Alas, the excesses of youth - Ed Brock

It was enough to make me become a Republican.

Carrying baby dolls and wearing bandannas over their faces a la Billy the Kid, the youngsters had come to the G8 summit to exercise their right to free speech.

Pity they had no idea what they were talking about.

Actually, they didn't talk much. They shouted a lot, mostly obscenities or condemnations of the "corporate media."

That was me.

When asked if their little group had a name, one of the kids shouted at me "There doesn't have to be an organization!"

Oh, how cute! Why, aren't you just the little darling with your wacky, free-stylin' philosophy of total freedom from the hideous institutions of this wicked, wicked world.

But it's not very media savvy, is it? Well, they weren't there to get famous with members of "the herd." They were young, in pursuit of true love and obviously scared stupid of life.

They were there to get arrested, to prove their nerve, their edginess, and for the boys possibly to earn the romantic favor of the young ladies in the group. There were far more boys there in Brunswick last week, trying to protest against the eight anti-Christs gathered on Sea Island to lay their nefarious plans for the world.

That's because boys at that age are getting their first taste of testosterone in the blood stream, and that stuff can make you, well, really dumb.

It's a pity, really, since there were other, more mature protesters there with really valid points. Or at least they had points, a political agenda for which they were willing to go to jail, not just a bunch of juvenile delinquents who wanted to skip the politics and just go directly to jail.

And I'm still not sure what the baby dolls were supposed to mean. But I guess I'm just old.

Anyway, the march I covered was basically an anti-war rally, and that's a good, valid cause if you ask me. I'm no fan of this mindless conflict, both strategically and morally, so that was cool.

Then there was the crowd for forgiving the debt of the African nations. Well, I'm not so sure about that one. On one hand, I agree that something has to be done to get things going on the continent that is mother to us all. However, before we just wipe out all their debt I think we better make sure that the money that does go there in aid is used properly.

So at least their hearts are in the right place, and it could be their plan might actually work, but I'll have to do some more research before I can really pick a side on that issue.

And then there were the Nuwaubians, there to demand a retrial for their persecuted leader Malachi York.

Yeah, OK. And just what does the G8 have to do with that?

Also confusing was the movement in support of hybrid vehicles. Do we really have to rally for that? Aren't the major car companies already doing all they can to develop that new technology?

Still, the girls I met who gave me the brochure for that particular cause were really cute, so I just grinned and went along with whatever they said. I guess that means I'm not much better than one of those anarchy kids, but c'est la vie.

However, that being said, it was a little disturbing to see the way in which free speech was bottled up and contained on this occasion. What's more disturbing is the fact that I saw military and police personnel filming the protest, possibly for future study to see how other such demonstrations can be controlled.

Maybe that's just for security purposes, and that's fine. But something about it caused a twinge of concern about how far the control will go in the future.

But it was just a twinge. In the end the protesters who were arrested last week were, in fact, the anarchy kids, and having witnessed their behavior first hand I can safely say they got what they wanted.

Kids, going to jail for a cause is noble. Going to jail because you're acting like a spoiled brat is just stupid and degrades those who are truly trying to stand up for what they believe.

Ed Brock covers public safety and municipalities for the News Daily. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 254 or via e-mail at ebrock@news-daily.com.