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This is a question Protest!

Sit-ins. Walk-outs. Smashing up the headquarters of a major political party. Chaining yourself to the railings outside your local sweet shop because they changed Marathons to Snickers. How have you stuck it to The Man?

(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 12:24)
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This question is now closed.

well, someone had to say it
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 23:30, 18 replies)
I think this is what is known as a "pre-emptive strike": Cock and Jaw, if you will...
The Line of Control: (Well "like" This)

Morose. I suppose that explains it. You, me, us. You can hardly bring yourself to touch me. Our conversations flicker into arguments and burn away any semblance of happiness. And we lie in bed next to each other, bodies straight and staring at the ceiling. Never to reach across the endless, imaginary divide between us, never to fix it with a kind word and a kiss.

We lie next to each other, not together. The inch that separates us in your “large-single” bed might as well be the DMZ or the line of control. Ideologically opposed – you with your French and me as an Englishman. That inch could be the Channel and I would still feel closer to you than when we lie, shoulder-to-shoulder, in your bed.

When it was me who was busy, the endless drudgery of case law weighing heavy upon my shoulders, you demanded my time. It was unacceptable to you that I had important things to do before seeing you. Those months of you working thursday, friday, saturday, sunday. And me studying on monday tuesday wednesday thursday, I don't know how we managed it. I suppose we didn't. You were so angry – I know I am not allowed to refer to the past but I do remember it. And I acquiesced, not always, but enough, in my mind, to keep me behind in my studies.

Now you have the coldness; the calculating of time management takes up all the spare time you have. I come to visit, and apart from the arguments, the late food and of course the television, there is nothing. Not a girlfriend, but an aspiring lawyer. A platonic friend with whom I hardly share a sentence, let alone a “real” hug. So many things have been wiped off the board – so many limits put in place and maintained. I can hardly remember who I am with all the things I have to refrain from. “Don't touch me, don't talk to me, leave me alone, I'm busy.”

Busy erecting walls. East or West it is all the same – there are no real barriers save those we have invented in our minds. The problem of other minds – I exist as a mere cypher – the exemplar of all the shortcomings on your graph of a perfect man, as you have oft informed me. A philosophical zombie, playing the game of consciousness. Well "like" this and see if the electrical circuits fire in the brain.

I drank too much before I met you, and I anticipate that it will continue after you are gone. But when I am with you, supping from the eighth can of “cheap” lager, and you have had nothing to do with me all day/night, save argue and accuse and reprimand and chastise, know that the booze does make it better. Ha! I am sure you laugh, pity the fool and all that rot. But I don't. Stupid fool. So what? We all make mistakes, I am still in the process of categorising mine. I'll learn from them, even if I die trying.

Yes, I believe we are reaching the end of the journey. Of course, we are not there yet – there are at least a couple of fights left in me, and I don't wish for an end. But we have stripped away so much. The intimacy we once shared in every moment together is gone, replaced with a cold space where every word is a potential offence, every action analysed by reference to the art of war.

Once all the fight is gone, what remains? A shell of all the things we proved we weren't?
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 23:08, 11 replies)
Remember the poll tax protests?
Personally, I wasn't giving a shit about it. My parents were moaning about the rates revaluation and were paying less under the community charge than they were in rates, so my family were actually winners from it.

However, my flatmate at the time decided to go to Edinburgh to protest about the introduction of this mediaeval, punitive tax. He put his name down for the free bus to Edinburgh, and off he went.

It was only when he returned that evening that he told us he wasn't interested in protesting about the poll tax. He had just fancied a day out in Edinburgh and the opportunity of a free trip was too good to turn down. He's spent the day shopping in Princes Street and drinking in the pubs of Rose Street!
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 21:59, 1 reply)
"student debt"
I know this is going massively off-topic but I like this board so I'm hoping someone can explain this to me.

A debt is a sum of money that you borrow from someone, at an agreed rate of interest, for an agreed term, and have to repay. If you do not repay bailiffs may well turn up at your door to repossess your belongings, and failing that you may be taken to court where a judge may declare you bankrupt in order to settle the dispute.

A student loan is repaid only when a person can afford to, as a percentage of their income. Most students will end up paying only half the amount they initially "borrowed" for their tuition fees. This "debt" will not count against them if they want to borrow from a bank, for example in order to get a mortgage. To all intents and purposes it is an extra 10% on their tax bill for a limited period of time while on average their salaries are likely to have been raised by more than that as a result of their having a degree.

