But I do not agree with the non-violent protests that shut down an Arizona highway near a Donald Trump campaign events, nor with other protests intended to prevent Trump from speaking.
Dr. King’s non-violent protests were strategic attacks on structures of power. His protests succeeded to the extent that people in power concluded it would cost them less, in terms of damage to profits and reputation, to give in to his demands than to fight them.
They also succeeded to the extent that Dr. King was able to convince the larger American public that his cause was just, and his protests were disciplined and organized as to give his followers the moral high ground.
Dr. King had specific lists of demands. His opponents always knew what they had to do in order to shut off the protests.
Protestors who try to shut down Donald Trump rallies do not hurt either Trump’s reputation nor his profits. Instead they solidify Trump’s support, while inconveniencing and alienating the general public.
Those protestors are not defending their Constitutional rights. Instead they are denying Trump his right of free speech and his followers their right to peaceably assemble.
Yes, I know the Constitutional rights of Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and other groups have not been respected, and that Donald Trump himself is not a friend of civil liberties. That does not mean that he and his followers are not entitled to hold meetings or that there is anything to be gained in trying to deny them that right.
As a bystander who is writing from a safe vantage point, I know political activists and street protesters have no particular reason to heed my advice. I’ll give it anyway.
I think that in the present situation, grass-roots political organizing is more effective than street demonstrations. I also think that if you want to protest Trump, the best venues are outside Trump businesses. It is a way to call attention to Trump’s sleazy business practices, and to hurt him where it counts, in his profits and reputation.