Another Protest This Weekend

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/10/O27Photo-thumb.jpgA.N.S.W.E.R.* LA is organizing another “stop the war” protest on Saturday and all the details are posted on the AnswerLA.org website. This time around, there’s going to be a march and a rally, where protesters will stage “a mass symbolic ‘Die-In’ to illustrate visually the impact of the war on Iraqis and U.S. soldiers.”

In honor of Saturday’s event, I submit my list of top five protests that changed the world as we know it today:

Tiananmen Square
Martin Luther King’s march on Washington DC
September 11, 2001
Stonewall Riots
Battle of Seattle

Protests, according to A.N.S.W.E.R.’s website, are meant to “galvanize people into playing an active role in the movement to stop the war”. In four out of five of the examples given above, that meant being willing to sacrifice something – maybe your home, your rights, or your life – to fight for what you believe in, and even MLK took a bullet for it in the end.

And mock the French as we may, at least they don’t let their cops beat up on civilians.

I guess I’m just disappointed that this week in Los Angeles the word “protest” means a mob of passive, opinionated taxpaying individuals with day jobs and rents and mortgages and gas-powered cars waiting for them at home would rather lie down on their backs than instigate some real action.

*Act Now to Stop War and End Racism

20 Replies to “Another Protest This Weekend”

  1. Might I suggest you would get more effect doing the marching in front of our Democratic US Senators and Representatives offices? The promised “out now” as part of their last campaign which got them control yet got us NOTHING beyond lip service.

    If they want maximum attendees they need to do this during business hours. You are more likely to get a bunch willing to skip work than an afternoon kicking back at a bbq. Apathy works that way.

    I agree we need out for a variety of reasons. I just wonder the effectiveness a march downtown on a Saturday.

  2. This war isn’t going away until Papa Bush gets bitch slapped.
    Protests are for people with gas guzzling SUV’s, to help clear their consciences.

  3. This war isn’t going away until Papa Bush gets bitch slapped.

    Like the current USDOJ’s gonna let that happen? About this time last presidency, someone was getting crucified for getting a blowjob from an intern. So far – despite all the heinous domestic and international crimes committed by this administration in the name of “freeing Iraq” – crickets.

    Nothing’s happening until enough people threaten to vote ALL these people out of office if they don’t enact a realistic and actionable plan for getting out of Iraq.

    Take a minute: Write to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, write and phone the congressperson from your district, and get ’em off their Bush-appeasing asses.

  4. Yeah, I don’t buy that mass murder equates protest by almost any definition, especially ANSWER’s. The 9/11 shitbags was an act of jihad to further a war. And if you want to argue that every act of war is a protest, you should put the Holocaust at the top of the list.

  5. Yes David, and the problem with this group if you read all their stuff isn’t about democracy its about socialism and giving up on our form of government. I’m not about ready to do that.

    Ending the war is one thing, but if they want to attract more followers outside a few population centers they will need to do more. Getting the vast majority of this country to abandon democracy in favor of socialism isn’t going to happen. The socialist agenda won’t play in Peoria.

    Thank gawd for democracy where every fringe gets to speak and be heard.

  6. 9/11 was a protest?

    Seriously…WTF???

    And mock the French as we may, at least they don’t let their cops beat up on civilians.

    Nah…they just stand back while their citizens riot ‘n torch the city with abandon.

    Viva La Différence!

  7. Yeah, I don’t buy that mass murder equates protest by almost any definition. The 9/11 shitbags was an act of jihad to further a war.

    I would say that you are correct, from a certain point of view. The “9/11 shitbags” certainly had a problem with the West and now they’ve got our government’s attention in a way a ‘Die-in’ never could.

    And if you want to argue that every act of war is a protest, you should put the Holocaust at the top of the list.

    That’s taking my meaning too far. I’m not saying that every act of war is a protest, but in some way or another the most effective protests throughout history were acts of war.

    Nah…[the French] just stand back while their citizens riot ‘n torch the city with abandon.

    It’s easy to point fingers at others when you live in such a comfortably passive society, isn’t it?

  8. What you see as passiveness, I see as confidence and optimism.

    Case in point, our current wildfire evacuees.

    Americans are some of the most resilient and proactive people on the planet.

    So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t necessarily agree with your Debbie Downer view of America’s resolve.

  9. Yes, you are correct – when disaster and tragedy directly effects our lives, we feel compelled to take action.

  10. How about lynchings? Abortion clinic bombings?

    I think that once murder becomes part of the means, an acts no longer qualifies as protest.

    I’m pretty damn liberal, and usually find myself at odds with The Ugly American, but in this case find labeling 9/11 terrorists as protesters incredibly insensitive, or just ill conceived.

  11. Ya know after having been to Paris I feel compelled to tell you I found them to be the most charming and helpful people. I do what I can to dispell that stereotype.

    Given the billions we give to others in the world in terms of humanitarian aid at the expense or our own poor I would hardly call us passive. Everyone seems to forget all the good that we do and focus on the fuckup du jour. We need to fix what needs fixing but not lose our focus on what we do right either.

  12. Can’t these marches take place in BH or Santa Monica? I’m tired of having to deal with the street closures in my neighborhood.

  13. This post is giving me some serious douche chills. How can you call September 11 a protest? How can you not mention Mahatma Gandhi if you’re talking about history’s most effective protests?

  14. Cut and paste from the good ol’ Wikipedia:

    Protest expresses relatively overt reaction to events or situations: sometimes in favor, though more often opposed. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly and forcefully making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or may undertake direct action to attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves.

    “Overt”, “forcefully making opinions heard”, “influence government opinion or policy”, “direct action”… Sounds like 9/11 to me.

    And if you want to talk about Ghandi, he was a poster child for political persecution from the get-go. He was also imprisoned multiple times and eventually assassinated – just like MLK. The point I make here is that there are no people like Ghandi or MLK any more, because most civilians are too afraid to sacrifice so much for a cause – especially their lives.

  15. Gee whiz, Gandhi was assassinated? Thanks, professor. My point was that Gandhi found a way to voice his dissent without killing 3,000 civilians in the process. There’s a big difference between a protest and an act of war.

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