As far as I can see that's still free money. Can someone explain to me what the fucking problem is?
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 21:14, 65 replies)
I will have no part in this
I am opposing this qotw by boycotting it, and i refuse to give any answer of any kind whatsoever.

(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 21:08, Reply)
My cat
As we were loading up the car to go on holiday, there was a lot of leg-rubbing and miaowing on her part. We had to drive down the road, turn round at a wide spot and come back to reach the roundabout at the other end and get away, but as we were returning, she walked out into the middle of the road and sat down. She refused to budge for about five minutes, before giving up and going back into the house, waking up my older brother (who was staying behind as he was old enough not to have to go away with the parents) and yelling at him for a bit.

She sulked for days when we came back.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 20:52, 2 replies)
When I was Five
I protested against my fathers Iron Fist ruling by locking him outside in the rain. He was not happy.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 20:29, 1 reply)
When I was at university in 1992, the students were up in arms about Nestle selling powdered arsenic to African villagers (something like that). They demanded that everyone boycott all Nestle products so that the reduction in profit - amounting to about £12 per annum, I guess - would bring the giant corporation to its knees.

Last year, I had cause to visit the campus again and was amazed to see the boycott still in place: dreadlocked and tie-dyed students waving banners about bringing Nestle to its knees by banning Kit Kats from the Union tuck shop.

I can't imagine the how Nestle has weathered this storm and remained solvent all these years. How do they sleep knowing that two-dozen people at a British redbrick university forego their products for three years (before leaving to become middle managers at similar companies)?
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 20:04, 20 replies)
I used to sell doubleglazing over the phone until i got sacked a few months ago now I sell the same company quotes through my website doubleglazing.me and make shitloads more, I actually deal with the guy who sacked me directly under an assumed name and he does't even know its me.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 19:41, 4 replies)
My Grandad
He had to have his out when he turned 70.

Said it had started burning when he went for a piss.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 19:29, 2 replies)
...You remember that guy in the photo on the front page of the Mail on Sunday? The guy with a brick in his hand, about to throw it as the crowd struggled to get near the BNP bunker?

Do you remember how you said he looked just like me, then asked if I could account for my where-abouts on the day in question?

Well...I may have told a small fib. It might have been me after all.

(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 19:13, 1 reply)
i protested against a protest
when i was a more idealistic teenage smash, there was a new rule passed in my school: no girl was to wear trousers, only skirts. as you can imagine, many of the girls were annoyed about this. "boys can wear trousers, why can't we?" they asked.
a perfectly reasonable question, i'm sure you'll agree.
the girls decided to protest outside the gym hall, as they were pissed off the most about having to wear gym skirts instead of shorts. as they were busy shouting their anti-sexist slogans, i asked sarah(the ringleader) if boys should be allowed to wear skirts if they wanted.
"don't be fucking stupid," she sneered, "of course they can't wear skirts, they're boys!"
she truly couldn't understand why i laughed in her face.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 19:11, 9 replies)
As some of you may know....
I founded the Consumer Action Group.

Way back when it was still the Bank Action Group, we decided we would protest about the lack of, well, anything from the OFT - the people supposedly in place to ensure we get fair trade in our country, and to stop big, bad businesses from ripping us off from their monopolistic positions.
We told a few people about it, engaged other, similar websites, and generally figured we'd get a load of people up in London protesting about OFT inactivity.
After a few weeks, it was quite apparent that despite starting out disturbing a hornet's nest, people were as nonchalant as ever.
We quietly decided to drop the idea through lack of interest.
However, we'd already informed newspapers and TV news networks and as the planned date approached they started to report on it.
Word got about, and obviously we had to go through with it or we'd look like a bunch of amateurs - which, in fact, was exactly what we were.
The police got hold of it, and unknown to us, arranged a large police presence in the area, on horseback. With batons.
A few weeks later, the day arrived, so i get up early, get on a train and get to the meeting place outside the OFT.
There was, I think, around 12 of us.
12 of us, and about 70 coppers on horseback, and about 30 reporters.
We walked up to the doors of the OFT. About 10 massive bouncers (who presumably had been hired for the day) wouldn't let us in.
We went home.
We couldn't have looked sillier if we'd tried.
Well, apart from the one bloke who dressed up as Robin Hood. Looked more like the green goblin.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 18:08, 22 replies)
A Friend of mine's Dad was a copper
During the Poll Tax Riots- Frightening stuff apparantly. But some time after he was shopping in Tescos with my friend (who as about 3 at the time) when he came across one of the protestors he had arrested who started to menace him.

