Where have all the protests gone?
Well, they’ve come back — a little. I talked with someone earlier today for the book I’m working on (in its infancy) and he had to let me go by a certain time to call his Senators for MoveOn.
“Do you work for MoveOn?” I asked him.
No no, he said, they just make it super easy to do things like this. They’d e-mailed him the numbers to call, and he just had to punch in a few numbers. That’s it.
People can’t exactly run off to Washington to protest things anymore. Much of the protesting is happening online, which is good, but it doesn’t make the same statement as hundreds of thousands of people gathering at the capitol, he said.
I wonder…Could anyone organize a gi-normous protest nowadays? Not online. Outside. Not for a movie. A real protest. I’d go, but I’m too busy blogging…
In adding to Jenn Field’s comments on protesting, and the lack thereof:
Protesting is something that needs to be reinstituted at the college-level. In that you are required to take electives like theater appreciation and sociology, college students should be given more exposure to the postive power of peaceful, nonviolent protest for the public and global good. How about a cultural criticism class devoted to past protest movements and techniques that worked?
Protests come in all forms: marching, writing, e-mailing and giving — or taking away — the almighty dollar. Protesting also means bravely (but peacefully) expressing your own views to those closest to you and sharing important news and information that might allow them to more clearly understand the issues you are passionate about. Nothing is more alienating than merely forcing views on others– they have to get there themselves.
On a larger theme, how about motivating our young people to tune OUT their IPODS and tune INTO social issues that will inevitably become their problems once they are full-fledged, card-carrying tax-paying adults? You’re never too old or too young to participate. We need to let the youth — including our 30+ something friends and colleagues buried in their jobs and suburban minutia — know that peaceful, nonviolent protest is not only OK, but a right, privilege — and I’d even propose a DUTY — of American citizenship.
I’m inspired. I’m going to start protesting right now by deleting your comment…
Just kidding! Okay, that was fun practice for actually getting off my keister and doing something.
The iPod comment reminds me of a Zen monk I once knew who loved to deride the iPod culture. Is blaming the iPod like looking at the teacher’s finger instead of the moon?