rn: Protests can be fun!


Jan Slakov

Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 09:07:50 -0700
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rn: September in Wash. DC

Jan, perhaps you are too marginalized up North where you are. Protests can 
be work and they can be even be dangerous, but the best ones are also FUN. 
Whether it's the recent anti-capitalist globalization protests or anti-war 
protests or pro-environmental protests or others, many of them are a great 
deal of fun with their slogans and signs, props and theatre, chants and 
songs, and sense of frivolity in the midst of graveness. Come on down! A 
couple of documentaries have been made, including This is what Democracy 
Looks Like (Seattle) and Breaking the Bank (DC), which make these points 
clear. As Emma Goldman says, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of 
your revolution." So yes, change the world AND have fun doing it!---Dan
Dear Dan,

Yes, you are right, there can indeed be fun, frivolity and, best yet, joy,
in the big protests.

There was in Quebec. I came home, and many others did as well, feeling
bouyed up and inspired by our experience, our successes, in many ways.

However, I have learned since then that it certainly wasn't like that for
everyone. One of my friends, her father was a Canadian senator and a
constitutional expert and a great lover of democracy. She would cry at
times, for the great loss she felt in witnessing police state tactics and in
seeing how great the threat we face is, in trying to bring about a better world.

Another friend told me about a young man who went to Quebec and came home
and spent much of that first week back home holed up in his bedroom. My
guess is that he was, at some level, shocked by the violence directed at
protesters, and had no supportive community around him to tell him that that
violence is NOT acceptable and that we will work to bring an end to it.

But after I read about the Genoa protests, that is when things changed for
me. (And also reading about Eric Laferrière, for instance, a Quebec
protester who could have been killed by the plastic bullet that got him in
the throat. He survived but his voice is just a whisper now.)

What inspired me to object to the word "fun" is that if the Washington, DC
protests are like what happened in Genoa, then I would not want to encourage
people to go out there in search of "fun". I would want the people there,
especially young people who might indeed be attracted to the idea of "fun",
to realize that there could be real danger there. 

I think the danger is not just that one could get injured or killed but also
that one could get caught up into action which would injure (or even kill)
someone else. Not fun.

My hope is that the Washington DC protests will go well. Oh, how I hope we
can turn the tide of violence around! To do that, I think we will have to
work hard though. Hard work can be "fun" too, but, you know what I mean....
As you pointed out, it's not _just_ fun!

Thanks; it is good to get your feedback, and all the best,

PS In case others want to send feedback to messages, I'd just like to ask
that you send it to the RN list address
<•••@••.•••> AND to my personal address
<•••@••.•••> as well, because I can't keep up with all the RN
list messages.