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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2 Comments

  1. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has just been speaking to the BBC. She is joining the police on their march.She says the government has doubled the cuts to policing Labour had planned, from £1bn to £2bn. She says Labour voted against the government’s 20% cuts. She says there should be reforms to policing, and that Labour has set up a review into this under Lord Stevens. But the government, she says, is doing this in a fragmented way, undermining morale, and getting rid of so many officers at a crucial time.“The government is going too far and too fast,” Cooper says.This will make it harder to bring crime down, she says.Asked why she is joining the police rather than the other public servants on their protest, she says the police are in a difficult position because they cannot strike, although she does not support giving them the right to strike.

    • Are you Yvette Cooper? Are you perhaps a sheep who follows whatever you are told by publicity seeking politicians? What is the point of your comment?
      I suggest this, open your brain, think, drift and dream and then come back and tell me what you think of what “she said” “she did”. That’s a comment.
      In the meantime goodbye and if you happen to be one of those police people or Yvette Cooper thanks for taking so much interest in my ideas, my blog and who I am. As you can tell I don’t write this blog regularly anymore.
      Born2rant


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