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Protest - Journal of Omnifarious

Apr. 3rd, 2005

01:00 am - Protest

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I've been thinking about protest and societal change...

Someone (I wish I had a link to the article) wrote about the complete failure of protest as a tool for changing things in recent years. The person made a really excellent point.

Their point was that in the 60s, things were in such a state that people openly flaunting societal norms was scary. People wondered what else these people might be capable of if they were willing to *gasp* wear colorful non-standard stuff and strut down the street making noises that weren't standard street parade type nosies.

That's no longer scary. It's, at best, entertainment, and at worst a nuisance. Some people have been trying to up the ante by purposely blocking traffic, and others by vandalizing property. The first just makes you more of a nuisance, and the latter turns you into a criminal who's voice people will pointedly ignore, no matter what you say.

The real way to change it is to organize protests. No longer have them be chaotic groups of people all with their own hand-made signs and colorful clothing, expressing their individuality. Have it be ranks of files of people carry identical signs and wearing very similar (or identical) clothing. That would again be scary.

The problem with the latter approach is that you then end up looking like what we think of as fascists. And in truth, being organized enough to pull off stuff like that really does run you the danger of promulgating a narrow-minded, fascist mindset incapable of tolerating differences of opinion.

I don't really know what the answer is. I just know that what's being done right now doesn't work. Does the WTO really fear (or even care about) the opinion of the average citizen, even after the protests here in Seattle?

Current Mood: [mood icon] contemplative
Current Music: Psychotica - Euthanasia

Comments:

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From:mizemm
Date:April 3rd, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
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You might be interested in reading a book pwththth wrote, about staging protests. I thought it was very good. I don't remember the name of the book, but I can find out, if you're interested.
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[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:April 3rd, 2005 11:01 am (UTC)
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Thanks. :-)

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From:mizemm
Date:April 4th, 2005 10:38 am (UTC)
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Does that mean you want me to get the name of the book or not? :)
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[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:April 4th, 2005 11:23 am (UTC)
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I wouldn't mind, it would save me trying to hunt through h(is/er) journal looking for it. :-)

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From:mizemm
Date:April 5th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
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Speak Up, Speak Out, and Be Heard: How to Protest and Make it Count (ISBN 1-55950-238-X), published by Loompanics Unlimited
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From:omnifarious
Date:April 5th, 2005 11:21 am (UTC)
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Thanks! :-)

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From:rosencrantz319
Date:April 3rd, 2005 06:20 am (UTC)
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From:mabelmundane
Date:April 3rd, 2005 10:34 am (UTC)
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your right. the last several protests ive been to have been compete failures. lack or organization, and too many people just showing up- because its 'cool' or the thing to do...
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From:rainonthewind
Date:April 3rd, 2005 12:33 pm (UTC)
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Solution: Join the system. Corrupt it from within.

Stop trying to influence your local mayor, and put your time and energy and resources into taking his place, etc. To succeed, you will of course need to do the true job of a political representative of the people - represent them. Which means setting aside whatever extreme views you hold, and acting on the desires and in the best interests of the population you represent. Of course, with power would come the power to educate, to change opinions, to influence the people you represent. To be a leader.
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