Where have all the Protesters Gone?

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NDPP
Where have all the Protesters Gone?

"Why are the legions of anti-war activists grown smaller and smaller? Where have all the protesters gone? What explains their disappearance from the world's cameras? Apathy?...Learned Helplessness?"

http://canada.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/63669

Erik Redburn

This is an timely question.  I wonder if its the advent of the computer, giving the illusion that posting commentary and signing petitions etc are adequate replacements to organizing, lobbying, donating money or getting out in the streets.  I hope that's not it. 

Frmrsldr

I think it's the sold out, corporate owned mainstream media. They haven't figured it out yet that supporting an illegal genocidal war is the opposite of supporting the troops. Most soldiers are too afraid to speak out against the war because of what the military will do to them. A lot of young people join the military because society has conditioned them from an early age to believe that war is glorious and noble. "Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria More". If you have the opportunity, two inspirational DVDs to watch are "F.T.A." and "Sir!No Sir!"

Maysie Maysie's picture

This might be one reason. It's an older post written in 2003.

A piece by Elizabeth Martinez, anti-racist activist and anti-war activist.

Both of these were written in the US context.

 

 

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
I think it's the sold out, corporate owned mainstream media.

 

I think it's too many individuals looking for easy targets to blame.

Erik Redburn

Frmrsldr wrote:

I think it's the sold out, corporate owned mainstream media. They haven't figured it out yet that supporting an illegal genocidal war is the opposite of supporting the troops. Most soldiers are too afraid to speak out against the war because of what the military will do to them. A lot of young people join the military because society has conditioned them from an early age to believe that war is glorious and noble. "Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria More". If you have the opportunity, two inspirational DVDs to watch are "F.T.A." and "Sir!No Sir!"

 

I'll take a look for them.  The elite "mass" media has definitely shown less and less coverage of protests and from less supportive angles, from say twenty years ago or so (I even remeber a huge anti-globalization march being countered on CTV by one comfortable looking soul saying she wished they wouldn't get in the way so...) but there does seem to be a decline in actual protests and numbers showing, no?  I'm not one to take part in many myself, but that's the impression I get, even in left media, not even many calls being made.  Not that protests themselves resolve much, but could be a worrying trend.

Webgear

It is my opinion, that after 8 years of war, the population (including pro and anti-war elements) has been disunited and desensitized by the current conflicts.

Look at this forum, the only time Afghanistan is spoken about is when a soldier dies or a large number of civilians are killed or injured. Any posts on this subject is not about how to end the war but is about who is responsible.

NDPP

I think it's probably also true that Canadians are highly subservient to power, internally colonized and conditioned for collaboration and complicity rather than protest and resistance. I think pathologies of colonialism and the settler state are deeply involved. Colonized minds -  many support "the authorities" and it has been this way a long time I think. Besides, being effective takes hard work. The numbers, organization and commitment of Tamil demonstrations in TO were illustrative of how things could be in the protest department if people cared enough to want a serious anti-war movement.  When people lead leaders follow. (as they should) But it's a very serious question deserving analysis, correction and remedy because things are awful the way it is.

West Coast Greeny

Its been 7 1/2 years since the War on Terror started. Obama is president, and the withdrawl from Iraq is underway. Most moderate progressives have been placated for the moment. Additionally, a lot of energy is being diverted towards the issue of the economy. Afghanistan is way off the radar.

Frmrsldr

Webgear wrote:

It is my opinion, that after 8 years of war, the population (including pro and anti-war elements) has been disunited and desensitized by the current conflicts.

Look at this forum, the only time Afghanistan is spoken about is when a soldier dies or a large number of civilians are killed or injured.

That is because the Harpo government is micromanaging the war. We are only able to respond to what we hear coming out of Afghanistan. Case in point, for the past two years we haven't heard of any civilians accidentally killed by Canadian soldiers or Afghan PoW abuse. Does that mean that there has been no such cases? Or has there been no reporting of such cases in the Canadian media?

Another example is the one sided coverage of the war. For example, the recently released quarterly Afghan Progress Report states that we (who is this we exactly? I doubt it is the troops) intend to construct 20 schools by 2011 in Afghanistan. It does not mention the fact that the number of schools  constructed to date is 5. It also does not mention that in 2008, 538 schools were destroyed in southern Afghanistan, 58% of which were in Kandahar province. All indexes are abysmally below projected targets. Almost everywhere we are regressing in Afghanistan. Yet Harper pulls this statement out of the air, "We are making real measurable progress in Afghanistan."

