The TAPPED article linked above comments about the immaturity of the anti-IMF protesters who fail to take electoral politics seriously. I have come to agree with TAPPED. I think the protesters have done much important work, and the “horizontal networks” they are producing are important. But there is a tendancy to see the protest movement as an end-in-and-of-itself. That is, the radicalization of people and the networks they create during the process of engaging in protest is seen as the goal of the protests!!! They thus disengage from any real debate about viable political solutions, retreating into untenable utopianisms.
The Woodstock anti-CVS protest was another matter. It was, as is normal for Woodstock, quite badly organized. It seemed they couldn’t even agree if they wanted Rev. Billy to speak. Rev. Billy, to his credit, tried to get the protesters to think about the connections between Woodstock and the larger issues. It seemed, however, that some people preferred to keep the issues entirely “local.” It was surprising, too, how the “local” police seemed to be working for corporate america when they were videotaping people at the protest — often putting the cameras very close to their face. They told someone that the purpose was so that CVS would have evidence if they needed to file charges!