B-b-but they broke stuff! They were running around screaming! Oh the humanity. Meanwhile our taxes have been used to torture human beings and are being used every day to occupy another country, for oil and drug profits. If I saw half, no, a quarter of the outrage over Afghanistan as I do about a bunch of anarchists in Vancouver, I'd know we were on our way to getting Canada out of the war. If Canadians were half as concerned about our Prime Minister shutting down democracy as they are that all the protests are peaceful - gotta be peaceful, don't wanna disrupt the lovely peace - we'd have a different government by now.
This disconnect reminds me of some questions Edward Galeano has been asking.
The shoe-thrower of Iraq, the man who hurled his shoes at Bush, was condemned to three years in prison. Doesn't he deserve, instead, a medal?
Who is the terrorist? The hurler of shoes or their recipient? Is not the real terrorist the serial killer who, lying, fabricated the Iraq war, massacred a multitude, and legalized and ordered torture?
Who are the guilty ones - the people of Atenco, in Mexico, the indigenous Mapuches of Chile, the Kekchies of Guatemala, the landless peasants of Brazil - all being accused of the crime of terrorism for defending their right to their own land? If the earth is sacred, even if the law does not say so, aren't its defenders sacred too?
According to Foreign Policy Magazine, Somalia is the most dangerous place in the world. But who are the pirates? The starving people who attack ships or the speculators of Wall Street who spent years attacking the world and who are now rewarded with many millions of dollars for their pains?
Why does the world reward its ransackers?
Why is justice a one-eyed blind woman? Wal-Mart, the most powerful corporation on earth, bans trade unions. McDonald's, too. Why do these corporations violate, with criminal impunity, international law? Is it because in this contemporary world of ours, work is valued as lower than trash and workers' rights are valued even less?
Who are the righteous and who are the villains? If international justice really exists, why are the powerful never judged? The masterminds of the worst butcheries are never sent to prison. Is it because it is these butchers themselves who hold the prison keys?
What makes the five nations with veto power in the United Nations inviolable? Is it of a divine origin, that veto power of theirs? Can you trust those who profit from war to guard the peace?
He has many more questions. Read them here.
We should worry less about orderly streets and more about deceitful government. Less about the conduct of protesters and more about what they're protesting.