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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Direct action is not real action


    by Ala on 9th December, 2008 at 4:57 pm    

    The campaign group Plane Stupid claim that they prevented X amount of carbon emissions by their disruptions at Stansted yesterday. However much it was, it is definitely not going to make a difference to global emissions, and I’m sure no one expects it to. Public demonstrations are not meant to actually change anything, but just raise awareness. Even ‘direct action’ is just a publicity stunt which no doubt generates more media coverage than an ordinary protest, but at what price? Is negative publicity better than no publicity? What has been achieved by small pockets of direct action apart from creating a nuisance?

    I find comparisons with the suffragettes disingenuous simply because these protestors are not fighting for rights they don’t have in one of the few ways they can. Their aim being to prevent a climate change catastrophe for the globe, surely they must know this is something that requires much more than just disrupting a few flights and gaining some publicity (of a hugely negative type) while winning only negligible support from the public and having a negligible impact on government policy.

    Well, it’s better than nothing, some may say, but even that’s disputable. There’s a danger that this kind of protest can alienate the majority of law abiding citizens from the cause it claims to represent. As long as illegal direct action dominates the headlines, environmental concerns will be seen as extremist and securely in the realm of identity politics. This kind of exclusivist environmentalism is the furthest you can get from the mass international mobilisation needed to tackle climate change. Disrupt as many flights as you will, this is not what will get everyone on our side in the run up to Copenhagen, where it will be our last chance to make a real difference.



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    65 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Don — on 9th December, 2008 at 5:32 pm  

      I agree. There is a place for direct action, but direct action has to be about more than screwing with Joe Public to grab a headline. You may get a headline, but you don’t get to write it.

      Put yourself between a bulldozer and a beauty spot, between a whale and a whaling ship and you may generate sympathy and even actual interest as well as coverage. Put yourself between Joe Public and their parent’s funeral or their child’s wedding (and you can bet the farm that the press will find examples) and you brand yourself as a self-indulgent, spoiled hippy.

      Gains? None. Losses? Potential support from the uncommitted, providing easy fodder for tabloids to simplify the issue, and giving government another opportunity to ramp up security concerns and the usual counter-measures.

    2. sonia — on 9th December, 2008 at 7:29 pm  

      good point from don. and as you say direct action raises awareness. but at some point it has to be about constructive reality - i.e. let’s some action focusing on how we would like RAIL travel to be subsidised so we could actually afford the rail alternatives to much air travel.

      that’s the thing about #behaviour# change - we have to provide alternatives! otherwise its just like religious proselytizing.

    3. sonia — on 9th December, 2008 at 7:31 pm  

      for example, rail travel within Europe needs to be subsidized - its much cheaper to fly to loads of places than take trains, and given the time differential - where are the incentives? we’re not even talking about that - we should be pushing for the govt. and the EU to take this on board seriously.

      (and idiots like Richard Branson when he spouts about green stuff. get your trains to leave on time and make them cheaper, if you really give a damn Richard old boy)

      and also - flag up how crap the ‘privatisation’ of the transport infrastructure is! stupid stupid stupid.

    4. MaidMarian — on 9th December, 2008 at 7:41 pm  

      ‘Public demonstrations are not meant to actually change anything, but just raise awareness. Even ‘direct action’ is just a publicity stunt which no doubt generates more media coverage…’

      Spot on. The problem with this type of action it that if fails even to hit that mediocre target. There must be amoeba on Mars who are aware of environmental concerns.

      Direct action is more high profile (that is, media friendly) than many other options. But it is a cop out. These protersers should stand outside a travel agent convincing people not to fly or they take up the argument with the public in other ways. They choose not to do that - they essentially demand that people be denied the choice.

      Instead of actually trying to make their case to the public (like the suffragettes did, by the way) they come up with Plane Stupid! - a smug, patronising protest that screams about how anyone who disagrees with it is somehow less than they are and cold hearted to boot.

      Plane Stupid need to take up the argument with the public, but they don’t have the bottle for the hard business of persuasion. Gestures are so much easier.

