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 the "make a noise" protest

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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:13 am

Pax wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Protesting: a great way to dispel energy that could otherwise be used up usefully for doing something effective

So protest is never effective? I have to disagree. Without it we'd probably still be living in a monarchy.

Er, no. That was armed revolt (here), or a combination of armed revolt and the increasing expenses of running a state in which the middle classes held the purse strings (in most countries).
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:14 am

cactus flower wrote:
Kate P, leaving aside the other issues in your and my posts, I'll just clarify the main reasons why people take part in protest demonstrations.

1. It allows them to demonstrate their serious disagreement with a Government at a mid term stage when there is no possibility of doing so through the ballot box.
2. It allows people to come together in solidarity and to see whether they are on their own, with one man and a dog, or part of a wide movement.
5. Demonstrations normally involve a political meeting with speeches which can communicate ideas for dealing with the problem at hand.

Protest demonstrations are usually, but not always, of limited effect, but freedom to hold peaceful demonstrations is acknowledged world wide as a litmus test for democratic rights.
Footage of demonstrators in China being arrested is, for example, widely used as an indication that the country lacks basic democratic rights.
Talk about "straw men"
No one is denying the right to protest. It is the assumed right that something should happen as a Government reaction to any protest that I object to. 1.000, 5,000 or 100.000 protesters speak for no one but themselves, there are over 2 million of us entitled to participate in the democratic process, this is the only number Governments should pay attention to.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:15 am

cactus flower wrote:
johnfás wrote:

I think the above slightly reads an emphasis into Kate P's comments which I do not see as existing. There is a vast difference between not recognising the right to protest and not supporting or criticising the appropriateness of certain forms of protest in any given situation.

Of which form of protest, in which situation, did Kate P criticise the appropriateness?

In the current situation. She requested information on what it would achieve and what the aims of such a protest would be. That certainly, to me anyway, appears given the background of her posts on the issue to question the appropriateness of the form of protest indicated above in the present situation. It is not a rejection of protest per se, which is what your comments, as initially quoted by me, seem to imply. As tonys says above, much of that comment is an absolute setting up of a "straw man".


Last edited by johnfás on Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:16 am

Quote :
Aragon, you have neither integrity nor credibility and I don't intend to engage any further with you on this or any thread. You are persistently insulting, you refuse to countenance any perspective other than your own. You repeatedly draw personal inferences (which are wrong) from my posts and those of others and you never, never debate the issue. You are in fact the embodiment of the protestor who shrieks ignorantly and refuses to accept that there is a world outside of your narrow personal frame of reference

Looked in the mirror recently, Kate? I'm sure the more than 100K people, eg, who marched against the cuts in education before Christmas would be hugely offended to hear you write them off as as you have. As would any of the people who have marched or protested before or since. There is no twee solution to all of this, no buttoning up and mustn't grumble type crap that will suffice for people thrown out of work, denied education or healthcare. There's a painful truth to be confronted which is that the system itself is the thing that is at fault. ALL of the solutions so far are aimed at propping up the very thing that will guarantee the worst possible outcome. Leave growth, profitability and all of that aside - we will be looking at starvation, homelessness and lawlessness unless the government does something drastically different - in consultation and cooperation with the people. We need wholescale nationalisation if there is not going to be famine and destitution on a massive scale. Ireland has two choices. It can try to pretend it is a 'big player' and keep the foreign big boys onside to the detriment of the population or it can confront the reality of what we can do for ourselves with what we have got. The latter is the only decent, realistic option we have.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:17 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Pax

I think ibis says it for me anyhow. Like yourself I think too we need to protest and think. It would be more powerful if a protesting group were to have some unanimity on what they were protesting about. Something that can be granted that can be effected. The publishing of all information of a public nature in a publicly accessible spot is one thing plus some accountability procedures stuck in.

ibis wrote:
Quote :
The question is, when will we know the time for "thought" has concluded, and the time to put those thoughts into action has begun? Are we supposed to sit tight, mind our manners and wait for the ballot box? Cause Government parties say (with an air of smugness) that it wont be till 2012.

I want to save my country before then

No, I support the protesting in general - and the noise protest in particular - but what do we actually want out of it?

Me, I want to see more transparency. I want to see more citizen oversight, more electoral responsibility. I want better corruption legislation, and an end to the culture of small-scale corruption. I want to see us taking responsibility for our electoral choices. I want us not to go back to sleep.


