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G20 protests

Written By: - Date published: 1:43 pm, April 2nd, 2009 - 65 comments
Categories: activism, economy, International - Tags: ,

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday April 1st in London at the G20 summit. The protest is made up of a multitude of different groups and has no clear overall spokesperson or agenda, other than to draw attention to the obvious failures of unregulated capitalism and the increasingly obscene taxpayer funded banking bailouts and corporate bonuses (“provider capture” anyone?). Here are the voices of a couple of individuals:

“I’m protesting for the small individuals in Britain who have been left with their pants down as the government bails out the banks for billions of dollars. Where’s the money for the struggling baker, butcher, small marketing people and architectural companies?”

“We need clean capitalism,” he said. “Capitalism only works if people don’t take more out than they need.”

There will be allegations of blame on both sides (“containment pens” – what’s with that?), but the situation has escalated into occasional violence:

Although the demonstrations began peacefully, bloody skirmishes have erupted as police try to keep thousands of people in containment pens on Threadneedle street.

Stay informed. Protests are scheduled to continue on 2nd April. Let us hope that no one, protester or police, gets seriously injured.

65 comments on “G20 protests”

  1. Bill 1

    01-04-2009 23:36

    Mainstream media sources, including ITV and the BBC, report the death of a protester this evening. We are not able to confirm any details about the circumstances. Anyone with hard information should contact the legal team at Bindmans Solicitors on 02078334433 to clarify the circumstances of this death. All information at the moment seems to originate from the police or rumors (which we do not wish to spread any further). We will provide timely updates of confirmed information

    from http://www.indymedia.org.uk/

    Which is surely a better place to seek info on the demos insofar as a lot of the info is first hand as opposed to the vetted BBC reporting which is what the post links to.

  2. Pat 2

    Stay informed, indeed. A protester has already died.

  3. ak 3

    Ah the seasonal symbolism…..the camels of the rich meet obstruction on Threadneedle St as sanity (borne on a DonKey!) nears the capital. New life in the wind as the empire of Narkissos crumbles in its corrupt senility…..Vive la ressurection!!

    • Bill 3.1

      I just hope that this one isn’t just another one of those flash in the pan, adrenalin rush protests; something to tell the Grandkids about; a boring old fart’s future pub “I was there ” drunken ramble.

      Vive la ressurection indeed….. I hope.

  4. justthefacts 4

    Another peaceful protest ruined by left wing thugs and control freaks.

    One died, oh dear, how sad.

    • MikeE 4.1

      I love it how they are referred to as protestors and demonstrators, when in reality they are thugs and vandals hell bent on the destruction of life and property.

      (I am all for legitmate peaceful protest btw, but the minute people start going out to cause confrontation – I’m against it).

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        So how about when the state herds protesters into overcrowded containment zones? Is that “going out to cause confrontation” and initiating force?

        • Matthew Pilott 4.1.1.1

          I love it when people pretend to support peaceful protest but are happy to lump in everyone with the few who do set out to cause trouble. The media who do it are just being lazy, although they usually mention “most were peaceful”.

          • jimbo 4.1.1.1.1

            Yep – the sensible moderate left does itself a huge disservice by not loudly and consistently disassociating itself from the thuggish leftwing fringe. Instead, many moderates are drawn into defending the actions of the thugs.

            There’s a certain religion out there where we expect (hope?) that the moderates will refuse to associate with the fringe. Leftwing political ideology should consider the same approach.

        • jimbo 4.1.1.2

          Yes, if the protesters start surging towards the cops screaming, spitting and generally smelling like the unwashed thugs they are.

          Stop trying to turn it around. The cops didn’t cause these thugs to start surging towards them.

          • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.2.1

            You should be able to walk where you want on a public road. if the cops try to stop you they are initiating violence and hence you have a right to defend yourself against that violence.

      • Quoth the Raven 4.1.2

        MikeE – you should know that the state is the biggest instigator of violence.

      • Inventory2 4.1.3

        I agree Mike E – the right to legitimate protest is something that should be held dear. However these protests have gone far beyond the legitimate.

    • Let me get this straight.

      The bankers are robbing the people blind with trillions of bail outs to cover for their $ 1.5 Quadrillion Derivatives gambling habit while people are losing their jobs, livelihoods and homes by the millions and some of them loose it after years of poverty and grime and that is a bad thing?

      I hope they hang the whole bloody banking lot. It’s time for a good clean up and a fresh start. I say let’s get the Guillotine out and get rid of the whole stinking banking elite.

