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London Climate Protests

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by crinkleshoes, 17 Apr 2019.

  1. Mr C

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 8 Sep 2006

    Posts: 1,284

    I think the key difference here though. Is that XR are not protesting they are disrupting. Even if you changed legislation it wouldn't prevent them, they deliberately disrupt and antagonise in an attempt to get arrested that IS their goal.

    I would like to think it's some kind of roundabout thinking that "if you think WE are disruptive wait until actual climate change happens" but also their key is merely to highlight the issue and therefore by being as disruptive as possible it increases the chances of their "protest" being newsworthy, or at least, newsworthy for the longest period of time.

    Perhaps you could lock them up quicker with new legislation but as you elaborate in the post, it then begins to infringe on genuine protest that doesn't intend to solely disrupt but to actually protest a perceived injustice or societal issue.
     
  2. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 50,087

    Location: Plymouth

    The police closing a road (or a road being simply inaccessible due to numbers) to facilitate a protest by 10,000 people is an example of disruption a protest can cause. This is the type of thing that should be protected.

    A small group of people setting out to close the road through, for example, gluing themselves to the carriageway, is something totally different. It's setting out to deliberately cause disruption as a form of protest, rather than protesting with the side effect of causing disruption. This is the behaviour that needs to be clamped down on as it is directly abusive to the rights of others.

    The sentencing and crime bill goes after the former as often as the latter, I don't agree with the sentencing and crime bill, but the behaviour of XR etc is going to lead to the bill being passed with general public support.
     
  3. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    There's a definite balancing act. The big problem is XR have zero respect for the law or the rights of anyone else, and if the only way to protect the rights of everyone else is to heavily control those determined to abuse them, then in extremis there is no real alternative.

    The challenge is to ensure that those rules are only used in extremis and proportionally

    Take the M25 protestors. After they'd been arrested and then bailed and went to do the exact same thing again, that's the point where they should have been prevented from taking further action by whatever means was appropriate. It's worth noting that simply being a pedestrian on a motorway is illegal, so it isn't like they are just protesting.
     
  4. Murphy

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 16 Sep 2018

    Posts: 7,655

    I don't disagree, what i said was more a general point in that how do you define disruptive. I wouldn't have wanted to be the police officer that had to make the decision WRT Extinction Rebellion's latest stunt, you're in a damned if you do damned if you don't situation, but i do think "disruptive" vs the right to protest should be something left to the police on the ground to decide and not put into law. I always take the don't put anything into law that you wouldn't want your worst enemy using approach as you never know what the future holds.
     
  5. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,414

    The other problem is - if they keep doing it all anyone will remember is the nuisance they caused and what they were protesting about will be lost in the noise.
     
  6. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Capodecina

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 13,244

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Ive been pondering the last few days, I was listening to Jame Obrien Monday on a long drive home and I think he summed it up pretty well. He said hes not yet converted, hes moving that way but would not express himself as pro XR type yet.

    His point was he and many (he quoted a friend who is a insulation installer who gets people how arent paying asking if they could have the cash instead for example) so the vast majority now get it, I think the vast majority realise its happening due to the sheer number of bad events taking place etc, but we dont mentally allow that to stand in the way of what we have grown up with. Honestly this describes me, whilst I am happy to recycle, and have a go at the other half who will tend to just dump everything into the black bin, I will still book two foreign holidays a year. I will still consider buying a fuel excessive car, I'm mining crypto etc
    So I am happy to do the bits that really dont impact on my "normal", ie the normal that I grew up with.

    Typically I take two holidays, 10-14 days in the caribbean and a week skiing in France, both are significant in terms of climate impact, either a long haul flight or an industry that despite being local also uses chemicals etc to boost the season via artificial snow.
    Im not ready to give them up, so I honestly cannot say I have transitioned from my old normal to fully recognising and accepting climate change. I believe the vast majority are at this stage. Maybe we wont convert until its getting far more urgent and dangerous.

