Protesting used to be straight forward.
Groups or individuals who had a beef about something organized marches, occupations, picketting, whatever (remember sit-ins?) to display their disapproval.
They hoped to get media coverage so everyone would know what they were upset about. In recent years troublemakers have infiltrated peaceful protests, resulting in police intervention, arrests, and the bad press usually defeats the purpose of the protest.
And different folks have different strokes when it comes to reporting on protests. Some media counted several hundred people at a recent rally in Vancouver. Participants said more like 2,000, and a video backs them up. One of the participants wondered what you’d have to do to get attention, march in the nude?
I’ve been thinking about that. Once when visiting Vancouver, my mother and I encountered a Doukhobor protest. For those too young to know, this religious sect protested in the nude. Many in the batch I saw were, well elderly, and not in the best of shape. It was not a pretty sight. I remember it clearly, although it must have been 70 years ago, and mother hurried me off in short order (she was trying not to laugh if I remember correctly).
I don’t think nude protests would work for younger people; a group of elders in the buff would have more shock value. They would be peaceful and troublemakers would be less likely to join. I wonder what the police would do. The Doukhobors faced three-year jail sentences for parading in the buff. I wonder if that law is still on the books.
The flaw with my idea is that I can’t think of an issue that would make older folks mad enough to bare all. As a group we either don’t seem to see anything really worth fighting for. Or is it that we don’t have any fight left?
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.