An open letter to protestors from a special needs mom

protestors walking down a street
Amber Bobnar

Yes, I get it. You're upset about something and you feel like the only way to let the world know is to organize and take to the streets. I understand that feeling. I've wanted to protest many things too, like under-funded schools, discrimination against people with disabilities, lack of access to medical care, etc.

This is a free country and you have every right to tell the American people how you feel. You can enact change by raising awareness! Disrupt the system, practice democracy, take your free speech to the streets!

I support your right to have your voice heard, but I have one request: Please keep your protest on the sidewalk.

I am the parent of a medically fragile child and I have a message: IT IS NOT OKAY TO STOP TRAFFIC AND BLOCK THE STREETS.

I know you protestors think that your cause is the most important thing in the world and that by blocking traffic you are only causing minor delay and discomfort while using that discomfort to attract media attention.

But you could be causing so much more than minor discomfort - you could kill someone. I would like you to think outside your own frame of reference for a second and recognize that blocked streets mean no free arteries for ambulances or fire trucks. I want you to imagine the family stuck in a vehicle with a sick child who suddenly find themselves in an emergency situation and no way to access medical care. No opportunity to leave their car and no way for an ambulance to reach them.

With the number of protests rising I suddenly find myself in fear of being "stuck in the car" for a long period of time with a child who needs regular medications and for whom a trip to the hospital is a pretty routine occurrence. I live in a city where streets have been blocked by protestors. This is not an ungrounded fear!

So please please please, express yourself, exercise your rights, make your voice heard... but please keep to the grass and sidewalks.

Thank you,

A frightened mother of a medically fragile child


An open letter to protestors from a special needs mom


Topics: Advocacy