Charlottesville and Kenosha

Consider Charlottesville, August 11th 2017. It’s the day before the protests and a man, Jack, strongly believes that confederate monuments should not be removed. Jack is considering joining in what he believes will be only a mostly peaceful protest.

Is it morally permissible for Jack to participate?

Now consider Kenosha, August 27th 2020. It’s the day after the Rittenhouse shooting and a woman, Jill, strongly believes that Jacob Blake should not have been shot. Jill is is considering joining in the Kenosha protests later that day and she believes it will be only a mostly peaceful protest.

Is it morally permissible for Jill to participate?

However we answer these questions, if we only considered whether or not we agree with the stated aim of the protest and not the consequences of it — both directly and indirectly by media and those later in the night who will use that protest as a cover — then we lack moral maturity.

Throwing half-baked ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.