Demonstrations Have Been Marginalized
February 11, 2007
This is something I have been thinking about for sometime. The last time that a public demonstration has made any significant impact was in Seattle in 1999. People power was back. The authorities were overwhelmed by the amount of demonstrators. Those people really made an impression on the media, the general public, the IMF, the WTO, and the police. Unfortunately the media sensationalized the friction between the police and the demonstrators instead of the inequalities in Globalization that lead to the confrontations between the two groups. Seattle was beautiful. It brought together environmentalist, social justice activist, internationalists, and (here is the critical group) labor. This movement had been gaining in size and depth for sometime and Seattle was the culmination of years of work.
But that was also the end. At least the end of demonstration bringing light to issues that should concern people. The Cops in other cities learned from the Seattle police real quick. Barricades got bigger. Demonstrators were separated and sectioned into smaller groups. Cops used better strategies, and the media gave less air time to the issues the demonstrators raised. The best example of this was the RNC in NYC in 2004
Old media is not reliable anymore. This example shows how much the media is willing to bend over for a chance to rub elbows with power. The only hope is to open another decentralized network of news. People powered press is essential to checking the power of our leaders. I will take thousands of diet coke and mentos videos for one Macaca video.
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