Protests and Protesters…

I made some comments earlier about protesters and how some of them don’t even know what they are protesting.  On the other hand, there are those who latch onto a cause and make it their life goal to destroy any future employment possibilities, put fear into those walking down the street, shamelessly waste paper, foster equality for individuals around the world.

Yesterday, I ran into some people protesting Barrick Gold Corporation and some of their mining practices.  You can check out what the protesters have to say here.  For Barrick’s Corporate Social Responsibility platform, check here (if nothing else, at least be responsible and examine both sides).  I’m not writing about the merits or lack thereof of the campaign against Barrick.  This is more about something interesting that the lead protester said to me.

They had a demonstration on Bay Street, which was civil.  A few cops were on standby just in case.  So as I walked by, I stopped to hear what they were saying and was then provided with far too much paper for a group supposedly caring about the Earth and its inhabitants.  Anyway, she briefly explained their position and told me about the different pieces of paper.  But after I asked a question about some of the statistics they cite, I was informed that the piece of paper I was referring to was “more for the business types.”  Oh, well excuse me.

First, I actually am one of those business types.  I just happened to be walking down the street in jeans, trainers and a t-shirt because I was not working that day.  Why segregate your audience and insult them at the same time?  The whole point of protesting in public spots is that you want to create a groundswell…among the masses.  MASSES.  Even their own paperwork says it is time for a “grassroots effort”.  Strange.

Second, I don’t know if the whole “shout on the street and hand out fliers” thing is that effective anymore.  People tend to view anyone who does that as a radical and immediately dismisses their cause.  They might want to think about doing something using public space in a more creative way.  What if you were walking down the street at night and a camera had an image projected on a wall that stated a fact about a cause?  It would catch your attention if there were a few of those around the business district.  Sure, you wouldn’t get the same traffic, but I bet you would get more serious views and you could drive to your website.  You also wouldn’t have to waste paper.  Or what if you spray painted a bunch of bricks with gold paint and then lined them up along the ground with numbers painted on top of each brick, with each brick representing 10 of the Huasco Valley’s 2000 water users?  As people walked by, they would be forced to pay attention and then you could have your website at the end of the bricks.  That might be more effective…or at least that’s what I think.  Check this out and maybe you’ll see what I’m getting at.  I may not agree with what they’re saying, but if I walked by, I would sure take notice.  It would stay in my head on the train home…

Anyway, I’m not siding with Barrick or the protesters, just giving you something to think about.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment