But overall, I think David Frum actually summarized pretty well why this kind of protest fails.
Your core problem is this: Your supporters seem to think of protest as an expressive activity, a way for them to tell the world how they feel. But protest is not an expressive activity. It is a communicative activity. If you crave self-expression, join a creative-writing class. If you want to relieve your feelings, see a therapist.I doubt its likely that you'll ever find another issue where David Frum and Al Giordano agree. But on this one they do. Back in the summer of 2010, Giordano wrote basically the same thing about the protests happening at the G-20 meeting in Toronto.
The medium is the message, as the saying goes. People won't hear what you have to say if they don't like how you behave. Or don't understand it.
So what is left from these summit-hopping protests, beyond the tons of garbage and reaction that local movements have to pick up afterwards? Some brief media stories about violence – by police or by protesters, whether against people or merely against property, you can’t ever count on the mass media to distinguish between the two, and you ought to know better in advance that that will be the case – is about all that is left over when the show has packed up and gone. Nobody outside the event's own protagonists knows what the protest was about, or why it was done.Of course the difference between Frum and Giordano is that the latter actually would like to see a positive message emerge. I remembered this article by him because - in typical Giordano fashion - he demonstrated in such a powerful way what a little creativity on the part of the left could accomplish.
And to think: At least twice in recent months, in the same city of Toronto, there were two creative actions – neither of them “protests, per se – that were designed, and succeeded, to win over hearts and minds and public support. They involved planning, discipline and a lot more fun than the tired summit protests offer, and they show us a possible path toward a new kind of protest that, rather than provoking automatic police repression, sneaks up on society with stealth and then disappears quickly avoiding any physical confrontation at all.What was he referring to? This.
Add a coherent political message, banners, leaflets, a dance tune that resonates with the message, and such to a dancing musical flash mob like these and you have the seeds of a new, more effective, kind of protest than the tired old marching around in circles of the last century that has ceased to win any cause for anyone.It kinda makes you wonder just when the left in this country got so consumed with anger and so g-d...boring.