Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pet Peeve: Rush Hour Protesting at the Capitol on a Weekday Morning

Everyone has a right to protest. Not everyone is so smart about it. I'd really like a better explanation linking the Iraq war to global warming, but it didn't really come despite the cute polar bear suits and the ever present Code Pink. (See the video.)

But, you out-of-towners just don't get the security challenges at the Capitol. Not even thinking of terrorism, there was a crazy man who shot two people and killed them, including a Capitol policeman. These folks work very hard, are nonpolitical, and are just trying to keep people safe. Sure, the Capitol has real symbolic significance. But Monday morning? Staffers (not congressmen and women) are rushing to get to work, and you're blocking traffic with a nonsensical chant?

Please . . .


Laura said...

I agree that doing this sort of thing is just irritating and not very effective. It's similar to the recent World Bank and IMF protests; the protest just gets in the way of normal people doing their own thing, does not really effect the people they are trying to reach, and leaves the protesters with very little credit/respect. I really think if people thought about things just a tiny bit more before protesting, they could be much more successful, rather than just bothering people.

Ellie S. said...

I think you make a good point, but I also wonder how much of the 'security measures' are inhibiting the people's ability to make their point. Back in the day, you were able not only to protest but also to drive on Pennsylvania Avenue. Now, walking through the 'White House Corridor' is frightening. The laws for where protests can and cannot happen have also changed, leaving the entire downtown area subject to spontaneous (or planned) outburts of frustration, hence the protest in the middle of the road. It seems likely that they had a goal in locating themselves inconveniently. To me, it makes the point that we should stop worrying so much about our daily lives and think about the affect we have on the rest of the world. We become obsessively concerned with traffic and being on time instead of thinking outside of the boxes we live in. Maybe the normal people were the ones they were trying to reach?