Protesting

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Fishnut
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Re: Protesting

Post by Fishnut » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:05 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:49 pm
One thing which is certain to be successful is if a significant portion of voters are willing to vote for parties which promise the right policies. That applies to every movement. By significant I mean that there are enough to sway a general election - and that'll depend upon where they are and who they were going to vote for anyway.
I agree with this, though it's probably the thing that makes me most pessimistic. Most people don't read manifestos. Most people don't even vote based on specific policies. They vote for their team or against the other team. I do it myself - I don't vote Conservative and never will, even if they sincerely embrace green policies - so I can't really criticise. Though BoaF makes very good points about the crapness of those manifestos in terms of environmental positions.
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:56 pm
The refusal to implement the solutions we have and know are necessary increasingly leads me to the conclusion that we basically have to "get rid of" a lot of the people currently holding power, which historically has generally been a rather unpleasant process.
With you there. I remember being told as a kid that people get more conservative as they get older - something about how having money makes you more selfish I guess. It probably helps that I have no money (life's just peachy as a millennial) but I've definitely moved significantly more to the left as I've got older and I'm not alone amongst my friends. Capitalism is killing us but we can't seem to come up with any other system. Until we do my pessimism remains. I'm so, so glad I don't have kids because I'd feel so incredibly guilty at giving them this planet as an inheritance.
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Woodchopper
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Re: Protesting

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:59 pm
The problem with this is
1) there aren't any parties with sensible environmental policies, certainly not out of the two that can win elections in the UK
2) politicians don't do what they were elected to do anyway

So for both of those reasons, ordinary people need to be hammering away at parties and government to get them to (1) have good ideas, and (2) actually do them. The people in charge are totally f.cking useless and at this point we'd be better off without them.
Yes, I agree. Call me a Leninist, but getting government to change is all about the political party.

The good news is that its not that difficult for an individual to get starts. Just join and turn up to local meetings. However, getting them to change requires a a lot of people to be coordinated and have a basic agreement as to what they want. In the old days the unions were useful there.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:31 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:59 pm
I kind of agree. At the moment the choice for environmentalists seems to be between "no publicity" and "bad publicity" - has anyone seen positive coverage of any environmental activism from any UK media outlet that isn't the Graun or Independent in the last few years? What did those stories have in common?
Lots of widespread positive coverage on the campaign to stop HS2. Looks like it might be partially successful given the doubts about the eastern leg of phase 2.

I have no expertise here at all, but my impression is that much of it has focused ordinary people and the effect that HS2 would have on the environment near them.

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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:11 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:56 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:15 pm
I really don't know what I think about this protest. I don't know that protesting works but I don't think anything else does either. Protests are never popular until they've succeeded, and then everyone says they supported them. People hate disruption, which is fair enough, but climate change is already causing massively greater disruption than a traffic jam on that most traffic-jammed of motorways.

I envy protestors in a way. To feel so passionately about something they're willing to risk life and liberty in its name, and to have the conviction and optimism to think they may be able to create change. These days I find myself increasingly of the view that humanity is doomed and that our governments will keep their heads in the sand and their hands in the pockets of big business right up to the moment when civilisation has finished crumbling around us. In my more optimistic moments I remind myself we have many of the solutions available to fix things already, but there's no political will to implement them and I don't see that there ever will be. COP26 is going to be another exercise in meaningless targets agreed and immediately ignored while companies get to greenwash themselves. In the words of Private Frazer, we're doomed.
I know exactly what you mean. I really try hard to stay away from doomism - especially publicly - but it's f.cking hard. The refusal to implement the solutions we have and know are necessary increasingly leads me to the conclusion that we basically have to "get rid of" a lot of the people currently holding power, which historically has generally been a rather unpleasant process.

You know the world's in a sh.tty state when seeing kids throw themselves into traffic over pipe lagging gives you more hope for the future than anything a mainstream politician has said in decades.
stop f.cking whinging. my lot stopped road building for a generation during the Core Tory Years by carrying out vibrant, hilarious, jaw dropping and frankly bonkers protests. your lot can do even better.

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El Pollo Diablo
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Re: Protesting

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:22 pm

Ah yes, we all remember the Newbury Bypass, the famous road that never got built.

(I jest, obviously the impact was more after the opening, but it also involved a change of government)
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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:16 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:22 pm
Ah yes, we all remember the Newbury Bypass, the famous road that never got built.

(I jest, obviously the impact was more after the opening, but it also involved a change of government)
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Try driving on the M11 to central london, for example.

eta that involved a bunch of lunatics squatting a terrace of compulsory-purchased homes, knocking the internal walls through, and building a fort, with the support of local residents. you’ve got to be a bit rock and roll with these things. miserably sitting in front of traffic is Not Fun Enough.
Last edited by plodder on Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:18 pm

Heh yes, I grew up right next to the site of the Twyford Down protests, where I enjoyed the rolling downland unmarred by the presence of a six-lane bypass.