No disagreement here with those points. I'm all for openness and transparency Auditor and I agree that we should do away with commercial requirements which try to stymie that transparency.

I still think any study of history would show protest as being effective, though.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:19 am

ibis wrote:
Pax wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Protesting: a great way to dispel energy that could otherwise be used up usefully for doing something effective

So protest is never effective? I have to disagree. Without it we'd probably still be living in a monarchy.

Er, no. That was armed revolt (here), or a combination of armed revolt and the increasing expenses of running a state in which the middle classes held the purse strings (in most countries).

Er, no.! The above generally started with protest of some form or other. I was speaking of the global 'we' btw.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:22 am

tonys wrote:
Pax wrote:
In fairness Kate P, you insulted everyone who has protested, and who has ever protested when you posted,

Kate P wrote:
Most people who turn out to protest are not well informed. They know a lot about their particular situations but have very little grasp of anything bigger than themselves.
In fairness Pax, I'd have to say I've yet to see a protester explain themselves and have as a first thought occur to me "there's a big picture person if ever I saw one" they do tend to have a somewhat narrow focus, maybe I've just been unlucky.

I appreciate your anecdotal evidence of protesters tonys.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:37 am

Pax wrote:
Quote :

more transparency
more citizen oversight
more electoral responsibility
better corruption legislation
an end to the culture of small-scale corruption.
I want to see us taking responsibility for our electoral choices.
I want us not to go back to sleep.


No disagreement here with those points. I'm all for openness and transparency Auditor and I agree that we should do away with commercial requirements which try to stymie that transparency.

I still think any study of history would show protest as being effective, though.
Didn't most of those more effective protests involve beheadings ?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:42 am

Pax wrote:
ibis wrote:
Pax wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Protesting: a great way to dispel energy that could otherwise be used up usefully for doing something effective

So protest is never effective? I have to disagree. Without it we'd probably still be living in a monarchy.

Er, no. That was armed revolt (here), or a combination of armed revolt and the increasing expenses of running a state in which the middle classes held the purse strings (in most countries).

Er, no.! The above generally started with protest of some form or other. I was speaking of the global 'we' btw.

Well, unless what you're advocating here is public protests leading to armed revolt...?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:46 am

Pax wrote:
tonys wrote:
Pax wrote:
In fairness Kate P, you insulted everyone who has protested, and who has ever protested when you posted,

Kate P wrote:
Most people who turn out to protest are not well informed. They know a lot about their particular situations but have very little grasp of anything bigger than themselves.
In fairness Pax, I'd have to say I've yet to see a protester explain themselves and have as a first thought occur to me "there's a big picture person if ever I saw one" they do tend to have a somewhat narrow focus, maybe I've just been unlucky.

I appreciate your anecdotal evidence of protesters tonys.
Not nearly as much as I'd appreciate yours, I already have a large supply of guff, well satisfied there, thanks very much all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:00 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Pax wrote:
Quote :

more transparency
more citizen oversight
more electoral responsibility
better corruption legislation
an end to the culture of small-scale corruption.
I want to see us taking responsibility for our electoral choices.
I want us not to go back to sleep.


No disagreement here with those points. I'm all for openness and transparency Auditor and I agree that we should do away with commercial requirements which try to stymie that transparency.

I still think any study of history would show protest as being effective, though.
Didn't most of those more effective protests involve beheadings ?

I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Certainly not in the US in the civil rights movement, or Gandhi in India, or Northern Ireland, or the sixties in the US, France, or against Suharto or tens of other dictators that were toppled etc etc.

Although maybe with some revolutions they end in you have violence, but then again the hundreds of years of beheadings, exploitation, poverty etc prior to that tends to be a wee bit more egregious but get a better press.

Well, that is if one were to weigh people as being equal of course. Which tends to be moreso the case, after the protest etc.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:02 am

ibis wrote:
Well, unless what you're advocating here is public protests leading to armed revolt...?

There goes the goalpost, stage-left, with the strawman goalkeeper!
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:06 am

Whilst not seeking to erode the role played by peaceful protest in each of the situations you outline above it is important to also note that most of the above did also occur in the context of parallel violent movements.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:12 am

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
johnfás wrote:

I think the above slightly reads an emphasis into Kate P's comments which I do not see as existing. There is a vast difference between not recognising the right to protest and not supporting or criticising the appropriateness of certain forms of protest in any given situation.

Of which form of protest, in which situation, did Kate P criticise the appropriateness?

Kate P said

Quote :
In the current situation. She requested information on what it would achieve and what the aims of such a protest would be. That certainly, to me anyway, appears given the background of her posts on the issue to question the appropriateness of the form of protest indicated above in the present situation. It is not a rejection of protest per se, which is what your comments, as initially quoted by me, seem to imply. As tonys says above, much of that comment is an absolute setting up of a "straw man".

Hmmm. I have this unpopular theory that the problem isn't necessarily with the government it's with the electorate who as a rule and in the main want anyone else to take responsibility for the way things are. The mob are on the lookout for one scapegoat after another and the refusal to look inwards means we're destined to make the same mistakes again - not in the people we elect, but in the values that inform our daily lives.

There is a culture in this country where everyone wants to have the inside track, to know someone in the know, to have a TD to ask to swing something, to write a letter on their behalf, to make a representation here or there, to have a friend who'll tell us how to get something we're not entitled to - whether that's planning for a one-off house, a welfare payment (or three) or to get us out of paying a parking fine. Other countries don't live like that. Maybe it was a coping strategy of value during the 800 Years of Oppression but it has lost its usefulness now.

I do believe that some of the people who attain high office in this country are very good at what we want them to be good at. They take the short cuts, know the people in the know and when everything is going well, as a rule we turn a blind eye to what we know isn't entirely kosher. Then, when the tide turns we as a people, in the main turn on them. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar has been on my mind quite a lot lately. Knew we not Pompey, indeed... The mob is the star of that show - and the mob, as we should know from recent past experience, rarely gets it right, so forgive me if I don't jump on any bandwagons and won't be making noise.

That was a set of general statements about protest and defines people who protest as a mob. Kate continued in the same vein in a further post on page 2.

Quote :
I beg to disagree. Most people who turn out to protest are not well informed. They know a lot about their particular situations but have very little grasp of anything bigger than themselves. There's no question of IQ and none of people being evil or self-serving - I never suggested there was. However, a gang of people who blithely follow what is the populist line of thinking without considering - and you acknowledged as much yourself earlier - what the next step is, is running amok without a head.

Public demonstration is a right, but it's a responsibility to be informed and responsible when demonstrating and rights are never conferred without the attendant responsibilities.

The vast, vast majority of people out there don't have a notion what recapitalisation means, don't know what the levy involves and don't read into the background to decisions before lashing out at them. Blindly throwing shit at every group in society, whether it's the public sector, the banks, the government... is hugely counterproductive. No one prepares to take aim before firing and no hurt is achieved. It's better in my opinion to choose one's battles than to exhaust oneself needlessly getting involved in every popular skirmish or adding one's voice to every diatribe.

Bothering to get out of their chairs is not something to be proud of - doing something to make a difference is but you have to know what the difference is which you seek to make and what the repercussions of that change are. I see precious little evidence of any thinking that looks that far forward.

If stopping to think and consider rather than jump up and down, making noise with no purpose outside of itself is deserving of being designated 'patronising' I can live with that. It's no less patronising than assuming that those who don't jump on the communal bandwagon are worthy of disdain.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:21 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Pax wrote:
Quote :

more transparency
more citizen oversight
more electoral responsibility
better corruption legislation
an end to the culture of small-scale corruption.
I want to see us taking responsibility for our electoral choices.
I want us not to go back to sleep.


No disagreement here with those points. I'm all for openness and transparency Auditor and I agree that we should do away with commercial requirements which try to stymie that transparency.

I still think any study of history would show protest as being effective, though.
Didn't most of those more effective protests involve beheadings ?

Very naughty Auditor#9.

I agree with Ibis on this one: a protest is a protest. It seeks to influence the powers that be. More profound social change requires a revolution. Some revolutions have been achieved with little violence and some protests have been violent, but the two things have completely different functions.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:41 am

Pax wrote:
ibis wrote:
Well, unless what you're advocating here is public protests leading to armed revolt...?

There goes the goalpost, stage-left, with the strawman goalkeeper!

Ah, you're not, then.

Quote :
I agree with Ibis on this one: a protest is a protest. It seeks to influence the powers that be. More profound social change requires a revolution. Some revolutions have been achieved with little violence and some protests have been violent, but the two things have completely different functions.

Well, while we're on the topic, of course, the problem is that correlation is not causation...so if some people are angry enough to engage in armed revolt, then statistically it's likely there'll be a good number angry enough to protest.

