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02/06/2022

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Addressing the protests with long-run policies directed toward inequality and lack of opportunity should be coupled with an overall open environment of communication. If the government and its representatives address these overall populist movement devotees with empathy and understanding, I think there would be less of an "us vs. them" attitude held by these protestors. The more understood the protestors feel, the more they'll believe that they are more similar to the "ruling elite" and they will be less inclined to further their populist beliefs and attitudes.

While not as potentially impactful as actually enacting policies that address inequality, the government having a general attitude of open communication and empathy with disgruntled protestors would help to tamper the many populist movement protests across the globe.

I agree with you Allie, that the government having a general attitude of open communication and empathy towards protestors is a much better mindset and approach than dismissing them and sending the army to disband the protests. When I was in undergrad at UC Berkeley, there were many instances of peaceful protesting that were met with violence from police and even SWAT teams being sent to campus. Innocent students were injured in the process of doing nothing more than expressing their first amendment rights.

Governments should work towards addressing the roots of the discontent and instituting policies to improve conditions. While I am pro-vaccine and therefore hold an opposing opinion to the Ottawa protestors, I do feel that they are within their rights and the Canadian government sending in an army to disband the protests can backfire. On the other hand though, we saw during the January 6th Capitol attack that having force there to disband protestors (using the term loosely here) doesn't always make a difference. If the "ruling elite" or whoever is in power agrees with the protestors, the push to dismantle the protest is much less forceful. This goes to show that either way, sending in the army to disband protests is likely not the answer. It is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The protestors are not the problem (most of the time). Rather, unaddressed deep-seated discontent is the problem and only through dedicating time to addressing areas of discontent can governments reduce the "us vs. them" attitudes on both sides.

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