The ballot or the bullhorn: Someone commenting on my story about high-tech protest tactics at the Republican convention asserts that "Protesting has outlived its usefullness...it is now a negative force rather than a positive one." With somewhere around 400,000 people taking to the streets to protest Bush on the eve of the convention, perhaps we'll see if he's right. I tend to agree, to a point--yes, please vote, and against George W. Bush, if you don't mind--but if you don't see voices that represent you on the ballot, hit the streets to make your viewpoints known. That's essentially what Naomi Klein had to say in a Democracy Now discussion on protest the other day. Her response to Todd Gitlin's belief that protesters "should do so... in a dignified way, in a way that does not recruit voters for George w. Bush":
Personally, I don't think we have the luxury of waiting until November to oppose the war. We also heard that the protests have nothing to do with the democrats. I would also disagree with that. I think they have a lot to do with the democrats. Precisely because the democrats have really sealed off the possibility of just expressing our opposition to the war by voting. This is not Spain. They are running on a hugely militaristic campaign. They're promising to continue the occupation, even expand the occupation of Iraq. So we need to be in the streets.

No comments: