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Carry on protesting

Our companion blog Socialism Or Your Money Backcarries an interesting post on protests and demonstrations.

This, too, explores the topic of how to express ideas for change.

Demonstrations are meant to reveal the strength of popular opinion or feeling and they are an appeal to the “democratic conscience” of the State. That’s the theory. However, if the State authority is open to democratic influence, the demonstration wouldn’t be necessary; if it is not receptive to peoples opinion, it is unlikely to be influenced by an empty show of force containing no real threat. It would now seem that the true function of demonstrations is not to convince the existing State authority to any significant degree. Such an aim is only a convenient rationalisation. It is an assembly which challenges authority by the mere fact of its coming together. The demonstrators present themselves as a target to the so-called forces of law and order. It is in the nature of a demonstration to provoke violence upon i…

And they call us impossiblists!

At least 5,000 people are expected to attend an anti-G8 march in  Belfast. Barack Obama is among the political leaders arriving at the Lough Erne golf resort in Fermanagh for the two-day meeting starting on Monday. A separate concert for the anti-food poverty campaign, spearheaded by charities working in the developing world, will be held in the city's Botanic Gardens in the. The concert has been sold out, with around 8,000 people due to attend, organisers said.

Campaigners behind the city centre march said: "We believe that achieving social, economic and environmental justice must be central to political decision-making."

Socialist Courier wish them well even if we cannot but view their approach as utopian. The G8 protests may demonstrate great strength of feeling they will also demonstrate a great weakness. The capitalist system constantly throws up issues that demand action amongst those who are concerned. As a result, protest tends to become a demand for an “improved…

Faslane Futility

There has been a tradition of anti-nuclear protest in Scotland since the early 1960s when the US Navy established a base for their submarines at Dunoon on the Holy Loch. The Scottish National Party, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Green Party all oppose the deployment of nuclear weapons. It is not unusual for members of these Scottish political parties, and indeed some from the Labour Party, to attend rallies outside Faslane. Both George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan have been arrested in demonstrations.

 The Faslane peace camp began 30 years ago. It was set-up as a Scottish version of Greenham Common. After all those years the camp is still there - and so are the warheads.

 Eric Thompson was commodore of the naval base in the mid-90s says: "Our original security concerns were Russian special forces, for which we had a barbed wire fence. Then we started worrying about the IRA, so we had a double-barbed wire fence but it was actually the peace camp and political em…

The Tartan Rebels

An American-based academic has registered a protest plaid which he hopes will be adopted by members of the Occupy Movement and persuade the more fashion-conscious activists and eco-warriors to wear tartan as they head to the barricades.

 Dr Giles Jackson
has revealed the gold-flecked tartan, which represents the unequal distribution of wealth, will be the first in a range of radical designs. His Liberation Kilt Co , whose slogan is “Dress to protest!” has also registered tartans which can be worn by the anti-nuclear movement, supporters of political dissidents and climate change activists. The Virginia-based business school professor insists he was inspired by Scotland’s long-standing tradition of championing the underdog and supporting progressive causes. He said: “I’m tapping into a long and glorious tradition. Long before tartan became the garb of royal subjects it was a badge of dissent.” Jackson hopes his Liberty Square tartan will prove popular with the anti-corporate Occupy mov…

protests silver linings

Some Socialist Courier readers will remember the Make Poverty History and G-8 protests of 2005. Members of the Socialist Party attended many of the events to present the socialist view.

The Scotsman reports that although some Edinburgh retailers may have lost money due to the protests, businesses had benefited to the tune of £64.7 million. The city's economy was said to have benefited from the number of participants who visited for the Make Poverty History march and the concert staged at Murrayfield Stadium.