Saturday, March 18, 2006

Protests are small.

Today thousands of people from around the world went into the streets to protest the war in Iraq and the coming war with Iran. For the second time in history we could be seeing anti-war protests for a war that hasn't happened yet. All the media were quick to point out that the numbers of protesters was lower than the protest organizers had expected. The WaPo headline in typical, "Iraq War Protests Attract Fewer People." So, I guess, what they're trying to say is no one really cares about the war in Iraq except for a few hippies and freaks.

Before the Iraq war the media pulled the same crap by low-balling the numbers etc., but what they didn't expect was that the people who were actually at the protests, and could see that the march went on for miles and miles, would call them on it. All those soccer moms from Takoma Park proved the anti-war movenment wasn't just a bunch of anarchists. I remember the WaPo writing that there had been "tens of thousands" at an Oct. 26th 2002 protest, (with a tight-in shot of the rally) but had to admit later that the actual number was closer to 100,000. That protest was so large that, for the first time ever, the D.C. police came out and estimated a crowd size at from 100,000 to 200,000. [metafilter]

In a slideshow of pictures at the BBC I saw protesters holding up a sign that said Bush was the #1 terrorist. They probably should have worn masks, now that the British government has criminalized thought. On the Ides of March, the British Thought Police arrested five men who had been at the protest at the Danish embassy in London, where some idiot dressed up in a suicide vest and other morons held up signs calling for the beheadings of the Mohammed cartoonists. [Guardian] All five are being chrged with "using words or written material to stir up racial hatred."

See, now all you have to do is write something and you can be arrested. Why didn't W. think of that?

But, don't worry civil libertarians, newspapers can still publish cartoons that offend the religious sensibilities of Muslims.


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