It came to me in a flash as I was replying to a thread on Phillip Pullman’s article on CiF!
We are better people than our government believes we are.
But things have to change. We cannot continue to allow government to snatch away from our grasp those liberties that our forefathers battled so hard to achieve for us. I could not look my son in the eye and say “well, we saw it coming, but we thought it best to just let it slide and didn’t make a fuss.”
The time has come to be serious about this. The Met have already warned of a Summer of Rage, as people become increasingly angry by the bank bail-outs and the increasing lack of respect for individuals and their private lives.
I propose that we organise a peaceful demonstration in early July - with the title “Summer of Love”, based on a theme of The Prisoner, with fancy dress and a marching band. I propose that everyone attending should bring flowers to give to the inevitable squadrons of riot police who will show up to “protect the public”. I propose that it should be done in the most light-hearted, happy way possible with clowns and entertainers and musicians, but with one key message for all. I am not a number. I am an individual.
So who’s up for it?
7 Responses to “You are invited to a peaceful revolution - bring flowers!”
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 2:55 pm:
Can I be number 2?
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 2:56 pm:
Well done, BB.
Count me in and keep it up.
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 3:22 pm:
I like this. It will take off.
Keep plugging it when you get the chance on CiF and elsewhere.
Do you want me to open this blog up so that we can all post thoughts and stuff?
I think this will provide a brilliant focal-point for everyone.
Do you mind if I bring a friend along? ;)
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 3:48 pm:
Yes! Please open the blog up - I need to give some thought about the date and applications to the Met and such. And a suitable flyer. I am quite excited about the idea of this - even if there is only a handful of us, it’s a start.
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 4:42 pm:
Hmmm … nice try BB. Not dissing the idea as such; I just seriously doubt that it will make one iota of difference. Beef up a little on the issue of how non-violence protects the state. We protest for as long as the Control State does not consider us a threat. When that judgement changes & we become seen as a threat (which - really - is what we would like to be, otherwise all of this righteous indignation is just mere posing & bollocks), the Control State will justify its use of violence & lay claim to its unilateral right to do so. We have begun to see this increasingly on recent protests.
The whole “summer of rage” thing is a PR campaign. Now that photographing police has led to such a blanketing & wooly interpretation & license for them to harass us at any point, the police are reasonably confident that the number of images will decrease of them over-stepping the mark. Under such a shadow, they can claim that their predicted “summer of rage” led to them taking preventive actions, round up the usual suspects the FIT cops have been routinely gathering photographic records of at every available opportunity for example. It will also be used as an excuse for them to crack down harder, start off protest policing with riot gear already donned or at least nearby.
In short, the summer of rage will escalate the tensions, as it is designed to. By meeting them with flowers for a “summer of love”, etc., will merely prolong the inevitable. Trust me on this: the love-in’s & all of that didn’t stop the Vietnam war, didn’t get Nixon out, & didn’t secure civil rights. There are many underlying causes for these changes, but flowers in rifles was not one of them.
I would say that we need to get angry - angrier than we are now, despite all of this frothy indulgence of middle England getting irate about the “nanny state” & airing their tired old prejudices about immigrants, & working class cheats, etc. We need to get angrier: our planetary biosphere is shifting towards extremes that will make it very hard for most species life that currently exists to continue doing so; our economic system is corrupt, fundamentally, & we are distracted with consumer-based credit capitalism so we can buy trinkets to fill the internal void of disconnection, etc.; our relationship to the people who make these decisions (allegedly on our behalf) has changed & we need to regain the steering influence in that relationship & literally pull their hands off the steering wheel & their foot from the accelerator. This will take some application of force or leverage: they won’t give it up easily. The Tories will be just as bad I suspect, given that - as official “opposition” - they spent the majority of the time complaining that Labour was poaching their policies (which shows some scary thinking in the Tory camp) & on those occasions that they could have (should have!!) objected to these laws, all we saw was either outright agreement (e.g. illegal invasion of Iraq) or whimpering symbolic objections but going along with it anyway. Aside from David Davis, what have we heard about liberty & our growing lack of it from the “opposition” and heir apparent to the throne of British corporate rule? The silence has been deafening.
