September 26, 2005

You Protest Not Enough

So you may have missed it in all the hurricane coverage and all, but there were dueling pro-war/anti-war demonstrations in DC over the weekend. Now I'm on the record as being rather skeptical as to the effectiveness of protests, but you anti-war types can take comfort in the fact that 100,000 people showed up for the anti-war protest on Saturday and only a pathetic 300 showed up for the pro-war protest on Sunday. Now is this a sign of a growing move against the war, or is it just easier to get the dirty hippie types into the street than the stuffy war supporters? Is it just harder to march for more death and things getting blown up, even if the event is framed as "support the troops." Are establishment pro-war people just not used to being an embattled minority that has to hit the streets to get attention? And will any of this protesting even matter to the direction of the county.

1 comment:

larry said...

An individual protest usually does not have any direct effects, other than getting some publicity and maybe a few arrests. However, as the number of protests increases, and the number of participants increases, there can be a shift in the public's perception of the issue. Or maybe just the media's perception, but that counts just as much (or perhaps more).

I think the civil rights demonstrations of the 60s ("I have a dream" and all that) and the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations both had an effect. Of course, they can backfire, since the anti-war demos gave us Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger......