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In March 2003, millions took to the streets worldwide to protest the impending invasion of Iraq. Despite their numbers, the efforts proved in vain. The war went on; the protests dwindled. But however attenuated, there are still protests. In Minneapolis/St. Paul this August, some 10,000 marched against the Republican National Convention. But as organized rallies gave way to irrational violence, the inadequacy of five years of failed Anti-War activism and Left opposition came into sharp relief.
I decided not to participate in any illegal protests at the RNC. There’s a simple, material reason: Had I been arrested I would have been accountable for bail money (or unhappily relying on legal defense funds that I truly feel have more value elsewhere) and possibly a day’s worth of income.