Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Protesting against protests

I wonder if people ever wake up in the mornings and thank their lucky stars that they live in a free country.  Or, do they like to wake up and wonder what they could possibly find to complain about for the day, what new issues to protest against?  In a country where the right to protest is as inherent as the right to free speech, it seems that people like to take full advantage of their ability to stir up trouble.  Heck, isn’t that what I’m doing right now?

We hear about protests being “outlawed” in India and Thailand and we think those countries have corrupt governments which like to suppress their peoples.  Whereas, we are so liberal-minded as to tolerate disruption and rioting.  Granted, the G20 protests were nowhere near as violent and disruptive as those for the NATO conference in Europe, we’ve seen the damage done, to people and to buildings.  As far as British demonstrations go, the G20 effort was almost civil.

The case of Ian Tomlinson was extremely sad.  Now, we have the case of Ms. Fisher, who was going to attend a vigil for Mr. Tomlinson.  Admittedly, the police were heavy-handed in both cases.  But were they not put in this frame of mind by the fact that security was so paramount that no leaves were granted for those days and they were out in full force?  They expected the worse and prepared for the worse.  I think it clouded their judgment.

But does that excuse the protesters and rioters?  Most were out there for peaceful purposes, but were they naïve enough to think that no trouble would emerge from this?  Did they, for one minute, consider that they might be used as a cover for mischief-makers?   Did they not create a situation where they obstructed people from going about their daily business?  For, wasn’t that the reason that Mr. Tomlinson fell victim to police brutality?  He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The police cannot be excused, but the protesters should feel some collective guilt at placing him on the spot.  Similarly with Ms. Fisher.

But how dare I complain about protests when I can sit here and use my right to free speech and condemn them all.   No, I should declare a protest day and call for everyone to stop what they are doing and to go marching and protest against some issue.  Everyone should pick a pet charity and go protest on their behalf.  That includes the police and government workers.  Yes, let’s all pick up our placards with their ridiculous slogans and march out in our neighbourhoods.  To be sure, we don’t want to cause any trouble, so lock up and board up.  If you see someone slacking, hand them a placard and pick them up to join in the campaign.  Now do I sound like an anarchist?

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