    5. Leon — on 9th December, 2008 at 8:08 pm  

      I wonder how many people commenting on here actually know anything about DA, it’s history (and associations with the various anarchist movements around the world), it’s uses. Or even about Plane Stupid and it’s form of organising…

    6. Don — on 9th December, 2008 at 8:24 pm  

      Of the three people commenting, at least one knows bugger all about DA’s associations with anarchist movements around the world. And cares less.

    7. Bert Rustle — on 9th December, 2008 at 8:45 pm  

      What is the dividing line between Direct Action and Revolutionary Action?

      Is the former and indication of impatience with the democratic process and the latter an absence of the democratic process?

    8. MaidMarian — on 9th December, 2008 at 8:47 pm  

      Leon - I think that you actually highlight part of the problem with groups like Plane Stupid. Love-ins with like minded people are all well and good, it’s just that all they do is preach to the converted.

      Having written two university dissertations on new social movements I’d like to think I’ve done a bit of reading on the subjuct. My view is that groups like Plane Stupid simply do not understand the ‘political opportunity structure’ they find themself operating in. They fail, like many other groups in Europe because they like being outsiders and permanent opposition. I would also suggest a reading of post-materialism to understand the wider underpinning of protest.

      American groups act in a rather different way and American commentators like Joyce Gelb have noted how European protest tends to have a strangely limited vision of reality which in turn manifests itself as self indulgence.

      The amporphous structure is in a funny way akin to that of Greenpeace in that it aspires to a professional core surrounded by passive support. How much of that passive support flies with Ryanair is open to question.

    9. Dave S — on 9th December, 2008 at 8:57 pm  

      I came on here expecting to disagree (being somewhat into direct action myself), and actually, I agree with the article… and even (perhaps for the first time ever!?) with MaidMarian!

      I have met some of the people involved in Plane Stupid (only in passing) and have argued in defence of their actions on quite a few occasions, but I think it’s time for them to try some different tactics.

      Direct action should be taken to affect governments and corporations, with care taken to make sure that you don’t make enemies of the public in the process. Plane Stupid appear to have lost sight of this.

      The stuff they’re doing is alienating the public and is achieving the opposite of their stated aims.

      On the other hand, the recent direct action against E.on - now that’s the way to do it!

    10. Rumbold — on 9th December, 2008 at 9:34 pm  

      Much as I loath any transportation (apart from overground trains) that is not walking, I think The Daily Mash said it best:

      “Angry travellers stuck in the airport’s departure lounge said they were concerned about global warming and the expansion of low cost air travel but called for each and every one of these f***ing hippies to be strung up from a lamppost.”

    11. Golam Murtaza — on 9th December, 2008 at 9:42 pm  

      Good points by Don about passengers missing funerals and weddings. I also had in mind people on their way to emotional reunions with relatives they may not have seen for years and who have spent ages scraping up the cash for the air fare. Air travel to certain destinations ISN’T cheap for a lot of people.

    12. Leon — on 9th December, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

      Has anyone got any actual evidence of this action causing people to miss funerals and/or weddings. Or is this just one more of those things we’re supposed to believe, herd like, when it suits us?

    13. Shamit — on 9th December, 2008 at 10:11 pm  

      Irrespective of whether people missed funerals or weddings — the Plane Stupid action did not help the environment agenda at all.

      I reckon when “regular” people wake up and have to worry about an economy going south — this protest or attention seeking stunt would most likely be termed as indulgent.

      And, worse these actions make the environmentalist case much harder to make. It empowers people to brandish the term “loony left” and the environment in the same breath.

      Neither does this protest help us with the Copenhagen agenda or with what has just been concluded in Poland or for that matter on how to address our transportation challenge.

      The worst is, people will remember the protest and all the inconveniences, but not the broader agenda or the reasoning behind the protests. Not a very good impression on people you want on your side.

      Do we want to win the environment/energy debate or do we want to pull stunts?

    14. Leon — on 9th December, 2008 at 10:48 pm  

      Again do you have any evidence that the odd bit of DA turns people off or contributes to this ‘loony left’ perception? Or is it that the millions poured into screwing this issue up by PR companies has a bigger affect on what the public think?

