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have you seen the pictures that paper has been printing of apec/post-apec-chretien protestors these days? typically they either making asses of themselves or they are made to look like asses by the paper's use of unflattering photos.

this raises the question of who protestors are really putting on the show for. one would think they are trying to prove a point to a political leader or other interest-group by coming out in numbers, carrying signs, chanting & yelling, and generally trying to draw attention to their cause or opinion. one question to ask, then, is whether these events would be considered successful if the media didn't show up. well, maybe they would be moderately effective, but i figure that a truly successful protest is one which makes the evening news.

so who are protestors really protesting for, then? people sitting at home watching the evening news over dinner. it is the general public that protestors are trying to convince of their opinions or beliefs. yelling at a few politicians is not likely to change their views.
look, mom, i'm on tv
"yeah! mom, i'm on tv!" - the media just loves to capture protestors at their worst
however, if thousands of normal people see you doing this on tv then your message has reached an important audience. these tv viewers might actually agree with you, and if they do then they might vote differently next election (or some social effect along these lines). the tv audience is who protestors are trying to impress their message upon.

in order to most effectively send their message to the general voting public protestors need to do some damage control when it comes to their public image. typically, protestors look like a bunch of hooligans that you would not want to meet late at night on the street. of course there are tons of families and other 'respectable' looking types that attend protests, but the media choose not to focus on these.

one solution to this dilemma is for all those too-cool rebel types to get a make-over and present an image that will appeal to the tv watching masses; an image the masses can relate to. if you are going to protest, use the media as your weapon. in order to do this you must present the image YOU want presented. by changing your image it might look like you are caving in to 'the man', but you are really practicing effective media warfare.



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