Archive for May, 2011
The Spanish Uprising is amazing, there is no doubt about that. The decision to stay put at the end of a protest of 200 would, by most people’s judgement, be somewhere between ambitious and stupid. The speed with which that developed to provide a 60,000-strong cross country turnout, 28,000 in Madrid alone, and followed by a 35,000 turnout in Barcelona less than a week later is just breathtaking. As movements go, this is as dynamic as it gets.
Very often its not just the message of a campaign that brings people to get involved. Under pressure, or simply because of differing perspectives, activists can be pretty bad with the way campaigns are conducted. Without wanting to name names, its worth picking through a handful of things that really annoy me.
Perhaps my favourite statement released during the period of Royal Wedding fever that recently gripped us was made in customary Twitter fashion by UK Uncut. It went something like this: “UKUncut will not be protesting at the Royal Wedding today because it is capitalism and not feudalism that ruins people’s lives today”. Although the monarchy might not bother us very much on a day-to-day basis, they provide various problems for creating long term change.
I wrote a post about a more radical perspective on the Good Friday narrative 3 years ago. Today, I want to ask the questions “why did the crowd call for Jesus execution” and “what relevance has this for today”. Perhaps the simplified version from Sunday School is missing some key details for understanding the crowd, its fears and its motivations in the scene where Jesus is condemned to die. It is one that should make many Christians feel uncomfortable whilst being familiar ground for many Activists in the UK.
Thought I’d share this one with you all. I was asked to write 300 words about the group for Coalition of Resistance’ next “broadsheet” about our local group. My first thought was “yes, that’ll be easy”. But its actually really hard to get what we’ve done into 300 words, and I really hope this is an accurate reflection of the group and its activities. My aim was to be pithy and convey something of the range of activities people could be doing locally to them, so its maybe a bit limited in other areas.
So I said a few weeks back that I would start writing more on this blog, and with the local elections now done and the Lib Dems put back in their place, I actually have time to take stock. This post will look at the electoral-political reality coming out of this week, whilst i intend to write a further piece looking ahead at the coming months of Stop the Cuts work.