What Real Protest Looks Like
Today is the great day when our earnest Republican cousins allegedly take to the streets to supposedly protest in righteous anger and fury about…well, it really isn’t clear at all, some mess of angst taxation from the Obama folks, even though all of them likely just got a tax cut from Obama. Ultimately, as the peerless Matt Taibbi pointed out yesterday, it’s all just sad, manipulated lost Americans railing against the wrong thing, a pitiful made-up Fox show.
Protest, of course, has a very long and honored history in America with some notable successes, even though it often seems futile and a form of exhibitionism. It’s interesting to note that blogging, generally, will rarely garner attention from the authorities, but let one start to organize protests and instantly cops and officials pay very close attention, even sometimes try to infiltrate the groups to stop them. Protests may seem futile, but they can garner a lot of attention, and if they get out of hand they lead to worst of all civil disturbances, the riot.
I am not a protest person, instinctively I like cops and do not, on any day I exist on this planet, plan to get conked on the head by one for a criminal record. For anything. That does not diminish my respect for protestors one iota, and the image above should dispel any notion that protest is always futile. No one truly knows, but it’s been said the constant images of protesting black Americans being water-cannoned in 1968 was the real motivator for civil rights acceptance.
Whatever one generally thinks of protest we can all safely assume that what we see today, if anything, will not be it. Real protest always has a foundation of anger, and although Republicans are always angry at liberals—they’re hard-wired for it—these poor fools (it’s still hard to believe they named their movement after a salacious sexual activity) aren’t really angry, they’re just trying to stop Obama in any way they can. If this teabagging stupidity seems a strange, confused, completely ineffective mess to try and do so, well, that’s because it is.
Before I list a few more images of what sustained protest really looks like one fact from the images should become instantly clear, one I’ve pointed out many times: collectively, humans in riot mode have vast, truly scary powers that most Americans are totally unaware of. Put five thousand truly angry protestors together, however, with the right circumstances, and it seems the day after as if massive giants from another planet had arrived, hurling cars pell-mell to lie strewn everywhere, buildings smashed and burned to the ground. All by small human hands.
Whatever one may ultimately decide on the merit of protest we can be sure, again, that what we will see today will be a pathetic ruse. Of course it will not work in any sense, Americans have seen far too many protests from too many organizations that are righteously angry and totally committed to change. We won’t see teabagging (!) after today, Fox News is and never will be an effective protest organizer.
WTO protesters get tear-gassed and clubbed, Seattle, 1999
Protesters in Thailand break through a police barrier, 2009, demonstrating collective destructive power. Interestingly, after the protesters broke into the hotel they basically left it alone.
Riot police are framed by smoke and fire after Harvey Milk verdict protesters went berserk in 1979.
Animal rights protesters, date unknown. Whatever one may think of the efficacy of such actions, one has to respect the act of being publicly naked in protest, smeared with fake blood. Teabaggers will never, ever go to such lengths, we can be sure of that.