As the astute man of observation I am (almost) I’ve been noticing that there is an ever increasing number of protests going on. People are protesting everything, the war in Iraq, the banks, abortion clinics, churches, and anything else they can get their hands on. And what do these accomplish? Jack shit.
But why is that? Well from what I can see it’s two fold. The first being there are just too many of them. If you want to make a statement about something you need to reserve the method of doing it. When people see hundreds of protests in a year they just begin to ignore them. It’s like any other event you see a hundred times a year. Seriously how many people even pay attention for more then three seconds when they see a cop pulling somebody over? Almost never because you see it all the time. How many people pay attention when a police officer arrests somebody at gun point? Almost everybody in the area because it’s not something you see every day.
The other problem with protests is how they are done. You have a group of angry people yelling through a bull horn and holding signs with phrases they think are catchy. This really accomplishes nothing. Seriously nobody even cares what the signs say. There is a lack of symbolism there. Instead of saying this is a group of united people against a cause it’s saying we are a group of people with signs and bull horns that like to yell loudly at people passing by.
Now protests should accomplish something. This is why two things need to be done. First of all let’s save them for things that actually matter. Nothing is going to change the fact that the banks fucked a lot of people over. Protests won’t help here isn’t the damage is done.
Now protesting something like AIG giving their top brass large multi-million dollar salaries would actually be bringing attention to something that’s happening now. Our tax dollars, which was stupidly handed out en masse by our government, is being used to make a few rich people richer instead of keeping a company afloat.
Of course standing outside AIG with bull horns and signs isn’t going to accomplish anything. People don’t give a shit what you yell, especially top brass who here people bitching on a daily basis. So I have a proposal.
Replace those worthless bull horns and signs with pitchforks and torches. These two items together in a mob of people send a symbol, somebody fucked up and justice is demanded. Way back when if somebody really fucked up, was able to get around the law, and everybody knew about it they grabbed the pitchforks and torches and went after the criminals.
Of course they also ended up lynching the person which I think takes thing too far. Killing people is not the answer to anything either so don’t take this as me advocating violence, because I’m not. I’m saying that a group of people together holding pitchforks and torches sends a message. The mob doesn’t even have to yell anything but it helps (just don’t use a bull horn, that destroys the fear factor).
Think about it. Let’s say a group of people was standing outside of your house with bull horns and signs yelling at you. What would you do? Probably not give a shit or call the police. Now replace those people with a different group standing outside of your house with pitchforks and torches yelling at you. What would you do? Probably initially shit your pants and then call the police.
So that’s my proposal on making protests work. Get out of the good old pitchforks and oil soaked rags wrapped around large sticks. Raise the pitchforks high and light the rags on fire and stand outside the place of protest. Send a real message, one that says justice is demanded. It gets a message across and look way cooler to boot.