Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The G20 protests

The G20 summit takes place in London this week. The economic crisis needs continued and coordinated global response and will be the main focus of the summit. But what is happening outside in the streets of London beggars belief.

As with most other world events, every conceivable group wants to use the opportunity to protest against something. it is peeved about. London is bracing for a virtual war. 10000 police personnel have been deployed and the security arrangements alone are expected to cost £ 7.2 m. Violence is widely expected.

The following are a small sample of the protests planned

  • Anti-war march, organised by Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative

  • FOSSIL FOOLS DAY demonstration. Environment campaigners plan a "Climate Camp" in front of the Bank of England and at the European Climate Exchange in London's Bishopsgate area

  • Web site Anarchy.net is urging followers to meet in the Square Mile on April 1 and "take back what's ours." It continues: "Join thousands of disgruntled, angry, pissed off people on the streets of the financial district. As the bankers continue to cream off billions of pounds of our money let's put the call out -- reclaim the money, storm the banks and send them packing."

  • Government of the Dead, a radical group, which believes "the only Government is a dead government," is set to meet outside the Bank of England at midday on April 1. The group hopes to create a better world from the "train wreck bequeathed to us by the decadent, decomposing corpse of capitalism."

  • Regional group Bristol Dissent has asked followers to crash the stock exchange on April 2 and, in their words, "eat capitalism for breakfast" and "disrupt the traders whose financial egomania perpetuates global injustice."

There are innumerable such outfits, some bordering on lunacy, who are planning to create havoc. A sensible and civilized discussion is no longer possible, without radicals yelling at each other. In all this, the ordinary London citizen suffers and has to foot the bill for the actions of these protesters.

Enough is enough. The right to protest has been abused totally. It looks like any sensible global discussions can only be held in totalitarian countries. Methinks there must be a global consensus on how to handle protests.

  • Protesting online is best. Everybody can air whatever view they hold. A large number of people can read about the protest, if they wish to, and can either accept or ignore it.

  • If people want to protest in person, they have to send a representative to a designated place where they can have their say for 15 minutes and the press and TV can cover it to their heart's content (China and Singapore have such a policy)

  • If they do a mass protest, they have to pay for the cost of security and the cost of cleanup. (India has such a law, but it is ,alas, rarely implemented)

I completely fail to see why I, as a tax payer, should pay for the cost for some clown yelling his head off and trashing the place. Do you ?


Ravi Rajagopalan said...

I could not believe my eyes when I read this. How about Mussolini, then. He made the trains run on time.

Ramesh said...

Understand your view Dada. But consider this for a moment - is it reasonable for anarchists and fringe elements to take over such events because it gives them publicity. Groups with serious ideas can surely protest in different, and more effective, ways.

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