Orlando has always been know for peaceful protests and rallies. We’re talking about everything from the election of Donald Trump, to the Casey Anthony Trial, and controversial legislation that appears almost every year.
I know because I’ve been there. No lie, probably approaching triple digits.
They’re peaceful events that manage to draw eyeballs to a cause through earned media to provoke change. In other words true activism.
This weekend changed that.
While everyone agrees that the death of George Floyd deserves justice, the protesters in Orlando turned destructive (story HEREHERE). They vandalized businesses and property (story HEREHERE). They attempted to march into traffic. They caused problems in normally peaceful neighborhoods.
Why did this happen?
It’s because many of these protesters were amateurs. I’d never seen a lot of these people before. This includes the few causing problems.
And make no mistakes that the actions of these few that only makes the mission of making positive change tougher. It provides space for the critics to charge and stalls progress in making things better.
They’ll disappear after this is over. They won’t talk to one voter this year. They won’t do any of the work. And then they’ll show up again when it’s time to do damage.
The fact that Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Jerry Demings had to put a curfew in place was a loss for the community. We’re better than that. Unfortunately, we let the internet influence members of our community into hurting ourselves.
Let’s hope this trend is just that. And let’s also look forward to a day we’re we can return to peaceful protests that are still proven to move along a cause.
That’s how Orlando does it.