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 issue.
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. But the means is available. Think: McLuhan meets Gandhi.