Shouting "Fire" on a crowded street

One of the biggest problems I have with protests is that they often don’t target the source of their grievance, but merely a “target of opportunity.” People get all bent out of shape and decide to act out, and don’t bother to think through the consequences of their actions.

One such case happened in Newton, Massachusetts yesterday. The firefighters are a bit cranked over what they say are poor staffing and equipment, so they held a picket yesterday. And did they hold it at City Hall, where the officials who set their budget work?

Nope. They held it at a major intersection, repeatedly walked through traffic, and caused a 25-mile traffic jam.

Now, as I said, their beef is with their local government. That government is very sensitive to public pressure. Winning the support of the public would be a huge boost to the union’s cause.

Instead, they pissed of literally tens of thousands of people, who found themselves stuck in traffic jams for up to two hours. Appointments were missed, deadlines unmet, and a whole lot of very expensive gasoline was wasted.

And people wonder why unions are so damned unpopular these days…

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