[thechat] My manifesto: media-savvy, nonviolent, hyper-protest

Joe Crawford joe at artlung.com
Sun Aug 19 20:43:57 CDT 2001

Ron White wrote:
> Why bother with any reply? You have made your position clear and nothing
> anyone else says will change that. What doesn't change is the fact that
> anyone who goes someplace to "protest" knowing that there is a very high
> likelihood of serious violence, whether started by the cops or by thugs in
> the crowd, is still a lunatic.

I think your argument is an argument that nobody should ever protest.

Some things are worth dying for. I say this as a married, comfortable person
who wants to bring children into the world.

In the face of oppression, lunacy can indistinguishable from bravery. When
people goaded into /not/ speaking their minds in protest out of fear of
repression or reprisals by "the authorities" -- one could argue that that is
evidence of "oppression."

Now, agreement or disagreement with their goals and ideology is a separate

My tendency is to be disappointed by two things - the quickness with which
police forces resort to violence, and the quickness with which many
protesting people resort to violence. I'm further disappointed by the way
popular media tend to lump nonviolent protesters with violent ones. In this
way all anti-globalization protesters get viewed as violent and "deserve
what they get" and indeed, those who would protest abortion here in the US
all get branded as people who desire to see Doctors killed. I'm in favor of
people getting a hearing for their ideas.

So how do those who would protest get smart? They need to organize in such a
a way that they can beat the police, and the media, at their own game. Every
protester in my mind needs a video camera, and an online journal. Eyes wide
open, direct to the world - Media savvy. Documenting abuses by the police in
realtime. I truly believe, all evidence to the contrary, that the truth will
out. This is my manifesto - for those with real causes (that is, causes
worth fighting for) media-savvy, nonviolent, hyper-protest.

And we have the tools - compact microphones, video cameras, cellphones, the
web. So why haven't we seen this on a global scale? I don't know.

Think: McLuhan meets Gandhi.

   - Joe <http://artlung.com/>

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