Where’s the protest?

October 11, 2008

There was a time when IMF/G7 meet-ups were met with hundreds of angry protesters throwing rocks and smoke bombs at police.

How things have changed…

Now the protests are scheduled, complete with press releases and carefully assembled information packets. But while the message is there, the people really aren’t.

Kenny Bruno of Oil Change International

Even without much of an audience, the colorful nature of these well-organized protests guarantees plenty of media coverage to get the message out.

So what exactly is that message?

Oil Change’s Stephen Kretzmann and Dr. Brent Blackwelder of Friends of the Earth talk greenwashing

Is it a sign of the times that violent mass protests are being replaced by media-friendly performance art? Tell us what you think.

One comment

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As one of the organizers of a lot of those protests in Washington, including the one that brought out over 20,000 in April 2000, I have to, well, protest at the description. In Washington we never had anyone throwing rocks or smoke bombs at IMF/World Bank actions. The most “violent” things ever got was some shoving of fences and very minor property damage (and, as those who specialize in such things will tell you, “violence” should only be applied to attacks on humans or animals, not things). And I’d like to think we were always pretty media-savvy: nothing gets press attention like a colorful protest, and we got lots of media attention. But with wars and national elections, there isn’t much energy these days for organizing such events. But I’m sure the day will come again, and before very long.

Posted by Soren Ambrose | Report as abusive