Thursday, June 18, 2009
Three's A Crowd
I am fascinated by the growing protests in Iran, a fairly repressive society. After the recent election people have taken to the streets, objecting to what they are convinced were rigged results. While the hundreds of thousands of protesters have moved about relatively peacefully, there have been deaths and beatings perpetrated by government forces. A Globe and Mail newspaper reporter was taken into custody and roughed up until the police realized who he was. For all the danger, there has been nothing like this in Iran since the revolution thirty years ago.
Crowds can be forces for positive change and destruction. Sunday night revellers took to the streets of Los Angeles, celebrating the NBA final victory by the Lakers. The celebration got out of hand and there were both vandalism and arrests.
Jesus doesn't strike me as a crowd guy, but he attracted large groups of people. In rural Galilee crowds followed him to hear his message, and remember the story of the miraculous picnic?
On Palm Sunday another crowd celebrated his donkey ride into Jerusalem which probably brought him to the attention of authorities. Crucifixions gathered the curious, as public executions always have.
Have you ever been involved in a large crowd? In Halifax we marched with thousands of others to protest the war in Iraq, but it was peaceful and almost festive. Have you every been scared in a crowd? Do you think public protests are effective?