

I saw at least two of those anti-protesters at the sit-in. I also remember hearing numerous “this is stupid” remarks while trying to get through the crowd. I remember telling myself that three people could have held a better sit-in than the one that was going on.

Nothing gets accomplished if those involved couldn’t care less about the issue. The students who were just leaning against their lockers and enjoying their time out of class were taking away from the purpose of the protest.

The sit-in didn’t work out because the administration and the organizers of the event could not get everyone to cooperate. The students were too busy socializing with their friends to pay attention if any orders were given.

The point of the sit-in was to spread the word about censorship and to put an end to it. The organizers were trying to gather a group of students who were eager to protest and fight for freedom and their rights. The idea was for the students to silently read in protest. This purpose was lost when the sit-in just became a big hang out.

Big problems will never get solved if the people who are trying to solve them are surrounded by others who don’t care. These people diminish the spirit of those wanting to take a stand. If someone shows up to a protest just to protest, then it’s pretty obvious that they won’t be of much help. So what’s the point of their being there?

Maybe if the organizers of the event communicated better with administration and made posters and/or announcements about the protest, the results would have been different. The fact that this was organized through Facebook made the sit-in sound more like a student affair rather than something approved by administration. Therefore, it was the “cool” thing to do. This could have been easily avoided through school advertisement.

Ten protesters who are dedicated to the cause is a lot more effective than 100 protesters who just make a lot of noise and don’t even know the reason they’re protesting.

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