Tuesday, 29 March 2011

That March Against The Cuts

Mehdi Hasan in the New Statesman:-
But I'm entitled to my views - and I'm annoyed with the violent "protesters" (thugs?) who tried to wreck an important and historic march by rewarding right-wing, pro-cuts media outlets with the negative headlines and imagery that they had so craved.
I shouldn't really write this, because I'm probably just helping out the opposition, but if the purpose of this march was to basically convince people that the cuts were bad, and if the violence was going to harm that and if you had some idea that such people were likely to kick off, then wouldn't it have been better not to bother with the march?

I think the problem is that people who do marches and other forms of non-violent protest don't understand about why and when they work. They mostly work as a way of casting light on the situation, of having a strong moral case and convincing that you want the people to hear that will turn them towards telling the government to change things. That's why it worked for Gandhi and MLK - because what they highlighted disgusted the people in their countries (or in the case of Gandhi, Britain) and got them to change things. Now, the people in the UK know what the cuts are about, know that many on the march are 5-a-day co-ordinators or some other form of government non-jobbers, and don't exactly trust the unions, either. For that reason it was utterly futile.

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