Wall St Journal contributor
Benjamin Robertson (subscriber-only link) noticed something odd about the demonstrators in Beijing:

After spending eight hours on the road last Saturday, I did not see one person marching who looked over 40. In a protest that claimed to be about World War II history, it is remarkable that those with personal recollections of that history largely failed to come out.

One old man was cajoled into shouting slogans as he was trying to cross the road. He doesn't seem to have been all that enthusiastic:

He eventually gave in, crying out, "Give back the Diaoyu islands," "Don't rewrite history," "China live forever," each time throwing his arms up in the air for additional emphasis. At the time, I couldn't help but wonder if the old man was reminded of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, where overzealous students had then forced their seniors to do the same, albeit with harsher penalties for noncompliance.

The contradictory themes of the marches posed many puzzling questions. But perhaps most important for the protesters to consider is why the city's older generation mostly stayed at home. Could it be because they have seen this all before, and know where it can lead?

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/04/those-anti-japanese-protests-wall-st.html|||4/18/2005 12:41:00 pm|||||||||