Free the Lisbon Seven!

A writer for The Economist is puzzled:

YOUR humble correspondent is not sure how many Irish people speak German, but that didn't stop a ragtag bunch of young Germans from setting up shop today on O'Connell Street, a major commercial drag in central Dublin. They had big banners in German denouncing nuclear weapons and other ills that they associate with the Lisbon treaty.

The Germans, Socialists and a smattering of other, mostly young members of the "No" camp were spread out on the pavement at one end of the General Post Office (GPO, to the locals), an imposing, columned building that is one of the most famous in town. Every Dubliner associates the GPO with the 1916 Easter uprising against the British (one chap helpfully pointed out shell marks on the columns). Today the "No" forces had bullhorns and were blasting everything from big corporations to America. I found the German presence a bit puzzling, given that one argument voiced by some who oppose the treaty is that Ireland's voice will be diminished in the EU while Germany's voice (and France's too) will be amplified.

I think the fact that these protestors were waving signs that no one could read is further evidence of the claim that protesting isn’t about, well, protesting but rather giving individuals an outlet for signaling affiliation and identity.

A concert without the music, you might say.