RNC Protest Photos Taz at Loaded Mouth took some shots of the protests at the convention. Personally, I'm with Matt Yglesias on this.
At root the issue is that large contemporary protests have become these carnival-like escapades. It is accepted -- and, indeed, encouraged -- for as many people as possible to show up, whether or not they agree with the United For Peace and Justice platform, know what the UFPJ platform is, or even know what UFPJ is. As a result, it's hard to know what protest attendance signifies. When thousands of people showed up for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s March on Washington we understood that to mean that all those people were supporters of the Civil Rights Act demanding congressional action. At the UFPJ event, by contrast, you had people with all manner of views on Iraq policy a lot of people whose problems with the Bush administration really have nothing to do with foreign affairs, and my favorite fringe group of all time, the Spartacist Youth League complaining that the US needs to stop interfering with North Korea's right to a nuclear bomb. Most of the people there seemed to be impassioned Kerry supporters, but the best-organized elements were Nader's people. Obviously the message of a pro-Kerry anti-Bush protestor and that of a pro-Nader anti-Bush protestor are bound to be rather different.These people don't really seem to have a "point" anymore. It's just protesting for the sake of it.