Friday, August 15, 2008

Nice Quote from PG in the Comments

Joe the Math Guy's post a few posts down is still getting a small trickle of discussion, and PG said something I found particularly apt:

Civil disobedience without a willingness to spend a night in Birmingham jail isn't particularly admirable.


who argued this one out at Ogre's blog at some length a few months ago.


Joe The Math Guy said...

Or intelligent.

Chalicechick said...

I don't know what "this country" has to do with anything. I don't know of any countries where giving tough guys badges and uniforms and guns doesn't sometimes get out of hand.

I did a hell of a lot of protesting when I was younger and I never even got close to getting beaten or arrested.

The ChaluceRelative, a veteran of dozens if not hundreds of protests, always said:

1. Ignore counterprotestors and the people who are harassing them.
2. Be nice to the cops. They're at work.
3. Stay the hell away from anarchists.
4. If you see anything resembling violence break out, turn around and walk swiftly away. DO NOT watch and for the love of God do not get involved.

Following that advice always worked just fine for me.

Yes, there are exceptions where cops just randomly attack people, but at least in DC that's way the exception and not the rule. My impression is that you pretty much have to TRY to get arrested around here.

I find all of protesting so weird in retrospect.


ogre said...

Protesting only serves a purpose when there's the reasonable perception that the views of large segments of the society, publicly expressed, should have an influence on the attitudes and actions of government.

That's been true in the past (not perfectly true, but true).

In the last almost 8 years? No.

And thanks for pointing me back to still live discussions; I've thrown more oil on the flames...

Anonymous said...

CC - I said "this country" because often one of the things that comes out of the mouths of abused protesters is "this is America!" Unlike many countries, we supposedly have the right to assemble and protest.

I think it depends on what you are protesting. I've been to a lot of protests, but none of them were truly radical (maybe the Social Forum, but that was barely covered in the news - which is the new tactic of the 'establishment'), nor were they of the magnitude of, say, the WTO protests. But I personally know people who have been beaten and arrested by cops. A lot of people are just silly in their actions, but I don't think these folks were being so.

Chalicechick said...

Again, I don't doubt that truly innocent people get caught up in busts of protests sometimes, but I think that's the exception rather than the rule.

Also, where I come from protests are so common that it would be weird if the news media DID cover them. I've written before about how when I was a kid it was a non-uncommon Northern VA teenage thing to go down to Lafayette park and just pick a cause at random of the several that happened to be there on the day you showed up.

It would be bigger news if a day went by and there were NO protests.

I don't think the lack of coverage is a tactic of the establishment, I think that something can happen so often that it's no longer news.