Brief Reflections On Today

March 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s late – so some brief thoughts on a fantastic day today.

  • Big numbers on the streets. People really, really care.
  • We need more and better songs, chants and beats. Before each march, we should train up blocks of 10 chant leaders every 100 meters to lead the crowds. Vuvuzelas can only get you so far.
  • Fortnum & Mason was the wrong swoop target for UK Uncut. Their owners may dodge tax and give to the Conservative Party but the link from F&M to the government cuts is too weak for a strong media message. It may be that there were few non-policed targets left, but today was about public sector cuts, and the class war/royals angle didn’t work.
  • Fantastic reaction as usual from the public to the traditional UK Uncut actions outside high street shops. (We did this brilliant rap outside of Boots, got cheers and ‘well done’s from various passers-by. A mix of public theatre, education and campaigning works beautifully.
  • Media will always, always go with shock value – no matter how small. Sometimes this works (first education march – changed national narrative into one of resistance), but sometimes it doesn’t. Today it didn’t.
  • Need for a clear ‘what are we all going to do when we get home’ plan and that needs to be communicated all day. Something along the lines of ‘we come back in a month with five friends’, or ‘we organise protests in every major town and city in two months time’. Need for building of momentum.
  • Our talking heads were not strong enough. Being drawn into a us vs the black block is not helpful. Need for a back-up army of commenters, callers and organisational commentary filling airtime with our message.

Do you agree? What else?

§ 4 Responses to Brief Reflections On Today

  • cterkuile says:

    @Cian makes the good point we need ‘closing’ moments that give everyone a good feeling about the day. A slow petering out makes it looks small, and divides participants.

  • Gavin says:

    Thanks for this. News and Twitter seem focused on the ‘violence’ at the moment, which many of the people who marched, chanted, arrived at Hyde Park and went home are annoyed/confused about it.
    I think, or indeed hope, this disproportionate focus will calm down over next couple of days and weeks, and force the media and political class to look a bit more closely at why so many people turned up.

    Looking at the day as an opportunity to grow the movement, to network, and to encourage everyone to come back, I think Cian’s point and the penultimate bullet here are really important. People need to have a great time on these things – and one of doing that is having a definite end point.
    I didn’t speak to a huge amount of people but, when I did, I felt like I should be flyering for some event. Inviting people to a future event is really important in creating stronger bonds among attendees. Even if people dont come, they’re aware of a movement that they can become more involved when and if they can.

    Lots of different groups were flyering for different events and discussions, so I’m not saying that wasn’t happening. Just on a personal level, I should have been.

    PS: The chants thing, please don’t train up people for chants. You cant have the same people leading chants on a demo, especially on a huge snail-paced march, for the whole day. One of the recurring comments (on social media and in real life) that I picked up on was people saying they loved the music, and the different union bands. The audio component did not concern me.

  • Isobel says:

    I think the target should not have been on the main march route, it interrupted and held up lots of people that didn’t want to be involved with the direct action.
    Love chanting, some good, strong chants would be great. Also definitely going to make a samba band to join in the music! AND so many clever and creative signs, what clever people this movement has!

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