How do you feel about protestors? : LUSENET : like sands : One Thread

Would you go into a store where people were protesting? Do you think protest is an effective tool for social change?

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2000


More often than not, these types of displays result in flaming passions not only of the protestors but their percieved rivals as well (evidence your defiant march on the mall out of spite -- you are really too cool :)

From what I can gather by reading accounts of organizations like Focus on the Family, a more potent tool for affecting (effecting?) social change is the economic boycott.

Of course the most powerful exertion of force would be the combination of the two (evidence the Boston Tea Party).

and... at the risk of being chided for throwing in an off topic monkey wrench... I enjoy reading your diary. It's written well and a good read. No matter how much I tease about you being boring :), I look forward to reading your entries with the same rolling anticipation as I have when waiting for the next Kay Hooper psychic drama to come off the press. Besides, how is a single dad stuck in Idaho 'sposed to get the inside scoop on how to maybe, finally attract a 'smart one'? (assuming there are any out here in BFI)

Keep writing gal, you got some good stuff. (I could almost see you stretching that petite frame for all it's worth to change that bulb - however, were I a woman, I wouldn't hesitate to bat my big 'ol eyes at the first 6ft. tall guy I see and not consider it a dependancy but rather a praxis of the god-given gifts of female persuasion)

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

I do once in a while support the causes protestors are out for, but I'm also self-centered and loathe inconvenience, so I really hate anyone making it difficult for me to navigate a male or a street... They're all much more entertaining on TV...

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

I'd have a lot more respect for the violent type of protesters if they weren't regional--if stores were being blockaded all across the country for selling fur, that would mean that the whole spectrum of people are upset. When it's regional, like the fur thing, it looks kind of pathetic. I see people on TV throwing red paint at people in San Francisco, then I look out my window in Saint Paul when it's 15 below and see people wearing fur and think "Hey, that looks warm...".

I just generally dislike watching people try to use logic to argue a philosophical point--they tend to lack a certain sense of closure. If someone's final argument is "because I believe it to be true," that's fine for them, but if that person's belief causes them to do $100,000 in damages, or someone to lose a job, or go to the hospital, not so fine.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

In general protesting makes me feel good about being an American, since there are so many places in the world where protesting isn't a safe thing to do.

I do differentiate between an enthusiastic protest and a crime spree. If people want to sit in a doorway and let the police haul them away, then fine. Let them cool off in jail a few days if they feel that strongly about something. That's almost an American tradition.

But when they start destroying property and endangering lives then I think they ought to have the book throw at them.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

During my four years as a student at Columbia University, an institution reknown for its students' activism, I witnessed three general student strikes, along with countless daily protests & rallies. Protesting at Columbia has a long & illustrious past, but I think most of the protestors' efforts have been poorly planned & executed. I have long felt that the ensuing confrontations between students during blockades and strikes offer little opportunity for constructive dialogue on the issues at stake and only increase the majority's lack of support for the protestors and their causes.
In one instance, protestors once blockaded the main classroom building during Final Exams to call for the establishment of an African-American Culture department. I still don't understand what they hoped to accomplish on that wintry December day -- they were unlikely to garner any sympathy or attract support for their cause while preventing people from going about their business. If anything, they aggravated and inconvenienced a majority of the students who merely wanted to take their exams and get home to their families for the holidays.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

Here at work we have an "emergency manual" hanging in every work area. If some sort of potentially dangerous situation (fire, earthquake, poisonous gas leak) happens we just run to one of the manuals and find out what to do. If violent protestors suddenly start picketing our company the manual has only one sentence of advice: "Stay away from the protestors."

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

All I can say is, I have to protest that fact that you went to see that touchy-feely Hollywood poop (didn't you know it was that same director that's to blame for "Jerry McGuire"?) when you could have gone to the Castro and seen Kurosawa's "Ran". It's playing through Thursday, so there's still time. Few movies deserve to be called masterpieces, but this is one.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

I worked for Greenpeace for most of the mid-80s and, when I went door-to-door to raise funds and support for the organization, a common response I heard was, "There's too many protests. Too many people protesting these days. People should be happy with what they've got and not rock the boat." This response, usually coming from the mouths of middle/upper middle class white (mostly male) Americans, invariably caused me to see red.

It still does. So I guess I'm all for protesting, and the people who do it.

Do I think protest is an effective tool for social change? Outside the US, probably yes. (Ditto countries where protesters don't get shot down like the proverbial dogs in the street.) Here, with our 4-year attention span, we've got no time or attention for the slow, thoughtful type of social change that protest engenders. We want it now, or we forget about it with the next commercial. We're a land of lots of drive and ambition, but most of it is oriented towards improving our own comfort - not exactly the most fertile ground for a productive protest-oriented consciousness.

Aside to Jen: don't mistake me for a PETA/IDOF type just because I worked for Greenpeace. I'm neutral on the animal-testing issue; I'd damn well better be, as I enjoy a good steak every now and then.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2000

You have the nerve to call yourself a meat eater?!? Hah -- "...every once in a while." -- puuhhhleeeassse my great grandma gums more steak in a week than you've had in your entire life.

Listen, don't be mocking us with your city ways -- you stick to huggin' trees and implanting iron train track rods in the middle of the occasional red oak to impale any lumberjack who dare try to chainsaw your precious carbon sink to support his family by logging for a living.

Meateater -- bah! You leave the meat eatin' to folks like me, who take their meat eating seriously. Why, even as I type in this note, I'm chawing on a piece of gristle from the lunchtime leftovers at the Hungry Hefer's Lunchtime Cafe. Meateater you? Ha, get real!

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2000

Quickly. Cop a slow feel and they may have time to whack you with a sign or other nearby object.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2000

I appreciate the fact that as Americans we have the freedom to call corporations to account. But there's something wrong-headed about a lot of protest I see nowadays. Maybe that's too strong a word; i dunno, the venom you hear in the voices of a lot of protestors, especially in the bay area, smacks of fanaticism. I hear the term 'revolution' a lot. Makes me think of Cultural Revolution, Oktober Revolution, NADSP, etc... I don't mean to exxagerrate. It's just that being right(eous?) is extremely seductive, and it makes you wonder just how far some people would go. I agree, there should be change, but what do we replace the status quo with?

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2000

Generally speaking, I would not go into a store where people were protesting outside. Of course, if they were Young Republicans or members of the Klan or some such thing, I'd have to duck in just for spite.

Protesting as an effective tool for social change? Sure, why not? Nothing works by itself so any increment of change helps shift the weight.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2000

Yeah, I think I'd go into the store. It's fun to get people riled up and yelling.

As far as useful tool for social change goes, I'd have to say not really. My girlfriend used to be big into left wing protests, and I just couldn't be bothered. Which of course caused conflict every once in a while. I remember once she termed me as militantly appathetic.

The way I see it, those who don't agree with what you're saying are just going to keep on thinking what they think. Maybe even more so. Short slogans written on signs, and shouted out don't typically convince people of anything. The one positive thing about protests that my girlfriend was able to bring up was that it brings together a lot of like minded people to share ideas, and gain support. It's nice to know that there are like minded people out there, and that you're not crazy.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2000

I would probably laugh at the people in the store protesting because quite frankly I think they could be doing something more constructive with their time. Personally I think protestors are a confused bunch who like to waste their time and others time. Most of them are spoilled college brats who live in a bubble. They like to hide behind philosophical bullshit while holding picket signs with trite little sayings on them. Most don't know anything about raising a family, working 9to5 or anything else like that. I love to walk past all the protestors at my University I attend. I've actually taken the time to talk with some of them. Most have ideas so far to the left, trees even lean that way when these people walk by them. They are so full of logic and brillant ideas that they are to damn stupid to even have a reasonable conversation with. But I love this country and am greatful to be able to say what I want, like I am doing now so everyone should have that right as well. So keep on protesting! Down with meat-eaters! Away with animal testing! Be gone oh yeah fiends who cut down trees for a living! To hell with war in the middle east! Meanwhile I will go on dealing with real problems like paying the bills, raising my kids and walking the dog at night.

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001

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