      Seriously, you guys are a getting a bit Daily Mail like in your over-reaction to essentially trivial happenings…

    15. conger (slippery as an eel) — on 9th December, 2008 at 10:57 pm  

      Get in the politicians face’s so close that the froth from your mouth wets their face when ranting and raving and puts them completely off balance. This is the only action that they truly understand. ie when it disturbs them personally. This action at the airport (though personally I do not agree with with the message, though I agree that government is a moral hypocrite on airport expansion whilst at the same time claiming to be green) will accomplish nothing and so it will go on. There is an argument that cheap flights have empowered the low paid while these well heeled protesters (some of whom very soon will end up as highly paid accountants, solicitors and area managers for Tesco) themselves fly profusely offsetting it with the odd tree here and there because they know best on our behalf.

    16. Dave S — on 10th December, 2008 at 12:12 am  

      Conger @ 15:

      Actually, if there’s one thing that Plane Stupid protesters can be 100% credited with, it’s their own integrity when it comes to the issues they campaign about.

      They may be a bit misguided when it comes to the people affected by their direct action (and as a former supporter, I’ve started to really disagree with the direction they’re going in), but you won’t find any of them going anywhere on planes - offsetting or not.

      They really aren’t hypocrites when it comes to this.

    17. conger (slippery as an eel) — on 10th December, 2008 at 12:34 am  

      Dave s thank you for that and I will take it as true.

    18. fugstar — on 10th December, 2008 at 12:52 am  

      i didnt get messed up by their protest and think they might have been trying to to a thailand.

      i wish they hadnt done something so dangerous at an airport and had found a way to bugger up more corporate forms of travelling, a ‘harder target’ if you like, like city airport, or a business class lounge, or the whole of dubai.

      i wonder if they won any converts to their cause though. maybe they did.

    19. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 1:02 am  

      fucking self-righteous sanctimonious hippies

    20. dave bones — on 10th December, 2008 at 9:18 am  

      What is interesting in these things is that small town nimby homeowners who are behind suddenly develop a love for self indulgent sanctimonious hippies who are in front.

    21. Trofim — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:07 am  

      small town nimby homeowners? where do they come in the leftwing pantheon of hated categories? Above or below Middle England?

      Incidentally, I have calculated that on his recent jaunts (detailed in previous thread) to India and California, Sunny totalled more air miles than I have achieved in 60 years.
      It is obligatory for lefties to pay gushing lip service to green causes, but also vital that they have their cake and eat it. That is, do what I say, but not what I do.

    22. Trofim — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:30 am  

      I must apologise for a miscalculation. Sunny totalled more air miles than I achieved in the past 30 years, not 60. Between 1947 and 1978 I flew once to Belfast, once to New York and once to Moscow.

    23. Trofim — on 10th December, 2008 at 11:26 am  

      I think Guy Herbert on Samizdata sums up their real motivation well:

      I fear that for a lot of campaigners, being a nuisance is an end in itself, and other people’s annoyance is taken to signify how stupid and morally worthless ordinary people are - and thus as reinforcement by comparison of the overweening self-esteem of the campaigners themselves.

      He’s got their number all right.

    24. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 11:55 am  

      <irony>Plane Stupid really are in danger of being perceived as “smalltown nimby homeowners”. Why don’t they do more? Like blowing up petrol stations up and down the length of the country? Or detonating an electricity generating plant or two? Or how about a campaign of tyre slashing of all the cars parked in Tescos parking lots all over England? Just some measures to shake off their nimby image and to further the cause of environmentalism.</irony>

    25. sonia — on 10th December, 2008 at 11:58 am  

      “, but you won’t find any of them going anywhere on planes - offsetting or not.

      They really aren’t hypocrites when it comes to this.”

      yep their integrity definitely isn’t the thing to question, they’re not politicians after all!

    26. fugstar — on 10th December, 2008 at 12:20 pm  

      its perfectly cool to get up people’s noses on the issue of over consumption and rape of the skies i think.

      we need them to get up our noses, its we’ll continue to smell a bed of roses. it might not be to many people’s copout sensibilities, but they didnt hurt anybody.

      im loving the self righteous and indignant ‘hippy scum’ kneejerkism. Brand PP.

