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Protest quandary - The Ex-Communicator

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March 23rd, 2011


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07:28 am - Protest quandary
I am in a quandary. I really want to attend this weekend's protest against the Coalition. I probably want to attend it more than any other protest in my life. I settled my mind, because I knew there is a risk that there would be violent reprisals, that if any violence were directed at me I would not offer resistance. I am prepared to accept the consequences, even if I am hurt.

But, my daughter has decided to come home this weekend. It's her birthday, and she has saved up and bought a ticket home. What can I do? I can't leave her and go off for the day: she hasn't been home for months. Nor do I feel safe taking her with me. If she were determined to go then fair enough, but don't think she wants to. I could exert emotional pressure on her, but that feels wrong.

My sister is going with her son, who is in a wheelchair. He wants to go. Nevertheless of course it is a risk. He is quite helpless, if she for example was separated from him by police action, he can't even speak or move.

I am not proud of my decision - well, it isn't a final decision, my daughter may express a wish to go - but I don't feel I have room to manoeuvre.

(32 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:emmzzi
Date:March 23rd, 2011 07:39 am (UTC)
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support the campaign with some letter writing, put a sticker on your car, and go enjoy family time.

There is always more than one way to get a point across.
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 08:18 am (UTC)
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This is sensible advice, but I do still feel very guilty
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From:rozk
Date:March 23rd, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)
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I am in the same position because of my eye - a few weeks away from major surgery on it do I really want to risk getting hit about the head or having it damaged by tear gas or pepper spray?
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
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And one of my friends is six months pregnant, and has had to decide not to go. I think it is a terrible shame that we have to factor in these issues when deciding whether to protest.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:March 23rd, 2011 11:12 am (UTC)
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Well, I'm afraid I'm skipping it because it's the ACS AGM, which was fixed months ago, and I'm on the committee... but we [Labour Party via TUC] are bussing people down, and I think the numbers will be huge, so I don't think I'll be missed.

I honestly think your place is with your daughter - if she suddenly wants to go, that's good, but if not, enjoy your time with her. Your nephew's case is different, because he wants to go, despite the risk.
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
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I am kind of in tears about this. I agree there will be lots of people there, but like voting, I have to be part of it if I can.
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From:snowballjane
Date:March 23rd, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
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DPAC are collecting a Solidarity map of messages of support for the marchers.
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 11:43 am (UTC)
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Thank you. I am not sure if you have to be disabled to participate in that.
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From:gummitch
Date:March 23rd, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)
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Do you want my mobile number? If your sister gets into difficulties and I'm in a position to help, I'd be happy to.
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much. If you can send it as a lj message I will pass it on to my sister. However, I think the chances she will need to use it are - well, I hope that won't happen.
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From:executrix
Date:March 23rd, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
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I am sorry to say that a) hideous wrongs are seldom righted with any speed whatsoever and b) it's even more important for TPTB to feel that opposition is *building* than to face up to ONE large demo and then figure that everyone will just get tired of protesting and move on to the next thing.
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
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I honestly don't think that this will burn out, so - yes - thanks for that comment executrix because it makes me realise there will be other chances. There has to be.
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From:sheenaghpugh
Date:March 23rd, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Oh, you'll have to put your daughter first. Though, for next time, it might be well to hint that you'd like more notice...

I'm not sorry I went on the anti-Iraq march, but it did damn all good, and neither will this one, alas. There will be violence, because police agents provocateurs will be in place to ensure there is, and it'll be misreported by the popular press too.
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From:communicator
Date:March 23rd, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
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It is disheartening that every time something that I have been personally involved in is reported, whatever it is, the report is always shockingly inaccurate. It's enough to shake one's faith in the gentlemen of the British press.
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From:watervole
Date:March 23rd, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
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Do not feel ashamed. You made the right decision (I don't believe demonstrations achieve anything other than raising tensions on both sides).

Quality time with family has value that nothing can buy.

There are other ways of being politically active. A friend of mine is standing to be a local councillor. She's not a supporter of the party I vote for, but I applaud her decision to get involved.
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From:communicator
Date:March 25th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
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I know that's true, thanks for the supportive words
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From:spacefall
Date:March 23rd, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
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Stick with your daughter, and help spread the tweets and messages if you can't go. You have contributed massively to my feeling up to going to the march, so you're at least breaking even in terms of people marching.

The march isn't an 'end' of any sort, anyway. The real effort to keep the pressure up comes afterwards. You've already done a load on the visibility end of things.
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From:tehomet
Date:March 23rd, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Personally, I think you're making the right decision. There will be other protests, but your daughter will only have so many birthdays.
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From:communicator
Date:March 25th, 2011 11:50 pm (UTC)
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Yes, she's here now and very happy to be home
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From:spacefall
Date:March 25th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
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Hi. I'm making a space on one side of my placard for some mates who can't make it to the march but still want to show their presence. If you have a pic and can't make it, I'd gladly stick one on for you.
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From:communicator
Date:March 25th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
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Oh, thanks spacefall. I don't think I have anything suitable to hand, but thanks, I will participate in spirit. Have a great day. Don't get kettled.

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