Monday, April 07, 2008

Do what we want or we'll whine!
So today, Pro-Tibet protesters climbed the Golden Gate Bridge and hung banners from the cables. Sigh....

I'm all in favor of changing the world and working to right wrongs, but acts like this just kind of amuse and bemuse me. In most cases all that happens is the protesters manage to alienate people who might have supported their cause but were so inconvenienced that they are now more likely to turn against freedom because they were 45-minutes late for work.

I recall in college (and I'm dating myself here) there was a big anti-apartheid protest. The organizers wanted a university-wide class boycott. I failed to see how my missing Latin class was going to achieve racial equality in South Africa. After years of lobbying and protests from Presidents and pundits, the South African government was going to say "what's this? San Francisco State students are skipping classes because they disagree with our policies of inequality? Then it must be wrong!"

That's kind of like today's actions. I sincerely doubt that the Chinese government is going to alter their policies because traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge was disrupted.

In related news, Olympic torch relays are being disrupted for the same reasons. And I completely disagree with this. The Olympics are the only global event with even a touch of unity. It tries its hardest to keep politics out of things. It doesn't always success, but it tries. And here are people mucking it up again.

I'm not saying that crimes are being committed against Tibet. But there are better ways to bring about change than ruining people's days and tarnishing something that is actually one of the few good things the world has going for it. Fight, by all means, but pick your battles and make them work. And don't fight bad decisions with yet more bad decisions.

As Husband would say, "end of soapbox."

1 comment:

mama d said...

Ooh, don't get me started. A dear friend of mine carried the torch in 2002, then died of cancer two weeks later. I can't imagine what I would have done to a protester who tried to end Louie's moment of glory! Honestly, China will just make things worse for the athletes and spectators in Beijing and protesters just make it worse for the folks who have the honor of carrying the torch. Everyone loses.