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Monday, December 09, 2002

It's Not Just an Adventure, It's a Job!

Today's Houston Chronicle has a front page above-the-fold puff piece on activist Diane Wilson. (WARNING: That link will probably soon rot and be consigned to the realm of pay-per-view articles.)

Anyone who has the vision of Houston as the bastion of tough-talkin' Texas conservatism has his hat on too tight. The Chronicle is a surprisingly liberal paper, but you'd think they'd be able to do better than this soft soap job. (Many would argue that Houston isn't the Real Texas anyway.)

The article is headlined "Protester's focus now on Bush ranch", with sub-head "Despite stint in DC jail, Texas woman undeterred". I'd tell you the gist of the article, but it doesn't seem to have one. It mainly rambles on about her various protesting activities, and arrests for same.

The article does her as saying that she's cooking up something for Crawford for Christmas. More on that later.

It does mention the time she tried to sink her shrimp boat on top of an outflow pipe, until the Coast Guard stopped her (note that that link goes to an interview with her by a vegetarian, animal activism site; guess them shrimp ain't cute and furry enough).

The rest of the article jabbers on about Wilson's recent escapades. Like climbing the White House fence to hang an anti-war banner. That got her arrested, so she didn't have to join the other women in stripping for peace on the Capitol steps. (That link goes to Starhawk's diary! Wow! Scroll down to October 2. Dove bras!)

Seems she was told by a judge that she should stay out of DC or risk incarceration for her fence-climbing stunt. (This part is confused; Wilson says that she was told to stay away from arrest for protesting for a year, or else that fence-climbing charge---a misdemeanor--would be levied. It's not clear whether that applies to protesting only in DC, and whether the court involved has jurisdiction anywhere else. She also seems to think that she can't go into DC for any reason, or risk arrest.) No one at the court or her court-appointed attorney's office would confirm or deny that.

So much for background. Now, naturally I support the right of protesters to protest whatever they feel like protesting, no matter how stupid the cause. (I don't want them climbing the White House fence, though.) But what really ticks me off are protesters who've decided to make careers of protesting. Doesn't matter what it is. As long as the US government's fer it, they're agin it. "What are you protesting?" "Whaddaya got?"

I envision that in the future (which is distinct from THE FUTURE!), we'll have pitiful obnoxious commercials for professional protesting services, just like ambulance chasers now have. "Protests for all occasions! Winter or summer! Rain or shine! Baker's Dozen special: rent 12 protesters, get the 13th free!"

Here's an apt quote from Ms. Wilson her own self:

But protesting is woven into the fabric of my life. It's who I am.

And here's what she didn't say: "One day I, who'd been nobody, was on TV. And people knew who I was, and thanked me for my work, which is more'n my kids ever did. I'm hooked on the adrenaline and the publicity now. If I gave up protestin', I'd have to go back to bein' nobody. All in all, protestin' beats shrimpin' any day. Getting up at dawn to protest is a hell of a lot better than getting up before dawn to get into a cold boat and go out on the cold ocean. And even my fellow protesters don't stink as bad as the damned shrimp."

As for her plans for Bush's ranch:

Right now I'm just dreamin' and schemin'. We want to do a surprise inspection at a presidential palace. He's demanding it in Iraq and we're demanding it here. We need to see those cupboards and guest rooms. We need to look in the refrigerator. We need to know: Is that jelly in those jars, or what do they have in those jars?

Now, does she think Bush is building nukes in his basement? To me, this says, "Stupid Bush, invading Saddam's privacy. We're going to invade yours!" But inspections is exactly what she called for when she disrupted Rumsfeld's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. Does she not want them now? Does she think the presidential palaces should be off limits? Or is she just a dimwit? I'm betting on the last.

Even given the right to protest, even assuming (which I will not, but some people do) the right to trespass on Bush's property to make your point, this is stupid. This particular stunt would only say, "Nyeah nyeah Bush. We're protesters who will protest anything, including the actions we protested for three months ago." Morons.

In another sterling example, the son of Weather Underground members, Chesa Boudin, is getting a Rhodes Scholarship. His ma's been in jail for something like twenty years for an armored car robbery that killed two cops and a security guard. Little Chesa was raised by two other Weathermen, one of whom is Bill Ayers, college professor and unrepentant terrorist. Awwwww.

He also is member of Yale Coalition for Peace, helping organize protests against military action in Iraq. He hopes to pursue a career fighting for human rights and social justice issues in developing countries in Latin America.

"I feel very lucky to have grown up in a household where people care, where people are interested in the way that our system works," Boudin said.


"Chesa is just a great example of what is possible if we hang on to our children," Dohrn
[the other Weatherman who raised Boudin] said.

Come to Chesa Boudin's House o' Protest, protests for every occasion. Deep, deep discounts on protests against Yankee Pig-Dog Imperialism. Our family has been subverting the dominant paradigm for over thirty years.