Ack! I had started writing a response last night but my internet kicked out and now others have articulated some of the same points that I had better than I did! So my apologies for the redundancies:
I think the age difference is the crux of the matter.
Younger folks tend to be full of energy, fire, and brimstone while older folks tend to be a bit more circumspect. It’s partly a matter of understanding and living through the consequences of our actions. The older we get, the more things we survive, the more we realize that going off half-cocked has not served us well in life. The younger crowd don’t tend to have that kind of experience yet to measure against, so going against what the police ask seems like a reasonable thing to try.
Sometimes the things we regret most were the result of a fiery burst of feelings that felt right at the time but proved to be destructive and not constructive in the end. Sure you will get more attention taking an unlawful tact in the short term, but it will be bad attention that you may have to pay a price for later. And have you hurt your cause by doing that? Many people quickly lose sympathy for those who start lashing out angrily. Also, who cleans up after the destruction? It’s never the people you want to hurt but innocent bystanders or people just trying to make a living and you’ve just made their lives worse.
Let’s not forget too that older folks tend to remember things like Kent State happening in their lifetime. We have seen what happens when things go horribly wrong and we tend to be more cautious as a result.