I didn't participate in a majority of the protests and rallys that went on prior to the election because I felt they were futile. I think the people have forgot the meaning of a protest. Luckily for me, my position was vindicated from experiences and stories, which I'll use to illustrate my pointes later into this rant. It began life as a comment on LoadedMouth, and I've done little to reformat it.
This is a question that deserves to be pondered. Think about it: In the last 20 years, when has a staged protest changed or influenced policy on a public issue? What has protesting done? Can protests be successful if a strong movement isn't built around them, or do protests have to start small and hope that their fire sparks? Much like the way that the Vietnam War protests metamorphosized from infantismal to legendary? Why haven't strong movements formed around protests lately? And how come the meaning of protesting seems to have changed from something that was actually meaningful to what I witnessed in Montpellier, VT., yesterday afternoon: 10-15 people standing around holding signs for a short amount of time, then dispersing. Is this really something to people get a feeling of accomplishment from? Are protests outdated?
Perhaps that it is just the fact that we in this country have lost sight of the reasons and ways to protest. Look at the Ukraine, that was a hell of a protest: thousands of people descending upon the capital city to live in tents for several days.
But, I think it isn't the protestors in this country that have lost sight of the reasons and ways to protest so much as everyone else in the country has forgotten how to respond to a protest and thus prolonged protests are often futile (and sometimes dangerous).
Locally for instance, there was a monthly gathering of people rallying for Peace (now I understand that there is a difference between a rally and a protest, but this will illustrate my point because apparently lots of other people don't)... Because it was on a monthly schedule that was easy enough to follow the Rally attracted more people protesting the rally (or, in their minds, protesting the protestors), and some of them got vicious and even violent.
This alone illustrated several things to me. Our opposition (the "Right" or Conservative) don't understand what a protest is. (Another example that I just find hilarious was walking to a football game and finding Kerry supporters on one of the intersections a stupid lady said to her idiot friend, "I just hate it how they protest in places like this." I definitely shouted out, "It's not a protest, you moron.") Our opposition believes that free speech and the right to protest gives them the right to protest the protestors, and apparently allows them to seek vitriolic name calling and sometimes rock throwing. Our opposition believes the opposite of peace is "support our troops", and can't understand how you can support the individuals within "our troops" and not support the organizations that are "our troops". (Heard this same shit from people during the debates: How can Kerry "support our troops", yet want the war to end? Dumbasses.)
Should this be a signal that progressives need to develop new methods for conveying their message?
Maybe we should just stoop to their level and go with out and out brainwashing.