A question I'd ask, though, is how often protests led to what the protesters wanted?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:04 am

Quote :
[quote="ibis"]
Pax wrote:
ibis wrote:
Well, unless what you're advocating here is public protests leading to armed revolt...?

There goes the goalpost, stage-left, with the strawman goalkeeper!

Ah, you're not, then.

Quote :
I agree with Ibis on this one: a protest is a protest. It seeks to influence the powers that be. More profound social change requires a revolution. Some revolutions have been achieved with little violence and some protests have been violent, but the two things have completely different functions.

Well, while we're on the topic, of course, the problem is that correlation is not causation...so if some people are angry enough to engage in armed revolt, then statistically it's likely there'll be a good number angry enough to protest.


What point are you making here Ibis??? Revolt is not a spur of the moment flash of anger thing. It usually comes after years of preparation.

Quote :
A question I'd ask, though, is how often protests led to what the protesters wanted?

Already answered, differently by Pax and myself.

Quote :
Protest demonstrations are usually, but not always, of limited effect, but freedom to hold peaceful demonstrations is acknowledged world wide as a litmus test for democratic rights.
Footage of demonstrators in China being arrested is, for example, widely used as an indication that the country lacks basic democratic rights.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:26 am

[quote="cactus flower"]
Quote :
ibis wrote:
Pax wrote:
ibis wrote:
Well, unless what you're advocating here is public protests leading to armed revolt...?

There goes the goalpost, stage-left, with the strawman goalkeeper!

Ah, you're not, then.

Quote :
I agree with Ibis on this one: a protest is a protest. It seeks to influence the powers that be. More profound social change requires a revolution. Some revolutions have been achieved with little violence and some protests have been violent, but the two things have completely different functions.

Well, while we're on the topic, of course, the problem is that correlation is not causation...so if some people are angry enough to engage in armed revolt, then statistically it's likely there'll be a good number angry enough to protest.


What point are you making here Ibis??? Revolt is not a spur of the moment flash of anger thing. It usually comes after years of preparation.

Quote :
A question I'd ask, though, is how often protests led to what the protesters wanted?

Already answered, differently by Pax and myself.

Quote :
Protest demonstrations are usually, but not always, of limited effect, but freedom to hold peaceful demonstrations is acknowledged world wide as a litmus test for democratic rights.
Footage of demonstrators in China being arrested is, for example, widely used as an indication that the country lacks basic democratic rights.

Well, very simply, then:

1. I am not objecting in any way to the demonstrations - that they are "a litmus test for democratic rights" isn't being questioned by anyone here (and is, in fact, a straw man!).

2. I wonder, though, what they are intended to achieve bar the defence of sectoral interests - fees, pension levy, medical cards.

3. I don't believe that the one thing protests might achieve - a change of government - is particularly worthwhile if we all roll over and go back to sleep again afterwards, trusting in our new government to see us right. The reversal of specific sectoral measures is an even less worthwhile goal, since we all know that cuts have to be made - there is no choice.

There's a lot of popular anger - OK - what do you think we're going to get out of it?
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:33 am

Ibis, you are jumping about from the general to the particular.

I was answering your question about what I think demonstrations achieve - underlined section. Not a straw man.

Your last point (3) is a straw man. No one is arguing with you on that.

Most people recognise that its a question of inequality of burden, not whether or not expenditure will have to be cut.

I really don't understand why you are asking me these questions. I'm off to bed now, good night. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:38 am

cactus flower wrote:
Ibis, you are jumping about from the general to the particular.

The last point (3) is a straw man. No one is arguing with you on that.

Most people recognise that its a question of inequality of burden, not whether or not expenditure will have to be cut.

I really don't understand why you are asking me these questions. I'm off to bed now, so good night. Smile

Sigh. You're in favour of protesting, but don't seem to have any idea of what the protests are for, as opposed to what they're against.

The protests I've seen (and I see pretty much all of them) have all been protesting sectoral interests. It hasn't been about "inequality of burden" at all, it's been about it not being ME who is under the axe. They are protests for "no change to MY particular circumstances" at a time when change is being imposed on everybody by forces that are immune to protest.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:46 am

ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ibis, you are jumping about from the general to the particular.

The last point (3) is a straw man. No one is arguing with you on that.

Most people recognise that its a question of inequality of burden, not whether or not expenditure will have to be cut.

