Thursday, August 16, 2012
Ex Labour Councillor Michael Kelly says ‘Protests no longer have a place in our cities’, would he prefer the Spanish and Greek model of rioting?
I can’t say I am a fan of Michael Kelly at all; he is a former Labour Councillor and Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow.
He has done a piece which he says that protests no longer have a place in our cities.
Protests are a useful safety value in society, they should never be banned in a healthy democracy, to do so is short sighted and unwise.
Many people want to take to the streets to protest, some of their causes attract widespread support, others less so, but whether your protest is deemed just or not, everyone should be treated equally.
Protests do have a downside, the cost money and tie up resources, they also disrupt life for ordinary citizens; my pet hate is being stuck behind an Orange Order parade on a bus.
Kelly says mass rallies are simply just a nuisance that have little political advantage, should this be the remit that politicians favour your cause?
It is said that Glasgow City Council wants to seek to rule out the use of George Square as a gathering or dispersal point for mass rallies. One can only wonder who came up with this crackpot badly thought-out idea!
Is there an alternative to protest?
Well, there is always rioting, as seen down south, widespread vandalism and destruction as a model.
Kelly says that the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) would not be happy if George Square was off limits, as they prepare for he describes as another dreary protest against the government’s austerity policies in October.
In Spain and Greece, people have adopted rioting and that model may progress northwards, so better a supervised protest with Police to ensure safety than a free for all.
There are some niceties to be observed.
Have you ever noticed that some old guys when they have a few quid in their skyrocket don’t give a f**k about the rights of others?
I don’t agree with his point that that mass rallies now are just a nuisance but they cost a city money, they are an unnecessary use of police time, they do disrupt the lives of too many.
But without a safety value to let off steam, much like a football match, we can see how quickly society can unravel and if it means being inconvenienced once in a while, it is a small price to pay for a functioning democracy.
When Kelly yaps about a diverse and free press, he is making the assumption that people’s protest will get written up, it doesn’t work that way, and the press isn’t ‘free’, it’s a business.
That boy Kelly talks some crap but this is a biscuit taker.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University