A few thoughts on the Protests yesterday ( London 26th of March)


Hello Good People who read this blog…

A personal rant on yesterday’s events in London…

Did you you on the march or take part in some form of protest yesterday? In which case I applaud you, about time people made their feelings known while the lives of so many people are being trashed by the government.

But I have mixed feelings about the protests in London yesterday. This morning I must say I find it all a bit depressing. I cannot see any party I would want to vote for or any group I would wholeheartedly support to replace our current government. I see anger and protest on the streets but no solutions. All the parties and all the extreme activists are playing the media game, trying to maximise their popularity by getting air time and I feel that where media manipulation occurs, sincerity is lacking.

Also I don’t agree with violence towards other people at all, and I do not see violence as a solution.  I find myself upset at reports of  people attacking the police with nasty devices, they really let everyone else down.

In terms of media footage, I was overjoyed to see a load of smiling peaceful young people occupying Fortnum and Mason’s , to me that was a peaceful but disruptive statement.If the level of direct action had remained non-violent it would have been a thousand times more effective . They would have gained the respect of all but shop-keepers. But then who was it who said that Britain is a nation of shop-keepers?

I must state, humbly and apologetically, that I was not able to march on the protest due to illness and also could not find anyone to with, which is a bit sad. Next protest I am going to drag friends or find people to march with. I would do peaceful direct action, but I am sure those who did their peaceful bit of building occupation got caught up in the crowd of violence and chaos that ensued, and being a bit ill and a bit older, that does not really appeal.

However later in the day I managed to get to the Hyde Park “rally”, arriving quite late at 4.30pm due to disruption on public transport. By then loads of people from the march were just arriving, but all the speakers,or any musicians on the main stage had scarpered! Instead it was cold and there wasn’t much going on.

They’d put Ed Milliband and the head of the TUC up on stage at around 1p.m. but that was clearly not for the benefit of the majority of the protesters. The march had only set off at 11.30 a.m. from Victoria embankment and by 1 pm only a few of them would have arrived. Instead it seems to me that they were speaking earlier for two reasons: 1. because they knew there would be rioting by late afternoon 2. to get maximum news coverage before the riots.

I find this very disappointing. I remember on so many protests where then there were speakers and bands all evening, especially in Trafalgar Square . People used to march the opposite way, meeting at Speaker’s Corner and marching up to Downing Street, and celebrations in the evening in Trafalgar Square. I like the idea of marching up to Downing Street on a weekday and shouting enough so that the Prime Minister can hear me!

So anyway, I thought I could take part in the peaceful event somehow by attending the rally in the park. Coloured by my seventies youth recollections, iI half expected to find the 2011 equivalent of bands UB40, The Damned, Aswad and Benjamin Zephaniah on stage…ah those were the days…

At least they could have had Annie Lennox to sing us a song! I think it’s lame that there wasn’t more going on after 5 pm.

I was not alone in arriving at that time, there were others on my bus. So I followed the police helicopters to try and find something interesting to join in with and see. I tried really hard to find the trouble but to be honest there wasn’t an awful lot of it.

As I walked around Mayfair there was this strange atmosphere with pubs overflowing with smiling people with their placards, having a pleasant drink after the march, and then in the background a couple of helicopters, hearing the odd firework and flare with police vans tearing around the place. I walked past one building that was guarded very heavily with armed police officers who regarded me with great suspicion, I think it was a private men’s club, but not sure, it could have been some kind of palace. I don’t frequent those kind of places!

I came across a police line around the Hilton Hotel and they let me walk straight through, as they evaluated quite rightly , that I was not about to smash it up. Although at that moment when they let me through I had this little fantasy of proving them all wrong and having a secret bomb strapped to my back! I was unwell so had to boringly go home then.

On the bus home, from the top deck I saw some trouble in Hyde Park, with lots of noise, a fire, flares and fireworks but then watched the rest on TV.

My son phoned me late in the evening to check I hadn’t been arrested or kettled. I’d like to think that he misjudged me, but the truth is, he was probably right, I like to be part of what’s going on, in a non-violent way. I’m getting a bit old to want to be arrested, especially by a police officer half my age,but I would have PEACEFULLY occupied a building.

The media will now say how terrible this all is and how these few people hijacked an otherwise peaceful demonstration.However……..I think your average Joe Public, or Mary Public, or Sexually Ambiguous Public , is probably angry enough to be quite happy, on a subconscious level, to see the banks getting a few windows broken.

I also found the direct action informative, as I did not know that Fortnum and Mason’s was related to Primark and that both owed millions of pounds in tax. So actually they fulfilled their goal in getting that kind of publicity. But fires, violence, intimidating people, no I’m totally against that.

All in all it was an amazing event but what depresses me is that I don’t think it has changed much. Maybe the changes will happen gradually as more protests occur, which they will. If I were Prince Wills , I’d put my wedding on hold for now!

I think we need a new party that will actually represent the needs of the public, and help us out of the financial mess we are in in a constructive rather than destructive way. Ed Milliband and the labour party have no credibility of any sort and neither do the others, so it is likely that there will be chaos until some viable alternative is created.

These are times of revolution and chaos, things are getting shaken up in the world down to level of the earth’s crust.

I think we need to start thinking positively and look for strong positive and creative solutions.

