Editor’s Scratchpad

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Protest for
the sake of...

Maybe I had my aloha shirt buttoned up too far, but for some reason the woman in line at the Crack Seed Center asked me if I was at the Asian Development Bank convention. When I said I wasn't, she told me she was considering joining the protest march.

She was concerned about jobs being taken from Americans and sent to Asian countries, and the ADB was behind it all. I said I thought the objections to ADB policies concerned people in Asia, but she waved that off: "It's all connected." She said some American cars have lethal steering problems as they were made in Mexico. I could have reminded her that Mexico is not in Asia and maybe asked her if it was OK for me to drive a Japanese minivan made in Canada. Whatever, she seemed to want to protest something and the ADB convention was handy.

There are legitimate questions about where economic sovereignty ends and where the rules of the global marketplace begin. The protesters have every right to raise those questions, loudly and even rudely. But neither their interests nor anyone else's are served by people who have only the vaguest idea of what they are protesting.

--Ken Andrade

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