I was awakened this afternoon by a rather large, loud, and angry peace march winding by my front door. It appeared to consist of most of ETHS (Evanston Township High School) marching down the street, shouting the following chant with a bullhorn:
What do we want?
When do we want it?
Being cranky because of being woken up, the first thing that came to my mind was the counter-chant that is the title of this entry.
The second thing that came to my mind was, “Aw, isn’t that cute? They think they’re making a difference.”
I realize this is a ridiculously cynical thing to say, especially for someone who thinks it’s horribly stupid and dangerous to go to war without UN support. I think the “Peace! Now!” and “No Blood For Oil!” folks are tremendously oversimplifiying things, but there are legit reasons to wait.
However, after living in DC for 18 years and watching causes I care about get shot down one after another after another for the benefit of people giving wads of money to campaign causes, I really feel like large-scale protests don’t work anymore.
The fact that Bush has gotten even more war-focused after millions of people worldwide protested against his policies in the largest, most organized worldwide public protest ever, further convinces me that holding signs and marching and shouting is not going to do a damn thing.
Unlike a lot of the protesters, I don’t either equate Bush to Hitler or think he’s more dangerous than Hussein. However, I think his actions and his policies are incredibly dangerous, and he and Rumsfeld especially are inflicting wounds that will take decades to heal.
I’ll grant you, high school students and people who haven’t grown up in DC have far more reason to protest than I, the students because they would be the ones drafted were the draft reinstated, and non-DCers because they aren’t horribly cynical.
But I haven’t gone to a single peace protest, and I kind of resented being woken up by one (even though it was 11am, and most normal people are awake at that point). However, I do think protetst serves a purpose for the people protesting to feel like their voices are being heard.
And for some of the students I saw, it appeared to be serving the purpose of getting them out of class for an hour or so.
And really, isn’t that what life is really all about when you’re in high school?