ACTIVISTS KICKED OUT OF CES – A look at free speech.

lcdtvcomboAfter a rather busy new year, Im finally back with an article (hopefully the first of many today if I can find time)

Friday 9th January 2008 marked the beginning of the CES, although for some activists protesting about the recycling policies of major brands, the show was very short indeed, resulting in the being ejected from the venue.  The protesters where dressed up in costume with a TV (cardboard) on their heads displaying the names of various brands alleged to have the poor policies.

The article is being reported fully on the PC World site, and you can click here to read it.

The protestors were part of an organisation which has a site called Computer Takeback (allegedly) and you can access that particular website here.

I am sure their message is an honorable one, however I always believe that there honorable intentions and message get a little lost whilst if they do not consider the audience they are trying to target.  Rightly or wrongly many people are going to feel intimidated by these people and its my opinion that when you dress up in custome and/or use other overt protesting methods, you can tend to cheapen the argument.  I have believed this with the antics of Fathers for Justice.  A noble cause cheapened by some downright silly protests that supporters engage in.

Why cant they have a dignified walk with posters and TV coverage?  Why cant they have petitions and open letters of protest, organised and run in such a way that people do not feel intimidated/frightened or just plain “creeped out”.

As I always say, freedom of choice/speech is always one of the policies of this site and of course as long as it doesnt break any local laws, they are free to do so in anyway they choose.  Its just my opinion that the public in the main will not be enthused or encouraged by this approach to a subject we all need to consider, and seriously.

Recycling is something we all need to consider, IMO that message can be better advertised by a more conservate approach.

To end this article I thought Id look at definitions for both activist and protestor, because to me they both have similar meanings:

Firstly “Activist”

“an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, esp. a political cause.”

and now “Protestor”

” an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid: a protest against increased taxation.”

Risking being laughed at here for lack of understanding, IMO the two are very similar.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I just wanted to respond to “Why cant they have a dignified walk with posters and TV coverage? Why cant they have petitions and open letters of protest, organised and run in such a way that people do not feel intimidated/frightened or just plain “creeped out”.”

    Simply, it is because it didn’t work. Many groups tried it that way and after 20-30 years and made little if any progress.

    If you look at most of the high profile F4J protesters around the world thay all have one thing in common. They tried all of the conservative methods you mention and receive little or no response.

  2. openbytes says:

    Quote Brian “Simply, it is because it didn’t work. Many groups tried it that way and after 20-30 years and made little if any progress.”

    And you think this method does?

    As I said before whilst I have the utmost respect for anyone who wants to protest peacefully, I think the audience in which they are trying to reach switches off because of the methods they use.

    Look at fathers for justice. A worthwhile cause, however in the past we have had protestors dressing up as superheros and performing actions that disrupt traffic etc. It is at this point that “Joe Bloggs” presumably the people who the protestors want support from, switch off, and whilst I support the “ethos” of say Fathers for Justice, their actions make me embarassed to do and as such I cant support them when they behave badly.

    A dignified protest, whilst it may not get the mainstream attention an “outragous” one would, but surely someone must realise that the “outragous” actions are “switching off” the average member of public, and giving the press ammunition to belittle the cause.

    Its like the Animal rights extremists. I actually am totally against animal testing, but there is no way I could ever support animal rights activists due to the methods they employ to deliver the message. They cannot see that when they commit criminal acts they are demonising themselves in the publics eye (IMO) and turning peoples views against them.

    Again a dignified protest (IMO) would get far more support than any activism.

    Just my opinion, but how can anyone justify disrupting someones day or even worse commiting a criminal act, just to put THEIR message across.

    I feel very strongly about open source, but Im not going to dress up as superman and stop traffic to support it.

    Nice talking to you.

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