[g8-sheffield] Good and bad protesters

Chris Malins chrismalins at gmail.com
Mon May 30 13:26:20 BST 2005

I think that the observation that has come out of this which is the
most interesting, in terms of not coinciding with what I would have
anticipated, is the degree to which the MPH key organisations are
afraid of and perhaps even hostile in a sense to Dissent and
associated direct action focussed groups. I think that this can be
considered clear evidence of the difficulty the direct action driven
movement has in engaging with the wider populace, significantly
because of a refusal to speak against creative and direct protest
driven by genuine grievances, or which are perceived to be genuine.
The key challenge continues to be how Dissent etc can continue to
support all strongly direct action against the status quo but at the
same time engage 'normal people' (sorry, but we know what I mean by
it). Make Poverty HIstory and other similar groups are typically
willing to condemn types of behaviour that Dissent would refuse to
condemn. As a result, Dissent gains 'ownership' only of those types of
action which are widely condemned, while Dissent's involvement in
widely supported action is subjugated by stronger/wealthier/more
populous/ more famous movements.


On 5/30/05, adriana <hjdsmdr at mixmail.com> wrote:
>  From our twin team latest comuniqué:
> Dissent are going to be "the bad protesters"
> MPH are going to be "the good protesters"
> (at least in Scotland)....
> >
> Please go on reading:
> All Dissent-wide decisions must be made at Dissent consensus meetings,
> > however, local groups and working groups can make decisions and even speak
> > to the media if they wish as local groups. Reshape will be making various
> > maps and a guide for radicals visiting Scotland, to be available before
> > the summit. There is another large network called the Southeast assembly
> > that will be mobilising around the G8, based primarily around London, and
> > shares many local groups with Dissent.
> >
> > Dissent: www.dissent.org.uk
> > Reshape (Scotland Local Group in Dissent Network): www.reshape.org.uk
> > Southeast Assembly: www.resistg8.org.uk
> >
> > G8 Alternatives: G8 Alternatives is a mostly socialist coalition that only
> > organises in Scotland. They have monthly meetings that anyone can attend,
> > and have attracted attention from locals in places in Scotland where
> > Dissent has not. Although their numbers are small, the Trotskyist
> > Socialist Workers Party dominates the so-called consensus meetings, making
> > all decisions behind closed doors in an anti-democratic manner while
> > pretending to have consensus. The Socialist Workers Party openly
> > co-operates with the police, and is known for their deceit and will do
> > everything possible to disrupt anarchists and direct action. However,
> > parts of G8 Alternatives like Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and
> > many of the membership are sympathetic to Dissent, so while we should be
> > hostile to the Socialist Workers Part*y* (SWP), do not dismiss the rest of
> > the activists in G8 Alternatives. Their plans are to hold an alternative
> > summit in Edinburgh and a march on Gleneagles in co-operation with the
> > police without any direct action.
> > www.g8alternatives.org.uk
> >
> > Make Poverty History: This is one of the largest conglomerations of NGO
> > (Non-Governmental Organisations) ever, who plan to protest the G8 by
> > marching the weekend before in Edinburgh in hope of lobbying the G8 to
> > take on poverty issues in the "Third World". It is led by groups like
> > Oxfam, their organisers are estimating 100,000 people will march. The
> > current media focus seems to be on groups of anarchists disrupting the
> > march and attacking the Scottish Parliament, which as a tactic has never
> > been mentioned by anyone in Dissent. The march organisers are quite afraid
> > of this possibility as well. Already the media is casting "Make Poverty
> > History" as the "good protesters" and Dissent as the "bad protesters".
> > www.makepovertyhistory.org
> ------
> nightwatcher
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