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Commentary :: Organizing
Organized Protesting: Is It Really Effective?
01 Sep 2004
Is Organized Protesting still effective?

Organized Protesting: Is it really effective?

 

Protest is a guaranteed right in the Constitution, and I don't think any area of the government is attempting to challenge that right. The idea of gathering some like-minded people together and marching for a "cause" has been an American tactic for the Right and for the Left and for special interest groups wanting change since before our official inception as a nation. But has it lost its effectiveness? Is anyone listening to the protesters anymore?

I dont think so. Although a large protest march, replete with signs and "themed" outfits and props may make the participants feel great, they dont accomplish much. The "Powers that Be" don't listen to protests anymore. The Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry, the bizarre anarchists, even the Nader, Larouche, and white supremacy folks -- everyone was at the Democratic Convention. Now, in New York, even more turned out for the Republican Convention. New York already has its own homegrown eccentrics, but the new protest targets caused the import of even more.

And what did they accomplish? Did they sway any voters? Any one convinced by their "arguments"? No. And no-one would be. We're trying to build a case with the Democrats and the Republicans. The only way to do that successfully is to work within the system. That means by VOTING. That means by organizing protest in the form of voting blocs, forming of special interest groups and lobbying.

The most effective activists are those who are obviously passionate about their beliefs but are not judgmental of others who are not yet as enlightened. Offer conversation, facts, and pictures to those who are interested, but do not engage anyone who wants to argue. If someone is not ready to hear what you have to say, it will not do any good to argue. Plus, some people already view all activists as "radical". It would not be good for the animal rights movement if the public saw an activist in a yelling match with someone. It is also important to live your beliefs as well. If you are explaining to someone about becoming vegetarian and vegan, it would sidetrack the issue at hand if you were wearing leather products. Likewise, if you are an anarchist explaining why elimination of government is good, it looks hypocritical if you threaten lawsuits or print that you are threatening to send tips to the FBI if you think you are being harassed. Its even more ridiculous if you are an anarchist trying to sell merchandise. Some people want to view activists as hypocrites so that they can rationalize to themselves why it's okay to not listen to the message. There's no sense explaining to them that you're just wearing your old shoes until they wear out and that you are now committed to not buying leather again. The message should still be just as important no matter what type of shoes the messenger is wearing, but since the goal is public acceptance, it is best to leave those leather shoes and belts at home.

The Civil Rights Movement worked because in addition to protests, there were boycotts, and there was the Constitution to back up the "cause". Other than that, protests have accomplished little in the way of change. The effectiveness of the Vietnam anti-war protests was apparently low, as the USA didn't withdraw until it had been made clear that it had lost the war. Can anyone here point to any examples?
 


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Um...
01 Sep 2004
Why should we waste our time reading articles by a stalker?
You dont have to read it. Much less respond to it.
01 Sep 2004
When an article is well written, it stimulates debate (and invites criticism). Your comments are neither (nothing).
I agree. You dont know who he is.
01 Sep 2004
The other article he wrote (Are Anarchists Crazy?) got 29 comments, and he was very cordial. Why cant you be?

Im not sure if protesting accomplishes what it used to, but media coverage of protests might just sway some votes after all. Dont count us out yet!
He is really nice.
01 Sep 2004
He was only kidding when he wrote articles calling for "all patriotic Americans" to report anarchists to the FBI and Homeland Security. Really, it was all in good fun.
He didn't mean it when...
01 Sep 2004
He didn't mean it when he posted on the Pakistan News Forum that Arab children should be crushed by tanks. Really, he is a nice guy.

He also didn't mean it when he said that he'd volunteer to build concentration camps, or that he was raping Sherman Austin in prison or that Kirsten Anderberg is "a whining bitch."

No, he didn't mean all of those things. He just wants to understand anarchists and leftists out of compassion.

Really. It's true.
What the hell are you ranting about?
02 Sep 2004
Matt? Pete? Where are you. The lead article is cool, but some of these responses seem to be baiting this guy. If he IS that KOBE guy, then allowing this sort of bait is simply going to start that whole DeVoy/KOBE bullshit again. Do us all a favor and delete the baiting responses and the bullshit having nothing to do with this thread. At least "Nefarious Cabal" doesnt seem to be playing into it....yet.

Let me ask you a question, N.C.

Have you ever needed to "vent"? Protesting allows Americans to publically express views and perhaps get some media exposure for issues whi9ch might never be addresses in any convention by either party. I admit that I dont think that protesting in itself is a means to an end, but when the protests are significant and in force, I think a real statement is made. Swaying votes might not always be the goal. Perhaps simply bringing issues to consciousness is enough.
Good point. Do you vote the same way you protest?
02 Sep 2004
"Have you ever needed to "vent"? Protesting allows Americans to publically express views and perhaps get some media exposure for issues which might never be addressed in any convention by either party. I admit that I dont think that protesting in itself is a means to an end, but when the protests are significant and in force, I think a real statement is made. Swaying votes might not always be the goal. Perhaps simply bringing issues to consciousness is enough."


Hmmm. You might be right about that. I wrote the lead articl because of the coverage of the protests in NY. So, the protesting was brought to consiousness, but the individual "causes" are vague. I know that the vast majority are protesting the War in Iraq, and more than a few others resent the policies of the Bush Administration. If bringing these issues to consciousness was the goal, then I must admit that the goal was accomplished.