      And no I’m not a violent person but the bankers greed is beyond the pale and they need to be brought to justice for their crimes.

      May I remind you that John Key was European head for Bonds and Derivatives for Merrill Lynch in the late 90’s and worked in both London and New York when all this was started and JK made all his money on the crazy bets and derivatives now creating the mayhem in the financial market.

      And that he was an advisor to the Federal Reserve of New York after the repeal of the Glass Steagall act in 1999 the last of the regulatory laws from the great depression era and the one on which the banksters had lobbied to the tune of $ 200 million to get rid of. and that the derivative trade was illegal between the mid 30s and the early 80s just because they were instrumental in causing the first Great depression.

      • ripp0 4.2.1

        big number there, EV, but then mere and mealy percentages on big numbers really can rack them up.. eh..

        I’ll go for your link in minute, but as I’d elsewnere mentioned need of rorters’ power according to law re bankrupting companies on behalf the private industry you mentioned, I thought you might be interested in fairly recent amendment/s to american bankruptcy law.. and the who and what of privilege in that..

        noting, of course, how american law all too often makes it to other national business places as well..

        have a nice weekend.. do.

        • Travellerev 4.2.1.1

          Considering the fact that there are only a couple of billion stars in the universe and a trillion is already beyond any comprehension I don’t even know what to imagine when talking about a quadrillion but you’ll find the figures add up.

          Yep, I do know about those amendments. Bad news for all those poor suckers.

          Likewise about weekend. LOL

          • ripp0 4.2.1.1.1

            my point re the big number, EV, is that it is hardly credible.. and most certainly unpayable. It is, as financiers say, the nominal sum.. and here I mean all of the nom-sums together. I’m happier in attempting visualize this as real fraction of whatever figure is being put up.. by whoever..

            as to the link, some interesting bits and pieces [ the two Gramms for instance ] though its title does overstate things.. derivatives are not the underlying cause of financial meltdown.. whereas irresponsibility (management) is.. for starters in NOT taking account of legal consequences AND consequences likely to ARISE..

            hence if you really do want the answer I’d again suggest you refer back to those “amendments” and consider where the real emphasis lies.. for all people.. whether workers, taxpayers, superannuitants, students, presidents, administrators, bloggers like your good self… whoever and whatever

      • jimbo 4.2.2

        Travellerev,

        I believe there were clearly failures of regulatory oversight and commonsense. The money being earned got crazy and it was throughout merchant banking (not just derivative trading). It spread through to law and other professions since they all got jealous at what their banking mates were earning.

        The anger and, frankly, jealousy about what the bankers earned during the boom years is absolutely understandable. But the system as a whole is not shot.

        The problem, in my mind, is that so many people were making gigantic amounts of income on the back of (1) other people’s money; but with (2) no personal risk. The bankers are not, and were not, entrepreneurs.

        I hope that when all this clears, people will see the difference between a business-owner who establishes a hugely successful business, and a banker/lawyer/professional who earns a salary and takes no personal entrepreneurial risk. The chance for massive medium-to-long-term reward must always remain for business-owners.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.2.2.1

          There is a lot in here that I agree with. Bt I would go further, in some respects.

          The chance for massive medium-to-long-term reward must always remain for business-owners.

          I agree, but what needs to be faced is that the system that is supposed to deliver that is, at the moment, pretty much broken. Most large companies where the problems you allude to are, are listed on stock markets, in theory, owned by the shareholders. The majority of the shareholders are institutions, in turn, theoretically owned by shareholders or investing funds on behalf of unit trust investors or what have you. These institutions do the voting in the AGM’s. Not the owners who are supposed to be looking medium long term. That’s a problem. The returns on those unit trusts are diluted massively by the institutions. Wonder why that is.

          It’s private sector beaurocrats essentially running the show from go to woe in the interests of the beaurocrats. I find it striking that so many on the right recognise this danger in the public sector, but are only now beginning to see that it could perhaps be a problem in the private. When private sector extravagance is pointed out, how often has the response been, “but it’s their money”? ummm. not really, no it isn’t. It’s the guy’s who puts in twenty bucks a week into his unit trust. In the same way that govt money is taxpayers money. In fact, it’s more clear cut than that.

          I disagree that it is frankly ‘jealousy’. For an awful lot of people it is about betrayal. Those hyper salaries were for the most part, not really begrudged. If they had of been, then those earners would have lived their lives in fear, rather than in the limelight for the last twenty or so years. People honestly felt that they earned what they earned because of their talents, and because of the risks they were taking, and that they were doing awesomely responsible work. This is what they were told.

