How Not to Complain About March 4

8 03 2010


The growth of the student protest movement has sparked a series of debates about strategy and tactics, and those debates have gotten more intense in the wake of the March 4 Day of Action. Activists and their critics have legitimate disagreements about methods and goals, and those disagreements are now being aired in public with growing frequency.

I’m going to be talking a bit about those disagreements soon, but first I want to clear away some of the strawmen that have popped up recently. If there’s going to be a debate, and there should be, let it be in good faith.

I read an essay this morning that suffers from all of the weaknesses that I’ve got in mind. In an opinion piece in the online journal Politics Daily, Muskingum College senior Joshua Chaney argues that March 4 represented a missed opportunity because “participants’ messages were mixed, their disruptions turned away other students and members of the public, and their voices often fell on the wrong ears.” That’s a legitimate argument, but unfortunately Chaney gets the specifics of it completely wrong.

Here are four things to bear in mind when writing, talking, or thinking about contemporary student protest:

Click HERE to read the rest of the post.




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