Activists Are Focusing on the Wrong Places to Protest, Using Wrong Methods as Well

These days, everywhere you look, there are activists protesting against something. In the past few months, we have read about the Tire Extinguishers, and now we hear that there is another group that wants to “stop oil.” Their method of stopping oil? Vandalizing museums, followed by supergluing one of their hands to the premises.
Activits who have glued one of their hands to the floor in Volkswagen's Autostadt 28 photos
Photo: Scientist Rebellion on Twitter
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Many years ago, and even in recent times, activists would target large corporations that were responsible for pollution. Remember Greenpeace?

I do remember that Greenpeace used to do bold things against oil rigs, as well as attempt to block oil tankers and such. While it did interfere with tens or hundreds of employees who were away from their families, it did make a dent in the profits of oil companies, probably, since they delayed shipments with their actions.

Nowadays, activists are going in a strange direction, if you ask me. It involves attempting to affect things that are almost priceless – such as a Van Gogh painting in a museum, or gluing paper to vehicles in a museum. The two previous examples do not harm corporations as a whole, but do impact individuals who want to enjoy a museum or just do their job in one.

There are other claimed activists who go by the name of Tire Extinguishers and deflate one or several wheels on SUVs parked on the street.

SUV with Deflated Tires
Photo: Tom Edwards on YouTube
We have covered the topic extensively, and I consider it to be between vandalism and terrorism because it involves unlawful use of intimidation or violence against civilians for political aims. The latter is the definition of terrorism according to the FBI. What do we know about the FBI? They do not negotiate with terrorists.

As a small background reference, I come from a place where messing with someone else's property has immediate consequences if you get caught. Sometimes, the vandal might not be caught by the owner of the vandalized property, but by a bystander, and there could be consequences in that situation as well.

I cannot comprehend how a small group of people can just walk into a museum with cans of tomato soup or with superglue (expect that to be banned on flight shortly – I said it first!), vandalize something, and then just hang around as if they are the exhibit now. Last time I checked, museums have security teams, and these teams are able to restrain the culprits until they wait for the police to arrive.

Somehow, I cannot help but wonder what those protesters do for a living, when they are not blocking a road, vandalizing private property or interfering with other people's lives just to showcase their alleged care for the environment on social media.

Activists Glued to the Floor at Porsche's Autostadt Pavilion
Photo: Gianluca Grimalda on Twitter

Moreover, I cannot help but wonder who funds these organizations, and who decides what is the dumbest thing that can be done – and then convinces everyone that this is the way. Do they flip a coin? Draw the shortest paper straw? Play tic-tac-toe?

The world's most famous activist, Greta Thunberg, decided she wanted to stop being famous, as an interview announced earlier this week. As far as I know, Greta's protests did not involve damaging someone else's property, so she deserves credit for that, at least.

If these activists were genuinely focused on the environment, maybe they could go back to their roots and protest in front of the offices of oil companies, not in museums.

Instead of deflating the tires of vehicles owned by regular people, perhaps try to do the same with politicians' limos – see if that works out. Sadly, they are just ruining the day for some people who have to call tow trucks to have their tires inflated or changed (depending on the severity of the damage)—and that inflation happens with the help of an ICE-powered compressor.

Activists Deflating SUV Tires
Photo: The Tyre Extinguishers on Twitter
As anyone who has had their property damaged or their day affected by protesters can attest, nobody who was affected will side with the protesters. If I were a fan of conspiracy theories, I would say that someone is paying these protesters to be as obnoxious as possible, just so that the entire movement falls into ridicule.

For legal and moral purposes, I am not suggesting that you do any of those things described above or break the law in any other way. Perhaps it is best if you just protest the old-fashioned way, by making a sign yourself and showing it in front of the company that bothers you.

But deflating someone's tires, throwing soup at a museum exhibit, or gluing paper on Porsches? That is something that will get you in trouble in the place where I come from, and it is the kind of trouble that hurts immediately, and it either involves pepper spray or getting beaten up, then taken to jail.

If you want a testament of the fact that we (most of us, really) live in a society that is free, the fact that nobody has been outraged enough to assault these protesters is the miracle that you were looking for.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows images of various protests and activists.

About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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