The past few months saw people all over the world taking a stand and taking to the streets to protest what they felt was unfair treatment of some kind. If you watched the news enough, you’d notice some striking differences in the ways various groups expressed their anger. Some of it was passive, some of it was rather violent.
Let’s take a look at a few and break down their tactics.
Middle East Riots
Due to the opinion of an idiot that in no way reflects the feelings of an entire nation, presented in the form of an obscure film made by said idiot (who is apparently a twice-convicted felon, once for intending to cook meth), some Muslim protesters reacted like they were the first to find out the world ends in a week and they were getting a head-start. A U.S. ambassador was killed, along with a former Navy Seal. U.S., German, and British Embassies were stormed. And a Hardee’s and a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Lebanon were set on fire. Hardee’s is understandable, but torching a KFC is a real shot to our protruding red, white, and blue guts.
In short, stuff’s messed up and on fire. If this keeps up, soon the No. 1 cause of climate change will be protesters burning things when they get mad. People are dying, security forces are launching tear gas canisters into crowds, and a large number of people were/are generally a bit ticked off.
This is how the some in the Muslim world have chosen to protest, and it ain’t pretty. But something to keep in mind is that not everybody is reacting this way. There are protesters who don’t feel that motherf*****s need to be burned down. These 1,000 protesters in Qatar somehow managed to get their point across ( America what up? Boo, stupid film, and such) without killing anything.
And then you have these folks…all of which are from a pro-American rally in Benghazi, Libya, the day after the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, in the same city he was killed in. You don’t need to act like an a-hole as you denounce an a-hole.
The NFL Referee Lockout
During the offseason, the NFL’s usual assortment of referees held out for a new deal that ensured all sorts of money-related things, with the keystone being the retention of their pensions. Not a single ref took to the streets or held a picket sign with a catchy slogan or broke out their bongos and chanted protest songs. The referees simply stayed home and tried to work out a deal.
As the start of the season neared, the refs showed no signs of return, so the NFL took out a bunch of personal ads in newspapers and on Cragislist looking for refs. “Need trained, busty referees for football games/nude late night chats,” the ads would have read had I not made all that up. They eventually found their replacement refs and, if you read last week’s article, you know how that turned out. If you didn’t and you were left in the dark, here’s a summation:
THERE’S SO MUCH BLOOD! OMG WHY IS THERE SO MUCH BLOOD?!?!
NFL refs went old school with their protest by letting their replacements make their argument for them. The reason people unionize, as the refs had long ago, is because they feel they have a special set of skills that can’t be replaced. So they join forces to ensure that they get fair treatment, letting their bosses know what they do can’t be duplicated by anyone else–at least, not without some hilariously depressing consequences.
And that’s what happened.
In just three weeks of play, the replacement refs proved to be so bad at their jobs that the unionized refs only had to point to any given football game as an example for why they deserve what they were asking for.
Chicago Teacher’s Union Strike
In Chicago, people were also angry, and they, too, took to the streets to express their rage. The Chicago teacher’s union banded together and agreed to not show up for work until a new deal was worked out with the city. That deal was eventually reached, and the teachers are now back in school.
Like some Muslims throughout the Middle East, and unlike NFL refs, the teachers took to the streets with signs and chants to express their rage. Unlike those involved in the Innocence of Muslims riots, the teachers didn’t feel the need to torch fast food joints to get their message across, and their dissatisfaction manifested in this picture, taken at a teacher’s union protest…
That image of a protest sign accusing Mayor Rahm Emanuel of being a fan of Nickelback represents the most extreme act committed during the teacher’s union strike. Had the strike continued, things could have escalated quickly, with protesters accusing Mayor Emanuel of enjoying other Top 40 musical acts. And lord knows cops in riot gear would have pummeled unionized teachers had one of them brought out the big guns and accused the mayor of rocking out to some Ke$ha. A man can only be pushed so far before he breaks. (In case you were wondering, Rahm Emanuel doesn’t like Nickelback).
There are many different ways to protest something you don’t like. And there is, in fact, a way to do it without consulting The Anarchist’s Cookbook. Sometimes you can make a silly sign that gets people laughing, thereby cutting the tension and fostering an environment in which progress can be made. But as the NFL refs proved, other times even a silly sign is too much. If you focus all your efforts on trying to settle the matter calmly and intelligently, things will naturally work themselves out.
Luis is the one-man riot who gave you Yahoo! Answers: Ask A Stupid Question Day Edition and Four Robotic Body Parts Combined to Make Frankensexdoll, so he knows both illogical behavior and pent-up frustrations.