Saturday, April 05, 2003

Catching up on my Colby Cosh reading, I find this gem:
Like most protests, it is--by the kindest interpretation--a self-involved, essentially childish exercise, a dumbshow designed to appeal to wholly ignoble collective sentiments.

Yes, it is a premise of democracy that if plenty of people agree with you, you're quite likely right. But it is a premise of liberal democracy that we will use rational persuasion and balloting to resolve issues. No one has yet explained to me what marching and shouting has to do with that...

Buttafly says something similar:
I figured this [SF protest] would be the perfect opportunity to hear a summary of the anti-war position to help me make up my mind once and for all. About 20 yards and 10 minutes into the protest I realized that it wasn't going to happen. I wasn't going to be able to consider the merits of the anti-war arguments because none were being made.
Even reasonable people who are against war (Sorenson in SFGate) may not like or approve of anti-war protests:
Marching in San Francisco to stop a war in Iraq is a fine, fine example of wasted energy. Protest marches, like petitions, are exercises in futility.

I saw a April Fool war protest in San Francisco last week - the sign that caught my eye was "More Blood for Oil" then "Gays for War" or something like that. It was a surreal little parade and not immediately obvious. At least the small crowd (30?) waited for street lights and didn't obstruct traffic or destroy anything as far as I could see. Apparently one happened in Portland too, better photographed.

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