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Demonstrating to what purpose?

(17 Posts)
Jackthelad Thu 29-Aug-13 11:31:04

It seems in this day and age it does not matter what action or progress is proposed there is a group who will march around with banners and loud hailers and also setting up tents and camps crying "down with it" or "it must be stopped" WHY ?? Many of the projects that are proposed are essential to our continued existance, some are just a change for the greater good. Remember the Newbury Bypass and Greenham Common and the dreadful things that were going to happen and still life goes on. I call upon my fellow Grandma's and Granddad's as the Elders of the Tribe of Britians for their wisdom gained through their advanced years to offer me their thoughts and dircetion on how we leave behind a better world as our grandparents did for us without all this demonstrating. Isambard Brunel and Thomas Telford did not have to contend this they just got on and built their railways, canals, bridges for us all to have the use of.

Movedalot Thu 29-Aug-13 11:59:59

And we need a 'Good News' thread as well. We are all too happy to complain about what we don't like but when there is some indication that the economy is improving it is never mentioned. sad

I think it is a lot easier to set up a protest about something that to show pride in things. I also think that when we are young we should feel passionately about lots of things but as we mature the list of things that really matter gets a lot smaller.

Minty Thu 29-Aug-13 12:02:17

I thought we lived in a democratic society which allows peaceful demonstrations?

PRINTMISS Thu 29-Aug-13 12:07:43

Oh Dear! Just caught up with this after putting a moan on the competiton thread. I try not to complain too much, hate to be thought of as an old misery! I agree with Movedalot a good news thread would be nice, but so many people do post good news, about their families and how well they are doing. The trouble is Minty so many demonstrations which start out with well intentioned people attract the rent a mob, and lead to bad feeling and publicity for the cause.

nanaej Thu 29-Aug-13 12:15:58

You also forget that maybe some bad things did not happen because people demonstrated! It was 50 years since Martin Luther King's I have a Dream speech during the time of civil protest against segregation.

I have marched on demos e.g. Clause 28, Greenham, Anti- nazi league, anti-apartheid, CND etc. because I do not believe you should complain unless you are prepared to do! Actions not just words!

I always say that the media will always prefer to focus on the bad news rather than good news and because the media is powerful it can make the populace similar!

Movedalot Thu 29-Aug-13 12:47:45

Not sure its something we can blame on the media. You often hear about bad service from suppliers but how often do people mention when they get good service?

PRINTMISS Thu 29-Aug-13 14:16:08

I agree with you nanaej that good does come of demonstrating, but how often now, do we see the thugs taking over a really good cause? The people who organise the demonstrations for a good cause have my respect and in the end sympathy. What you say Movedalot is true, and a dear friend of mine, fed up with hearing about the awful service our local hospital was offering, after being there for a short while, wrote to the hospital itself praising the staff, the treatment and the food. The letter she received back was heart-warming, so perhaps we should just write and say 'thank you' for good service, and let the rest get on with it.

Lona Thu 29-Aug-13 14:33:46

I watched the BBC 2 programme last night about MLK and the march, and I was very impressed with the good nature of those thousands of demonstrators.
I was just seventeen at the time, with other things on my mind, but I don't remember there being any 'trouble' on that momentous day.

bluebell Thu 29-Aug-13 14:36:51

No there wasn't- but did you see the dreadful scenes of the police water canoning the peaceful protesters in Alabama ? I accept that thugs sometimes turn up on demonstrations but the police also can have something to answer for

Lona Thu 29-Aug-13 14:39:15

Yes, dreadful scenes. Still a lot of people around who would do that now!

Movedalot Thu 29-Aug-13 15:08:49

Oh yes PRINT they are always surprised when you say something nice! When a friend and I went to look for a new laptop for her last week the young man was so helpful and didn't treat us like little old ladies. I made a bit of a fuss at one of his colleagues because the music was too loud for a conversation and he was very unhelpful so you can imagine his surprise when we left and I thanked him for all his help and for not treating us as the novices we may have appeared. I think he was brilliant as my friend did ask some very silly questions at which he didn't bat an eyelid!

Eloethan Thu 29-Aug-13 18:48:31

So are we all supposed to sit passively at home and watch wars being started, people being treated unfairly, etc., etc.?

There are always people who set out to cause trouble - whether it be at a football match, a carnival or a demonstration - but the vast majority just want to express how they feel and hope that they can highlight an injustice.

I agree, though, about recognising and celebrating, what we think is good as well as protesting about what we think is bad.

petra Wed 18-Sep-13 13:22:32

When I was younger I loved a good demonstration. The first one I went on was to ban circuses ( have I spelt that right) obviously that didn't work but at least things are changing.
The most frightening was the Poll Tax march. That was the first time I saw how thugs take over things.
The best one was marching for the Miners to stop the closure's. I was marching with my print union and my OH was holding up one end of the banner. It poured with rain all day, but what a wonderful feeling.

Iam64 Wed 18-Sep-13 13:30:22

I went on a number of marches during Maggie's reign. I got my protest boots out and marched against the invasion of Iraq, much good that did us. I've also attended meetings, protests in support of keeping libraries and A&E open. I went to Greeham, avoided doing anything illegal as I feared being arrested. My pals were merrily cutting through the hedges. I got closest to getting into trouble because I got into a 'discussion' with a mounted policeman who said he couldn't stop his horse backing us against a fence. I grabbed it's reigns and foolishly told him I knew he could turn it on a 6pence if he wanted to, and I'd lead it off if he didn't ride it off. It was one of those moments when you realise you're on the edge of going too far.... Luckily, he seemed to realise he'd gone too far - and moved the huge beast.

Tegan Wed 18-Sep-13 14:00:58

Went on a march to stop the last British Train manufacturer closing down. They now have new orders and are still going. Once gone, they would have been gone forever [the work was going to Germany who had factored in the creation of new jobs in their tender which, I believe we hadn't done]. Taking part in a protest march is very empowering; they also make the news and one thing I've learned over the years is that no organisation, whether large or small, likes bad publicity [or having something they thought had been brushed under the carpet made public].

FlicketyB Wed 18-Sep-13 15:28:31

Jack the reason people did not demonstrate in the past is because they were ignored, ridden over and deprived of their jobs if they did so. The building of railways and their terminals in London led to many of the poorest being evicted and their homes demolished with no attempt to provide alternative housing. That is why the slums were so bad. Many a small self employed business was destroyed and the owner and his family driven into destitution when their premises were destroyed similarly.

Thousands of men died building these grand engineering projects, once again their families uncompensated and left to starve. Brunel drove his Great Western Railway slap through the centre of my village destroying houses. I doubt they received any compensation. That would have gnoe to the land owner not the poor dispossessed tenant.

You are looking at the past through very rose-tinted spectacles. The developers of the past could destroy the lives and livelihoods of the poor, kill their employees by forcing them to work in dangerous conditions and then shrug their deaths off with indifference. You think that is better than the poor and oppressed being able to oppose these developments by protesting?

Iam64 Wed 18-Sep-13 18:56:32

What about the Jarrow marchers - they protested didn't they, will dignity and courage. It didn't work though did it? I'm opposed to any violence in protests but I wonder why more of us aren't taking to the streets in response to the demolition of the NHS, children's services, drug and alcohol treatment centres, women's refuges, schools and many others.