Monday, March 24, 2008
MSU Anti-War Protesters Try to Intimidate the State News
Typically, I am as pro-civil liberties as a person can be, but this video really made me angry. I am also a MSU grad student, but I have a different perspective of the protest. In the video, a mob of anti-war protesters at MSU were angry about the recent decision of the State News (MSU's student newspaper headquartered in downtown E. Lansing on Grand River) to not cover some of their recent protest events. This protest group drew crowds of over 400 on several occasions, but had been covered in the paper previous years.
Regardless of one's stance on the Iraq War, this behavior is appalling. First, I object to the use of numbers to intimidate the editorial board at the newspaper. The students were chucking newspapers at the window, cussing, and mocking the newspaper employees who refused to unlock the door. Second, the vulgar language was unacceptable on such a busy street. Third, many students used this protest as a means to protest administration decisions that had nothing to do with the paper including a University safety policy that prohibits skate boarders. Wow, how altruistic of them. That brings me to my fourth point. It seems incredibly selfish of the protesters to intimidate the newspaper into re-printing the issue because it did not cover the protesters' event or put their names in the paper. This "we want to be in the paper" mentality seems antithetical to the altruistic mission of stopping the war in Iraq. Fifth, the entire protest wrongly criticizes the character of those who are merely working on a student newspaper. Especially the lady with the blood red paint on her hands who smeared the window. What is their point? Are the student editors responsible for the number of casualties in Iraq?
There are those who support this protest in the Michigan Liberal community. They seem to believe that the ends justify the means. They do not. Feel free to protest, but please do not attempt to intimidate and harass others in the process. They believe that they are conforming to a great tradition of anti-war protests in the 1960's. However, this current anti-war movement is just a cheap knock-off of the Vietnam anti-war movement, where the issues mattered and not the egos.