>I imagine your generalization that all
>of the protestors don't care about their
>goal is pretty vacuous though.
I thought I was pretty clear that I did believe that there was a small minority who actually believe and know what they believe in. The rest I believe are simply along for the ride.
1) Much like you, I can't really debate this subject with any degree of authority but my assumptions in my original statement were that:
- Democracy is usually attributed to the Greeks which would make it a "Western" concept.
- Most of what we refer to today as "laws" are based on common laws originated/formalized by the English.
Is it possible the the Incas had some sense of democratic institutions or some form of legal system? Sure, but since the ideals were mostly developed and propogated by the West (think: Roman Empire, British Empire, Spanish Empire, etc. as well as those who came and studied these concepts before returning to thier homelands) I would call them Western in nature. Like I said, I can't really debate you on whether some civilization 5000 years ago had laws or whatever but I think my generalization on this is widely enough understood that I didn't think I would have to.
2) No actually that was not my point at all but rather your reading of it because you do not agree with my original premise. I doubt the G8 or the WTO or whoever cares about freedom of speech or is trying to bring it to any of these countries. I'm simply stating that if these meetings were happening in some of these countries, many of these protesters would have "disappeared". Police would have come in the night, taken them out to some remote area and put a bullet in the back of their heads. For good measure they might have even cut off their heads and stuck them on poles outside the hotels where other protesters are staying. And that was what I found to ironic in my original post. They have to protest in countries that actually respect and practice Western forms of democracy and law otherwise this movement would be very short lived (or the protesters themselves would be very short lived, one of the two).
3) The point I was trying to make regarding Kent State is that just because the cause seems noble does not mean that everyone believes in it for the same reasons. To address your point though, yes bad things happen. Bad things will always happen. That's called life. Some kid in the National Gaurd who drinks beer all weekend while dressed in a military uniform and calls that training can and sometimes will freak out. Have you ever been in a riot or a violent protest? It's friggin scary. For both sides. It's loud, noisy, it's very confusing, and if you're some undertrained National Guardsman, you are probably in fear of your life. So, given those circumstances, yes, under any rule of law, if can get real ugly, real fast.
I find it funny to call my comments an ad hominem but tell me how something that happened 30 years ago is somehow relevent with what just happened in Genoa other than when you scare the sh*t out of someone with a gun, the chances for bad stuff happening go up astronomically.
4) Not exactly sure I'm willing to take biased news reports and statements as proof of anything. I'm not shutting my mind to the fact that some of what they say is true but I would rather it come from an slightly less biased source. Despite that, the point is that all in all, the actual ELECTED/APPOINTED representatives from those countries probably are not advocates of the violence. It is probably doing their cause more harm than good because they are seen as allied with radical groups prone to violence. Given a choice, I'm sure they would much rather have peaceful protests while that raised public awareness while they sought legal avenues to remedy the situation.
I think you may have missed my point on Greenpeace (which was probably my fault for not being more clear). Greenpeace is above all else, a money raising organization. They raise money. Then they use that money to fight for what they believe in. But raising money is first because without the money they can't fight. So, while they may believe in whaling limits, throwing blood on the Japaneese delegate in front of the world press brings in millions of dollars from supporters. Even if being barred from the proceedings and pissing off one of the world's biggest offenders right as many on the commission felt he was ready to make some concessions may set the cause back, it brings in millions in funding and huge public support. Now this is not unique to Greenpeace, I think every major political party practices it. It's just that you have to look at what kinds of things would actually bring change. Do you really believe radicals throwing fire extinguishers and destroying shops is going to get these protesters any sort of real attention from the G8? Or do you think if they would have put that energy into raising public awareness via peaceful protests and passionate debate they would be on a better path? Right now, the only money these groups are going to be able to attract is from people with radical viewpoints who will further the radical actions at future events until their is actually a call to crack down on the protesters. Until there is widespread hatred and condemnation of them. So are they furthering their goals or are they simply seeking their 15 minutes of fame but ultimately dooming their cause? I think the later which is sad because I do feel they have some valid points to make.
[ Parent ]