Protests are important, and most of the time I'm fully supportive. Having said that, is there anything more predictable, and frankly boring, than hearing about the latest clash between police and a group of anarchists. I've read my Bakunin, but IMHO these constant clashes, everytime there is any type of summit, where a camera might be attendance, has lost the power to have impact.
It is now a pre-requisite that things must deteroriate to the point of tear gas, so that certain groups can claim success at any protest. A badge of honor, a self-fulfilling prophecy, wherein people provoke, to solicit a response, so in turn they can say "told you so". I find the entire spectacle mostly distraction, rather than a relevant "struggle".
When you read the press pieces today, the coverage revolves around the violence and the reaction. There were many groups present today, but their voice is overshadowed by others with an agenda to cause some mayhem and look defiant. That behavior detracts from the message of the more civil protests, and tends to paint the entire exercise in a bad light. To clarify, there are times when violence occurs, wherein it isn't justified, but sadly, it seems to be a "must do" when it comes to the black and red gang. I'm sure the small band of borderline hooligans take great pride in their exploits, but for someone who sees the value in civil disobedience, I find the predictable behavior more dull than thought provoking or relevant.
Just to clarify, I am arguing a very FINE point. I hope nobody takes this post as a rejection of the protesters, just the people who's only motivation seems to be stirring up shit, just for the sake of confrontation.
I agree with you completely Steve.
Many years ago I stopped going to protests when I found them to always be overrun by idiots (who always had an agenda other than the purpose of the protest). If the protest is about the Mike Harris cuts to education, the media would concentrate on the small group who were using the protest to promote their communist agenda with soviet flags etc - sorry but that wasn't what the protest was about. Of course, many other idiots wearing gasmasks would try to provoke the police into pepperspraying us all (nice to see that those gasmask wearing provokers had no concern for the non-protected majority of fellow protesters - assholes) or retaliating. I was disgusted and I stopped going.
Fortunately, I have happy memories other protests when everyone from the whole area would show up to protest (businesses and schools shutting down) against Toronto's plan to ship their garbage to my area. These were great protests. The OPP once sent up several busloads of officers to ensure we didn't turn violent (violent against whom I wonder?). We fed them and treated them like we would anyone else. They were not the enemy and most of them really supported what we were doing.
I support protesting. I don't support these anarchists who are ruining protests.
Well said, there are clearly different kinds of "protesters".
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