          Now that it is becoming clear that older banking and business ideas about fiducial responsibility have been treated as shall we say, quaint, by those earners, and that the risks they were assumed to be bearing, were covered quite nicely by contracts that would make mafia dons blush, and that they are in fact, demanding yet more money to clean up the mess they have made; folks are quite naturally upset. Lot’s of ordinary people have had their retirements wiped out. They may will be living with their children in their retirement. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but it wasn’t what they worked for.

          Think about that guy that’s been putting twenty bucks a week into a unit trust for twenty years. His life savings are screwed, his taxes are bailing out the screwers, and he fears that the gov’t debt means he won’t be getting a pension or healthcare. He is scared and pissed.

          The response so far has been rather tame actually, if you look at it historically

          Hopefully we can sort things out without things getting ugly. But not at the cost of not fixing the problems. Agreed?

          One other thing, that touches on some other comments made:

          Check this clip out, from Fox news. It’s about 3 minutes.

          http://mediamatters.org/countyfair/200903310038?show=1

          There we have pretty mainstream US rightwinger, who gets lots of coverage on the most popular network, calmly dragging out some nineties era NWO rhetoric, and finishing off with a little ‘joke’ about how those crazy militia types that want to shoot gov’t officials are starting to have a case. Bear in mind that the Murray building bombing took place last time the US had a Dem’ president, driven by exactly this sort of rhetoric.

          I’m sure that Dick Morris is going to be spurned by Fox news channel any day now, and be relegated to the fringes. But I won’t hold my breath.

          • r0b 4.2.2.1.1

            People honestly felt that they earned what they earned because of their talents, and because of the risks they were taking

            What risks? As is now apparent, we the tax payer get to indemnify all these “high flyers”. Privatise the profits and socialise the losses…

          • jimbo 4.2.2.1.2

            PB – I agree with you when you say that the oversight broke down within these gigantic organisations, epecially those that were widely-held.

            What happened over and over again in small merchant banking teams (even the big banks essentially work with 3-4 people om a deal) was that the team leader would argue strongly in favour of paying some 27-year-old monkey not long out of university a bonus of US$200,000 for his or her work on a relatively small private equity investment by the bank. The bonus pool would be worked out on mark-to-market basis with wild assumptions thrown into the valuation about continued growth in the world economy. In other words, for a typical deal the bonus pool got calculated on an estimate of what the deal would make the bank IN THE FUTURE, assuming everything went well. The people who would benefit the most from the wildly optimistic valuations were the ones doing them!

            The team leader (probably only 35 himself) would want to pay the junior analyst a shitload so that his own bonus would be set with reference to what the junior gimp got. The team leader’s boss (i.e. divisional boss) would do the same. Pretty quickly you have the CEO getting megabucks (tends to happen when the initial gimp starts with megabucks).

            When the organisations are huge and the profits are gigantic, no one ever stops to ask the question of whether the 25-year-old gimp could ever possibly be worth the 200 k bonus. The shareholders at the top level are simply seeing “Bonus payments, 5% of income” (or whatever) are are happy to take the profits that are roaring in.

            The way some bankers have tried to justify the payments, the way some of them have argued for payments to be made to “profitable units” while their companies as a whole are on the brink, is absolutely contemptible and a sign of how divorced from reality everything got. It was a madhouse in merchant banking for a long time.

            Will big bonuses still exist? Yes, and rightly so. Will we see quite so many (relatively) talentless 25-year-olds buying ferraris with one year’s earnings? Not for a while.

            All this stuff is fascinating but it’s not the CAUSE of the world crisis. Its a way that greedy bankers and professionals exploited the situation for their own gain. The situation which caused it all was too much cheap credit used at all levels of society – from dealmakers trying to make millions on takeovers, through to homebuyers buying something they really couldn’t afford, through to Joe Average getting yet another bullshit appliance on hire purchase.

            Everyone is to blame to a degree. Policy that allowed so much cheap credit to wash around the system for so long is in my view the great failing – not the bankers with their snouts in the trough (contemptible though their behaviour was).

    • Quoth the Raven 4.3

      The death was unrelated to the protesting – possibly a heart attack or some such thing.

  5. BLiP 5

    How great to see that despite the draconian legislation and big brother culture of the UK that the protests got off to a good start. We need to study and learn from their success. Obviously small decentralised and independent organising cells are the way to go. Interesting to note the success of the old fashioned handing out of leaflets and the placing of posters still has a part to play in spreading the word and avoiding the so highly recorded technology of the internet and cell phones. The authorities must be wriggling in embarrassment after the Royal Bank of Scotland was trashed. Good job.

