The G20 Protests: Getting Back to Where We Were

I suppose everyone has seen the disturbing videos of police attacking demonstrators at the G20 protests in PIttsburgh. There are a couple of things we can learn from this. The first is that the cops will start busting heads if they know they have overwhelmingly superior numbers. The attacks were all on gatherings of a few hundred or so people. Clearly, demonstrations need to be as large as possible. Actions by small groups of anarchists just don’t cut the mustard.

The second is that the US Left has greatly weakened itself through its strategy of tailing the Democrats. According to the New York Times, there were between 3,000 and 4,000 people at the main march on Friday. Even if one assumes this was an under-estimate, it’s clear that there were much fewer people than those that showed up for the anti-WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. (The only union that took part was the United Steelworkers. So much for the AFL-CIO’s efforts to “revive” the labor movement.) It’s clear that it’s going to take a great deal of work just to get back to where we were ten years ago. This is what comes from making “lesser evil” arguments. The Left demobilizes itself.

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