    Some of the eco stuff like lightbulbs are far better, I mean modern LEDs are far better than old incandescent bulbs but we had to go through the bad stage, those horrible twisted slow starting dim tubes. The legislation forced the change to come quickly, so it was good, eventually.

    I think most sensible honest people are the same, they are willing to do a bit, but dont want to see the privileged life they have had hampered by climate change. So a certain amount of head in the sand ensures that can carry on.

    I guess on balance most of us, due to the above, are really still in denial. What the protesters are arguably are is the ones that actually get it, are willing to stand up by whatever means they feel will make that happen and take action. If people wont listen then they are making them listen even if they do not want to.

    Ideally what I would see now, is a new senior government minister for climate change to be appointed, with some beefing up of DEFRA.
    If the government were honestly listening I think we would see far less people seeing the need to go so extreme.
    I think it needs a senior position as I think we need change across everything to make mass adoption of climate change reducing actions more joined up.

    I mean for example, how many UK based people have a contract that says you have to ask for leave over 14 days. We should change the law and allow longer, allowing a decent length holiday to be taken via more climate friendly methods than flying. We could then significantly tax inefficient transport far more heavily to assist in subsidising the
    greener alternative. Anyone wanting a nice two week break in the sun (say Spain, etc) is practically forced to fly right now. Travelling by trains etc is not only more expensive, it takes practically two days each way. Allow longer leave, penalise air travel and subsidise rail travel to compensate and people may start to accept the switch.
     
  7. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,826

    Really? They put statues up and various other things for the 'Votes for Women' campaigners. They were called a nuisance and worse in their time. Who will say they were not right now?
     
  8. FortuitousFluke

    Mobster

    Joined: 7 Jul 2011

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    Location: Cambridgeshire

    There are some really good points in here that I pretty much echo. It's worth mentioning that I listened to one of the leaders of XR being interviewed, he was asked why he couldn't just hold rallies and protest in traditional ways to get his point across instead of disrupting peoples lives. His response was that they had spent years doing that and nobody paid any attention, as soon as they started rocking up with pink boats in the middle of Oxford circus, or glueing themselves to buildings, suddenly they made the news, people talked about the issue, they had dialogue.

    I think people need to be honest with themselves about why they want protestors to stick to traditional means of protest, its not just about the lack of disruption, it's because traditional forms of protest allow your average person to ignore the issue entirely.

    I have respect for an organisation that tried the traditional route and then turns around and says I'm sorry we tried doing this your way, you didn't listen, now things are going to get a bit uncomfortable. And let's be honest, things are only a bit uncomfortable, this isnt the golden age of eco terrorism, it's disruptive protest.

    To those people who say that this approach will turn public opinion against them, I'm not so sure, and even if it did their options are really negative opinion but with the issue being in the forefront of news etc, or no public opinion at all because nobody has ever heard of you.
     
  9. Mr Badger

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 27 Dec 2009

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    It's perhaps analogous to pulling down the statue of Colston in Bristol. People said the protestors were wrong and should have gone through official council channels to get the statue removed. Campaigners had been trying that for many years and been blocked/ignored, but everyone took notice when they pulled it down.
     
  10. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 50,087

    Location: Plymouth

    The problem is these actions impact everyone, including those of us who do. I don't take foreign holidays, all my energy is already green, I drive a hybrid (electric is still in the future, not enough rapid charging around Plymouth yet to make owning an electric car without anywhere to charge at home feasible), and so on. I do accept the need for change, but XR etc aren't encouraging change, they are making those discussions harder, not easier.

    Failure to make your case democratically means you need a better case or better way of presenting it. It should never mean you get to force your view unilaterally on everyone else.
     
  11. Mr Badger

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 27 Dec 2009

    Posts: 9,570

    That sounds great in theory, but it can also become a catch all excuse if the powers that be refuse to engage in good faith.

