Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Edward Woollard Harsh and disproportionate? Yes. Unexpected? No.

Well twice in a week and I find myself having to promote and elevate a comment into a blog post of an opinion sent in by Chris H of the blog site Lansbury' s Lido, and which as that maybe, I also feel that Chris makes some relevant points that need airing and sharing in the greater movement so we have no hesitation in posting his comments with the hope that it may stimulate further considerations and even a better understanding with some class clarity, why and what happened to Edward Woolard.   

Chris H has left a new comment on your post "Edward Woollard":

Harsh and disproportionate? Yes. Unexpected? No.

Our model of democracy can only work if dissent is channelled into harmless activities like candle-lit vigils, or at the most well-attended marches. Like the Stop the War marches, visual but ineffective, giving the illusion of dissent. Our democratic system exists only to ensure the continuation of itself, the establishment that populates the corridors of ‘democratic’ power, and the capitalist system.

When protest steps outside of these norms the establishment will always act to minimise the disruption to the process of government and business.

Edward has been gaoled, not for the injury that may have been caused to those at the bottom of the building but because his conduct stepped outside the allowable norms of protest or behaviour. We need only look at others who have been injured or even killed during protest to see the truth behind this: Blair Peach, Ian Tomlinson, Alfie Meadows to name a few. Look at some other situations where brutality has been the order of the day: the miner’s strike, the G20 protests, the Battle of the Beanfield, the Windsor Free Festival. The big difference between Edward’s case and these is who has been dishing it out - The Police, acting in defence of the status quo. And of course the charges and sentences, if indeed there are any.

And then there's the other type of violence - that against the hard-won but meager benefits that the working class have gained. Wages, jobs, health, welfare, the NHS, affordable housing and more. All of this under threat. Yet the ‘violence’ of this type can be just as devastating as the more direct physical type in it's effect. Well being and health, both physical and mental are affected by our material circumstances. When we see a reduction in comparable opportunity to living standards we see a decline in well-being, even unfortunately leading to death and suicide. I've mentioned before my cousin who took his own life. Driven to it by Thatcher's vindictive political actions against the miners. Violence does not need to be at the end of a truncheon to be violently effective or feared.

What we can see from the sentence handed down to Edward and also the sentences that have been and will be handed down to those involved in protest is a reflection of what the state fears most. And it's not a candle-lit vigil.

Post By: Chris H 

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