Friday, August 24, 2007

The macaca moment

One of the problems with the anti-globalization protest movement, from the WTO protests years ago in Seattle through to the Montebello protests this week, is the uniformly dismissive tone of the media coverage (some examples in my previous post.
The basic attitude taken by the press (by editors and publishers, of course, as well as by political reporters) has been that the protesters were frivolous and paranoid, the protests were violent and costly, and the police had every right to keep these nutcases far away from Our Very Serious Leaders Who Are Only Trying To Do What's Best For Us All.
The QPP agent provocateur story is a chink in the wall to change that attitude.
Protesters have been saying for years that authorities are trying to discredit protests by infiltration and underhanded tactics -- a hard case to make when the complaints are dismissed as paranoid nuts. But just as video exposed George Allan's "macaca" racism, video has now exposed the inept police "provocateurs" -- who quite obviously intended to provoke violence until the crowd stopped them. As Chet notes, the masks, anarchist outfits, and rocks were not just a fashion statement.

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