Not so revolutionary protest
A handful of protests were staged over the past few days in D.C. The protests were aimed at a slew of issues, including the war in Iraq and climate change, according to the Washington Post. Of course, dissident voices from the public are an important element of meaningful political debate; but, with so few palpable consequences, you really have to weigh the merits of public demonstration.
This isn’t to say public involvement is futile, but frankly, an organized march in downtown D.C. just seems like old hat. Nothing is less revolutionary than a well-planned gathering. According to the Post, Monday’s protest at Capitol Hill resulted in 59 arrests — that’s at least 59 people who care enough about the issues to put themselves at the hands of police. But how much news coverage did the protest result in?
The news media is supposed to provide the public with information they need to make decisions in their lives (according to a journalism professor here at AU. Thanks.) So, does the lack of coverage of these protests indicate that the news media doesn’t think they’re important? Can the public go on with their lives without knowing about them?
Maybe so. When there’s seemingly (and sometimes literally) another protest every week, it’s not really newsworthy. Maybe it’s time for the public to use more creative methods for getting dissident voices heard. It seems to me that the Internet is a much more effective platform for protest. Sure, you can’t replicate the visual of thousands of people coming together for a cause, but these days, who even cares to look?