Ze

Which anti-war movement?

Webgear

West Coast Greeny

I think you are correct about most moderate progressives have been placated for the moment however it is interesting you think a lot of energy is being devoted towards the economy.

 

Frmsldr

Regardless that Harper has been micromanaging, it is my view the anti war element has stalled for the time being, there is less messaging on Afghanistan compared to 2 or 3 years ago.

Frmrsldr

Frmsldr

Regardless that Harper has been micromanaging, it is my view the anti war element has stalled for the time being, there is less messaging on Afghanistan compared to 2 or 3 years ago.

And again I say, the reason why there is less messaging on Afghanistan compared to 2 or 3 years ago is because there is less mainstream media coverage on Afghanistan compared to 2 or 3 years ago.

Take a look at what's messaged the most and what's messaged the least. Next look at what stories get the most (least) coverage in the mainstream media. Then compare the two. Tell me if there is a direct co-relation. In other words, the government, the military and the mainstream media control the 'spin'. We are the ones being 'spun' (or manipulated).

Betcha donuts to dollars that there is a direct co-relation.

Frmrsldr

Another reason might be that many Canadians believe (erroneously) that Canada will be militarily disengaged from Afghanistan by mid 2011. So they are living under this false sense of comfort. The mentality being, 'Let's tough it out by 2011 and concentrate on domestic problems and issues that are close at hand. Hopefully by 2011 the troops will be home, the economy will have recovered and things will be better'.

Boy, will some people be disappointed.

Ze

So by "antiwar movement" we mean protesters against the war on Afghanistan? 

Is that the same movement that mobilized against the war on Iraq?

Terms seem more than a little fuzzy here....

Michelle

I've posted this on babble before, but I think Matt Taibbi makes some good points in this article, although he's rather abrasive about it and I don't agree with all of it.  But I do think there's kind of a protesting "rut" that needs to be gotten out of.

Frmrsldr

I think being a soldier for peace would be a good way to go.Wink

Webgear

Frmsldr

You bring up some interesting points however you have not explained the major decrease anti-war protest. The common person may not care about Afghanistan however it does not explain the lack of recent anti-war protest or writing of articles referencing the current state of affairs.

Frmrsldr

...the lack of recent anti-war protest or writing of articles referencing the current state of affairs.

Do you know that there is a lack of anti-war protests and writing of materials on the subject, or is this your perception?

Has anyone done an objective research study on the subject and published a book with charts and stats that show whether protests and books critical of war and governments at war since 2001 have gone up, down or remained relatively static?

mmphosis

We are here.

 

The United States is pulling out of Iraq now.  Canadian forces are scheduled to pullout from Afghanistan in 2011.  War is over.

Webgear

 

It is my belief that there has been a reduction and frequency of anti-war protests over the last year. The numbers of articles on Afghanistan have been very limited lately also.

Frmrsldr

mmphosis wrote:

We are here.

 

The United States is pulling out of Iraq now.  Canadian forces are scheduled to pullout from Afghanistan in 2011.  War is over.

What a joke,

The U.S. will leave 50,000 troops in Iraq. Ready to engage in combat at a moment's notice if asked by the Iraq government or troops. Obomba is in the process of sending a 21,000 strong troop surge to Afghanistan, with possibly more after that.

After Harpo's and MacKay's recent visit to Afghanistan, both indicated that Canadian troops were going to stay beyond the 2011 disengagement date (no end date was mentioned). Both appealed directly to Canadians, trying to sell them the bullshit story that Canadian troops are going to be more combat lite and redevelopment, reconstruction and humanitarian aid heavy. This suggests that if the Con government does escalate the war (for a third time) this time, they won't even bother with the democratic pretext of introducing a war resolution before the House, they'll just go ahead and do it, gambling that the Canadian public will either support it or quietly accept it.

Webgear

Frmrsldr wrote:

Indicated that Canadian troops were going to stay beyond the 2011 disengagement date (no end date was mentioned). Both appealed directly to Canadians, trying to sell them the bullshit story that Canadian troops are going to be more combat lite and redevelopment, reconstruction and humanitarian aid heavy.

Sort of sounds like the NDP'S position.

Frmrsldr

Sort of sounds like the NDP'S position.

Correct me if I am wrong. The NPD's position, as I understand it, is bring the troops home now. Have peace talks involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, China, Russia and (possibly) the U.S., U.K. and Canada, etc. Send humanitarian organizations to Afghanistan only if this is what the Afghan government wants.