And they definitely haven't turned the "compensatory habitat" into a park and ride either.
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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:22 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:18 pm
Heh yes, I grew up right next to the site of the Twyford Down protests, where I enjoyed the rolling downland unmarred by the presence of a six-lane bypass.

And they definitely haven't turned the "compensatory habitat" into a park and ride either.
That was before Newbury and kickstarted everything off.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:28 pm

I would like to see more rock'n'roll protesting, it's true.

But those kinds of local / NIMBY type protests are much easier to get local support and sympathetic media coverage for, I think. (This is also kind of @Woodchopper).

Protests against big structural things are harder. The examples from about the same time that I can think of would be the miners' strikes, poll tax riots, etc.

The big problem at the moment I think is a lack of solidarity and a lack of organisation. It was a very smart move by the elites to get all the kids hooked on smartphones so they just sit indoors freaking out instead of smashing up physical objects - but it needs to change.
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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:19 pm

most kids during the 80’s and 90’s were glued to the telly in just the same way. Do something cool and people will check it out. Build it and they will come.

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Cardinal Fang
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Re: Protesting

Post by Cardinal Fang » Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:37 pm

Parent lived in Newbury when the bypass was being built

It was noticable that pretty much all the protesters were from out of town. Those who actually lived or worked in Newbury were fine with it, because before, the A34 went straight through the centre of Newbury. The air quality from all the traffic and HGVs going through was really bad. Plus it went from dual carriageway to single carriageway just as it hit Newbury, so there were jams a lot of the time.

Now we know the health risks from things like exhaust particulates, nitrogen dioxide etc, it makes even more sense to divert heavy traffic out of a built up urban area as much as possible

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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:44 pm

If you want to talk about the merits of road building, Highways England have a huge capital programme at the moment - plenty of which will be schemes which have been on the shelf since the cessation of road building ing the 90s. Probably needs another thread though.

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Re: Protesting

Post by sTeamTraen » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:17 pm

JQH wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:47 am
sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:50 pm
One of my little subversive ways to convey the reality of climate change is the English cricket season. It used to start on about 20 April with Cambridge University vs MCC and some England player chipping a finger fielding at slip in 7°C 46°F temperatures, and end with the Scarborough Festival around 10 September, after the Gillette/NatWest final had been decided by the toss (call correctly, put opponents in on dew-covered pitch, bowl them out for 185, knock runs off at leisure in the afternoon). This year the first first-class game started on 24 March and the last county game will be played on 28 September.
That's nowt to do with warmer weather - the season has been lengthened because County matches and 50 over no longer happen in high summer as they've been displaced by T20 and the abomination that is The Hundred.
Chicken and egg, shirley? The playable season is now six months (April-September). It just has to be filled with something.
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Re: Protesting

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:57 am

Fishnut wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:05 pm
I remember being told as a kid that people get more conservative as they get older - something about how having money makes you more selfish I guess.
Possible one of the quotes mentioned here: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/02/24/heart-head/ such as it's title:
If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain
I'm not sure that selfishness is the explanation. I can see at least two other (related) explanations.

When you're young, you learn how the world works and, if you're clever, can think of many ways things could be better. Consequently, you want to change society. As you grow older you find out how people have tried to do this, and maybe directly experience it, and realise just how many ways it can go wrong, so you lose your enthusiasm for change and develop a liking for keeping things the way they are, rather than risking making them worse.

With regard to personal wealth, I think an important factor is that people always imagine that everyone else is more like them than they are. When you're young (and relatively poor because you have not had time to build up any wealth), you value opportunity. If you build up wealth, then there are two factors. You obviously want to stay wealthy, but also you imagine that if you acquired wealth then the system must work and it should work for everyone, so you think it's basically good - not realising that other people are different and you have probably benefited from a considerable amount of luck.

Though, of course, it's merely a tendency. There are young conservatives and old liberals.
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Re: Protesting

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:05 am

I also think people generally used to get more wealthy as they got older, making it difficult to disentangle those two influences.

That relationship has really broken down in recent decades. Millennials are not acquiring wealth, and they're not becoming more right-wing.

Climate is a factor too, of course.
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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:37 am

In my case I've become less and less fond of drama, to the extend where peace and quiet and a nice nap is probably my ideal way to spend the day. This extends to politics, friends in crisis etc - it just takes more effort to want to get embroiled, and it leaves me feeling knackered rather than exhilarated.

I think this is also why so many middle aged and older people are boring as hell.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Cardinal Fang » Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:53 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:57 am
When you're young, you learn how the world works and, if you're clever, can think of many ways things could be better. Consequently, you want to change society. As you grow older you find out how people have tried to do this, and maybe directly experience it, and realise just how many ways it can go wrong, so you lose your enthusiasm for change and develop a liking for keeping things the way they are, rather than risking making them worse.
I thinks it's more to do with as you get older you realise how little protests have an effect. They're good in terms of networking, and for ramping up peoples' energy to keep the campaign going, but protests hardly ever change a damn thing.

