: : Quite the opposite; the news reports I saw on the BBC were actually pretty favourable - a first there.
: Also vested interest - an essentially nationalised and tax paid media organisation isnt going to like any talk about distancing government from markets now is it?
ITV and Channel 4 were also comparatively favourable; Channel 4 especially; and they're not Government subsidized either.
: : Again; a highly impartial source, eh?
: Refer this to any eye witness. There were no impartial sources.
Quite; so why did they only ask a delegate going into the conference in Seattle and a cop in London?
: : It's media manipulation, pure and simple; something the police are damn good at. I wouldn't have resorted to violence myself, but it's hard not to when you're charged by riot police in full-on Judge Dredd mode.
: I can imagine. Should have been at one really.
Do it sometime. You'd be surprised.
: :The activists *know* that violence damages the cause. They're not stupid enough to try mixing it with superior numbers of cops armed up to the eyeballs; but it takes superhuman restraint not to defend yourself with whatever comes to hand when you get baton-charged.
: It worked for Ghandi - if you want them to look bad then that restraint is necessary - and thats making the assumption that your account of the police and their intent is spot on.
Of course. You can only assume that I'm telling what I saw as the truth. I am, and would be prepared to defend my statements in a court of law, but I do know that it's hard to maintain an objective stance during a demo.
I heard one policeman comment that it was time to kick some arse; again, this is hearsay, not independantly verifiable evidence.
I would say that the police stance had everything to do with the protest turning violent; again, this is only my opinion, although, as I have experienced between 20 and 30 mass actions, it's a rather qualified experience.
Gandhi was an exceptional man; most people will simply not turn the other cheek when hit. Is protest thus only valid if committed by people like Jesus or Gandhiji, or by pacifists like myself?
We know the restraint is necessary, but not all protestors are angels; and they never will be; and the media will always focus on the sinners, because sins sell papers; and angels don't.
It is encouraging, though; the whole J18 thing started with 14 of us meeting up in London in July 1998; we networked, we got groups like the Zapatistas involved in 43 countries and 16 months later, Seattle is witness to the biggest protests since the Vietnam war; and we've forced the WTO's very existence onto the world agenda.
- "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead.