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Monday, February 27, 2006

How to protest 101
The Birmingham News has found a bunch of pictures from the civil rights era in their attic. Check out some of the pictures they found, these images are great.

We could learn a lot from the freedom marchers, rather than continually emulating the ineffective hippie-shit of the era. Check out these pictures for example:










































































Now that's how you show up for a protest! If only our side showed up to protests dressed in suits or their freaking academic robes! Now not everyone is in these shots is necessarily in a 3-piece suit, but no one is dressed up like a polar bear, wearing all black, or disguised as a member of FARC. If only we could cut out the hippie crap and start showing up for our anti-Bush protests dressed like these guys, then maybe someone would listen to us (and the cops would be more reluctant to beat the crap out of us too). Although it still probably wouldn't help since the news would still only cover the jackass with the puppets or whatever.

2 Comments:

minimalist said...

I am sure that if you carefully look over the data, sir, you will find that street puppetry has a very high success rate at converting people!

The even bigger problem, perhaps, is that protests these days often have no coherent message. It doesn't matter what the protest is nominally about, you'll end up seeing a bunch of signs that say "DISBAND THE WORLD BANK & WTO" or "END RACISM AT DENNY'S" because that's all certain people/groups ever protest about, no matter what the context.

And don't get me started on the taint-by-association with the commie-pinko front groups. That sure doesn't help.

I think the proper strategy in the current environment is just to Give Up on protests. Successful movements require people at the top willing and competent to effect change; Republican lawmakers are not willing, and Democrats are not competent.

Further, a lot of the concepts and evidence we have behind us just can't be boiled down to simple slogans. Not to take anything away from the civil rights movement, but for them the medium was a huge part of the message: being so well-dressed and organized sent a powerful message to the bigots of the day, "We are human; we have dignity; we deserve to be treated as such."

So, Give Up on protests. Work at the local level to promote progressive lawmakers, not just the status quo types who bring home the pork. Write guest op-ed pieces for your local birdcage-liner. Challenge your co-workers who listen religiously to O'Reilly, Savage and Hannity. Educate people about exactly where this administration has gone so wrong, and don't spare the detail.

Hard to do that when some chucklehead is standing behind you, wearing a big papier-mache' Cheney head and screaming about legalizing hemp.

5:02 PM, February 28, 2006

 
Rev. Dr. said...

You sir, understand the principle of Giving Up. I salute you and your anti-hippy ways.

6:34 PM, February 28, 2006

 

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