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    Saturday, August 27, 2005

    "Why I Must March"


    Fact-esque treats us to a defense of protest politics which, as usual with these defenses, totally misses the point. The fact that protest activism worked over time for women's suffrage, civil rights, and other movements of the PAST, does not mean that protest politics are effective NOW, TODAY.

    There are probably ways that protests/marches can be effective today, but I think that Cindy Sheehan provides a great example: rather than gathering up a motley group of anti-war people and making up some chants, this woman went by herself and worked her access to political power- her status as a mother of a dead soldier. As many journalists have pointed out, Sheehan does not necessarily have any more information about the War in Iraq than other Americans, nor should her opinion really necessarily carry more weight because she has suffered the consequences of war, but, let's face it, it does.

    Will the throngs of hangers-on at the Crawford protest actually improve the protest in any way? Will it be more effective because there are more signs? I think not. What made this huge in the media (besides, as John Tierney noted, the fact that August is a very slow news month) is that it was this one particular woman with a personal story she could play for political capital.

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