He lifted my friend into a freezer and went to protect himself with the only things he had to hand- some tins of baked beans. The Protestor left and he managed to call for back up. The Protestor was arrested a mile down the road about half an hour later after attempting armed robbery. He was armed with a revolver the whole time.

Sorry for any gaps here- I only heard this story once off my friend who can't actually remember it, but he says it was the scariest thing to ever happen to his dad( who isn't a policeman anymore)
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 17:59, 5 replies)
Have a pearoast from a while back...
When I first arrived at University, I was thrilled to see that the Union nightclub was actually really rather good. I've seen others which appear to just be a space in the Union building where someone's rigged a couple of lights and speakers, but not this one. No, this was a proper three-floor, bloody good quality club (despite being full of students).

At the start of my first year, every Tuesday was rock night. This involved all three floors being open, great music, live bands, the works. Then, throughout the year, bit by bit it began closing down. First the bands stopped appearing. Then the top floor shut. Then the basement floor (the big, proper dance-floor) shut, leaving only the middle open.

Now, in fairness, it had been waning in popularity and presumably it was not economically viable to keep it as it had once been. But it was damn annoying.

Finally, the end of the year came around, and EVERYONE who had ever been piled into the one little floor that was left open, for a big goodbye rock-out. The place was absolutely rammed. People were going nuts. Everyone was having the time of their lives...

... when the sound cut out. Mid-song. And the fluorescent 'bugger off home now' lights came on. An hour early.

Everyone screamed in animalistic outrage, and turned to the DJs, though it soon became clear that they had no warning.

It was the bastard management. They'd been systematically stripping down my favourite night of the week, and now they were denying us our final hour. Well I wasn't going to take it! Not any more! I was going to show them what I was made of!

I sat down.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I did this more as a joke than anything else. But then my mates sat down. And then the guys next to us... and next to them...

And before you knew it there were hundreds of us. We were chanting, singing, ripping posters off the walls (using the ones advertising it open til 2am as placards). It even got to the point where I was sat on the DJ desk leading the chanting: "Fascists! 2am! Fascists! 2am!"

Fascists? Really??? Oh well...

But we obviously did something right, as they eventually relented and let us have one last song! Result!

Four years as a student and that's the only protest I ever took part in.

Oh, somehow I not only avoided getting banned, but the following couple of years the management went out of their way to help when my band arranged live music nights. I often wonder what they would have said if they realised who we were...
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 17:34, Reply)
i walked out in protest
over my mum calling me a filthy fat slut, purely because i'd walked downstairs and she was pissed off with my sister and couldn't vent her rage on her.
11 years later, i'm still living on my own. not protesting any more, but i'm glad i moved out tht day.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 17:27, 11 replies)
I rather liked the Cameron quote on the BBC News site:
"Not enough protest police".

Quite agree Dave. They've been getting off far too lightly lately...
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 17:02, Reply)
I went on a Legalize Cannabis march once.
It was quite strenuous, and I don't think anyone else saw the inherent irony of the thing.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 16:14, 2 replies)
I'm protesting against protests
by not going.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 16:12, Reply)
Not exactly the loudest or the most eye-catching of subversive activities.
And yes, it'll be rather wordy just the same.

I used to give away free food to poor people. See, one big problem in America (and probably a few other developed nations) is that far too often the people with the least spare cash tend to have less access to affordable fresh fruit and veg. It isn't just a problem of city living, it's also down to things like lack of actual grocery stores within travel range, the time and expense of public transportation and many other factors. While there are government programs to help, there's still the problem of lack of accessibility - so what if the government will pay for it if the closest corner shop has none and the nearest proper grocery is two hours by bus - and sometimes people don't qualify but still have need. So where's my part in all this?

I, having both free time and personal transportation to spare, decided to volunteer with our local Food Not Bombs group despite not being of the anarcho-hippie persuasion myself. Each week, I'd drive around to the different farmer's markets in the area and the farmers would donate fruits and vegetables that were maybe a little imperfect for sale but still perfectly good, or perhaps they had too much of a certain thing one week, or perhaps they didn't want to haul the unsold perishables back home. If what we had needed to be cooked right away we'd make something out of it, set up on a street corner and give it away; if it would keep, we'd load it into a wagon and walk through neighbourhoods giving it out to whoever wanted it.

