Posts Tagged ‘26 March’

Don’t disparage direct action: it works

03/04/2011, 10:43:09 AM

by Conrad Landin

It’s always a shame to see people on the left talking down our achievements just so they can prove their point. But this was exactly how I felt reading Dan Hodges’ argument that the rally last Saturday was “ruined” by the direct action taken against businesses in the West End.

Seeing smashed windows and paint-splattered police helmets weren’t my only memories of Saturday. And nor were these the only aspects picked up on by the media. The night before, for instance, saw the BBC talking to rather unorthodox protesters in the home counties, while live coverage during the day included the memorable aerial footage of the sheer scale of the crowds. Sky News’s subtitles – at least for some time – bore the simple words “250,000 on protest march”, or something to that effect.

In an age of sensationalised media, where it seems that, in the rather unfortunate words of Ken Livingstone’s reference to knife crime, “if it bleeds, it leads”, such attention for a peaceful protest isn’t bad going. (more…)

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The media were right about the march

01/04/2011, 12:22:22 PM

by Rob Marchant

There is surely no need to add to the articles on last Saturday’s demo which focus on the actions of UK Uncut and the black bloc. Although it seems uncertain whether these groups were not, in the end, a sideshow to the principal lessons from it all. Perhaps trickier to explain was the laying of any remaining blame, as many did, squarely at the feet of “the media”.

Politicians who complain about the media are, as Enoch Powell once sharply observed, like sailors who complain about the sea. But, although we are not all politicians but mostly activists, this is precisely the conclusion we have largely reached regarding the demonstration last weekend. It’s understandable. It seemed grossly unfair, to those who had in good faith given up their Saturdays for a decent cause, for a peaceful demo to be linked to the violence and disruption of a few idiots. But, the trouble is, it wasn’t unfair.

With some notable and honourable exceptions, there are many adverse criticisms you could reasonably level at sections of the British media: overall right-wing bias, dumbing down, laziness in fact-checking, toothlessness of the regulator and so on. Fair enough. And, as a party, we should really have no great interest in defending the media – after all they usually have no great interest in defending us. But just this once let’s try, if we can, to step back and be objective about them. (more…)

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