Monday, January 24, 2005

With friends like that 

The student newspaper is back to printing and manages to report on a group of protestors of the Inauguration who marched to City Hall. (

As President George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term of office in Washington, D.C., a coalition of organizations gathered to form an inauguration day protest on campus.

CODEPINK and MoveOn St. Cloud organized the event and other groups including WEG (Women's Equality Group), CAASA (Campus Advocates Against Sexual Assault), PUP (People Uniting For Peace) and Alternatives to War co-sponsored the event.

The protest included an informational session in Atwood and a march through Division Street to the St. Cloud City Hall where an informal rally was conducted.

Why? The mayor hates Bush as much as our campus Bolsheviks.

I walked by when they were getting ready for their march, about 12:45pm. There were less than 20 people standing outside on a day when it was about 15 degrees outside. Yet this manages to get coverage in our campus paper. Lovely.

Mary Ballengee, a staff member at the Women's Center, participated in the march and brought her daughter along with her. Ballengee said she would carry a sign that read "No more education money for the war."

Why not use the money for war when you pull your kid out of school to march in a protest?

She said that while everyone participating in the march had different reasons for joining, most of them shared a common goal of ending the war in Iraq."The people are demonstrating for a call to peace and we are not going to consent to four more years of pre-emptive war-making, deception, corruption and blindness to environmental issues," Ballengee said.

None of these protests ever go on without some reference to "the environment", which indicates the anti-capitalist mentality of these protestors. I don't call them "watermelon Bolsheviks" lightly. They are common on our campus, and others.

Along with the march at SCSU, demonstrations were organized across the country and there was a call for students nationwide to walk out of class at noon to join in on the marches.

This is pretty common as well: Captain Ed reports this morning on the absurd situation at the University of Oregon, where even the ubiquitous "Support Our Troops" ribbons are being chucked from campus.

At least one of their rank seems to recognize the silliness of these protests.

I understand that people want to stand up for what they believe in. After all, I disagree with Bush's policies enough that I actually voted for a useless placeholder like Kerry. Nevertheless, I can see little useful purpose in protesting the legitimate election of a candidate months after his election.

So what were the protesters hoping to accomplish? It's not like the American public didn't know that half the voting population did not want Bush to be President. It is a pointless endeavor. Protesters are either "preaching to the choir" or being ridiculed by their opposition.

Despite what the participants may have thought, the protest was nothing more than an exercise in futility. Shakespeare's Macbeth comes to mind: "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

That was great -- the Macbeth quote makes me wonder if this student has had Scholar Jack for a prof -- but look at his suggestion for what they should do instead:

If you truly feel strongly about an issue, invest in it. Don't be half-hearted. Try civil disobedience. History has shown that it works pretty well.

If you don't want to risk spending time in jail, try becoming a teacher. Teachers not only have a captive audience, but their students are far more open to to different ideas than another adult who is already set in their ways.

That, my friends, is why I blog. Because you don't have to be a captive audience. You can engage in civil disobedience at your government school.