    The whole Colston situation in Bristol was weird because as far as I'm aware he spent most of his life in London and died in 1721, but it was in Victorian times that the Society of Merchant Venturers deified him naming events and places after him with the infamous statue erected in 1895. In recent years the Society of Merchant Venturers was still opposing moves to acknowledge that Colston made his money from the slave trade and interfered with a plan to placate campaigners by updating of the plaque on the statue. Ironically in 2018 local Tory councillor Richard Eddy appeared to advocate vandalism and theft when he said that someone taking the law into the own hands and ‘unilaterally removing’ a new plaque from the statue ‘might be justified’.

    https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/theft-vandalism-second-colston-statue-1815967

    Even with an elected city Mayor of Jamaican heritage the situation did not seem to progress, so I can see why some people might have felt it was time to take action with the focus thrown on the issues by the wider BLM campaign.

    So whilst I may not personally think that pulling down a statue or sitting in the middle of a motorway is the best way to proceed, I can understand why people may consider those actions to be justified when playing by the rules has got you nowhere.
     
  12. Angilion

    Man of Honour

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    Me, since the ones "called a nuisance and worse" probably delayed the 4th Reform Act (which was passed as The Representation of the People Act). Their campaign of sexism, assault, lying, arson and bombing didn't help the cause. It was only tightened security during WW1 that stopped them escalating further - they switched to harassing men for not dying in the war. It was only the fact that making bombs was a lot harder in those days that prevented them committing mass murder - the bombs they planted didn't go off. Vile people. I've no hesitation in saying that sexist authoritarians using violence to gain power through fear were wrong. I'd say that their sexism and authoritarianism would have been enough to say they were wrong. I'd say that them usurping and claiming credit for the work done by voting reform campaigners would have been enough to say they were wrong. But planting bombs in public places for the sole purpose of killing random civilians to cause fear for the purposes of gaining power should be enough for anyone to say they were wrong. I would hope.
     
  13. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 78,414

    It is a tricky one to get the balance right - I try not to be careless about it but some aspects the choice is between significant penalty to your lifestyle and/or going without or being bad for the environment without a good compromise in between due to factor outside of individual's control.

    I do many things to be careful about the environment, recycling, not leaving things using power for the sake of it, etc. but then I mostly drive a large engine pickup (though there is a reason for that) but as much as anything cost and availability of more eco-friendly alternatives are prohibitive - but I'd change tomorrow if it was realistic to do so.
     
  14. 4K8KW10

    Capodecina

    Joined: 2 Sep 2017

    Posts: 10,307

    We have to get rid of the fossil fuels - coal, oil, natural gas.
    And things might become better.

    World leaders return to U.N. with focus on pandemic, climate (msn.com)
     
    Last edited: 19 Sep 2021
  15. Mr C

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 8 Sep 2006

    Posts: 1,284

    I think without serious technological breakthrough, climate change will be inevitable. The serious changes necessary to avert the crisis is just not palatable for the public.

    A really strong example of such a thing is just as @4K8KW10 mentions above, getting rid of fossil fuels. In reality at this point in time requires one of two things, either we go full nuclear in the sense that immediate building of significant nuclear power generation to replace the loss of power and heat generation from coal, oil and gas or we have some revolutionary breakthrough in battery/renewable generation.

    The alternative is people suffer, cold in the winter, no plastics, no fuel for cars etc.. That kind of upending for public life would be certainly unacceptable for the majority.

    Another big one is Farming, we talk about helping the environment etc.. But once again in reality to seriously make a change in regard to climate change the first step would be to ban the farming of Cows and Lamb, no more steak, burgers or beef etc.. Livestock farming counts for a significant contribution to climate change, it's something we could feasibly remove entirely, but this also impacts the dairy industry (milk cheese etc..), which can be a little more important to peoples diets with less alternatives. Fiddling around the edges with specialist foods and selective breeding to reduce emissions is once again far too little (and too late) to have the impact necessary in reducing the output to a level required to avert warming to dangerous levels.

