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Stupid Demonstrations

DCblogger's picture

Occupy DC took over the intersection of 14th and U Streets NW. They were demonstrating against Romney.

To what purpose?

How does blocking traffic and annoying motorists bring a better world? Because we have the power to do this? We have the power to be annoying? We have the power to throw a tantrum? Which is what blocking traffic amounts to.

Do have any idea how little courage it takes to be anti-Romney in Washington DC? In 2008 John McCain got 6.53% of the vote. In DC the Republican party is considered lunatic fringe. They can't carry a precinct.

So what was the point of this demonstration?

No votes yet


reslez's picture
Submitted by reslez on

We have the power to be annoying? We have the power to throw a tantrum?

I'm sorry the First Amendment is so annoying to you.

No change ever happened without rocking the boat and startling people out of their daily routine.

We need more people blocking traffic in support of causes they passionately support, not less. Unfortunately since popular dissent has been ruthlessly crushed in this country (we wouldn't want to disturb the status quo!) it is more and more likely we will see these efforts coming from the right wing rather than the left.

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

Be sure to take a survey to see how many people you've endeared to your cause and how many people you've aligned staunchly against it with your actions, assuming they were indifferent beforehand. If you're annoying people and they associate your group's actions with something negative - and by extension cast those negative emotions on your cause, you'll end up losing potential supporters and ultimately you'll have aided those you were hoping to undermine.

sanskavit's picture
Submitted by sanskavit on

...I mean, can you even provide anything that isn't some random bourgeois assertion/one person unscientific poll that a temporary disruption of traffic at a nonmajor intersection in a town infamous for protests is 'detracting' from one's cause in a substantial extent. Or you could see the link I provided before (starting on page 222) about how its not.

jest's picture
Submitted by jest on

I don't remember this consternation over "stupid demonstrations" when OWS had their Brooklyn Bridge action, or the West Coast ports shut down.

14th & U isn't exactly a major intersection in DC anyway. Frankly, people would be more pissed if they blocked the metro entrance.

sanskavit's picture
Submitted by sanskavit on

Google Search about the protest like:

You'd know the protest wasn't against Romney, per se, but Romney's economics which are, by and large, the same economics of Obama. It's protesting the $7.25 an hour economy, and it focused on Romney this week because it was the Convention. The protest happened for 30mins (!) with no confrontation with police at an intersection infamous for its connection to 2008 when a party erupted there celebrating the defeat of John McCain.

These aren't exactly hard things to find out

but then again, I guess it's more important to use your platform to lambaste people doing direct action (which is supposed to be disruptive) off your very unscientific poll of one that the protests were ineffectual and annoying and done just because.

And my dismissive nature just matches the tone of the OP.

sanskavit's picture
Submitted by sanskavit on

the point of blocking streets for a period of time in Direct Action is called the Excitement Effect: rather than repel people, the sounds, extra attention and people gathered tends to draw people in (opponents, bystanders, allies and more)--it's the notion that the unordinary can be 'seductive'. You can read about it here in regards to the WTO protests:

But then again, it 'annoyed' DCBlogger so I guess its stupid and done 'just because'.

Submitted by lambert on

... I never thought I'd hear somebody demand a study to prove that people didn't enjoy being stuck in traffic.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on


It's getting so whenever I hear the phrase "Direct Action", it triggers an uncontrollable reflex action where my eyes roll in my head.

Yes, more traffic jams, more giant puppets, more Guy Fawkes masks. That's what we need. What will fix things.

illusionofjoy's picture
Submitted by illusionofjoy on

I'm sick of being told - from all sides - that my miserable life is being made more miserable because that's going to make things better.

People are just trying to get through life at this point. You want to block traffic and make me late for my minimum wage job where I don't get paid for missed hours because you've got something to say? Well, thanks a lot - your "direct action" certainly improved my life. The long-term matters not if one can't get through the short-term.

Submitted by lambert on

... I agree.

* * *

And it's also very manipulative behavior. We have quite enough of people making it worse for others right now. We don't need more of it...

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I've never been in a demonstration that a significant number of people didn't find stupid and annoying.

Submitted by lambert on

Stupidest idea I've ever heard of. Jeebus, up near Adams Morgan? What's the intent here, other than self-indulgence?

"Direct action" is a tactic. It's not necessarily good in itself.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

What I would call the Cardozo area of DC. Or possibly Howard U. Actually, the beginning of the 1968 riot corridor, but that is ancient history now. Really demonstrating against Romney there is a big bucket of nothing. The reason the police did not come down on them like a ton of bricks is that this is Wash DC, not Oakland. The police in DC believe that discretion is the better part of valor. Their goal would be to clear the street in the least amount of time possible, so would always take a low key approach, including let the whole thing run out of steam and clear of its own accord. DC police are not pepper spray happy.