    27. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 12:22 pm  

      “rape of the skies”? hahaha
      there you go, plane stupid = bedroom jihadis

    28. fugstar — on 10th December, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

      Depends how visible the annihilation of coastal habitation in bangladesh is to you. Personally i think they need more time to prepare and adapt.

      People in the west (and east) need to be poked out of their greedy overconsumptive wasteful holes.

      This whole episode shows how a lot of british society, just like its government, prefer words to action on climate change. Just enough to appear trendy with a superficial veneer of self declared progressiveness.

    29. Leon — on 10th December, 2008 at 1:45 pm  

      fugster, well said.

    30. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

      No its not. fugstar is being an opportunistic hypocrite, as usual.

      The encroachment of coastal areas and the increased salinity of the natural freshwater reserves and the devestation that this is having on humans and the environment in Bangladesh has been the research domain of a small number of NGOs. NGOs which fugstar berates on any number of Bangladeshi blogs for being too secular!!

      These NGOs having been quietly and thanklessly working in this area since the mid-90s. Back when most of the Plane Stupid posse were probably tirelessly masturbating into their ‘What Sportscar’ magazines.

      And here is fugstar conflating the actions of a fashionable bunch of narcicisstic, middle class poseurs disrupting public travel in Stansted Airport with the work done by these NGOs in Bangladesh. The bathos in this story knows no bounds.

    31. fugstar — on 10th December, 2008 at 2:47 pm  

      Not really, the netherlands and bangladesh water board have been working on reclamation there since the early 80s.

      Sid mdear, best not render your ignorance and confusion even more explicit than you already do.

      i think the family of green movements in the uk deserve more than your trademark bitter and holier than thou denigration. but it doesnt really matter, you are essentially a waste of resources.

      8.
      So anti-carbon wastage initiatives are obliged to be all ‘jesus’ (in the christocentric understanding)?

      such a line reminds me of the news reporters who foreground, guffaw and dance about with glee upon pointing out how anti-globalisation protesters use air travel. theres something quite wrong and lead-eared about that.

    32. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 2:57 pm  

      I see you’ve lapsed into incoherency again.

    33. bananabrain — on 10th December, 2008 at 3:15 pm  

      sonia@3.

      sorting rail transport is so, so, much more complicated than this and no, it isn’t entirely down to botched privatisation, botched though it was, or the profits (which really aren’t all that) made by private firms such as virgin trains. richard branson has absolutely no say in the timetabling. not only that, but the rail industry as a whole has got some pretty stretching carbon targets to meet.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    34. Kulvinder — on 10th December, 2008 at 5:05 pm  

      To be fair any self-respecting anarchist would expect those that invaded that property to be shot on sight.

      This is one of those situations where people just go a little insane and want to shout at the world for whatever reason; ultimately as in the case of the Newbury bypass once the hysteria and the cameras have gone away the entire incident will be forgotten.

      I agree with the quote in #23.

    35. Sunny — on 10th December, 2008 at 5:09 pm  

      oh jesus, I’m actually agreeing with fugstar for the first time. Its amusing to watch ‘lefties’ getting into a lather about ‘dirty hippies’ (I’m not referring to you Ala, I know you’ve always been strongly environmentalist) and pretend they care.

      The sad fact is, people don’t want to do much about saving the environment despite it being a concern. So that leaves smaller groups to raise the political temperature and keep the issue alive. Frankly, I’m all for it.

    36. ukliberty — on 10th December, 2008 at 5:17 pm  

      Sunny, what sort of interferences with other people’s freedoms do you think are justified?

    37. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 5:22 pm  

      The sad fact is, people don’t want to do much about saving the environment despite it being a concern. So that leaves smaller groups to raise the political temperature and keep the issue alive. Frankly, I’m all for it.

      oh give it a rest!

      The sad fact is, most of the good work is unsung, done by sincere people on the frontline, in unglamorous surroundings for no headlines and no segments on the 6 o’clock news.

      PS! are the wannabe Bonos of environmentalism. As are, sadly, some of my PP peers, it seems. :-(

    38. Shamit — on 10th December, 2008 at 5:28 pm  

      Serious activists seek to attempt to change policy through persuasion and engaging with people and institutions. And, mass campaigns can be developed through effective activism - such as WWF or REN21 or various others.

