While Robert Simms’ fears of government overreach regarding protests are understandable (Letters, 2/4), distinctions need to be made regarding types of protests.
There are, I suggest, three characteristics of protest that differ significantly.
First, is it inclusive, aimed at bringing people together (Black Lives Matter, for example), or is it exclusive, belittling some (as in white supremacy movements)?
Is it committed to non-violence, or does it condone or promote violence?
And, does it occur during daylight hours (signifying transparency and respect), or does it revel in darkness (thereby more prone to violence)?
Democracy, being always a work in progress and a balancing act, must permit the former example in each of the three characteristics, but it must draw limits on the latter if it is to survive.