The display of dissatisfaction in response to an action or omission by person, organization or body is the closest protest can be described, the questions of legality or otherwise are often politically designed even when backed by prescriptions of the law.
The practices of democracy allow room for expression of contrary views, whether minority or not, as a mode of attention seeking directed towards authorities or a means of accountability demanding.
Intent to protest creates questions of how, with the most attention-attraction means being street demonstration, this that develops questions of violence.
Violence comes with execution of a malicious act, whether this can manifest in a protest or not, it hardly has any legality in it or the least, morality. But then, this never should legally be a worry for the protesters unless the protest is violence-oriented from the start (if that’s the case, then the protest is illegal).
If not, it is the job of the state to identify the violent persons, arrest and charge them. Ironically but expected, often times the political motives of the ruling government influence it to impede protests or face them with brutality of the armed forces under pretext of violence-intent of the protesters.
And with the misuse of statutes like the Public Order Management Act as well as crimes like incitement of violence, the rights and freedoms in the action of protest remain defied. So does the intended purpose of the protest which often times, is of public interest and good.
WRITER: BARYAMUJURA MAHAD is a passionate about social justice