In much of the world, there is a well established tradition of protest gestures, including such things as:
- Tying yellow ribbons
- Dressing up in pink
- Obnoxious bumper stickers
- Showing up naked in public
From there, others ratchet up the protest a notch in some common ways:
- Breaking shop windows to speak truth to power
- Destroying American fast food restaurants and their mascots
- Issuing death threats
The Palestinians, however, appear to be inventing a while new genre of lethally irresponsible protest-gestures:
A Palestinian militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades carrying an explosive device as a protest gesture, left, and a plainclothes police officer scuflle during a protest demanding job oppurtunities at the Palestinian Electric Company near Nusseirat in the central Gaza Strip, Saturday, March 11, 2006. No arrests were made and there were no injuries in the incident, witnesses said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A Palestinian militant from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades places an explosive device in the street as a protest gesture during a demonstration by militants demanding jobs as Palestinian police officers look on [...]. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A Palestinian gunman from the Fatah movement prepares a home-made bomb after they stormed a power plant in the central Gaza Strip March 11, 2006. Dozens of Fatah gunmen stormed the power plant demanding salaries, a Palestinian official said. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A few points to observe about the photos:
- There were multiple press agencies and multiple photographers present to witness and record the "protest explosives."
- The crowd, at least in the first photo, seems to show a reckless disregard for the risks of being in close proximity to a carelessly handled bomb
- The Palestinian police, presumably charged with preserving law and order, seem supremely disnterested in a man placing an explosive charge in the middle of the road, and appear more concerned with working out a mutual agreement on which direction they'll all claim the Israeli helicopter came from should the masked protester come to an explosively dispersed demise.
I'm assuming we can all imagine how the story would have hit the wire services if the bomb had gone off at an inopportune moment.
No honor among thieves, no work accidents amongst activists. At least not this time.