    Once again the alternatives are the same, either we suffer (no meat or dairy) or a significant technological breakthrough allows us to feasibly create these things in a minimised emission environment, such as in-vitro beef (lab grown burger) which are only merely on the cusp of technological breakthrough.

    No reasonable politician is going to enact legislation that makes the populace go hungry or cold and obviously I wouldn't advocate for such a thing. But humankind's efforts are insufficient, politicians wrapped up in short term gains, lobbyists and powerful corporations don't want their business models upended. The power balance in this discussion merely leads to more inertia. Governments around the world will continue to meet, set "ambitious" targets, fail to meet those targets (Paris agreement) and make more future targets (of which they will fail to make) and attempt to achieve them by trimming the fat around the edges of things rather than actual significant change.

    So on the back of the actual reality of climate change and the effort done by governments, i don't think people should suffer, but serious investment needs to be made, the OECD (2018) estimates up to $7 Trillion PER YEAR is necessary to achieve the Paris climate goals, where is it coming from? Especially when our current politicians baulk at a miserly social care costs of $16.5 Bn and have to implement a new tax so their shiny debt to GDP ratio doesn't rise. If we take that figure and "fairly" balance it out so that it is divided by global GDP the UK would be on the hook for approximately 3% of that figure (~$210 Bn PER YEAR) that figure is over 10 times bigger than the revenue generated by our new "social care" tax, you think billionaire Sunak is digging into his treasury to pay it, I wouldn't hold my breath.

    The reason I lump this on governments because, inevitably that is where the cost will lie, whether through subsidising green initiatives or full blown moon-shot investment to try and create technological breakthrough, businesses aren't incentivised to change without there being a sufficient profit or cost reduction mechanism to encourage that change.

    When faced with these insurmountable challenges and world leaders merely paying lip service to them, it's not hard to imagine why XR behave the way they do, perhaps it's born from panic and despair in the knowledge that humanity as it exists to us will be destroyed by the inevitable changes to our planet because people of today are still merely talking about it and not actually doing anything.

    I've kind of given up on the "climate battle" I think that it's over, were going to have climate change, it will happen and the businesses that used their power and lobbying will die in the inevitable disruption to their practices from the effects of climate change. The politicians who enacted short term policies and paid lip service, their children or grandchildren will suffer immensely as things we take for granted today become scarce and supply chains disrupted. Too bad I say, humanity will get what it deserves in the end, and my words or those of XR, Greta etc.. will never change the world enough to prevent lasting (potentially permanent) damage to our climate.

    PS. I like steak, burgers, milk and lamb. Drive a relatively inefficient petrol car, recycle sparingly, run multiple electric devices simultaneously (even if I'm not paying attention to them), never turn off the plug (always standby). Go on long haul international holidays and cruises, my house is (relatively) old and inefficient in retaining heat.

    Basically I'm a climate agenda's worst nightmare, but the reality is, I'm nothing more than the average person, trying to change what I do will never be enough to fix climate change, were talking 0.01% here. Governments need to step up, businesses need to step up, don't overtly inconvenience yourself because the people who REALLY need to change don't want to, it won't make a difference if we are 1% closer to averting climate change when the other 99% are still enacting short term government policy and drilling for oil.
     
  16. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

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    Meanwhile history shows that they called off the campaign and urged members to help the country. It was unpopular with some members but little was done afterwards. 'To gain power' ?????????? You mean to be allowed to vote democratically like the men.
     
  17. jonneymendoza

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Apr 2008

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    Great post and fully agree
     
  18. Tefal

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 30 Jun 2007

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    The men couldn't vote either
     
  19. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Oct 2002

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    Some men could. It does show the stupidity of MPs even then when they were worried about a revolution like France had went through, but did nothing to avert the possibility.
     
  20. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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