Good thoughts on APEC protesting

03 Sep

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, 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 to too — 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 me my 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.

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3 responses to “Good thoughts on APEC protesting

  1. Benjamin Solah

    September 5, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    I think the APEC protests will get a message across. There’s going to be a mass demonstration and it’s going to involve lots of people with clear slogans.

    The point isn’t to change the mind of the APEC leaders, that’s useless. The point is to involve more people to force change.

  2. ninglun

    September 5, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks, Benjamin. I think a point made on Chaser tonight in the sketch “Subterranean APEC Blues” was actually quite well made, though. There are so many things people are (quite rightly) voicing views about through demos at this event that they may tend to become white noise, almost. Hope it isn’t the case. Saturday will be interesting; I will be working that day, but not all that far from the action, so I may see some of it. So far the demos have been fairly unremarkable.

  3. Benjamin Solah

    October 8, 2007 at 9:44 am

    And yeah, that was me at the Stop Bush meeting. 😀

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