Will it change anything? Unless protesters vote against the antagonists (Bush, etc.), then nothing will change. What about the issues which do not belong to any of the two parties? How does protesting in the streets of NY at the Republican Convention (which is really just a big confirmation party for the Republican candidate for President) help the Animal Rights activists? How does it help the Anarchists, Communists, Socialists? Wouldnt it be more effective to promote an independent candidate who WOULD support the political goals of said protest group "x"? That seat in the White House goes to whomever can garner the most electoral votes. The process by which candidates compete for those votes does not include signs and sidewalk dioramas with mock "die-ins" and cardboard coffins. It might seem like fun, but that's not very productive.
Amuzing, in a sick and twisted way.
02 Sep 2004
It's amuzing, in a sick kind of way, to see this KOBE guy posting back and forth to himself and then whining when someone points out that he has a history.

"Nefarious Cabal's" history includes all of the statements made above about him. He is an anti-Arab racist. He is an anti-Muslim bigot. He stalks and harasses anarchists online.

He has admitted that he is KOBE. This is not a theory - he has confirmed it.

On LA IndyMedia this person "KOBE" posted fake articles about Sherman Austin being raped in prison. He also published an article in Sherman Austin's name stating that he was being raped in prison. In his own name he posted a comment stating that Sherman Austin SHOULD be raped in prison.

As for his actions against Kirsten Anderberg, he spoke out against her when she was dealing with domain name theft, calling her a whining bitch and putting her down for being an anarchist.

In the case of DeVoy, KOBE stalked him online for more than two years, made death threats against DeVoy, threatened DeVoy's wife and daughter and published dozens of articles using DeVoy's name.

He has published articles calling for Americans to report anarchists to the FBI and homeland security. He claims to communicate with the FBI.

Now, why would he attempt to engage people on Boston IndyMedia? Why does he want to "understand " leftists and anarchists?

Anyone who would play his game is an idiot.

Consider as well the similarity in the writing style between "Nefarious Cabal" and the occasional comment of support that always follows criticism of his position.

Do you really believe that we should be unconcerned about his history and his racism? SHould we be unconcerned with his reported communications and cooperation with law enforcement?

I think we should.
Okay kids....back to the original topic!
02 Sep 2004
I am participating in the huge marches that are taking place at the RNC right now, and I can tell you that the answer to your question, 'Is Protesting Effective', is a resounding YES! There are reporters right down there in the streets from newspapers like the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and other major rags. This protest is unlike any other. There are almost a HALF MILLION people protesting in the streets against a sitting President!

Perhaps we may not accomplish anything, but we sure have let our voices be heard. Its not over, and if Kerry wins and still supports the war, we will go out there again. I cant describe the feeling it gives me to know that I am 'walking the walk'.
Anarchists
02 Sep 2004
Are anarchists "bizarre" just because you SAY they are? Come on. That's bull. You dont know what an anarchist is.

An anarchist is a left libertarian. An anarchist is a libertarian socialist. Ana anarchist is a true rugged individualist who believes in social organization in the interests of we ourselves, and not the rich and powerful. We are individualists who do not reject socialism, but who reject the market.. reject capitalism... and reject the de facto rule of the state (which always serves the ruling, rich class).

And anarchist is a person who understands that individual liberty is the most important aspect of being human, and that capitalism and private property are not liberty. An anarchist is a member of the working class and applies the idea of "liberty" to working class interests, rather than to capitalist interests.

An anarchist is an anti-authoritarian socialist. A person who understands that equality and democracy are achieved AFTER universal individual liberty is achieved... and universal individual liberty cannot be mandated by any leader.. it cannot be forced on anyone. It only happens when the working class.. the poor.. the underprivileged.. those of us who produce all the wealth but get only a small part of it.. stand up ON OUR OWN.. each and every one of us... and NO LONGER ALLOW ourselves to be exploited, divided, and abused.

Anarchists are libertarian communists. They are communists who reject the Marxist and Leninist and governmentalist idea of socialism and communism being based on government owenership of resources, but instead that socialism and communism is based on WE working class individuals acting in our own best, selfish, personal interests. We anarchists believe selfishness is a virtue, and that selfishness achieved and accepted by everyone leads naturally to true grass-roots democracy.. it leads to true socialism... a libertarian socialism.

Anarchists are individualists. We are the cowboys.. the rugged self-made working class, poor or indiginous women and men who work together to fight capitalism and push back government abuse in the service of capital. Anarchists oppose racism, sexism, authority, nationalism, and hierarchy... and as true libertarians we believe in organization... organization of and by the poor, the working class, the minority, women, youth, the indiginous people, the mentally ill, the homeless. Those who's backs the middle class and rich live upon.

Anarchists reject the notion of leaders that maoists, trotskyists and leninists embrace. We understand that because we human beings are self-interested, it is VERY dangerous for anyone to be placed in power over the rest of us.. that it causes a kind of madness to set into the rulers mind. So unlike the maoists, we know that even the most honest, most rational of us, or even the most oppressed 3rd world minority who seems somehow just in their suffering could never be made a ruler with power over others, because power, even in the name of good, is still domination. Maoists and other authoritarian leftists think that authority and forced equality are tools the oppressed can use. We anarchists recent this. Anarchists do not reject organization, but they reject hierarchical organization with rulers at the top.

Anarchists are not bizarre. They simply reject the idea that people should dominate other people... they reject the idea that government knows what is best for people with its police, jails, and armies that act in the name of the rich and powerful.
Re: Organized Protesting: Is It Really Effective?
04 Sep 2004
Catch 22: Is organized protesting really effective? Consider the alternatives: Disorganized protesting, no protesting.

Interesting alternative: Organized nonprotesting.

Further observance: allegedly people are stalking, libelling, and defaming people online.

In order for this to be true, mustn't the victim be a nice stacked chick (stalkee), a jew (libellee) and a chickenhead (defamee)? Don't these accusations really amount to self-lampooning by the accuser?