    More!

  6. John 6

    “The authorities must be wriggling in embarrassment after the Royal Bank of Scotland was trashed. Good job.”

    It is this exact type of thuggery which results in no one taking our movement for change seriously. To condone this sort of behaviour is a major step backwards, and will forever mean that people categorise protestors as boofheads and thugs. What will trashing the Royal Bank of Scotland solve? Nothing.

    • jimbo 6.1

      Thuggery for thuggery’s sake. A willingness to engage in tactics like banding together with lunatic fringe movements just so that there’s a bigger crowd. As John says, all it means is a lot of people simply write it off as the rent-a-crowd unwashed out for a day’s entertainment.

      How seriously should you be taken if you’re prepared to hitch your wagon to a train that comprises of the lunatic fringe? If a moderate right-wing interest group protested alongside Neo-Nazis, you’d rightly attack the moderate group and question their common sense.

      I do the same about the moderate left-wingers who club together with the thuggish loonies.

      What’s amusing is that whenever a “right-wing” view is posted here, you’re guaranteed to get the usual suspects telling you you’re thick. But seriously, how many lucid and intelligent comments have you heard on the news out of these protesters mouths? Take out the thugs and the gormless morons who are tapping the spirit of the French Revolution in order to try and get laid, and basically no one is out there.*

      (Exception is the climate protesters, I think. The ones “protesting” capitalism etc and chanting for bankers to be fired are essentially braindead, it seems).

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Jimbo and John.

        Being aggressively on the offensive ‘just because’; practising and honing aggressive tactics; being suitably tooled up and actively engaged in dehumanising those you intend to exact violence upon is, if I understand your viewpoints, something to be denounced and condemned.

        Fair enough.

        Now here is a link to info from the more radical of the protester groups on tactics and suggestions on what actions to take in a situation like the g20 protests.

        http://www.earthfirst.org.uk/manchester/porder.htm

        Now that you have read it, you will be aware that the aim is to survive thuggery and violence; not perpetrate it.

        On the other hand, a cursory glance through recent police utterings in the msm paints a picture of the police readying the public to excuse their use of violence before the event.

        Now, go back to para one and read it with the police in mind. Look at the evidence around the issue of unwarranted violence and feel free to repost condemning violence with the condemnation targeted at the appropriate people/orgs.

        • jimbo 6.1.1.1

          Bill – sorry that doesn’t do it for me.

          My point is simply that the moderate leftwingers are prepared to lump themselves in with the extreme ones, some of whom are simply bruising for a fight. If you go along to one of these “lets all protest together” rallies, you know that there will be extreme and aggressive individuals on the front line provoking the cops.

          If the moderates are prepared to lump themselves in with the raging extremists (because it helps to “get attention” or simply because the rent-a-corwd dumbos increase the numbers), then I’m well within my rights to think that’s a cynical and opportunist thing for the moderates to do.

          A consequence of being willing to club together with the lunatic fringe movements is that some moderates may get caught up when the police deal with/respond to the thugs. Of course that’s regrettable, but it’s risk the moderates take for the “pay-off” of welcoming the thugs to their protest.

          Without doubt police brutality should not occur and should be punished if it’s found to have occurred. It’s a fair point about the police possibly “preparing” the public to see a physical police response to protestors – but is that fair or unfair since one of the main tactics of these thugs is to try and provoke a voilent response in order to the front page photo opportunity…

          Please don’t think I’m arguing for a strong-arm tactics to prevent protest. All I’m saying is that I think moderate causes are hindered, not helped, by being seen anywhere near the sort of thuggish morons who were apparent in London yesterday. Someone from the moderates needs to come out and condemn thuggish protesting WITHOUT RESERVATION, and then ask the question of excessive police force.

          The moderate right wing in NZ has, I think, learned this lesson. You’d never see moderate right-wingers associating with the extreme fringes. You know that there is unequivocal condemnation of their views and their violence.

          Again, in my mind the equivalent is what we all want to happen with Muslim extremism.

          No ifs nor buts, the emtremists deserve condemnation and scorn, not a well-meaning but ultimately fruitless defence by the moderates.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            You appear to equate radicalism with violence and stupidity.

            I’m thinking Rob Gilchrist.

            Who was violent, provocative, stupid and ..oh, that’s right. He was down the trousers of the cops! An agent provocateur.

            So, if the left are going to associate with cops…. repeat your line of argument and logic.

            Doesn’t fly very well, does it?

