Sunday, June 17, 2007

Peter Mansbridge made me attack those police

I’ve heard of blaming the media before, but this is just stupid:

Organizers of an anti-free-trade protest in Halifax are blaming the media for the violence that erupted, saying the only way to get their message across is to produce images news outlets would "salivate" over.

I don’t know, sounding like a total dumbass may help you get media attention too…

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Scotian said...

Last night I was returning from the main branch Library, which is right where all the fuss broke out, as one could tell from the bank with its windows smashed by rocks and the guard watching it while it was closed for repairs. There is a bus stop right in front of that bank right up from the Library where I needed to catch my bus. I had a 20 minute or so wait, and while waiting this young fellow asks me for a light for his smoke. Afterwards he starts bragging about how he was part of the riot, how he was mistreated by police and is laying charges of misconduct (uh huh) and how proud he was of their actions, including throwing those rocks in the windows. Then he tells me that it was the violence that got them the media coverage, otherwise he said they would have been ignored/silence by the complicit media conspiracy out to aid the Atlantica/NA merging process.

Needless to say I found this a bit much, but what really bothered me was the notion that violence was the only way to get their message out and that if a few innocent bystanders were at risk their tough luck. I add that because I also had the chance to talk to a woman that was in that bank when the rocks were thrown, she almost got hit by it and was hit by shards (it also needs pointing out that those doing so were wearing balaclavas and saw her clearly BEFORE throwing the rocks in her direction), and when I asked the bloke about it he simply shrugged and said that’s what you get for supporting the corporate machine. I find that incredibly stupid all around. I also think that all violence will do for them is further paint them as extremists and fringers whose arguments must be weak since they will not trust in them and instead resort to violence.

I remember being in protest marches here in the past, including leading the chant for a decriminalization of marijuana one in 2001. We got lots of media attention and we did it peacefully and without any violence whatsoever, and lo and behold issues like that one are taken seriously by the wider public. Yet do you think this young fellow and his compatriots will get that? I quite doubt it.

You are quite right to mock this attitude IMHO and good for you for doing so. All this will do is further make the real issue of NA integration seem more and more like a figment of the loony fringes instead of the serious issue that deserves real scrutiny that it is. Completely counterproductive to the claimed aims/goals of those protestors and those that claimed they needed violence to get media attention for their cause. The idea that there is no bad publicity may work in some respects but I do not think political issues tend to be one of them.

The Mound of Sound said...

I expect they're right - they knew what they had to do to get the right coverage. That in no way excuses what they did. However, bear in mind that both sides shamelessly use this same technique. Ask George Bush.