« Party over Country, Over Self, Over Everything That's Holy | Main | Sharpton in Crawford »


Lady and I are planning on heading down. So is Josh from skaroff.com/blog. We should get a huge crew down there marching together from the area.

Riggs from It's My Country Too is going too. Marching together is a great idea.

Minor nit: just because Black Bloc nihilists call themselves "anarchists" doesn't mean that that's what they are. Some of the anarchists in the crowd, myself included, think they're silly kids playing dangerous testosterone games.

Chris: Sorry. What I don't know about the anarchist movement and it's various splinter groups runs deep and wide. My mistake is a good example of what the people opposed to marching are afraid will happen to their message when the corporate media lets photos of the more fringe elements of the crowd represent the movement. I'm hoping that blogs and other alternative media, as well as an energized base that works to overturn that impression, will stem the tide of misinformation at least a little bit. It worked here ;)

Oh, no apology necessary. You're absolutely right, and I was just kvetching over common semantics.

I figure if someone as combative as Chomsky is reluctant to call himself an anarchist because of just that misunderstanding, then it's really past time for us to get a different PR guy.

Yes, yes, and yes! You are so good! This is exactly what it's supposed to be about. We have become so cursed with hive mentality that even the so-called "free thinkers" of the liberal end of the spectrum are always looking over their shoulders to see if anyone thinks they're pushing the envelope a little too far. The people who were finally able to influence change weren't the timid ones who worried about how the PR was going... they were the ones who held a vision in their minds, who were pushed almost against their will by their conscience to stand by that vision and make it known to the rest of the world, and suffer whatever humiliations and oppositions they encountered because of it, not because they believed they were holier-than-thou, but because they loved that vision and believed it was right, and they simply couldn't do anything other than stand by it. This is what the reactionaries mean when they say Democrats/liberals have no values---because they see many of the people who espouse our vision forever testing the waters and making sure they aren't leaping the fence of acceptable behavior and ideas. Do you think Nelson Mandela would have made any impact if he was worried about how his ideas were playing in the depths of racist hearts or whether too many "weirdos" were hitching their wagons to his train? He knew what mattered, and he never lost that vision.

This is what we must do.

---Riggsveda, from an alien computer

"I've been struggling to put together a grand unified theory of protest politics for a while"

One of the themes I'm seeing in what you said is the contrast of party political power with the power of changing attitudes.

And ...

And I've been failing.

You're right about the party vs. popluar action when it comes to changing attitudes. The corporate parties are interested only in the status quo. And this part was interesting wasn't it:

Their tactic was to hold the party in power (the Democrats) responsible for failure to pass the amendment -- and they urged women who could to vote against Democrats. NAWSA leaders condemned the policy, saying pro-suffrage politicians were in both parties.

especially in light of NARAL and the RI Senate race.

It seems to me that if you look at the sort of advancements made by "progressive" voices in history they are generally not made by supporting a party, working to get that party elected and then having that party pass the legislation you wanted.

At the time of granting blacks the vote it was the Republican party that was championing that cause and the question among those progressives was whether to lobby for the women to have the vote at the same time or whether this would put more people off and cause neither group to have the vote. I think the argument that the vote really was necessary for blacks as a matter of political power, but not for women, had merit. However I'm not sure that the end decision to reject lobbying for women's vote alongside the vote for blacks at the time worked out in the end too well because of the longer term and the fact that it was felt that it would only be a few more years before women got the vote and it stretched out to many more decades.

You could see that as another question of whether to go for the politically acceptable or the long term view. I am beginning to think the long term view is better every single time.

In defense of the Black Bloc, sometimes having them around can be useful. Without their barrier-breaking presence at the 2000 coronation inauguration protests, we would have never made it out onto Pennsylvania Ave.

Which brings me to another point: Marching and protsting is simply underplayed by the media in this day and age. I can tell you for a fact that, lining his parade route, protesters outnumbered Bush supporters by far. That wasn't how the media portrayed the story, though. Oh, just a few protesters here and there, no biggie. And it's not like the protest was staged out in the middle of nowhere where there was no media; and it's also not like these protests weren't unanticipated.

I still think that marching is important, but I think many people get discouraged because they look at the media's (non)reaction to protests and think, "Well, what's the point?" Maybe with the plight of Cindy Sheehan, media coverage will change and they will now pay more attention to protesters. Or maybe protests need to shift more towards civil disobdience and not worry so much about committing illegal actions. I'm not advocating violence (however, violence committed by the police would be an unavoidable consequence), but there were times when protests used to shut down cities. Period. Workers walked off their jobs, interections were blocked, and business was closed. That hardly ever happens anymore, and protesting seems to have been reducing to marching through the streets for a few hours and going home.

That hardly ever happens anymore, and protesting seems to have been reducing to marching through the streets for a few hours and going home.

I agree that shutting down a city looks good in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory. So I'm okay with doing legal things in large numbers and leaving the civil disobedience to small groups because I don't think we're just going home anymore. We're going home to our DFA groups and other Meet-Ups. We're going home to our churches, which I know are going to pick up on this anti-war thing soon despite the resistance of leadership.

This march is picking up on that vibe. It's only part of a weekend of events including some grassroots training and a day of action for those groups on Monday. This is what the mass mobilizations are good for - raising awareness and energy levels, building community. And if we think about them that way we can stop caring if the corporate media covers us or not - that's what blogs are for.

I am not entirely sure of the validity of the statement, but if you do a search on google or infoshop.org concerning A.N.S.W.E.R. you may just find evidence that they are actually an authoritarian Stalinist group, which is far from what most people would be interested in supporting or marching behind.

Personally I would consider myself of the anarcho-syndicalist slant, and I'll be at the protest (hopefully with a bunch of other friends interested in dressing like zombies for the fun of it); just thought you might be interested to hear that.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Bang for the Buck: Boosting the American Economy

Compassionate Conservatism in Action


  • "We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."

  • Photobucket


  • "[O]ur time, our energy, should be spent in educating, agitating, organizing our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the schools. Our objective should be to build, painstakingly, patiently but energetically, a movement that, when it reaches a certain critical mass, would shake whoever is in the White House, in Congress, into changing national policy on matters of war and social justice."


  • "True religion will not let us fall asleep in the comfort of our freedom. Love thy neighbor is not a piece of advice, it's a command. ...

    God, my friends, is with the poor and God is with us, if we are with them. This is not a burden, this is an adventure."

The Reverend Al Sharpton

  • Ray wasn't singing about what he knew, 'cause Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn't seen many purple mountains. He hadn't seen many fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be.

    Mr. President, we love America, not because of all of us have seen the beauty all the time.

    But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.


  • ''With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 percent will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 percent will produce eagerness, 50 percent positive audacity; 100 percent will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 percent, and there is not a crime which it will not scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged.''

Join Us!

  • Member, Project Hamad

Happy 71st Anniversary Social Security!

  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Become a Proud Member of the Guppy Army



Count Me, Damnit!

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 01/2004

Oh, I've Won Awards

alternative hippopotamus

Paperwight's Fair Shot

Your Liberal Media