As you get older you realise that to change things involves a lot of boring hard slog in the background chipping away at things rather than just walking up a street with a placard or superglueing yourself to a motorway

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Re: Protesting

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:07 pm

Cardinal Fang wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:53 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:57 am
When you're young, you learn how the world works and, if you're clever, can think of many ways things could be better. Consequently, you want to change society. As you grow older you find out how people have tried to do this, and maybe directly experience it, and realise just how many ways it can go wrong, so you lose your enthusiasm for change and develop a liking for keeping things the way they are, rather than risking making them worse.
I thinks it's more to do with as you get older you realise how little protests have an effect. They're good in terms of networking, and for ramping up peoples' energy to keep the campaign going, but protests hardly ever change a damn thing.

As you get older you realise that to change things involves a lot of boring hard slog in the background chipping away at things rather than just walking up a street with a placard or superglueing yourself to a motorway

CF
I agree with that.

A couple of years ago I helped organize a local campaign to stop some woodland being sold off and cut down for property development. We got a bit of media attention and got lots of likes on Facebook. But what made the difference was about five of us visiting about 400 houses, which resulted in about 30 people writing to the council planning committee and about the same number turning up to a meeting with local councilors. That was enough to get the development halted.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:19 pm

Some of this discussion seems to be confusing "being left wing" with "giving a sh.t about stuff".

Right-wingers protest too.
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Re: Protesting

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:23 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:19 pm
Some of this discussion seems to be confusing "being left wing" with "giving a sh.t about stuff".

Right-wingers protest too.
Yes, good point

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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Fri Sep 24, 2021 6:40 am

although protesting against the status quo tends to mean that right wing protestors are protesting against bogeymen rather than policy.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:28 am

James Brown, a 56yo blind paralympian has just been sentenced to 12 months in prison for sitting on top of an aeroplane for an hour in 2019. https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/ ... oof-plane/

The judge described the sentence as proportionate, but notes there's no leniency for supporting a good cause.

Also interesting:
Mr Maloney said Brown has “overcome the barriers to live a successful and inspiring life”, competing at five Paralympic games and becoming a successful businessman.

“There is so much more to his life than sporting excellence,” he said as he described Brown’s career as a maths teacher before working for Gloucestershire County council in disabled children’s services.

He also built a conference centre aimed at meeting the needs of disabled people and set up Mobiloo, a company which provides facilities for disabled people at festivals and events.
Something tells me that this isn't somebody unaware of the value of chipping away in the background at difficult things, as some of you patronisingly assume.

The urgency of the crisis and scale of the necessary solutions make relying on background-chipping a riskier bet than gluing yourself to a motorway.
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Re: Protesting

Post by plodder » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:03 pm

not sure who you’re talking about but successful protest movements always have a broad blend of actions, from middle class letter writers to quiet words at the golf club bar to spectacular and reckless stunts by media savvy bright young things to grumpy people singing we will overcome whilst holding placards.

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Re: Protesting

Post by IvanV » Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:37 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:28 am
James Brown, a 56yo blind paralympian has just been sentenced to 12 months in prison for sitting on top of an aeroplane for an hour in 2019. https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/ ... oof-plane/

The judge described the sentence as proportionate, but notes there's no leniency for supporting a good cause.
What struck me as most interesting was:
Judge Perrins said: "The right to protest does not entitle you to cause major widespread disruption to a major airport... simply because you think it is the right thing to do."
Source
He doesn't go so far as to say that the right to protest does not include the right to cause any disruption, but that's the thought that this comment leads you towards. How much disruption is it reasonable for protesters to cause? Clearly they will be held accountable for actual damage to property, etc. Should anyone have any right to cause damage to others to make their protest? Do protests only get noticed when they start to damage the rights of others?

In France, when the farmers don't like something, they are capable of causing such extensive disruption the government generally folds more or less instantly. I don't want to live in a country where we are beholden to any minority interest group willing to hold everyone else to ransom. That's not democracy.

When I was spending a little while in Santiago, Chile, in 1998, I was amused to notice that there were major protests in the main square about 2 or 3 times a week. Much more than in London, home of modern democracy, ha ha. Only occasionally did it get out of hand to the point they brought in the watercannon (they had a water device locally called a spitting llama...) I thought, well, it lets them let off steam, and mostly there wasn't much disruption. Everyone knew when and where the marches were and went around them. Businesses located on these standard routes could let down their much used steel screens. But then recently we had much more disruptive demonstrations in Chile, with massive damage to the public infrastructure, including the metro railway system.

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Re: Protesting

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:53 am

IvanV wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:37 pm
How much disruption is it reasonable for protesters to cause? Clearly they will be held accountable for actual damage to property, etc. Should anyone have any right to cause damage to others to make their protest? Do protests only get noticed when they start to damage the rights of others?
That's decided by the jury. If the accused has a good enough story, they can acquit even if it's perfectly obvious they're guilty - a perverse verdict. Judges, however, must follow the law.
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