I really don't understand why you are asking me these questions. I'm off to bed now, so good night. Smile

Sigh. You're in favour of protesting, but don't seem to have any idea of what the protests are for, as opposed to what they're against.

The protests I've seen (and I see pretty much all of them) have all been protesting sectoral interests. It hasn't been about "inequality of burden" at all, it's been about it not being ME who is under the axe. They are protests for "no change to MY particular circumstances" at a time when change is being imposed on everybody by forces that are immune to protest.

When you keep jumping from the general to the particular, it isn't possible to have any kind of coherent communication. You've asked me a couple of questions that were already answered and discussed back in the thread. You haven't responded to anything I've said, but have persistently invented straw dogs and replied to them. I am leaving this handy substitute here for you to continue the discussion with. geek It won't make any difference to your posts whether I am here or not.


Sleep
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:06 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Ibis, you are jumping about from the general to the particular.

The last point (3) is a straw man. No one is arguing with you on that.

Most people recognise that its a question of inequality of burden, not whether or not expenditure will have to be cut.

I really don't understand why you are asking me these questions. I'm off to bed now, so good night. Smile

Sigh. You're in favour of protesting, but don't seem to have any idea of what the protests are for, as opposed to what they're against.

The protests I've seen (and I see pretty much all of them) have all been protesting sectoral interests. It hasn't been about "inequality of burden" at all, it's been about it not being ME who is under the axe. They are protests for "no change to MY particular circumstances" at a time when change is being imposed on everybody by forces that are immune to protest.

When you keep jumping from the general to the particular, it isn't possible to have any kind of coherent communication. You've asked me a couple of questions that were already answered and discussed back in the thread. You haven't responded to anything I've said, but have persistently invented straw dogs and replied to them. I am leaving this handy substitute here for you to continue the discussion with. geek It won't make any difference to your posts whether I am here or not.


Sleep

It hasn't so far, anyway. Well, except for introducing an element of confusion - I know what point I'm making, but I have no idea what you're arguing with me about, and not a clue what you mean when you say I'm jumping from the general to the particular. Unless you mean that I'm simultaneously discussing the question of whether protests in general achieve much, and whether the Irish protests in particular will achieve much - which doesn't seem odd to me, because the Irish protests are simply a particular example of a general phenomenon.

If you like, I can make the point again - I think the Irish protests are both narrow and conservative in focus, and I doubt they either will, or perhaps even should, achieve their rather self-interested aims. Protests are neither an end in themselves, nor a good thing in themselves - they are only good when they achieve something worthwhile, and these protests are unlikely to do so, because the extent of their ambition appears to be either to persuade the current government not to upset their particular apple-cart, or possibly to elect a new government who won't. They are to useful public discourse what the tantrums of a child refused sweeties are to rational discussion of a balanced diet or dental hygiene.

Mind you, it's early days yet.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:50 am

cactus flower wrote:
johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
johnfás wrote:

I think the above slightly reads an emphasis into Kate P's comments which I do not see as existing. There is a vast difference between not recognising the right to protest and not supporting or criticising the appropriateness of certain forms of protest in any given situation.

Of which form of protest, in which situation, did Kate P criticise the appropriateness?

Kate P said

Quote :
In the current situation. She requested information on what it would achieve and what the aims of such a protest would be. That certainly, to me anyway, appears given the background of her posts on the issue to question the appropriateness of the form of protest indicated above in the present situation. It is not a rejection of protest per se, which is what your comments, as initially quoted by me, seem to imply. As tonys says above, much of that comment is an absolute setting up of a "straw man".

Hmmm. I have this unpopular theory that the problem isn't necessarily with the government it's with the electorate who as a rule and in the main want anyone else to take responsibility for the way things are. The mob are on the lookout for one scapegoat after another and the refusal to look inwards means we're destined to make the same mistakes again - not in the people we elect, but in the values that inform our daily lives.

There is a culture in this country where everyone wants to have the inside track, to know someone in the know, to have a TD to ask to swing something, to write a letter on their behalf, to make a representation here or there, to have a friend who'll tell us how to get something we're not entitled to - whether that's planning for a one-off house, a welfare payment (or three) or to get us out of paying a parking fine. Other countries don't live like that. Maybe it was a coping strategy of value during the 800 Years of Oppression but it has lost its usefulness now.

