Tuesday, 14 December 2010

What to think about...violent protests

I'm not saying do it, but look at the pleasure on that man's face 
  • Violent protests are criminal protests and therefore bad
  • They are usually caused by anarchist agitators or hoodie gangsters, who aren't human anyway and so shouldn't be at the protest at all
  • They undermine the credibility of the protest in the media, though they are also the only thing that gets protest into the meda
  • They frighten people, particularly  members of the royal family or people who haven't actually been threatened but who otherwise wouldn't have anything to say to journalists
  • Violence against bus stops or buildings is as grave a moral error as violence against grannies and therefore the protest is violent even if no one has been hurt 
  • Hurting the police for doing their jobs is like hurting a paid informer in stalinist Russia for...wait, no, this logic has gone wrong...
  • Anyway, we are definitely agreed that the police really should put a stop to this violence on the streets and should do so by...being violent on the streets
And what not to think (thoughts such as might occur in a crazed delirium, whilst not in control of one's faculties, or whilst feeling faint with hunger in a police kettle):
  • Mass detention as collective punishment for protest - with less rights than you would have in a prison cell - is a violent act using the resources of the state against people who disagree with it 
  • An increase in police violence on the streets generally leads to an increase in violence on the streets 
  • Violent protests happen when people have had enough of being abused by people in power. It has always been so - in the face of this fact your judgement or mine look like a child screaming at the sun for shining too brightly
  • Politics is about who has control. If a protest is controlled by the authorities it is merely symbolic, bothers no one, and has as much impact as a fun run 
  • A bus stop or building feels no pain  
  • If we for a moment suspend judgement on  the 'thugs' and 'hooligans' and 'leftist extremists' we might notice that people could have perfectly sane, rational reasons to want to fight their way through police to reach parliament or to batter down the doors of government buildings


  1. violent protest is about seeking identity more than anything. people are abused by Bob Crow all the time, and nobody protests at that...

  2. @Anonymous In what way are people abused by Bob Crow all the time? Can you explain what you mean?

  3. I was at the protests. I saw an older man assaulted by protesters for nothing. There were no police around who could have been blamed for agitating people. Why don't you put a hilarious sarcastic spin on that.

  4. Assuming your tale is true (and you have shown a poor grasp of facts in your comments on here so far but we'll be charitable and say it is true) then did you see an assault as an act of protest, or merely an assault that took place during a protest? The latter is something that could happen but is a distinct thing and clearly not what the above post is about. But before rushing to judgement, do you know that what you saw happened 'for nothing'? I saw BBC reporters being mobbed, for example, but that was not 'for nothing'.

  5. Don't need your charity or approval.

    "but is a distinct thing and clearly not what the above post is about."

    You sneer at and mock any criticism of violent protests, but then walk away when the consequences are pointed out. Like when innocent people such as this older man get hurt. People who deliberately create mayhem are morally responsible for what ensues.

    You whitewashed all the violence at the first protest and you're no less flippant in dismissing this assault. You're all in favor of the general violence, and then its "whoops, except for this distinct thing here", and "whoops, except for that distinct thing there". Oh well, how could you possibly have known that all of this hilarious cartoon-like politically clever post-post modern righteous leftist violence could have led to anyone getting hurt? I mean who could have imagined?

    " But before rushing to judgement, do you know that what you saw happened 'for nothing'?"

    Well, the man yelled at the protesters for blocking the road with garbage. Are you saying he deserved it for that? And I can assure you none of the students went to the older man's aid, it was the bystanders such as myself.

    " I saw BBC reporters being mobbed, for example, but that was not 'for nothing'."

    What was it for then? Why would protesters assault journalists?