So BB, this leads me back to my first point: nice idea, cautious about its execution, and good luck. Hope it helps. In the meantime, please don’t rat on us, betray us, or chastise us for taking the problem directly to the Control State & showing ourselves to be ungovernable by this mob. We should be constantly flouting their laws, harassing them, & going mob-handed. I’m not wanting confrontation with them. They will however be in full body armour, with tasers & sprays, technology & para-military training & weapons, the political mandate to use these at will at their own discretion, & the full uncompromising, mean-spirited, spiteful weight of the spineless Control State behind them. We, in our street clothes, with placards, whistles, shouting & drums, with our staged shows giving the symbolic narrative of the issue, our die-in’s … all these have their place & must carry on simultaneously. But, they have upped the ante to the point whereat we are no longer playing anything that resembles a fair game. It is time for us to tool up also, using our own forms of home-made body armour, our own pitch forks, our own tactics & strategies, our own disciplines.
Nothing ever changes from all of these little demonstrations, because it is designed to deliberately NOT be effective. We rely on the assumption that they will see the logic of our rhetoric, change minds, sacrifice prestige & power, because they basically have good hearts & will, one day, see the value in shifting behind the popular demand. The only times that this has happened is when street protest escalated to the destruction of property & active +defense+ tactics against riot cops when attacked/ surged/ kettled, etc. Otherwise, if we keep up with the peaceful protest all we end up doing is feeling good about our commitment to the cause, because we walked from A to B & sang songs, shouted & listened to speeches about freedom & justice. Next day, the sun still comes up over the blood in the sand, the open prisons at home, the journey into a mind-numbing job for causes that are vaguely defined in order to pay the bills for services rendered by corporations & taxes to a government that is geared to squelch our freedoms & dignity. So, aside from a pleasant stroll through well-marked out streets of London (but nowhere near the seat of power!), celebrities get to celebrate themselves & each other, what actually +happens+? Nothing. Nada. Zip.
So, no disrespect BB, but I’d suggest we have neither the luxury of time nor a compassionate opponent to have a “summer of love” with flowers. But, no doubt in this world of rapid info-blitzing, the idea will appeal to so many as “cool” & “meaningful” & “ethical” that it will become fashionable. That’ll be fine. Just please don’t let that be your only action, & when the you-know-what hits the you-know-where, please roll up your sleeves & dismantle this Control State piece by piece if needs be. I personally don’t care if we call it a summer of chocolate biscuits: I just want the bloody change already!
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 5:05 pm:
I think at this stage it is about raising awareness. A large percentage of the population don’t know or don’t care about what is happening because it has just never gone past the “how will this affect me” thresh-hold in their thinking processes.
I don’t think violence will achieve anything either, though. Other than people banged up for “assaulting the police” or “affray”, which have become more serious offences now than they were in the past.
I certainly don’t intend it to be the only thing we do about this - just a starting point. A springboard, if you like, for future activity.
We need publicity - I will ask a mate to design a flyer for a start, but we need to get the media interested somehow, which is why I thought of the idea of a kind of fancy-dress theme of The Prisoner. It is wacky and weird and might get the cameras out just on that basis alone.
I have also just emailed Chris Huhne on the back of his article the other day regarding the new Freedom Bill he wants to push through which is rolling back a lot of the pernicious legislation that is bugging us - literally.
So this is more about getting the ball rolling and raising awareness than a call to dissolve parliament. But I want to make sure that, by the time it comes round to the General Election, people will know exactly what the future is likely to hold if we don’t put a stop to this nonsense asap.
on Feb 28th, 2009
@ 5:23 pm:
I’m up for it BB. All day long. At the very least I owe it to my son to do something to try and stop him having to live his adult life on what will become ‘prison island’ before too long, and with all of his taxes going towards paying back Gordons colossal debt. If the changes that so many people seem to be crying out for are brought about peacefully, all the more power to the people (no I’m not Citizen Smith). From what I have seen, mass movement works, but it will surely take a lot of people in this day and age? The media always seem to distort and play down attendance figures, etc, at demos-it would really help if they totally got on our side for a change, but I suppose that is a big ask? As everyone here doubtless knows, our power lies right here on the interweb, and the traditional news gathering media are coming up against it more and more with every BS busting blog that is posted. The way that the GOP lies and sleaze machine was totally ridiculed by bloggers during the Obama run-in was fantastic to see. Now it’s our turn to make a stand against the cheats we have ruining this country
Just the Messenger