      I am not against the cause but I am against this stupid display. Its not even in the news stories anymore. Not a single environmental group came out and supported this stupid action either.

      I am also quite pissed off about the lack of security at our airports. If some people could get in the taxiway and main runway — what would have happened if they were terrorists wielding automatic weapons and grenades?

      A lot of us care about the environment and I am sure most people who have written here do make an attempt to make a difference in their own way. And, many I think are pissed off, because these stupid actions harm their cause - which are environment and cleaner energy.

    39. Don — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:00 pm  

      Shamit, agreed.

      What was this stunt supposed to achieve? Other than reinforce the idea that environmentalists are smug, arrogant, self-righteous pricks who want to dictate what others do.

    40. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:05 pm  

      What it has done is make a lot of people who are essentially smug, arrogant, self-righteous pricks and who favour civil disruption for the sake of it, adopt the veneer of “environmentalist”.

    41. Sunny — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:12 pm  

      The sad fact is, most of the good work is unsung, done by sincere people on the frontline

      Such as?

      Serious activists seek to attempt to change policy through persuasion and engaging with people and institutions.

      I think you forget that each broad movement has different segments to it - the direction activists, the lobbyists, the ground campaign people, the internet campaign people etc. Its a multi-headed hydra

    42. Shamit — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:26 pm  

      and your point is?

    43. Sunny — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:37 pm  

      My point is that I’m an ardent environmentalist. I’m not going to criticise environmental movements that seek to constantly raise the political temperature and force the government into accepting they need to take action.

      I supported the Greenpeace Brentspar action years ago and I support Plane Stupid now. And I’m certainly not going to take kindly to pathetic sneering.

      Only half my comment showed up above - I’ve amended it now.

    44. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:50 pm  

      I supported the Greenpeace Brentspar action years ago and I support Plane Stupid now. And I’m certainly not going to take kindly to pathetic sneering.

      I think the tragedy is that you don’t recognise that cheap stunts by Plane Stupid is itself “pathetic sneering” at the work of *real* environmental activists. PS! cannot be included in that category.

    45. Shamit — on 10th December, 2008 at 6:53 pm  

      Do you really reckon the political temperature has been raised at all by this action? I think it hasn’t done much good.

      I think you forget that each broad movement has different segments to it - the direction activists, the lobbyists, the ground campaign people, the internet campaign people etc. Its a multi-headed hydra

      I don’t disagree with this statement.

      There have been people who have tried to blow up ski resorts - endangering lives in the name of environment. To me, those kind of acts don’t do the broad movement much good. Actually it does quite the reverse.

      While yesterday’s actions were not in the level of eco-terrorism - I doubt the protest served much purpose either.

    46. Ala — on 10th December, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

      I don’t think anyone here is meaning to criticise well-meaning protestors. But even if someone is well meaning, actions have consequences and should be properly thought through, especially if they affect global concerns.

    47. Leon — on 10th December, 2008 at 7:38 pm  

      I think the tragedy is that you don’t recognise that cheap stunts by Plane Stupid is itself “pathetic sneering” at the work of *real* environmental activists.

      Hahahahha…if you only knew…

    48. Leon — on 10th December, 2008 at 7:41 pm  

      actions have consequences and should be properly thought through

      You mean like you did when you titled your post with possibly the most idiotic title ever posted on PP?

    49. halima — on 10th December, 2008 at 7:44 pm  

      I don’t know the ins and outs of this stunt .. but direct action as a tactic is far from meaningless.. Sometimes it’s the only way to campaign -and sure, more organized forms of campaigns that focus on persuasion, strategy, research etc are useful, people often make distinctions between social movements that are led by elite campaigns and those that are more broad based and participatory.

      From where I am standing right now - the climate change lobby starting its work 3-5 years ago, has now succeeded in turning around aid and development budgets of many EU countries . It’s been so successful that I am now facing pressures on the budget for my area of work ( core basic services) because climate change is sexy now ( not doubting its relevance for a moment, though). This is true of many colleagues working in aid ministries across Europe. Much of this originated in activism before moving onto serious lobbying of people and institutions and world trade discussions. You have to start at the local level before going big..