I do believe that some of the people who attain high office in this country are very good at what we want them to be good at. They take the short cuts, know the people in the know and when everything is going well, as a rule we turn a blind eye to what we know isn't entirely kosher. Then, when the tide turns we as a people, in the main turn on them. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar has been on my mind quite a lot lately. Knew we not Pompey, indeed... The mob is the star of that show - and the mob, as we should know from recent past experience, rarely gets it right, so forgive me if I don't jump on any bandwagons and won't be making noise.

That was a set of general statements about protest and defines people who protest as a mob. Kate continued in the same vein in a further post on page 2.

Quote :
I beg to disagree. Most people who turn out to protest are not well informed. They know a lot about their particular situations but have very little grasp of anything bigger than themselves. There's no question of IQ and none of people being evil or self-serving - I never suggested there was. However, a gang of people who blithely follow what is the populist line of thinking without considering - and you acknowledged as much yourself earlier - what the next step is, is running amok without a head.

Public demonstration is a right, but it's a responsibility to be informed and responsible when demonstrating and rights are never conferred without the attendant responsibilities.

The vast, vast majority of people out there don't have a notion what recapitalisation means, don't know what the levy involves and don't read into the background to decisions before lashing out at them. Blindly throwing shit at every group in society, whether it's the public sector, the banks, the government... is hugely counterproductive. No one prepares to take aim before firing and no hurt is achieved. It's better in my opinion to choose one's battles than to exhaust oneself needlessly getting involved in every popular skirmish or adding one's voice to every diatribe.

Bothering to get out of their chairs is not something to be proud of - doing something to make a difference is but you have to know what the difference is which you seek to make and what the repercussions of that change are. I see precious little evidence of any thinking that looks that far forward.

If stopping to think and consider rather than jump up and down, making noise with no purpose outside of itself is deserving of being designated 'patronising' I can live with that. It's no less patronising than assuming that those who don't jump on the communal bandwagon are worthy of disdain.

I stand over all of the above but those who have a difficulty with giving reasons for their actions - as seems to be the case on this thread, clearly might have a problem with that.

Mass protest is not the only tool for achieving change and I don't believe it's useful in this case.

Apart from that, I don't believe we'll see any change here until ordinary people accept their part in creating the situation we're in and resolve to think and act differently when the next time comes. Otherwise we will find ourselves criticising once more the very philosophies and ethics the majority of us have supported all along and put in place. And while we're still a democracy, we have to assume that the views of the majority are those which are being represented at the top and by the top. We cannot speak out of both sides of our mouths here, cactus. We have as a nation bought into a politics which we are now claiming to spurn. That is not to say that every individual has bought in or has done so to the same extent.

We find ourselves in this situation because we, as a people acted as an unthinking mob - you only have to look at the pin to see a small example, just one, of how relatively few people stopped to question the wave the majority were riding on.

It's hard, much harder to question how we let these things happen than it is to criticise others to whom we transfer all blame.

I'd advocate that we need to reflect how and why we are in the place we're in now. Otherwise after all the protests we simply get the same or a different unconsidered ethos in place and will find ourselves in ten years time looking for someone else to blame, be it the government, the public sector, the teachers, the banks or the farmers. It's not only someone else's fault.

I am at a loss to understand why posters consider this view to be patronising; in fact it's empowering. It's a means of ensuring we don't transfer our power to others unwittingly. But it's hard work.

Mass dustbin-lid banging leaves me cold. It will change nothing and therefore it's a derogation of responsibility in this case unless you can show me what it's supposed to achieve. Worse it's a deliberate self-abrogation of the power of the citizen.

Quote :
Kate P, leaving aside the other issues in your and my posts, I'll just clarify the main reasons why people take part in protest demonstrations.

1. It allows them to demonstrate their serious disagreement with a Government at a mid term stage when there is no possibility of doing so through the ballot box.
2. It allows people to come together in solidarity and to see whether they are on their own, with one man and a dog, or part of a wide movement.
5. Demonstrations normally involve a political meeting with speeches which can communicate ideas for dealing with the problem at hand.

Protest demonstrations are usually, but not always, of limited effect, but freedom to hold peaceful demonstrations is acknowledged world wide as a litmus test for democratic rights.
Footage of demonstrators in China being arrested is, for example, widely used as an indication that the country lacks basic democratic rights.

Thank you for that cactus, but I already know the above and haven't questioned it. In fact, on a number of occasions I've specifically accepted that protesting is a right and is a response. I haven't argued with people's right or desire to protest and I've been very clear about that.

