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King Rat
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Complacency and apathy in America

Bleah. Too much whining lately about another protest by people opposed to war against Iraq. People saying protestors don't have the right to block traffic. Shouldn't be loud enough to hear. Shouldn't keep shoppers from getting to the Gap. I get a little tired of it.

They may not have the right, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't. It's exactly what the lunch counter sit-ins in the south during the 60s were. You know, if it didn't inconvenience someone, the protest wouldn't be a protest. The point for a protest is to make people sit up and take notice.

I don't know if time will tell if this issue about attacking Iraq is as important as others in the past. I'd hate to think that people would have avoided protests against segregation because they didn't want to inconvenience people.

I was glad to see the WTO protests. It meant that people actually cared about something for once. We live in one of the most complacent & apathetic societies ever known. In France, there have been riots and general strikes over possible changes to farm subsidies! Farm subsidies! Can you believe that? And people here can't be bother to decide if they are for or against an attack on Iraq in the near future! I'm pretty much for an attack on Iraq, but I say "Boo-yah!" to the people who are against it and decided to get out on the streets and proclaim their position in the hopes of affecting our government and the public perception!

Bah! We are too comfortable. I say make the US population a little bit more uncomfortable. Maybe then more than 60% will turn out to vote. Until we become a less apathetic society, I have no sympathy for your whiny don't interrupt me I'm trying to drink my latte at Bauhaus why can't I find parking on the Hill and isn't it too bad about the homeless self! You know what? You live in a democracy where freedom of speech, of petition, and of the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the first change we made to the basic document underlying our government. If the fact that people actually exercise those rights on occasion bothers you then I say "whoop de fucking do!" Perhaps you like everything exactly how it is currently run! I suspect not though. You may work for change in some other way, and you may argue the efficacy of the particular protest, but whining about the fact that people actually give a shit about something? Now that is the height of childishness. Sit back and sip your coffee and wait for the people to pass you by! Or go down to Westlake and counter protest like the Republican do-gooder kill Saddam people did! But do not whine about being incon-fucking-venienced! That's the price you pay for living in the United States and having the freedoms we grant ourselves.

7 comments or Leave a comment
staxxy From: staxxy Date: October 7th, 2002 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)

my big complaint about the WTO protests...

I do not believe that anyone has the right in this country to violent protests. I do not believe that anyone has the right to damage property. I do not believe the tear gas should ever be needed to control the behavior of a protest.

As long as the protestors are not breaking any laws and are not getting in my personal space with their protests (not to be confused with getting in my way, inconvenience is much different than physical rudeness) then I will support their right to protest 100%, even if I do not personally agree with the politics they are promoting. I do have the right to be disinterested.

and I am *in* that 60%. ;) I *vote*, and I encourage others to do so as well. :D

Kudos to you tho, because you are *right*. Protests should be inconvenient to people. It's the only way to make change, and the only way to get noticed.
elizabeth_eon From: elizabeth_eon Date: October 7th, 2002 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
We need more rabble-rousers and less apathy in this country. Shopping imho is not the end all be all of a higher purpose in life. That's why I love folks like Jim McDermott, he said that to be a true democracy you need dissent, you need a voice like his.

Thanks for the words on this, I've been making an effort to be more political lately and not use that sorry excuse that 'my vote doesn't amount to much' or 'what can i do as one person', if all of us 'one persons' do something it amounts to a lot.
vorona From: vorona Date: October 7th, 2002 10:02 am (UTC) (Link)


I so agree with that.

When I read these sniffy, stuffy, sedate "my!
must they be so rambunctious? Tch! It's RUDE!"
posts from people in their flippin' 20's,
I know it's not merely my vampire genes keeping
me young. I'm just never gonna be THAT OLD.

Pro. Vin. Chul. Ism. BLEAH!

Seattle has to be one of the most provincial bigger
towns... around. It's amazing. I always expect
it to be a little more... I dunno. Something.
It's a... it's a... (sputters) port city, and...
WHAT ABOUT KURT COBAIN? (sorry) I just expect
more from people. I expect thought, energy. And
then I read posts from people I expect to be in
the flush of learning about the world, and what
are they writing? Shop at places you support,
be sure to vote when it's voting day, and write
letters to your Congresspersons, but never get
out in the street for a cause. It's too tacky.
It's too loud. Someone might be upset if you do.

These people scare me. What if they HAD to take
a stand on something, for real? What if I personally
had to count on them to be thinking people, not just
obedient peasants? What if it MATTERED? *squick*

Yeah, someone couldn't drink his damned latte
in silence on a Sunday afternoon. The tragedy.

vulture23 From: vulture23 Date: October 7th, 2002 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I, too, agree with this. I must confess to not doing all that much myself -- there's a lot of issues that I have definite feelings about, but I'm too lazy to actually *do* anything, and I don't much like that about myself. I'm too involved in my own life to take the time to do something for a larger cause. But... as you say, even when I don't agree with the cause in question, I will not complain about any (peaceful) protest. It's important that people make their feelings known, and organized protests *can* be a reasonably effective way to do that. (They are often not effective, but that's an organizational and tactical matter, not a philosophical one.)

I have other serious issues about the WTO protests, but that's got more to do with the behavior of protestors when not actually protesting, than with the protests themselves. Long story I won't go into here.

There is definitely far too much apathy in this world, and especially in this country. It's good to see people *caring* enough about an issue to *do* something. We should be encouraging people to be active, not whining about how "inconvenient" it is -- much as I appreciate convenience, I appreciate freedom more.
(no subject) - aaminahlefae - Expand
gkr From: gkr Date: October 7th, 2002 01:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Nicely said.

I certainly think the strategies and tactics of protestors are fair game for discussion. What gets my goat are the whiners who complain about being inconvenienced. If they were to complain that the protestors are not effective because it's the same protestors all the time, or because the protestors were violent, or because they didn't have a coherent message, I would be plenty happy with their complaints. It's the "*ANOTHER* protest to interrupt my day" whine that gets me. Hell, it it was just "*ANOTHER* protest" I might be sympathetic to the complaint. But the whole idea that people are being inconvenienced or that *shock* a protest might break the law and is thus completely invalid, that kind of complaint irks me.
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