Owen at Third Estate complains that focusing on the CS spray incident at the last UKuncut protest detracts from the real issue of tax avoidance.
That is unfortunately the way it goes. The protest needed a different angle and the CS gas incident provided it.
The problem for UKuncut now is that media coverage and interest will offer diminishing returns. They were interested initially and talk about the ‘social media protests’ and then they move on once the story becomes old or repetitive. I’m not blaming them – as an editor I would do exactly the same.
Without the CS spray incident, I bet coverage of the UKuncut protests would have been minimal. Hoping that the media will stick to “discussing the issue” is wishful thinking I’m afraid. They are not going to report every month that some protesters shut down Topshop, Boots or Vodafone.
Going forward, UKuncut need to think not just about new targets, but also new tactics and new imaginative stunts. Without that the media coverage will eventually drop off to zero. Unfortunately that is how the news media works.
PS – Ellie Mae has written a long but excellent account of what happened around the incident. Sympathies go out to people who got sprayed because I’ve had it done to me and its ugly.
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