Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The right and the wrong way to protest...

Coming from a protest background, I found the protests this last weekend in washington DC interesting. Unfortuately I don't have the energy to link to very much today, so you are going to get the raw version from me.

1. Did you see the huge list of groups that supported the protest?! Every one who was angry at another person was there. Too many groups means too many messages being put out there conflicting with each other. Its like watching an entire days worth of commercials and then trying to go to the store afterwards.

2. I understand that celebrities have name power, but I honestly don't have any respect for artists like Barbara Streisand and Jessica Lange who seem to think that by being a star means that they know what they are talking about. In fact the ONLY celebrity that I have real respect for in terms of protesting against the government is Martin Sheen. He has been arrested 30+ times for protesting one thing or another, but you don't seem him out there at these free-for-all rallies trying to get a photo-op out of it. He protests because he really believes in what he is doing.

3. Cindy Sheehan drives me nuts. She is out of control. The recent pictures of her getting arrested in front of the white house, smiling as she is being hauled away, telling the cameras that the world is watching. She formed an ILLEGAL protest, plus she became a security threat by blocking the areas in front of the white house with the press crowd that follows her around. If I was a terrorist and wanted to strike terror into the hearts of a lot of Americans, I would have staged something at that fiasco she created. The panik would be huge! And the police there would be focused on crowd control not trying to help people. When you are protesting in DC, you want the police on your side, not against you. That, and poor Cindy, is not the prettiest of "faces of the anti-war movement" they could have found. Cindy is not the Mom stereotype at all, and that is really who you need to have if you want any credibilty with the public. The term is typecasting, all the Hollywood people should know what that is.

4. Going along with the anger over the illegal protest thing...I find that there is very little to no appreciation of their ability to free speech. I am very proud to be an American, but I didn't fully understand that aspect of my personality until I was out of the country. One time when I was in Diyarbakir I was sitting in a bookstore talking about Globalism with a Kurdish friend of a friend. When he asked me what I thought about the west's affect on the Middle East, I was very opininated about my displeasure with some of America's actions. After I finished my rant, my friend looked at me stunned. When I asked him why he was quiet, he only told me that he wished that he could openly state how he felt without the fear of imprisonment. Americans are very lucky and don't appreciate it at all, nor do they even understand the importance of what they have. Read my friend Rob's recent post on the protests held in Salt Lake, you will see what I mean.

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