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Keep the picket signs away from the Detroit auto show-No one wins if show becomes a magnet for protest
The North American International Auto Show is a much needed bright spot for Metro Detroit. It's the opportunity for Detroit to show off for the national media, to brag a little about its products and its people.

Charity preview night is to Detroit what the Oscars ceremony is to Los Angeles.

But this year, it seems everyone with a grievance is making plans to bring their picket signs to Cobo Center to air their protests before the show's expected 1 million visitors.

United Auto Workers' groups from both Delphi Corp. and General Motors Corp. are threatening to picket the charity preview and the media and public show days. And even some disgruntled public radio listeners say they'll be in front of Cobo to protest changes in programming at WDET.

This is pointless. People go o the auto show for a feel-good experience, to get excited about a vast expanse of new cars and trucks. Michigan surely needs folks to feel that excitement.

There are better venues for the protesters. The UAW workers can take their signs and their shouts to the corporate headquarters, where the people making the decisions about their fate may actually hear them.

As for the radio listeners -- why not picket the radio station? Or better yet, why not simply choose a different channel, or take advantage of the unlimited offerings of satellite radio? Their demonstration seems rather silly.

The auto show should not become a magnet for malcontents. This year, particularly, it's important that visitors to the show come away with some sense of optimism about the future of this town and this industry.

Making them wade through picket signs will detract from that goal.

Think what these folks would be writing about if there were more continous distruption of "normal" daily life...

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Thanks John
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