So much has changed. Last year when I was on the T.U.C. march it was a totally different situation, not so well attended, but already  many strong ground level political organisations run by  mostly young highly educated passionate people were emerging. What a change in the past four years since I started my little blog, urging youth to become political and to rebel. They have far more to say than me now.

a bit of music “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery”

Love and Peace

Born2rant

 

 

 

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Protest march in London tomorrow 26th March 2011


Hello Good People who read this blog….

I’m not sure anyone apart from myself will read this…

Yes, I know, I ask you to subscribe and then disappear in a puff of smoke, if it’s any consolation my nearest and dearest hardly hear from me either due to 1. a lot of studying 2. a lot of writing music 3. a lot of being ill 4. a lot of trying to see my boyfriend and other friends and relatives when not doing 1., 2., and 3..

I really don’t know who has the time to spend online or watch TV, I know I don’t these days, and when I do, I feel bored unless it’s something gripping.

Yes I rebelled against online addiction some time back. I guess I am a hypocrite writing about this on my blog.

I am about to rant in a totally different direction to what I was originally going to .Before I do so , can I just urge any hippies or people who care about our society on any level, to go on the march in London tomorrow Saturday 26th of March, leaving Victoria Embankment at 11 a.m. If like me you oversleep , you can always join it all later in Hyde Park.

This is in protest to all the cuts the government is making in many public services,and many jobs lost, as opposed to making those bloody bankers and politicians who allowed this to happen and encouraged so many to live “on credit” i.e. in debt, for the past two decades, suffer financially themselves.

However having recently studied the history of Cambodia and China, I cannot say I am a communist, although more equality and a fairer society with equal access to education, services and jobs , no matter what background you come from is important to me. But I’m not a communist, I don’t believe in dictatorships as a rule, I like to dictate to myself .

Yes in terms of people spending all their time online. I find this quite disturbing, on the one hand if you are unemployed or ill or just don’t know how to make friends in a stressful urban or remote landscape, then it can certainly make you feel less isolated and validated, a lifeline.

However I have known several people who spend their entire time online and although they may be happy enough on one level, its clear there can be problems.

I am about to say something very flippant, so I apologise beforehand…

Recently a friend of mine told me of his very depressed female friend who had stopped going out, both her and her husband spend their days online in separate rooms and barely speak to one another. She plays online games and now never contacts friends, has abandoned her work and studies and is on anti-depressants, and drinks heavily while gaming all day long. This woman was recently very distressed  because a close friend of hers  had committed suicide. My friend , who was relating this story to me , said he was baffled to hear this news from her. This girl has barely seen anyone or gone out the door for two years. She elucidated  ( ooh that’s a posh word, I didn’t know I was that eloquent, sorry , back to the story) she elucidated by saying her “close friend” was another character in the game she played online.

I said ( here comes the flippant  remark),” You should have asked her if she was an Orc!”.

I then withdrew that comment as it was totally insensitive , but without wanting to sound like an American commenting on my myspace profile, OH MY GOD!  This is so wrong. People spending all day pretending to be other people and fighting battles and killing eachother all day, surely cocaine must be better for you, at least you have to get out and talk nonsense at other people for a bit ( only joking kids, repeat after me “drugs are bad, okay?”). Her unemployed husband is addicted to buying and selling his shares all day, even though he is not wealthy. There must be thousands of people now doing this every day,  even with a poor and unreliable economy.

How long will it be before we need to have rehab centres for people who do too much online gaming, or trading online and ending up broke? If all the libraries, all the leisure centres, parks,all the meeting places for people, like all the acoustic clubs that disappeared due to having to have some kind of expensive licence, if all the places where you can meet people face to face are either too expensive to get to, or are in areas that are too dangerous to get to at night, if all the neighbours stay indoors and never speak to one another, if old friends lose touch and never phone, we will all become incapable of face to face, person to person contact, what will it do to our mental health? I cannot stand the thought of  a whole wave of people staying indoors living out some kind of fantasy online and then getting overly depressed once they turn their back on the computer screen and see the grey reality of their lives and all the problems and insecurities they cannot face up to or solve.

With a good network of friends , people can pull together. It is uncanny how in some parts of the world where people are poorest, and that they survive better emotionally than Westerners surrounded by so many luxuries. We lack community, we lack a sense of belonging, of being able to rely on one another. But I don’t believe in Cameron’s “Big Society” , he clearly makes one rule for business and another for everyone else.

So I am hoping tomorrow we will see a show of unity on the march through London, and maybe make some new friends. I was going to write about Japan and the uncanny synchronicity I experienced with those events, although my connection is trivial being so far away.But I think on a subconscious level we are all linked. …maybe another time I’ll go into that one.

In the meantime I hope you get to the march tomorrow and if not I hope you support those who do and do not believe those who try and make you think we are a load of thugs….and that’s another thing, making squatting illegal, NOW? When people are going to be struggling more than ever, let students squat empty pubs, empty derelict buildings that no one wants to buy or improve, why not?

OK enough ranting…I’ll put on some music. I can’t bring myself to play western music at the moment, as I have been trying to write  music influenced by  other  cultures and am infatuated with it.So instead I’ll put this on, one of my favourite Indonesian tunes I found on You tube from Sunda West Java. Enjoy and have a good and safe weekend.

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it” Mahatma Gandhi.

Here is this beautiful clip of Gamelan Degung enjoy:

Love and Peace

Born2rant