    • BLiP 6.2

      By all means, feel free to assemble in your allotted “free speech zones” with your wooly jumpers and birkenstocks. Who knows, perhaps after a hundred years of ignoring such action you might get a result.

      The people are angry and need an outlet for that anger. Better a few trashed banks than a few trashed fellow citizens mugged on their way home for their pennies.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        Aww, c’mon BLiP, play nice !

        Sign a petition or send an irked letter to the editor. It is, after all, just a few bad apples spoiling the barrel. Nothing to get too het up about.

        And if you do go to a protest, remember and take along cotton wool and a naive accepting view of the ultimate benevolence of our system and its masters and protectors.

        Class War is a silly old myth, so hang on to the cotton candy wool and don’t give in to the same apparent sense of disillusion as this (link below) when you get bashed. (picture number 17 if the link doesn’t work quite right)

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2009/apr/01/g20-protest?picture=345361844

      • ak 6.2.2

        Exactly, BLiP – and the smug shills fretting above confirm your point. A few dollars worth of plate glass elicits more hand-wringing faux-angst than the oceans of suicidal misery and mountains of brown babies’ emaciated bodies that their masters’ greed has built – and which they continue to smugly ignore and abet.
        “Unjustified violence?” Don’t make me laugh. If an ounce of justice were to visit this planet, such thugs and their cheerleaders would be shredded slowly and screaming into boiling oil. Let’s pray that a soupcon is on its way.

        • jagilby 6.2.2.1

          Fist time poster, long time sufferer reading your rubbish.

          “such thugs and their cheerleaders would be shredded slowly and screaming into boiling oil.”

          You are the ‘fringe’ Jimbo aludes to, seriously dude, you sound like an absolute nut job.

          My advice, if you’re actually serious about getting your message across to the ‘masses’… Come to terms with your daddy issues, leave the gratuitous mataphors at the door and quit trying to be so profound.

          For all the bluster about the right’s inclination to resort to wanton violence, this side of the fence still has a real case to answer.

          • ak 6.2.2.1.1

            “Daddy issues”! he he, Siggy pop from a tory prat. Very profound Gilly.

            (but pray, what’s a “mataphor”? To wipea your feeta on?)

      • jimbo 6.2.3

        Whatever. I believe a civilised democratic society has plenty of other outlets for “anger”.

        The only reason you accept the violence of these thugs is because you have sympathy for their underlying views (or you at least like them turning up to add weight of numbers to the more moderate protesters).

        You are simply saying “the ends justify the means”, which has been, and always will be, the philosophy of tyrants.

        • Quoth the Raven 6.2.3.1

          Jimbo – Honestly this was a pretty subdued event as far as these protests goes. It’s what one would expect in Britain. If this had happened in Greece or Germany, where such protests are regular events, it wouldn’t have been so subdued. There was hardly any violence whatsoever.
          In what way are the police justified in using force against protesters? People ought to be free to congregate they ought to be able to move freely about. The police try to forcibly disperse crowds at such events that is an initiation of violence. Police try to forcibly stop the movement of people at such events that is intiation of violence. People have a right to defend themselves when violence is initiated. Do you disagree?
          Now if you take property damage to be violence – there have been a couple windows broken in this. Windows of companies that have recieved so much in the way of public funds and state protection as to be impossible to consider them private at all. Further, the state coercively takes property on such a vast scale as it is.
          Clearly you demonstrate incredible bigotedness and prejudice with regards to people’s appearance and you should be ashamed of yourself. People don’t need to conform to your preferred image of what “respectable” people should look like.
          It is once again clear to me reading the comments here, the wish for conformity, the defence of state violence, the condemnation of any views that conflict with your own, how easily the right falls time and time again into authoritarianism.
          How do you think positive social change occurs jimbo? I’ll tell you – it is not from the top down as you wish, it is from the bottom up. From the masses coming together and asserting themselves, not a small elite ruling by decree. How much do you think can be achieved through the will of your small group of so-called representatives? I think little. I think change must come from the people, not from the oliogarchs. That’s real democracy. In saying that I seriously doubt these people will achieve anything.

          • jimbo 6.2.3.1.1

            QTR – you have proportional representation in this country. All the masses need for “effecting change” is 5 miserable percent…

            There is no “ruling elite” in NZ. There are democratically MPs who each earn less than someone driving heavy machinery at an Australian mine. How does “social change” occur? Through governments like the last Labour one getting a mandate and shepherding reform through legislative channels, that’s how.

