Gone are the days when protest as a purely cathartic experience is enough. Informed by the recent history of the antiwar and other movements, which marched peacefully until blue in the face and whose reward was to be ignored by the establishment and eventually even the media.
John and I were active in the anti-Iraq war movement in Los Angeles and helped organize protests that drew tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands. He’s right. We had little or no political effect except to preaching to the converted. The establishment simply ignored us.
The Tories and Lib Dems were foolish to think they could take power, cobble together the equivalent of an economic thermonuclear device, announce its imminent deployment over the heads of the working class and the poor, and there would be no reaction.
The dialogue of violence has been born. It is they and the class they represent who conceived it.
Now they are witnessing its effects.
Wight is not inciting to violence but instead saying it now appears inevitable. Of course, it’s only called violence when it’s not the authorities doing it.
15 year old in Britain speaks the truth about the protests.
“They can’t stop us demonstrating, they can’t stop us fighting back, and how ever much they try to imprison us in the streets of London, those are our streets. We will always be there to demonstrate, we will always be there to fight. We are no longer that generation that doesn’t care, we are no longer that generation to sit back and take whatever they give us. We are now the generation at the heart of the fight back.”
“Clegg has lied so much his nose is bigger than Pinnochio’s… [The protesters were] supposed to march in line like in the 2003 anti-war demos. They’re not supposed to resist! The liberals were supposed to cover our arses, give us a ‘progressive edge’, make us less nasty. Now what, civil disobedience, occupations, riots… That’s how Martin Luther Kings and the suffragettes made progress. What ever happened to X Factor, X Boxes, and consumerism?
People have begun to engage with real political issues. Debate is going beyond a few smashed windows. Society is waking up to the possibility of challenging us… ‘Big society’ is fucked.
But gentlemen, if you think I’m going to bow to the will of the people, you’re seriously mistaken. I’d rather sell my chateau in Provence. Those insolent oiks.”
Latest news says 600 students have walked out of Leeds Uni, hundreds of pupils have walked out Allerton Grange secondary school in Leeds, 1000 students have set off from ULU, 100 have walked out of Dundee University, and over 100 have left Parkside school in Cambridge… just a few examples of the actions taking place already. I’m also glad to see that LSE students are on their way down to Trafalgar Square to join the rally. In addition, students at Birmingham University have just occupied. This is going to be big.