      “Serious activists seek to attempt to change policy through persuasion and engaging with people and institutions.”

      But some would argue that activists and anarchists don’t work with the system - they are too angry with it. I think there’s been a mis-understanding here of what we mean by activist - activists do things at the grassroots, build broad alliances, and connect citizens are neighborhood level - they don’t engage effectively with people and institutions - other actors and agencies do this - because it’s working through systems, while activists and anarchists are more radical by their nature, and reject systems, including salaries paid to them by agencies and institutions.

      I am attracted to activism in the way the situationist did it - and the activists that are still inspired by them , I like the idea that you might use play and recreation to draw attention to how disconnected individuals have become to their neighbourhoods and communities - alienated from life through work etc, and the tactics they use disrupt every day patterns and routines we live with.

    50. Don — on 10th December, 2008 at 7:46 pm  

      I’m not going to criticise environmental movements…

      But are you prepared to entertain the possibility that this specific action was counter-productive? Or do you believe that simply by claiming a place in the environmentalist tent any group can cop for a sort of plenary indulgence?

      Again, what were they trying to achieve? Other than gratifying a need for attention to their sanctimonious selves. ‘Raising the temperature’ is scarcely helpful if the temperature in question is hostility towards the cause you are claiming to support.

      Movements may indeed be hydra-headed, but even a hydra needs the ability to recognise that one of its heads may be a dick-head.

    51. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 8:04 pm  

      Movements may indeed be hydra-headed, but even a hydra needs the ability to recognise that one of its heads may be a dick-head.

      hahahaha

    52. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 8:07 pm  

      Hahahahha…if you only knew…

      ooh don’t tell me, Sunny’s gone and joined Plane Stupid. Now that would be smart. Fucking, incorrigibly smart. And smooth. As smart and smooth as going along to meet a girl on your first date with a wet patch on the front of your trousers.

    53. Shamit — on 10th December, 2008 at 8:10 pm  

      Halima
      activists do things at the grassroots, build broad alliances, and connect citizens are neighborhood level

      I agree with you especially the bold part. But activism should be constructive. I would have no problems if they went and built up grass roots support and did something constructive.

      As you suggest, I would have been all for organising few neighbourhoods and persuading local councillors and planning authorities to impose specific energy saving features in all new housing built in their area.

      Lets not curse the system — we have chosen democracy and so far it has served us better than any other system. Activism can happen within the law and institutions could be used to make that change happen.

      Look at Obama’s election — massive activism but structured and all geared towards achieving a common objective. People like Jeremiah Wright did not do the cause much good. My not be the world’s best analogy but you get my point.

      Activism may be romantic to some extent but when it manifests itself in self -indulgent behaviour it loses the moral authority. Unfortunately, yesterday’s Plane Stupid protest was a bit like that.

      If ever there was an opportunity it is there now to make effective changes in how our economies work — which means developing and implementing policies that can drive a true green economy. And its time for serious people. We want long term effective policies building on the emerging global consensus.

      We do not want policies like the Ethanol policies of the past which to some extent led to the recent food crisis. Do we want a repeat of that?

      No, I want to take advantage of this slowly emerging global consensus on climate change and not risk it by sheer fun of irresponsible activism.

    54. Conger(slippery as an eel) — on 10th December, 2008 at 8:24 pm  

      Did I not see on the news recently that a freed member of Bader Meinhof is unapologetic to this day after spending a great deal of his life inside. Perhaps there is a lesson here? Fiddling while Rome burns is at best self-indulgent and at worst fraudulent. Token displays of half a hundred at the airport emboldened by discount russian water the night before only get the backs up of the security services and their careless handlers at the Home Office. Get in your local politicians face, drooling, ranting and raving and screaming, making them feel uncomfortable at every surgery that they hold. Examine their lives and look for hypocrisy in what they have stated then perhaps they will pay slightly more attention to whatever cause you follow rather than a blind allegiance to the whip. Personally, I do not believe in climate change being caused by human activity but respect those that do. But how can I say it, you need to get a little more, well, assertive in your methods if you are going too accomplish anything. By your own reasoning time is a luxury we no longer have for dilly dallying at the edge.

