Protesting the Protestors in NYC
2 September 2004

FrontPage :: Protesting the "Right" Way by Jacob Laksin

Which discusses:

I've always been happy to see people on the right take to the streets and make public demonstrations of their convictions. I'm still happy, sort of, even though these days, when they demonstrate at all, it is for a position I do not agree with.

I oppose the war. I oppose it so much that, during the build up to it, I called a local leftist and asked about any demonstrations that might be planned. A few weeks later, on a cold day in November, I was out on the sidewalk by Jefferson Avenue in Detroit holding a sign. It is an interesting experience to be with people with whom you strongly agree on one issue, but with whom you disagree concerning just about everything else. Kind of like posting on FrontPage ;) The psychic effect of this sort of thing is interesting, and I think beneficial for some people. I'm not sure what to call it. Bi-directional cognitive dissonance? Major political head trip?

Anyway, if you read the topic link on this blog page, you'd know I'm writing about an outfit called "Protest Warriors," a conservative group that organized about 60 people into a street level counter-demonstration unit during the Republical National Convention. Apart from my disagreement with their position on the war, I do praise them for their activism, for their willingness to be confrontational and for the thought and effort they put into their project. They did an excellent job of illustrating and publicizing some of the idiotic attitudes and behaviors of their opponents, while at the same time promoting themselves. That is the point of a fair amount of "activism."

All that being said, here are some quotes from the article and my comments on them:

58 percent [of participants in a rally surveyed by the New York Times] believed neoconservatives with close ties to Israels Likud party had manipulated America into going to war against Iraq.

That's pretty much my own opinion.

And thats where the Protest Warriors signs come in. Always ironic and often funny, they flay just about every left-wing sacred cow, from war (Except for ending slavery, fascism, Nazism, and communism, war has never solved anything) . . .

First, communism is still around in North Korea, Vietnam and, though highly modified by "capitalist roaders," in China. And I can't think of any major examples where communism was "solved" by war: "World War III" turned out to be so pathetic, we didn't even know we were in it until it was over. (But fear not, mighty neo-cons, Number IV is in the offing!!)

As for "ending slavery," most nations that allowed it abolished it in the 19th century without war. When the War Between the American States began, it was more about tariffs and "union" than about slavery. America is still dealing with the ugly consequences of that pointless massacre.

Still, the Protestor Warriors are frustrated about one thing. Though the groups members hold a wide variety of views, from libertarian to classical liberal to conservative, all subscribe to one animating principle: a free exchange of ideas. I love an open debate, says Protest Warrior and Staten Island native Robert Keating, 23. Just dont tell me you hate Bush. Give me an educated reason.
I'd be happy to debate the war, but not on-line. (My fingers get really sore when I type too much.) If you live in or near Southeast Michigan, get in touch.
No sooner had a band of 60 Protest Warriors come within sight of the anti-war rally wending its way through lower Manhattan, than peace activists of all stripes turned belligerent.


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