Protest Lite AKA the war on dissent

If you are attending the Make Poverty History rally in Edinburgh today, you need to be a “good” protester. The event is intended to lobby G8 leaders to do what the title suggests. Demonstrators are asked to march alongside Gordon Brown, wearing white, and to stay on-message. Don’t mention the war. Ditto for any critique of capitalism. Suggestions that G8 policy, far from alleviating poverty, is a direct cause of it, are not welcome. That constitutes “bad” protest. Shut up. Disappear. Stay at home.

Sounds like some factions of the U.S. antiwar movement whose primary purpose seems to be to funnel progressives into the Democratic Party where their dissent will be muted and who insist that issues like Palestine not be mentioned at protests. But there can never be peace in the Middle East until Palestinians have a place to call home, with many in the region seeing the Iraq War as inseparable from the Palestinian struggle. Nor can poverty in Africa be lessened until the role of the G8 in helping create that poverty is examined.