    55. Ala — on 10th December, 2008 at 8:44 pm  

      “You mean like you did when you titled your post with possibly the most idiotic title ever posted on PP?”

      I don’t understand. What’s wrong with the title of this post?

    56. Beavis — on 10th December, 2008 at 9:03 pm  

      Who was saying that members of Plane stupid have integrity and have never flown?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/10/plane-stupid-lily-kember-stansted

    57. Sunny — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:09 pm  

      Plane Stupid is itself “pathetic sneering” at the work of *real* environmental activists.

      Oh yeah? Tell me which environmentalists have condemned Plane Stupid?

    58. fugstar — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:12 pm  

      the economistic establishment has tried to domesticate the ‘e’ concern, spin it with its own logic(stern), win international moral points and prestige with it (the UK government).

      but hey, financial times get a little harsh and we saw all that went out of the window. the PS action speaks more to the ‘inconvenienced’ people and observers than the technocraps who think that they have the keys to social improvement.

      it was no greater inconvenience than the truckers protests caused when they were complaining about how fuel prices were messing up their livelihood, and it was no greater inconvenience than what thai society (+tourists) went through recently.

      Kudos to Mark Constantine for aiding and abbeting this and other similarly themed initiatives!!!!

      http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/3966895.Lush_boss_defends_cash_aid_to_Stanstead_Airport_protesters/

    59. Leon — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:25 pm  

      ooh don’t tell me, Sunny’s gone and joined Plane Stupid.

      :D

      You really don’t have a fucking clue do you??! I aint saying a word on a public forum Sid. ;)

    60. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:39 pm  

      Oh yeah? Tell me which environmentalists have condemned Plane Stupid?

      er, that’s not even close to what this means:

      “Plane Stupid is itself “pathetic sneering” at the work of *real* environmental activists.”

      What it means, is pretty much completely distilled in what Don, Shamit, Halima and others have said on this thread. That the Stanstead Airport tactic was a self-indulgent stunt *counter-productive* to the cause of environmentalism. Its a middle-finger gesture to everyone except themselves. Not least the armies of unknown environmentalists and activists who are working selflessly and namelessly.

      PS is Environmentalism for Fugstars. But if that’s what gets you off nowadays, knock yourself out.

    61. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:42 pm  

      You really don’t have a fucking clue do you??!

      No and I can’t say the suspense is killing me either.

    62. fugstar — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:53 pm  

      is it me or has half of this thread been wasted on sid ungling himself?

    63. Sid — on 10th December, 2008 at 10:59 pm  

      fugstar, you realise don’t you, that if you endorsed this kind of shit in the fabled Khilafah of yours, you’d be spending the night getting very intimate with a pair of pliers and a set of electrodes.

      So I guess you’ll be backing secular, liberal domocracies in the future, huh?

    64. Shuggy — on 10th December, 2008 at 11:24 pm  

      I think you forget that each broad movement has different segments to it - the direction activists, the lobbyists, the ground campaign people, the internet campaign people etc. Its a multi-headed hydra

      Indeed. I quite liked Zizek’s take on this phenomenon:

      “The politics of resistance is nothing but the moralising supplement to a Third Way Left.”

      It has largely become a style of this kind of politics, he means - amongst other things. What say you?

    65. Sunny — on 11th December, 2008 at 3:28 am  

      Shuggy - I like the last paragraph of that article, and broadly I agree with it. In fact, its something Saul Alinsky would have said and did say about 50 years ago.

      But I also support Plane Stupid because while they’re on the margins agitating with a more radical approach, it makes Greenpeace look more moderate and able to present more ‘realistic’ demands and ideas. We all need the radicals to push the boat out :)

      Sid, I don’t think you get what I meant in response.

      You say: That the Stanstead Airport tactic was a self-indulgent stunt *counter-productive* to the cause of environmentalism.

      Possibly, but then to prove that you’d have to show me environmental groups, the mainstream ones, condemning Plane Stupid and saying their work is counter-productive.

      Please refer to the point I made above to Shuggy.



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