In Defence of Anti-Austerity Protests #BEDM

I've seen a couple of blog posts recently suggesting that protesting against the forthcoming cuts is a pointless/aggressive/ridiculous thing to do. I wholeheartedly disagree.

But it's just going to turn into violence. Let's get one thing straight. Protesting is not the same as rioting. I do not condone violence or criminal damage. I know that there are inevitably going to be some people who become violent during peaceful protests, but I don't think that's a reason for condemning all protesters.

But the election was fair. Yes, the Conservatives were elected into power. I am not saying that the election was fraudulent. I'm saying that it's still perfectly legitimate for people to disagree with Tory policies, and they have the right to voice this, regardless of the election result.

But there haven't even been any cuts yet. Well, actually there have, where have you been for the last five years?! And even so, there will be cuts, they've been promised (and politicians never break their promises). So anger about austerity is based in reality.

But there are more effective ways to help. Do those as well then.

But it's not going to change anything. Honestly, I agree. It might not, but would it be any better to just shut up instead? That definitely won't change anything.


Am I going to protest? Maybe. I was thinking about joining the End Austerity Now demo, but there are a few elements of The People's Assembly's manifesto that are sticking points for me, and I don't want to march for something I don't 100% agree with. It's something I need to think about properly. But even if I don't do it myself this time, I most definitely defend the right of other people to do it.

Obviously certain media outlets will probably just focus on any violent element that emerges, in order to demonise the marchers, but that's a whole other post...

2 comments

  1. I'm interested in your comment about the People's Assembly manifesto - can I ask what bits you don't agree with? Also - hear hear! to everything you've written. I personally don't feel that violent protest delegitimises said protest (particularly as the violence generally starts with the police) but it frustrates me that that's often all the media focuses on.

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  2. Very good post Liz! You make good points!

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I'd love to hear what you think...