Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The limits to protest



A couple of weeks ago I was arguing that we should deplore the increasing isolation of our rulers and suggesting that it could be a justification for other kinds of feedback to them.

The video above (from LiveLeak) is one: former general David Petraeus, going to lecture at the City University of New York, is being pursued by a shouting mob of students protesting his involvement in the Iraq war.

How far should this go, and for how long? At what point will viewers feel that the protestors no longer represent a voiceless cohort of the population and are then acting unreasonably, or rather too self-righteously? Should the students be allowed to continue in "every class", as they threaten?

If Simon Wiesenthal could pursue Nazi war criminals without  a time limit, should others feel empowered to hound those that they consider unpunished wrongdoers?

Is "it was all a long time ago" a sufficient excuse?

UPDATE (14:15): Coincidentally (I think), The Tap blog draws our attention to George Monbiot's "Arrest Blair" campaign. The site and its wording are carefully considered, not one of those wild and amateurish efforts.

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