No Message = Wasted Efforts

I am always a fan of a good protest. No matter your cause, if you have some good yelling, visuals, and a message, I can appreciate your effort if not your goals.

With pro-union carpentry, I wanna be both pro-protest and pro-goals. With the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters I can’t.

Oh, and its not because I don’t like their cause, I love the cause. My Dad was a carpenter, and I used to work in construction. It’s MARCC that had a protest sans fliers and sans anything else message wise.

Really, I asked four or five people, including the guy who claimed to be in charge. No fliers, no website, only much noise. In fact, for not this protester’s sign, I might not know who, much less what the protest was about.

Next time, MARCC, get a message or go home.

8 Comments so far

  1. Disappointed (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 10:06 am

    I sympathize and am saddened because it is true. Construction these days is not about quality and craftsmanship but how fast and how cheap we can put together a building or a space. Again, coming down to economics = high demand for workers, low supply of skilled workers. There is no time for apprenticeships. The work is coming in too fast and it has to be up yesterday. This trend is not only happening here in DC but in Canada and Australia.

    Sometimes it would be nice to return to the days when a carpenter can take pride in his job vs. having the superintendent breathing down his neck to finish up and move on to the next project.

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 10:50 am

    It would be better if they didn’t hire the homeless to protest on their behalf, too.

  3. wayan (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 11:50 am

    Tom, what left field did that comment come from? Is there a record of MARCC using homeless to increase numbers? Did you see this protest yourself and count homeless in the ranks?

    I did see this protest, I did note the protesters, and had there been a bum in the ranks, you KNOW I would’ve been all over it.

  4. Tiffany (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

    It didn’t come out of nowhere, Wayan- MARCC is well-known to hire homeless people to fill their protests for them. In fact, DC’s own newspaper for the homeless, Street Sense, did an article on the practice.

    And while Tom may not have observed this particular protest recently, I happen to work around the corner from it and see it regularly. In fact, I was right up close to it this morning since I had a meeting next door, and there were definitely some homeless people participating. And honestly, unless you specifically asked the protesters yourself, I have a hard time believing there are no homeless people in your own photo.

  5. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

    Tiff’s spot on. I’ve seen this happen time and time again with building groups downtown. The protestors are NOT carpenters, are NOT representatives of the Union, they’re hiring people to protest on their behalf, which is lazy, and more than a bit objectionable.

  6. wayan (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

    Whoa! Now that’s real bullshit no matter the positive Street Sense spin. Buying protesters ain’t right, no matter your cause or source.

    Next time I see MARCC protesting, there will be a fun confrontation. No, actually a person by person quiz of who has union cards and who has cardboard homes.

  7. Disappointed (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

    Even if they did hire the homeless, I don’t see the harm in it. Everyone wins – the homeless earn a little cash, the protesters continue earning money to pay the homeless and still get their point across (though with less passion than you would want to get your message across, hence this blog entry). Isn’t this what free enterprise is all about? Keeps the economy going – even at the black market level.

  8. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on November 1st, 2006 @ 3:58 pm

    This homeless issue really sheds some light on the whole situation. I once tried to interview some people at one of their protests and nobody knew anything about the issues. Even the guy who was supposedly in charge didn’t know. He also kept telling me not to tape them, which I am glad not to do. I asked if they want more people to know about their message because I would love to help them tell a story. No, the guy said, he wasn’t interested and didn’t want to talk to the media and didn’t want attention.

    I guess shouting and parading aren’t really good methods for folks who don’t want attention.

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