The Problem with Protests

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The Problem with Protests

Freddie Michell on leaving out personal political agendas

Like the good union member I am, I went along this Wednesday to support free education, something which is now available in Germany and thus perfectly feasible in the UK. However, many members of the march sported red flags emblazoned with the Hammer and Sickle, waving them above the heads of those marching for free education. There were some posters supporting Marxism, others the green party. I may be in favour of free education, but that does not necessarily mean I support Socialism, Marxism, Communism or the nationalisation of private infrastructure.

Who will listen to a demonstration that doesn’t know what it wants?

Taking my personal feelings out of the equation, how is this fair or decent? If I solemnly came along waving a UKIP party logo, or even a Swastika, how many people would support me? I’d be kicked out for, quite rightly, not supporting the purpose of the march. Yet there seems to be a view that left-wing politics is somehow less extreme than that of the right. When did it become a pre-requisite that supporting free education means you are left-wing or Socialist? Everyone has the right to support their own agenda and political ideology, but hi-jacking the bandwagon of free education to showcase your beliefs is not fair to those who are marching and to those who want to join.

Just because I want free education does not mean I want to sign up to a new political party. Look at it: this whole campaign has been aggressive – the march, balaclavas, the red and black posters. Who and what are they for? The government, or the the people who voted for them? It’s a shame when all the march does is alienate its marchers, not to mention bystanders It’s all well and good if you’re fighting for what you believe in, but who are you fighting and what are you fighting for? Some in the march believe in free education; others highlight the need for a new system of government. Still more can’t decide who to blame.

This demonstration was a mess and nothing is going to happen unless we change how we act.

This demonstration was a mess and nothing is going to happen unless we change how we act. Who will listen to a demonstration that doesn’t know what it wants? The student assembly needs to stop being so political in their campaigns and then they’ll be more likely to be listened to. Why be aggressive and lose support, when you can be peaceful and gain it?

Any marchers for such a cross-belief target need to leave political agendas behind when they march, in the common belief that free education will help everyone, regardless of political views. Stop making free education so confusing and aggressive and perhaps more people will come and support you.

Featured image credit: Flo Lines

The Problem with Protests Reviewed by on November 19, 2014 .

Freddie Michell on leaving out personal political agendas

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