I have no truck with G-20 protesters. They have less coherency than a Paulian Tea Party and dumber catchphrases than Saturday morning cartoons. Seriously, “No borders, no banks”? Wait, are you claiming that if we don’t have borders, we won’t have banks? Or that you don’t want either borders or banks? Or that G-20 countries are somehow a bigger fan of borders than any other nation? And let’s not even get into “We all live in a fascist bully state” sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine.
But I do kind of love this little film clip of a bunch of protesters getting a canister of what press reports claim to be pepper spray thrown at them.
It’s hard to tell from the footage if throwing the pepper spray was actually justified; elsewhere, there are reports that protesters were throwing trashcans at cops and breaking police car windows, so it’s unclear. And I’m more than willing to believe there were encounters with the protesters where the police were unnecessarily aggressive.
But look at the protesters. They’re laughing. They get freaked out for a moment, then laugh and whip out cell phones, while cheering like it’s smoke from Fourth of July fireworks. Probably amazed at their coolness — damn, to be honest, if I’d been at a protest that got gassed, I’d probably feel like a bad ass too. But you just know they all went home after that to write a twitter post about it.
And in some ways, even more than their ill-planned protest signed or questionable clothing choices, that’s the biggest obstacle to their protest being taken seriously. That we live somewhere they can protest, and police presence isn’t a danger to them but instead makes for a cool story for the dorm room later.
C’mon, protesters, try a little harder, please. If you’re using the police action at the G-20 protest today as proof that ‘we all live in a fascist bully state,’ it’s no wonder your whole cause is DOA.