Overcompensated Occupiers

Posted: January 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

THE SECOND YEAR IN HIS term Trump has caused a government showdown, an event that I honestly have a difficult time finding the problem with. The showdown barely even inconveniences anyone. And if the federal employees expect sympathy from me, well they are out of luck. Find a private company to work for or a “essential” government job.

The CNN coverage of the showdown was about what you would expect: Making sure to focus on the anti-Trump rallies and giving special attention to Democrat Chuck Schumer.

Schumer appeared to be having trouble keeping his propaganda on track though, referring to the showdown as the “Trump Shutdown” yet in statement claiming Trump was simply acquiescing to the “far right” base.

As for the protesters, I wonder how many were actually there for the cause and how were there for the pay check? The progressives will adamantly deny that paid protesters exist–at least in their camp–but they do. Check out the listings on Craigslist sometime and you might find a few in your area.

Such as this Craigslist ad that reads:

“Crowds on Demand, a Los Angeles-based Public Relations firm specializing in innovative events, is looking for enthusiastic actors and photographers in the Charlotte, NC area to participate in our events. Our events include everything from rallies to protests to corporate PR stunts to celebrity scenes. The biggest qualification is enthusiasm, a ‘can-do’ spirit. Pay will vary by event but typically is $25+ per hour plus reimbursements for gas/parking/Uber/public transit.”

Sounds like an ad for paid protesters to me. So much for the “evidence-free” claims. Apparently there were claims that proven to be hoaxes, but that doesn’t dismiss the existence of paid protesters, only that’s not always the case.

The Washington Post, doesn’t see a problem with paid protesting.

“On May 1 (“May Day”), when people take to the streets to protest for workers’ rights, we can expect corporate and anti-immigrant interests to try to discredit the protests by claiming that some of the protesters are being paid by labor unions. But don’t buy it. Although critics would have us believe that payment and principles are incompatible, they aren’t — and the belief that they are is toxic.

However, the allegations that even one participant is paid immediately calls into question the legitimacy of a cause. Behind these accusation is the idea that social movements should be entirely spontaneous, volunteer-driven, and untarnished by the exchange of money. Anything else would betray a lack of moral purity and reveal ulterior motives. And although successful protest movements rarely if ever succeed without an investment of resources, we create simplified mythologies that perpetuate these ideas of monetarily immaculate conception.

In reality, organizations often do sponsor or support rallies and send paid staff to help organize them, although unpaid protesters typically outnumber organizers. Nonetheless, history suggests that strong movements do well with both paid and unpaid agents agitating for change. Take, for instance, Rosa Parks. Often referred to as the “mother of the civil rights movement,” she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus to a white passenger after a long day of work. Parks, however, did not stumble upon her role in history simply because her feet were tired. By the time of her Dec. 1, 1955, arrest, Parks and her husband were seasoned activists with more than 20 years of experience in the civil rights movement, including Parks serving as secretary of the Montgomery, Ala., chapter of the NAACP. Parks worked as a seamstress for local white liberal activists Clifford and Virginia Durr, who helped fund her trip and training at the famed Highlander Folk School, where she received training in tactics of resistance, just four months before her arrest.

Predictably, just like today, many tried to discredit the Montgomery Bus Boycott by arguing that Rosa Parks was no tired seamstress but actually a plant, working with the NAACP and the Communist Party. And yet, Parks’s story is still often cast as an apolitical and unpaid act of defiance, a myth that stubbornly persists in our popular imagination. But what if we thought of Parks as a “paid protester”? Would her protest be worth less?”

Yes, actually it does diminish the impact and questioning their dedication to the cause knowing they are getting compensation is prudent. And this is wrong when either side does it. The Tea Party was accused of paying protesters as well and if it’s true they were equally wrong. This is a principle problem not an identity one.

While I disagree with federal intervention in, well pretty much everything, I’m willing to consider it when it comes to outlawing paid protesting. It gives a false impression of legitimate public outrage and that’s the point. It makes it appear that there are hundreds of thousands of citizens, enraged by their representatives actions or inactions marching for a cause. It could all be a lie. Even worse, a purposely manufactured lie, purchased like any other service to intentionally mislead.

That’s not to say there wasn’t genuine protesters with authentic anger too. I’m sure there were plenty but with the vacuum created by the “protesters for hire” it’s difficult to be sure.

Understand I agree with the Democrats on this issue (that felt dirty) on the current immigration environment. An open border is better and isn’t the same thing as a porous border. Just like a closed border isn’t necessarily secure one. For one thing, a closed border is a danger for those who are critical of the government. See why it scares me now?

But this writing is about their tactics.

The government showdown and possible compensated activists. The showdown is a political staring contest to see who blinks first and is fairly pointless and petty. It’s a retaliatory move that is more of temporary inconvenience more than anything. The paid protesters are completely unethical and misleading. Both have moral implications that should be addressed that are not.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

 

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