16 Oct
2016

Of protests and petitions

I missed writing last Sunday when I was going to follow on from the previous item on effective action by looking specifically at protests, in the sense of organised marches, and petitions. So here goes.

I was a little scathing about the effectiveness of indirect action, especially organised protest marches, which now seem to me a particularly pointless exercise. I’ve been on a few since 1972, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of one that was even indirectly successful in its primary aim (eg getting someone like a government or corporation to stop doing something). Occasionally the demanded change has eventually happened, but often this seems to be when the protest march is linked to other direct-actions, or when it is not so much visibly organised and more spontaneous and ad hoc.

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03 Oct
2016

Direct, Indirect, Violent, non-Violent : or simply effective

A lot of angst is spilt in some circles about the morality of direct action and when and whether it should be branded as non-violent (NVDA – a nice safe sounding acronym) or even whether direct, presumably as opposed to indirect, action can ever be justified.

Let’s nail that one right from the start. Indirect action, for example political pressure through the ballot box or through petitions and letter writing, or mass walks in the streets with nice policemen shepherding the route and some pretty and self-congratulatory speechifying at the end of the shuffle, have signally failed to have any useful effect in tackling the crisis of our times.

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