- Date published:
4:09 pm, September 8th, 2018 - 79 comments
Categories: activism, global warming, International, Politics, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: 1080, global warming, protest
At about a quarter to one this afternoon, I swung around the corner at the Exchange and noticed quite a reasonable number of people ‘across the way’. By their obvious signage, they were protesting the use of 1080. I’d guess there was something like 30 people there.
A few minutes later, on the way through the Octagon, I stopped to chat with a few people who’d gathered as part of the global day of action called “Rise for Climate”, and I picked up some leaflets. When I first passed through, it was before their advertised “start” time and there was a very light smattering of something like a dozen people.
Fast forward one hour.
Coming back through the Octagon, I’d say there was maybe twenty people. All white and all exuding a definate air of middle classness There was an electric car and some electric bikes and, to be honest, I immediately thought of a stall at a sales expo.
The bus driver (I was on a bus at this point) didn’t “toot” in support, and I didn’t hear any passing cars tooting support either
Down by The Exchange, there was maybe something like 40 or 50 people and…well, the only demographic that seemed to be missing was the white middle class. The bus driver tooted support. And as the bus sat at the next set of lights, I could hear further toots of support from passing motorists off behind us.
So what might it tell us, when a gathering about the future viability of how we live attracts a smattering of people from a single demographic, and a gathering about the use of a poison seemingly attracts every demographic but, and (maybe) two or three times as many people?
I don’t think the people protesting 1080 would be antagonistic to messages on global warming. And there is an obvious enough cross-over, because the things those people at the 1080 protest are seeking to protect get clattered by global warming.
I don’t know what, if any, information was available from the 1080 gathering. (I was on a bus both times I passed the Exchange.) But I do know what their message was. As do you.
Anyway, I’ve just this minute read the leaflets I gathered from the Octagon. There’s some good information within the half a dozen or so leaflets I grabbed. But some of the information is also, quite frankly, incredibly unhelpful, while a lot of it is decidedly naive. Overall, there’s too much confusing or irrelevant smash, and no timeless and simple “banner message” that might offer unity and a basis for people to built on.
Just to be clear. I’m not suggesting that everyone ought to be saying the same damned things about global warming or climate change, or that everyone ought to cleave to the same set of priorities.
But there has to be something short and sharp, something unequivocal and easy to grasp that allows people “entry”.
Until then, I suspect actions around global warming will remain somewhat “soft” – places and events where people already familiar with one another can gather to say hello – and the prospects for growing a large and broad based constituency of people, willing to stand up and proclaim that they give a shit – well, that will remain decidedly low.