I was recently inspired by a photograph taken of a city street that carried a clear an beneficial message for anybody who saw it…All without any need to explain the self-evident and underlying message. Unfortunately, rather than delving into the superb PR methods that were used to develop that message (and it’s sense of collective order and civic pride), I’ve instead been overcome by the bitter sense of revulsion created by the PR methods used to support and condone the temporary Police State that was invoked during Toronto’s G20 Summit. A lingering stain which continues to mark both our own city’s badly shaken sense of security, as well as marking out what little true journalism we can actually expect our the Mainstream Media after seeing how blatant violations of civil rights were either upheld or even condoned by some members of the Media as examples of a necessary Social Order. It seemed that only Reporters on the ground amidst the carnage were reporting a clear picture of the events. The CTV are one of the few and notable examples of Media coverage that at least attempted to present a bigger picture to the slanted mainstream coverage…
As a result of the biased news coverage, we’re once again seeing examples of how effective PR can be bent as a deceptive tool against the People that it can otherwise faithfully serve. This time as the Provincial Government and Toronto Police Services now turn to engaging themselves in a PR war that most of the mainstream TV Media seems to (so far) be astonishingly complicit in. Primarily evident in the Media’s willingness to accept official press releases at face value, and by not digging in to the clearly deceptive notices about perimeter enforcement, the “Public Works Protection Act”, numerous provocations, injuries, and forced detainment/confinement (withouth formal arrest) of peaceful protesters, curious absences of police presence in and around visible acts of vandalism, adn numerous other violations of the Peace adn Civil Rights. Essentially the Mainstream TV Media have largely failed to demand better answers from the Press and Communications people operating within our Government and Law Enforcement Agencies…and the Public is left to question why it has to seek out it’s own answers in the face of this subversive PR war being waged by Public officials.
Rather than having PR serve the Public for it’s greater good through clear communications, dialogue and open disclosure, we are being reminded that PR actually has it’s roots in Propaganda methods, where silence and denial are also part of the arsenal of weapons.
Whatever happened to the Revolution?
Why are peaceful public protests and public demonstrations so seemingly ineffective? Why is there no clear and meaningful message being provided to the mainstream news for better coverage? Why is it that all we see in the mainstream is kind of movement that is easily corrupted by key individuals with personal agendas and axes to grind. Creating visible public opportunities for cowardly radical elements to insert themselves into covering crowds and incite the key acts of violence that validate a police presence to start and aggressive cycle of increasing violence. In a moment, public protests are subverted and the momentum is destroyed, and the entire event backslides into an abuse of firepower and strength by a State that is already salivating at the prospect of establishing an affirmed sense of “order” for the Citizenry…For it’s own good of course.
What would David Suzuki have done ?
David Suzuki was quoted yesterday in The Globe on his views of the Environmental Movement, and although I don’t agree with his politics, or views on nuclear energy, I can certainly see why he might be losing faith in forms of Activism that really haven’t changed much since the Peace Marches of the 1960’s. This weekend in Toronto, we’re all left to realize that any message that the protesters had for us, was easily lost in the fray, leaving us all a little more dispondant about Social(ist?) causes in general, I might suspect.
“I feel all the effort that I’ve been involved in has really failed. We’re going backward.” – David Suzuki
So even though Obama proved to the world that good ideas and grass-roots organization can at least change the outcome of a big election, where’s the vision coming from that we clearly need to assure ourselves of the social order that we clearly need to achieve a truly sustainable society in the long run…
Marching Around in Circles
A a society of clearly concerned Citizens, we seem incapable of effectively organizing at a grassroots level, and taking a mass movement to the next echelon of public exposure by getting a clear message through to the general population through our Mainstream Channels, without the message being corrupted, diluted, or outrightly dismissed as just more filler material from the same old sources. If the abject futility and ineffectiveness of large-scale peaceful protesting at the G20 Summit is any indication, organizers are clearly failing to formulate a worthy message, and then preserve and propagate it via the Media, while attempting to dissociate themselves from radical fringe/violent elements in their midst. There was almost no mainstream coverage of actual issues presented, and instead news reports were saturated by the days despicable events, and brutal reactions…and the various messages and movements were advanced to nowhere new.
This past weekend, as we watching a well-intentioned sense of solidarity and Social Consciousness disintegrate in the face of overbearing and heavily armed police presence, that incredibly still demonstrated acts of impulsive fear and disorganization, and excess brutality despite their enormous advantage in armament, training, and even numbers. Police actions that not only suffocated almost any significant peaceful protesting by (for example) clearing out the designated protest area in Queens Park without without due cause, but it even seemed like an exercise in crowd control, more than a tactical necessity since there were no reported incidents leading up to this.