Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/12/how-do-you-protest-when-you-cant-take-streets
It will be harder and harder to protest as society recedes into the virtual. Too much money and AI directed towards information targeting, mitigation and suppression for a movement to arise. I’m very (VERY) reluctantly hoping for collapse. It is the only thing that will foment real change. But I am so sure that change is no longer accessible from within this system that I am willing to face a desperate retirement in pursuit of a just society, even if it means risking an even worse tyranny forming from the ashes.
In reality, “Taking to the streets” is merely therapeutic for like-minded people. Having taken part in protests in the streets for decades, I can’t think of one instance where our protests changed anything. In hindsight, it was all a waste of time. Because nothing changed in the positive direction. All wars continued as planned even when there were millions in the streets worldwide. The US Oligarchy does not care what we think because they work for their corporate owners and not We The People. They do what they want regardless of how many protests there are.
Yeah. If someone had not thought of that, they have now.
Citizens and social movements clearly have a lot to discuss, critique, and protest, but how to mobilize when you can’t take to the streets?
I remember reading many years ago ( I cannot remember the website) that they predicted this current pandemic and called it a planned-demic as a way to curtail street protests, maybe not planned, but certainly a way to limit street protests. For more information check out Dr. Judy Mikovits an old colleague of Dr. Fauci’s.
Almost unadulterated intelligent commentary for a change! Thank you all.
I’ve been involved in protests for decades, too, for reduced college library hours, then in Harrisburg and Washington for Three Mile Island, and many since. I certainly understand the feelings of frustration and despair, but we’ve accomplished a lot. Those whose policies are being frustrated by protest will never admit it, since it only encourages us, But while we haven’t had the effect we wanted, we’ve certainly had an effect, although saying we haven’t makes people reluctant to try, especially with long-term determination.
Predictably, one day of protests didn’t stop the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. A lot of us knew it took 10 years of escalating, society-wide protests, constant news coverage, tens of thousands of returning traumatized vets, and thousands of acts of violence including murder from the police, national guard et al. There was time for a rising of popular culture–songs, art, theater, movies, books… to echo and reinforce our deep cultural beliefs that war and violence were wrong, to finally reach enough otherwise uncaring and unconvinced people to end the war in Vietnam, a change that made essentially no difference to the lives of the vast majority.
Now we’re asking much deeper and more personally affecting change, against almost half a century of the oligarchy correcting the mistakes they made then. They’ve disappeared information and turned into dis-, embedded reporters at war, bought almost all the media for the right wing so it relentlessly blares the meme of liberal media, and thus put the Overton window on wheels so it can be pushed constantly to the right. We’ve had 50 years of increasingly right wing framing of everything in every form of cultural communication, increasingly right wing religion, corporate control of government… and ever more complete, complex, sophisticated and scientific means of control and manipulation.
We’ve tried to slow that progress to the right in the face of hostile corporations, media, corporate-owned government, and trillions of dollars spent to convince a public more than willing to accept the conservative frame for everything–individual responsibility, obeisance to the hierarchy, projecting evil onto women, poor people of color, future generations… while they were ever more distracted by toys and frenetic culture.
But now we’re going to protest online. The oligarchy is surely quaking in its jackboots.
What we can do online is educate, organize, point out lies, and get ready to boycott, blockade, and replace unresponsive government with democratic rule once we can move freely and safely again. By then, it’s likely premature release will have killed tens of thousands, concentrated in the trumpit area, and some of the survivors may even have seen past the spin to the extremely competent evil of the right wing. They’ll need an alternate theory of everything or they’re likely to break in the same direction as those who stopped buying the corporate duopoly’s take and thus elevated our current dicktater. We have to make our feelings, beliefs and knowledge available to them in unadulterated form as well.
Only the violent street protests do anything of consequence (like swing the moneyed whites into voting differently and ending the war in Vietnam). That or massive occupation like the White House tent camp that would not go away during the depression. (Let them try to incarcerate 100,000 people.) But just some demonstration? No. Surely not.