Protesting the Wars is Boring

That anti-war/free Palestine/free Bradley Manning/Stand with Unions/buy-these-Che-Guevara-shirts protest in Dolores Park and Valencia Street yesterday sure was a failure.  While I have to give the organizers props for being the first people I've ever witnessed burning the American Flag on Tallboy Terrace (horribly pictured above), they clearly don't know how to promote political activism to anyone under the age 50.  Personally, I hadn't heard there was going to be a protest in Dolores until I showed up for my typical Sunday ritual of drinking Tecate and complaining about the wind, which is the first sign that Bay Area political organizers don't have a clue.  But once I found out the protest, I had the displeasure of having to listen to the protest…

I've heard a lot of reasons over the years as to why anti-war rallies have been so poorly attended by 20-somethings since September 11th: “There's no draft to motivate the youth to protest against the war.” “There are not as many photos of dead soldiers or mass destruction as there were in Vietnam.” “No Americans romanticize Bin Laden as a revolutionary figure like radicals did of Communist figures in the 60s.”  Sure, those are all valid reasons, but the real reason nobody goes to anti-Iraq war protests is because they are boring.  There's nothing uncool about standing against continued wars in the Middle East or Obama turning his back on campaign pledges, but what kind of self-respecting kid wants to hang out with 60-year-olds who wear jackets covered in oversized buttons and recite poetry before screaming about justice?  From what I'm told, protesting Vietnam was fun.  Listening to protest songs.  Doing drugs with thousands of your friends and neighbors.  Socializing with other single people your age.  Come for the protest, stay for the party.  Yesterday's protest was anything but that.

I know everyone hates yuppies and shit, but if these anti-war organizations had any sense, they'd motivate a bunch of Mission kids who work in marketing, event promotion, and tech to start organizing protests that feel less like a senior singles mixer and more like a party.

Comments (7)

theres was also a conspicous lack of mind-blowing acid

yeah i stole one of their anti israel signs while hanging out with my jewish girlfriend. it was trippy. and there were these two dudes selling socialist newspapers that were super pissed nobody wanted them. it was really the most un-focused, half-assed, old-peep-friendly, no-fun-havin ‘protest’/whinefest i’ve ever had the pleasure of attending while not drunk.

Wow. Sounds like the next generation might actually deserve the shitty world it’s being bequeathed. Have fun dousing your disengagement and ennui in that Tecate!

You stated exactly what I was trying to say. I was hoping that this was written with the intent of satire. However, I don’t think this is the case. God forbid this generation actually believe in and commit themselves to anything other than posturing and branding.

Yeah, God forbid that this generation doesn’t want to spend the afternoon hanging out with a bunch of boring old people who are just as crazy as the Tea Party and cannot even get their messages straight.

Seconded. We all agree the wars suck. But that message goes down poorly when delivered by a bunch of unreconstructed commies.

What do you mean by 20 somethings? Where were you in 2003 when the Iraq war was beginning - those were some big ass protests. This was clearly some half assed fringe group.