Some inconveniences about protesting

While I have been avoiding much of the repetitive televised political news I did catch some of the coverage of the “student” protests on college campuses because you just couldn’t avoid it.

After a few college administrations started acting like adults and ordered the encampments to be removed, something really caught my attention as the protesters and the tents disappeared. It was this. The grounds were covered with so much of the detritus of protest that they resembled the streets of a Medieval European city where citizens threw just about anything out of second story windows with no concern for what it was or for whom it hit. I’ll bet the encampments smelled just as bad as London did in the14th century.

It’s sad the scouts are no longer as popular as they once were because it seems these students could have used some experience in camping out as its likely that for most their only previous experience of camping was as small children sitting on their bed and putting a blanket over their head.

I wouldn’t be surprise if for most of them this was the first time in their lives that they didn’t have ready access to toilet facilities. In both the scouts and the service when you were out in the field one of the first considerations was the construction of a latrine. The word “latrine” is derived from the Latin lavatrina, meaning bath which was then shortened to ‘latrina’ before eventually becoming ‘latrine’ courtesy of the French people who have an uncanny ability to name such things, in the mid 17 Century. Today the word is mostly limited to military parlance, and It has the connotation of something less advanced and less hygienic than a standard toilet, generally something close to a hole in the ground.

So, I was somewhat surprised that I didn’t see any porta-potties in any of the camps. After all, when it is alleged that billionaire George Soros and the Rockefeller Foundation were financing the protests you would have thought that men and organizations with deep pockets could certainly have sprung for porta potties.

I also noted that when protesters, besides demanding that their schools divest themselves of Israeli investments also began demanding the provision of food because they had purchased a school meal plan, HIV testing, and morning after pills I heard no one demand porta potties. Had I been there, and rest assured I wouldn’t have been caught dead there because I still stand with Israel, the first thing I would have demanded were porta potties. Perhaps when protesters at several schools took over administration buildings and libraries, they were not making a political statement so much as seizing the restrooms.

By the way doesn’t it seem strange that “committed” revolutionaries would have need of HIV testing or morning after pills when they were supposedly spending all their time protesting?

Living in the open air even in the spring can cause sweat and the accumulation of grime, that if you don’t have the means to wash away can cause discomfort when people are packed closely together, if you know what I mean. I suspect no amount of Handi Wipes would be an adequate substitute for water.

In Vietnam I was an officer in an artillery Battery that was part of a battalion that was a federalized Kentucky National Guard unit perched on a 600 foot high hill called Firebase Tomahawk. Even there we could take a shower anytime we wanted. The thing about the National Guard was that if they didn’t have it, they could procure it. In this way a Conex container and plumbing supplies magically appeared that became a shower room with 6 shower heads, and a drainage system installed by a soldier who was a plumber in civilian life. Our water was only treated and filtered swamp water, but I’ll bet we kept cleaner than the protesting students.

This really begs the question as to why George Soros, the Rockefeller foundation and other rich benefactors don’t supply water trailers or copious amounts of bottled water for drinking and washing for those poor unwashed and thirsty students.

I hope that many of these students will look back on these protests as a learning experience on what not to do and when they go home or to their dorm rooms, they will have a hot shower, exchange their filthy clothes for clean and then get a good meal.

In interviews it was apparent that many of the students have little idea of the issues they were protesting. Some were not sure of who Hamas is and have no understanding of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. I hope that they will reflect on what occurred and in learning more about the issues see that they were ill used by people and organizations that have their own axes to grind.

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com


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