Avert a Debacle

Anyway, the article, by Todd Gitlin and John Passacantando, is really good, in my opinion. It offers some really good suggestions and reasons for keeping the protest nonviolent. I agree that chaos in the streets is playing right into Bush's hands.

However, I believe a lot of people are going because they think there will be something spectacular happening, another "Battle of Seattle." Let's face it, Seattle in 99, N30, would not be the legend that it is without the broken glass and the tear gas. Even people who don't plan on taking part in the "fucking shit up" are secretly hoping it will happen. They want to be part of something exciting, even if it's the wrong thing politically, and morally.

I predict one of 2 things for the RNC:

1. the police (and national guard?) will have the city so locked down that nothing much will happen at all. People will be cordoned off, impotent in their free speech zones, and everyone will feel frustrated and unheard, another Sacramento.

2. something horrible will happen. Bush will use it as an excuse to get more tough on crime/terrorism/whatever. maybe it'll even be a nice little rehearsal for martial law.

Given these 2 likely scenarios, i'm content that i'm not going. However, part of me still wishes I was. Even I want to be involved with an event where politics suddenly gets really really exciting. I think the challenge, for anyone trying to get more apathetic Americans involved, is: how to make politics exciting without involving anger and violence and smashing stuff?