The G20 debacle really puts into focus how “protest fixated” we’ve become. I think the 60’s protest ethos is a mere shadow of what’s going on today.
If you’re a ‘numbers person’ you’d have to know that any time you schedule some kind of international chin-wag, the protestista hordes will make the obligatory appearance, front and center. That’s why you’d have to wonder, if you’re a politician, why the calculus of the whole exercise doesn’t resolve in favor of “why bother?”.
All the negatives of that thoroughly stupid weekend of excess have been catalogued: cost, inconvenience, dislocation of business, gridlock, etc. But the spectacle of voluminous, bilious and essentially irrational protest, and its fallout, is “gift” that continues giving (at least for the electively distraught).
Globalism? Might as well protest wind direction. But framing the security detail, and the inevitable excesses, as civil liberty issues, now, there’s a protest worth jumping on board for. In effect, it’s protest about protest, no matter how vapid on the actual merits the tempest might have been in the first place.
We’re going to need at least one public inquiry, maybe more, to get to the bottom of just how close to totalitarianism our province teetered recently, attendant with – you guessed it – inevitable protests.
Why is all this happening? Well, my theory is that protest has morphed from being about something, to being purely a recreational activity. Hard to say why; maybe it’s an extension of all this social media love we’re experiencing. I mean, you can only stare at boring Facebook news feeds for so long without getting a tad restless. You know, after watching a bunch of sports on TV, you get an urge to swing a golf club for a bit? Same thing for protestistas.
It’s likely that lots of the folks that used to pass weekends touring yard sales have found another way to “express” themselves.