How to belittle a protest movement

The antiglobal army of a few years ago increasingly looks more like a procession of weary Grateful Dead fans near the end of another tour.

That's just one observation in the WSJ's A1 story on the preparations for the upcoming G-8 summit on Sea Island, Georgia. While it's largely a straightforward report on the challenges facing government and protesters alike, there more than a few hints of condescension scattered throughout. But what else would you expect from the leading propagandist of the capitalist pig army?*

It's not all sarcasm, though. Since the summit is being held in Georgia, we can also find the requisite references to noblesse oblige and good ole-fashioned Southern hospitality:

... when Carol Bass showed up in her floral skirt and silver peace-symbol pendant at a town-hall meeting in April, local police moved in quickly and refused to let her and fellow activists hand out their leaflets.

As it turned out, Ms. Bass's flier was an invitation to a "Meet the Protesters" potluck supper in a nearby church fellowship hall, and the word got out anyway. At the gathering the next night, after spaghetti, sweet tea and banana pudding, organizers coaxed County Commissioner Cap Fendig to play homemade trivia games. (Sample question: How many windows were broken during the 2002 G-8 meeting in Canada? Answer: zero.)

And that's the lede!

Is this an attempt to inform WSJ readers about the alternative protest activities being organized by dedicated activists? Surely, WSJ editors must have realized that many of these activities would seem unusual or just plain wierd to their average subscriber. Here's some more of the article:

The Southeast Anarchist Network is urging members to "show anarchy in action" by repairing local homes. Another group, Citizens G-8 Hospitality Committee, issued a "call for no violence and no property destruction" at the summit. Food Not Bombs, a group espousing "nonviolent social change," plans to distribute vegetarian meals.

"Do I look like I'm going to throw rocks?" asked Susan Hunt, a petite, bespectacled organizer of a meeting of left-leaning academics who call themselves The Other Economic Summit, or TOES.

Thirteen years ago, my friends and I happened upon the nearby Hostel in the Forest while on a college road trip. I notice that it will be closed to all but staff and international travellers without anywhere to stay - not a big surprise, when you consider that their regular clientele holds many of the same values and often shares similar backgrounds.

*That was meant as sarcasm, you moron.

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