Bruce has written a very well-considered post on the perils of APEC protesting. I would never have called such a post APEC sado-erotica for the modern Australian conservative, but that is by the bye. (You know, I had to check the spelling of that!)
Bruce wisely says:
Not that I think that the content of the APEC meeting (specifically our Government’s participation) is going to be particularly good, it’s just that I pick my protests based on their capacity to get a point across. APEC protesters don’t get listened to. Even if the media gave them a fair go they simply don’t have the gravitas or an informed consistent message to get across to the public.
Their campaign isn’t like the 2003 protest against the Iraq war. That protest had a consistent message and it had gravitas in spades. That protest wasn’t tainted by the confected outrage of a jaded group of the usual suspects.
I want an alternative to what is being sold at APEC, but I don’t want the Democratic Socialist Party’s alternative. More importantly, I want alternatives delivered more effectively…
And more. Do read it. Even if confected outrage is a bit unfair to many of those involved: I don’t think Benjamin Solah’s outrage is at all confected, for example, even if I don’t share all his views or strategic thinking. (If you read this, Benjamin, that was you I saw on the news tonight, wasn’t it, at the Stop Bush Coalition meeting?)
Like Bruce, I commend GetUp.org.au, and not just because I know Jeremy Heimans.
I said a little more by way of a comment over at Bruce’s blog:
I coined the term “the romanticism of protest” — though I am sure someone else must have
totoo — to describe some of what will be happening here. There are elements among the protests that I thoroughly agree with, but there is also the irony that some protest strategies and actions will, even without Alan Jones doing a Cronulla again, work FOR Howard and Bush in media terms and even in voting terms.
Those protesters I know (like the always protesting norrie may-welby) are emphasising that it should be kept light and creative, and I am sure much will be, but the media will seek out the most violent and televisual anyway. My protest is to pretend it isn’t here, to disown it as far as possible, but on the other hand to talk about it and raise some issues on my blog, though even there I am not going to let their agenda take me over.
Good post, Bruce. I will now go and promote it as today’s contribution to
memy APEC thoughts.
Which I am now doing. And correcting my own typos!
As the Empress pointed out yesterday, even more remarkable than Bush coming here is that the first Russian leader ever to visit Australia is also coming. And Helen Clark. But we don’t mind Helen Clark… In fact, maybe we should keep her.