blogenlust
8.29.2004

Protesting the RNC


Looks like the RNC is off to a populated start in NYC. I have to say that I am quite worried about the potential for these protests to be used in favor of Bush. I'm afraid that a situation may be provoked that is reminiscent of '68 in Chicago. Certainly, there are enough protesters in the city to cause a considerable mess if such a provocation occurs. I'm not really into the whole protesting scene, anyway. I agree with this post by Matthew Yglesias; there are better ways of getting your point across. One of the problems I have with protesting is the way that it is often presented by the media. Usually, you will see only the weirdest and most extreme protesters in the media's depiction of events. In the fall of 2002, I went to an anti-Iraq War rally in Boston Common. One thing that struck me was how many "normal" people there were. In other words, you wouldn't expect to see "the girl next door" protesting the Iraq War in Boston Common, but she was. When I got home that day, the media only showed images of anarchists, who had 500 piercings and mohawks. The message was clear to the viewer at home who didn't attend the event: How can you take these protesters seriously when they look like this!?! This is not to say that I'm against free speech. I think protesting is an important aspect of democracy and should be taken seriously. Protesters just need to be more aware that their message is being filtered in a way that they sometimes encourage. I think if they were smarter in presenting their message, they might be more effective in persuading others.