The specific demonstration I'm referring to is the one which is the subject of this thread - the one which I posted at the top when outlining as you requested, what I think your thesis is here; that this demonstration should be supported.

And still you go around the houses, refusing to say why you will be banging your dustbin lid. Can I therefore assume you're doing it because it's your right to do so and because it's the default human response? Those are the explanations you've given for protesting in general.

Leaving that aside then, unless there is some other reason why you'll be joining in the protest, can you please explain what you think it will achieve? I've asked this question numerous times and in numerous ways and you seem to find any excuse not to answer it.

I could also ask what specifically you're protesting about - the banks, the government reaction, the cuts, the levy, the impact on education... and how those against whom the protest is aimed are supposed to know.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:00 am

Pax wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Pax wrote:
Quote :

more transparency
more citizen oversight
more electoral responsibility
better corruption legislation
an end to the culture of small-scale corruption.
I want to see us taking responsibility for our electoral choices.
I want us not to go back to sleep.


No disagreement here with those points. I'm all for openness and transparency Auditor and I agree that we should do away with commercial requirements which try to stymie that transparency.

I still think any study of history would show protest as being effective, though.
Didn't most of those more effective protests involve beheadings ?

I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Certainly not in the US in the civil rights movement, or Gandhi in India, or Northern Ireland, or the sixties in the US, France, or against Suharto or tens of other dictators that were toppled etc etc.

Although maybe with some revolutions they end in you have violence, but then again the hundreds of years of beheadings, exploitation, poverty etc prior to that tends to be a wee bit more egregious but get a better press.

Well, that is if one were to weigh people as being equal of course. Which tends to be moreso the case, after the protest etc.

Ah - thanks for reminding of those. There were the various revolutions in Eastern Europe which ousted regimes peacefully and the most recent one in Iceland where the incompetent, greedy, crony-capitalistic, treasonous Government and Central Bankers were cacphonied out of it by thousands of people from every age and walk of life banging pots and pans,

We need a firm plan and a single mind on what to do and how to do it. And an idea of what will be there afterwards. There is so much anger around now and finally the politicians have cottoned on to it - something to do with the recent 22% FF poll ? They seem to be starting to want to go after the board of regulators now among other offenders. It remains to be seen if that's just more noise. No doubt a Tribunal will be set up instead of the Fraud Squad or CAB going into every Government Bank and hole in an attempt to flush out some answers to the incompetence and willful negligence.

We need to bang our drums for Transparency, that's for sure in my belief.


I'd also agree with Kate on this below and I'd like to see more of what she would demand.

Quote :
I'd advocate that we need to reflect how and why we are in the place we're in now. Otherwise after all the protests we simply get the same or a different unconsidered ethos in place and will find ourselves in ten years time looking for someone else to blame, be it the government, the public sector, the teachers, the banks or the farmers. It's not only someone else's fault.
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PostSubject: Re: the "make a noise" protest   Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:06 am

Reading back through this thread, I find myself agreeing with many opposing views. I think people do have a democratic right to protest but I firmly believe that if people do not use their democratic right to vote, then they do not have a leg to stand on if things do not go their way.

Protesting has been successful in the past, for example the Velvet Revolution in Czech. On the other hand, protesting hasn't made a blind bit of difference in other situations, for example the Poll Tax protests in Britain, the gigantic worldwide protests against the invasion of Iraq and the many protests against the various G7/G8 summits throughout the world.

In the case of the present calls for protest, I agree with Kate P when she says that
Quote :
Most people who turn out to protest are not well informed
.

This is particularly relevant to the current economic situation. It is multi-layered and virtually impossible to understand without a fair amount of research. We are running a serious danger of people losing the run of themselves purely because they are angry about the fallout rather than the cause. This lack of information will result in people calling for action without having a clue about what the repercussions of that action will be.

I definitely support public dissatisfaction being expressed in some form of protest but this needs to an informed, intelligent protest without the usual hotheads taking it over and using it as an excuse to overturn the establishment in general. These 'hotheads' can be very dangerous at times like this because, by their very nature, they are louder than the rest of us and they are usually very well-informed about their own agendas.

It is time for the people who have done the research to inform the people who haven't. The most democratic way to do this is by means of campaigning for the upcoming local and European elections. The doorstep is the perfect platform to educate people about the importance of their vote. We urgently need to emphasise how instrumental the individual is to change in governance. Some cohesion is needed, badly.
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