Then a few of the members decided we needed to be more 'radical'. It seemed that reducing food waste and providing people with fresh, nourishing foods at no cost to them in time or money (in a country where so many people have this mindset that if you don't have something, it's because you didn't work hard enough for it and therefore don't deserve it) just wasn't good enough for them. I'll spare you the tales of dissent and infighting and cut to the part where operations dwindled down to me and one other girl doing everything from the collecting to the distribution on our own while the rest of them argued about the most effective way to make what they considered a worthwhile stand.

Here's my stand: One of the places where we took food was a day labour facility. In addition to borderline-exploitative work conditions, the place also overcharged its 'hires' for paltry meals at the jobsites. We'd take cooked food down there in the morning when the men lined up outside waiting for the place to open, or just take fruit if we didn't have anything to cook. One evening, I was walking home from work when a man on the street stopped me. I was wary at first, but he was smiling. 'I know you!' he said. 'You're one of the girls who brings us food.' He went on to say that when we came around, it was one of the only times in a day where someone made him feel like a person and not like a piece of garbage. He thanked me, asked me to thank my friend as well, and said that all the men at the facility were grateful that someone cared. I can't think of a moment when I felt more powerful against a system that made the man feel so low and gave a need for our work to fill in the first place.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 15:55, 10 replies)
TV licencing
I appreciate that it must be a hard job to collect TV licences. I agree that they need to be paid by people who watch the BBC.

However, when the TV licencing authority did't bother asking me to tell them if I have a TV or even telling me to get a licence but jumped straight to sending me a letter informing me that they would be visiting shortly and containing detailed information on how to behave at my upcoming court appearance if it turned out I had a tv, I swore they would never, ever hear another word from me under any circumstances.

I do not have a TV.

They have yet to visit.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 15:52, 24 replies)
The Open Uni
I've sent a letter of protest (well an email anyway) about the way I'm expected to submit my assignments electronically in a file format that can be read by Word 2003.

This may well be acceptible for sociology students and other essay writers, but not with physics which consists of equations and the odd definition. It's such a pain in the arse that I've taken to doing it on paper, scanning it in and inserting it as an image.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 15:42, 19 replies)
I have most definitely not stuck it to the man
by downloading copious amounts of stuff using thepiratebay.org and µTorrent.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 15:37, 11 replies)
When something vexes me terribly
I harrumph loudly and then saunter down to the gentleman’s club for a sniff of brandy and a game of backgammon. Tally ho!
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 15:20, 3 replies)
I protest /talk
By /ignoring the lot. They can "read this as unfunny cunt protests because he can't match wits" all day long, I'll never know or give a shit.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 15:01, 13 replies)
"If you hate it so much, why don't you leave?"
Good point.

I've been living in Sweden for the last 10 years... and I won't be coming back.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 14:55, 9 replies)
I'm going to protest by answering last week's question in an amusing manner.
I realise that by doing so for the second time, I relinquish my prior claim to be doing so merely to take the piss, but what the hell.

"My internet connection is so incredibly ancient and slow that by the time this post finishes uploading it'll probably be the next question."
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 14:23, 7 replies)
We were protesting outside a government department earlier in the year.
As usual, a Garda arrived on a motorbike to observe.
At the end he walked up to the MEP leading the protest and said in a disapproving voice "Is that it? If ye were Greek ye'd have burned the fucking place down."
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 14:22, 2 replies)
This foreign bloke was popping by...
...and it was rumoured he was involved in some sort of child abuse scandal, and a bunch of other unsavoury stuff too (anti-homosexual speeches, sexual discrimination, that kind of thing). There was something about him getting money from the government too. Really not on.

So a few people decided to do invite some others, make a bit of noise, get a bit of attention. I went along, and there were a few more people around than I had expected, but it was nice day out, and we all had a lovely walk.

No-one actually broke anything or set fire to anything, so it only got a little spot on the news.

(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 14:17, 1 reply)
I don't really see the point in protesting. A lot of people work very hard to get things right
So it's probably just a lack of understanding the systems that's the problem, as opposed to the system itself.
(, Thu 11 Nov 2010, 14:11, 18 replies)

This question is now closed.

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