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From Canyon To Cove: Protesting the protests

November 09, 2011|By Cindy Frazier

Maybe it's the mind-wearying demonstrations (or "campouts") on Wall Street and other major cities that have spread to Orange County, but I'm getting a little peeved at people who take up the cudgels on issues they know so little about and cannot articulate.

Not that many of us understand modern economics and how it came to pass that the middle class — the bulwark of the Baby Boom generation — has been so fractured. These "occupations" — complete with drum circles and "comfort" stations — are more about the economic malaise of a generation than a political movement with a clear goal, such as stopping a war or letting kids of all races go to school together, gay rights or ending violence against women.

My generation marched for all those things, risking arrest, fire hoses, rubber bullets and pepper-spray. Today's "occupiers" are met with official approval, food donations and port-a-potties. No wonder marchers are a bit confused about what the heck they're supposed to be protesting against, and have no idea if they're making their point. It's all so warm and fuzzy, and lacking in hard-edged logic. (Yes, there have been some clashes between protesters and police over where to place the tents, but nobody had to go home.)

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And they're not the only ones.

Take, for example, the Wood Walk through Laguna Beach, which had well-meaning folks carrying heavy loads of wood on their backs on Coast Highway a few of weeks ago, on their way from San Diego to LA. The sponsors thought this was a great way to let everyone know how tough it is to have to rely on wood fires for heating and cooking, something they claim is done by "over half the people in the world," and destroys forests, as well as making people sick and poverty-stricken. They want us all to join their cause.

On their website, organizers touted their feat this way: "A brave group will set out from sunny San Diego on an 11-day trek to Los Angeles to do what no other group has done: carry massive 40 to 60 pound bundles of wood on their backs and take a grueling journey in honor of, and bring awareness to, hundreds of millions of women in this world that cook every meal over an open fire."

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