            “Oligarchs” running Britain or New Zealand?! That’s just preposterous nonsense and you know it. Frankly, I don’t know how you can call me “bigoted” with a straight face. Your rhetoric is from a different time and place to what we have now.

            If you think that massing together with all the lunatic left-wing fringe movements helps get a moderate reform view across, then all power to you. I reckon it devalues and debases the sensible arguments which do exist in amongst all the nonsensical bullshit.

            What should the police have done in London? Engaged in absolutely no crowd control at all and have the government later accused of “murder” when the rabble-rousers trigger off the sort of uncontrolled surges we all saw on the news? Sit back and allow property to be damaged on the grounds that insurance companies can pick up the bill?

            It’s not hard. Play by the rules of a peaceful social democracy. If you want to associate with lunatic fringe elements, I’ll happily mock and insult those lunatic fringe elements as the crazy unwashed idiots that they are (and I’ll mock you for relying on their support and “solidarity”), just the same way you’d mock and insult jackbooted tools on the far-right end of the spectrum.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.3.1.2

            All the masses need for “effecting change’ is 5 miserable percent

            Except that the people who get voted in don’t change anything that needs changing. They try to work within the system and the system itself is corrupt. It’s setup to prevent those needed changes.

        • BLiP 6.2.3.2

          No. Its john Key who garnered his millions via, and is now governing with, the maxim: “what ever it takes”.

          I’m not suggesting for a moment that violence against fellow humans is an acceptable form of protest. Causing maximum economic damage to the symbolic targets of the protest is, however, well within the gambit of legitimate action. Just as those heros at Waihope who exposed this country’s silent compliance with US imperialism caused economic damage and, just as importantly, showed up the authorities to be incompetent, so too should those who smashed up the banks be celebrated and serve as an example to us all. No one was physically injured in either action yet the targets were left spluttering – rather like you, actually.

  7. Jum 7

    And at home in New Zealand:

    “In one recent incident, there had been media “jumping up behind trees taking photos and screaming through the front fence, `Is your marriage over’ and ringing and hassling my elderly parents. That’s pretty scumbag actually.”

    Jimbo describes the NZ media well –
    “thugs and gormless morons” I hope it wasn’t Guyon or Colin Espiner, or Paul Henry or John Campbell or Barry Soper or… screaming out at Clark’s place and verbally attacking her parents. The written media really has gone downhill. It seems they have hitched their star to the right and have morphed into Key’s PR consultants.

    Also, Jimbo, did you miss these two clear statements in the guest post which I happen to agree with:

    ‘ “I’m protesting for the small individuals in Britain who have been left with their pants down as the government bails out the banks for billions of dollars. Where’s the money for the struggling baker, butcher, …

    “We need clean capitalism,’ he said. “Capitalism only works if people don’t take more out than they need.’ ‘

    No doubt as is happening here with banks being cosseted while foreclosing on NZers mortgages, the same is happening over there. No one thought to put a moratorium on mortgagee sales I guess, until the bank’s underwriting by government is stopped?

  8. tommy onions 8

    I think Mark Thomas says it all really.

    And why do the police call containing protesters ‘kettling’? Couldn’t have anything to do with bringing situations to the boil could it?

    I think it’s great to see people out on the streets – next time it needs to 135,000. The fact that city workers were standing waving banknotes at protesters is reminiscent of Met police officers who used to wave their paychecks at striking miners in Thatcher’s Britain.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    jimbo, are you saying that if you turn up to a protest and through your hitherto undefined “UnwashedThug Detector (TM)” detect some unwashed thugs, you should go home?

    There’s some practical advice if ever I saw: “If there are smelly people around, best not protest. Head back home for a cup of tea and wait for the next G20 conference held at the cusp of a massive global finanancial crisis”.

    If you want to protest about something then you should be able to do so. You’re saying that’s the case, but if there are problems with the wider protest group, you shoudn’t have been there. More than a few flaws in that ideal.

    All you need is a few people willing to pretend to be extremists and viola! no more protests. Ever.

    • Bill 9.1

      “All you need is a few people willing to pretend to be extremists and viola! no more protests. Ever.”

      Like Rob Gilchrist?

    • jimbo 9.2

      No I’m not saying that.

      I’m sayting don’t welcome, condone, invite, solicit or encourage the fringe weirdos at your legitimate protests.

      There was a protest on the EFA I think where some idiots were chanting white supremacist slogans. There’s a difference between (a) one or two di1cks stepping out of line at your protest, or (b) deciding to hold your protest at the same time as a protest being held by a wholebunch of d1cks out of sense of solidarity.

