There was a big protest in London this weekend. What were they for? What were they against? Everything!
Who was protesting? Everyone!
Anti-Lockdown, Anti-mask, Anti-Austerity (Both Pre and Post pandemic) Extinction Rebellion, BLM; Anybody with a grievance and a placard was out in force.
Police knew the protests were coming. In advance of the day, they confiscated “items which could be used to cause criminal damage and obstructions,” including ‘Bamboo Structures.’ I can find no description of what the bamboo structures were. Could be anything from a decorative garden screen to a feeding station for Panda bears. One the one hand, I hate it when they leave things like that vague, on the other hand, I understand them not wanting to give ideas to the next set of protesters.
Police made a few arrests, but I get the impression that the protests were mostly peaceful. (Extinction Rebellion did dump 7 tonnes of horse manure outside the Daily Mail offices, but wouldn’t we all, given the chance?)
I was struck by the diversity of the protests. I’m pretty sure some of the groups had conflicting goals. The Anti-Lockdown people want things to return to their pre-pandemic state as soon as possible; the Extinction Rebellion group want massive changes to how we operate as a society. But either the groups in conflict stayed away from each other, or they just focussed their ire on the common enemy, the Government.
I was also struck by the Festival atmosphere of the protests. These were protests with DJ’s, and bands performing on Lorries, driving around the protest sites.
And in a way, that made sense to me too. Covid restrictions have closed the nightclubs, cancelled the festivals and parades, limited the number of people who can gather and muted all the celebrations. But celebration is a human need. Society, company, companionship, fellowship, camaraderie are all human needs. If our only outlet for it is a protest march, people will march. (Alone time is also a human need, but we’ve all had enough of that).
It’s been a tough year for everyone. Everyone is on edge. We’re all losing patience with each other (I certainly am), probably because we’re all being told to be patient. We all need some Catharsis.
So here’s my proposal. Through the first lockdown, every Thursday night, people would go onto their doorsteps and ‘Clap for Carers’. I don’t think it did the carers much good, they would have been better off with a pay rise and some time off, but it gave people an outlet for their gratitude. Now we need an outlet for frustration. How about, each Wednesday at 8pm, everyone goes out onto their doorstep and screams as loud as they can for 2 minutes. A communal Primal Scream.
A Scream for Sanity. Who’s with me?
Well Done. Very readable and insightful.