The G20 marches - a pointless protest against everything, or the dawn of a new collective action?
Sylvia Rowley and Rachel Rickard Straus
2nd April, 2009
Protests. A political free-for-all or a new collective activism around social and environmental problems? Sylvia Rowley and Rachel Straus find out.
Jobs not bombs, a free Palestine, low carbon growth…and job security for the Institute of Chartered Psychiatrists. These are just some of the demands made by G20 protesters this week.
Last Saturday [28 March], 35,000 people marched through central London in the first of a series of protests urging leaders to 'Put People First’. Organisations supporting the march ranged from the Trade Union Council to Oxfam, from the WWF to Every Child, and from the STOP AIDS campaign to Stop The War.
At first this and other G20 marches taking place this week may look like an unproductive mishmash of discordant agendas - with demands ranging from carbon cuts to a communist revolution.
There’s a risk that even if G20 leaders do decide to listen to the marchers, all they’ll hear is a blur; an undifferentiated cry of discontent amounting roughly to “you’re shit” - which won’t exactly encourage decisive policy change.
But, while individual messages might get lost in the din, these marches could also be the seeds of a collaboration with revolutionary potential.
For years some people in the know have tried to show that environmental, social...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.