      • Bill 9.2.1

        What is a ‘fringe weirdo’? ‘Weirdos’ (people who seem odd and who are somewhat confusing or eccentric?) are part and parcel of all walks of life, irrespective of political views!

        Or are you saying a person is to be designated a weirdo to the extent that their politics differ from your ‘normal’ political views?

        Or are you saying that some people (weirdos) exhibit undesirable behaviours? And are you further saying that those individuals can be identified by their political views?

        You’re confusing me. Maybe that means you’re a weirdo.

        Or maybe, more simply, you don’t understand a movement with breadth and would rather have dictatorial political protest?

        • BLiP 9.2.1.1

          Jimbo’s definition of a weirdo appears to be anyone who isn’t a white, heterosexual, employed, National voting, child-beating, money hungry, brain-jammed spouter of the current Crosby/Textor version of the truth.

          • jimbo 9.2.1.1.1

            BLiP – frankly mate, that’s fucking insulting. You know absolutely nothing about me so pull your head in. Jerk.

            Bill – let’s not latch on to a couple of (admittedly) petty names I’ve thrown out there to colour the commentary. If we were debating whether centre-right protesters would willingly share the pulpit with neo-N@zis, you’d be well within your rights you call the neo-N@zis a few names, and I WOULD NOT jump in and run some spirited defence of them.

            There are VIOLENT idiot fringes at both extremes. Yes they are human beings. Yes they have a view. I just don’t stomach the violent fringes at EITHER end of the spectrum – some of you guys appear only to dislike violent fringes on the Right, so you consistenty make excuses for thuggery on the Left.

            Not a big deal.. Not an argument against all forms of protest… Not an attempt to disenfranchise anyone… Not an argument in favour of police brutality.

          • BLiP 9.2.1.1.2

            BLiP – frankly mate, that’s fucking insulting. You know absolutely nothing about me so pull your head in. Jerk.

            Result!

          • Bill 9.2.1.1.3

            Jimbo

            So the issue is violence rather than any particular people practising it now?

            If so, then the violence would need to be justified.

            If you have cops intimidating you and finally smacking you with truncheons on top of already feeling pissed ’cause your future is going down the gurgler due to thieving bastards being bailed out with your money….well, I can understand a resulting aggressive reaction.

            And if that act is aimed at a symbol of the thieving bastards….then so what? No-one gets hurt.

            And if you throw bottles or eggs at cops who have taunting you and rushing at you with truncheons? Yep. I can understand that too.

            But cops who beat up on protesters as a matter of course, as an operational tactic? No. I can’t understand that beyond them being thugs for hire who will do their paymasters bidding. And so I condemn their actions. Outright.

            As for fascists. They attack the working class or sections of it. ie they attack the very sector of society they belong to. Maybe that’s why ….but no, that’s another argument.

            BTW. The Climate Protesters, the ones you have time for? They got clobbered too. And they were sitting down.

  10. curious 10

    I wonder if “kettling” constitutes unlawful detention? or if there still is such a thing in England?

  11. justthefacts 11

    “The fact that city workers were standing waving banknotes at protesters is reminiscent of Met police officers who used to wave their paychecks at striking miners in Thatcher’s Britain”

    Brilliant…just brilliant

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      I’m sure you’d be just as pleased if you were a small business man sent to the wall by the recession and some git banker was waving one of your taxpayer dollars in your face. Yeah, brilliant.

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    Jimbo – This extremist rhetoric of yours is all relative. I may think your statist freedom-hating is extremist. I could equally say your conservative rhetoric is from a time past. The state enforces the dominating positions in society through extra economic power to paraphrase Oppenheimer. It is government for the ruling class by the ruling class. You can deny that plutocracy exists till your blue in the face, but that is not going to make it true. Those protesting clearly think there is.
    I’m not going to get into an argument about representative democracy versus direct democracy because I’m not going to crack your blind faith in representative democracy (you can’t go past reading this). I am a reformer not a revolutionary but I still hold little faith in the “representatives” and the state to which I never consented and to which no man can ever consent. To change things people have to help themselves and not rely on some supposed superiors – that is the thrust of anarchism and I know self-management, individualism, the right to self-ownership, self-help and freedom from coercion are all antithetical to the right.
    What should the police have done? Maybe you ought to ask what right do the police have to pen those people in, stop their movement and violently coerce them?

    • jimbo 12.1

      So, QTR, you end up where you always end up, which is arguing for a total overhaul of representative democracy and capitalism. Good luck seeing that in NZ in your lifetime.

