On Protests

February 23, 2017 By: erik Category: Musings, Politics

ProtestFor much of my adult life, I have been rather cynical about the value of protests, people rallying in the streets with big poster signs, in opposition to whatever decision those in power have made. I have watched news coverage of thousands upon thousands of people protest everything from the Iraq War to local taxation laws to Occupy Wall St. And with all that effort, I have not seen a single thing gained. The Wall St. fat cats suffered not one iota, the Iraq War went on as planned, and the local government did whatever the hell they wanted.


January 18, 2012 By: erik Category: Fighting Stupidity, Funny, Internet, Spanish

Vota contra SOPA y PIPAThe internet has pretty much shut down today. Well, most of the sites that make the internet entertaining, such as Fark, Reddit, The Oatmeal and Wikipedia. They are protesting possible US Congressional legislation that could potentially give the US Government the power to shut down any internet site that any corporation claims is violating copyright laws. This “shoot first, ask questions later” approach is rather ridiculous to anyone that takes even the briefest moment to consider the consequences. Learn more here. Anyway, I thought I’d join in the protest by providing a graphic that uses some images to playfully demonstrate what these acronyms mean in Spanish.

Spanish Current Events: Peaceful Unarmed Protesters Beaten By Police

May 27, 2011 By: erik Category: News, Spain, Videos

Spanish Current Events: Peaceful Unarmed Protesters Beaten By PoliceIn the protest of the British salt tax in colonial India in 1930, the leader of the protest at the Dharasana Salt Works, Sarojini Naidu, told his followers, “You must not use any violence under any circumstances. You will be beaten, but you must not resist: you must not even raise a hand to ward off blows.” When the protesters began pulling away the barbed wire protecting the salt pens, the police began beating them with steel-tipped lathis (an Indian martial arts fighting cane). American journalist, Webb Miller, described what he saw that day:

When are protest demonstrations reasonable?

May 23, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics, Spain

Manifestación Democracia Real Ya - Madrid 15 Mayo 2011For a long time, I have been unable to understand the point of political and social demonstrations and parades and such. I have at least two posts to this effect. What does Congress care if a bunch of rainbow-flag-waving hippies are out on the National Mall? That’s not going to change anyone’s mind!

With the combination of a number of successful political demonstrations – the most successful being that of Egypt – in the first quarter of 2011 and a video lecture I saw on YouTube, I finally had an epiphany about why demonstrations matter, and how they can be effective.