      It is nonsense to suggest I am somehow a “statist freedom hater” just because I choose not to subscribe to your woolly bullshit in favour of anarchy.

      You are so far out on the extreme end of the spectrum that it’s impossible to argue with you – you have the blind certainty of a zealot. Back here in the real world a few of us are concerned about the question of how to make real practical improvements in people’s lives and wellbeing.

      If you think the way to do that is throwing out capitalism AND democracy to experiment with something else, then again, good luck to you. We are highly unlikely to ever agree on anything, any I’m sure you care about that just as little as I do.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        But Jimbo – you’re not in the real world. You’re in the artificial and delusional world of heirachy.

  13. Doug 13

    I am all for legitmate peaceful protest but the minute people start going out to cause confrontation – I’m against it.

  14. RedLogix 14

    Doug,

    Once upon a time, in my 20’s and 30’s I would have whole-heartedly agreed with you. But the older I get, them more I am affronted by the endemic, the heart-breakingly entrenched injustice everywhere you care to look. At some point you learn that ‘peaceful protest’ is useless. The real power brokers snicker contemptuously at it.

    And at every turn the system co-opts us into it, buying our compliance with feeble little baubles of comfort and distraction, while a tiny, amoral elite accumulate and wield unthinkable power and wealth over us because we have been seduced by the power of money.

    Break that power and you break the spell.

    There are two ways to do this; one is to confront the beasts in their lairs, drag them out into rude daybreak light and hang then from lamposts and pillars. Yet like dragon’s teeth sown into blood-soaked soil, new beasts spring up uncountable, untamed.

    Or to denounce and defy the spell itself; to unshackle from the arousals, desires and addictions that make us slaves so.

    Which path Doug?

  15. Quoth the Raven 15

    I wonder what the righties here would think about the American Revolution. That was most certainly violent and it brought about the, for a time anyway, freeest nation on earth. I think the righties forget how radical the American revoutionaries were. Benjamin Tucker once said that anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian democrats.
    Of course we can always follow the path of one of the greatest anarchists Gandhi.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      It may have brought about the, for a time anyway, freeest nation on earth but it wasn’t actually supposed to. The leaders of the American Revolution were actually trying to set up their own aristocracy. In some ways, IMO, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams it’s just that they never saw any of it and now it’s all hidden.

      • Quoth the Raven 15.1.1

        Draco – No they wanted a republic and a democracy. They were elitist and the founding fathers were virtually aristocrats. But if you look at what the likes of Jefferson and Paine wrote and believed in you’d never say something as stupid as the revolution was supposed to bring in aristocracy. Many people with different views worked towards the revolutio though. The point which Tucker is making is on the axiom attributed to either Jefferson or Paine “the best government is that which governs least” to which Tucker adds “and that which governs least is no government at all.’ I think some quotes from Jefferson would be instructive:
        “There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation and which place them so totally at the mercy of their governors that those governors, whether legislative or executive, should be restrained from keeping such instruments on foot but in well-defined cases. Such an instrument is a standing army.”

        “The spirit of this country is totally adverse to a large military force.” Tell that one to Obama and Bush.

        “The system of banking [I] have… ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens.” Former banker John Key should read that.
        “I sincerely believe… that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

        “It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that [a society without government, as among our Indians] is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population.”

        “Government as well as religion has furnished its schisms, its persecutions, and its devices for fattening idleness on the earnings of the people.”

        “It is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected.”

        “What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian Senate. And I do believe that if the Almighty has not decreed that man shall never be free (and it is blasphemy to believe it), that the secret will be found to be in the making himself the depository of the powers respecting himself, so far as he is competent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his competence by a synthetical process, to higher and higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer and fewer powers in proportion as the trustees become more and more oligarchical.”

        If these guys were around today conservatives like Jimbo would mark them as radicals. It is certainly true that what America gained and what could have come from the revolution was lost. It is because it was perverted by the wealthy and the conservative. Jefferson was prophetic in how it was lost:
        “I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          However, it is worth noting at this point that in the debates over the framing and ratification of the constitution, although for Federalist participants in these debates the ‘ideal may have been to create an aristocracy combining wealth with republican virtue’, ‘Their practical task was to sustain a propertied oligarchy with the electoral support of a popular multitude’

          B. Roper, The History of Democracy, pages 9-10

          Not all of the Founding Fathers were out to do that as you point out but it is certainly what they ended up with and it was purposeful that they do so.

  16. Bill 16

    And then it transpires, (surprise, surprise) that the guy who was on his way home from work and died was assaulted by the police after all. Video here.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault

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