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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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Me daughter done a protest last night
She's aged 3, but talks like a pro and comes out with some classics. Last night's one however was particularly daft and gave me a grin.

As part of the "bedtime" routine we've got her scrubbing her teeth, to the point now where she wants to learn how to put toothpaste on the brush herself. The only problem with this is that she keeps on messing about with the taps before picking up her toothbrush which may be great fun for a 3 year old, but not to the parent standing behind her who suddenly finds alot of water soaking their crotch.

So after a few seconds of arguing I get a bit annoyed and say "Right, put the toothbrush back, the bugs can stay in your mouth, go straight to bed."

She screams and cries as if I'd just shown her a photo of Gary Glitter and starts her protest by clamping herself to the sink.

"Um...what's the matter?"
And through a hail of tears and huffing she utters "I can feel the bugs eating my teeth, it hurts!"

Hell of a protest that.
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 12:39, 4 replies)
Many years ago...
I was at the school disco. If I recall correctly it was about the time paisley shirts were being slowly overtaken by lumberjack shirts in the fashion stakes. I was still in a paisley shirt, but that's related more to my parents financial mismanagement than the crux of this story.

The DJ was rolling through the classics like red red wine, smells like teen spirit and Bon Jovi in much the same way he did at every disco. Then he played Hammertime for the second time. WTF? I only just finished Hammertiming 30 mins before that. So my friends and I did what any spotty teenagers would do in such a diabolical situation. We exited sharpish into the courtyard to wait for the song to finish. Four less people on the dance floor. That will show the cunt!
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 12:37, 6 replies)
My local cinema is showing The Passion of St Tibulus.
My boss isn't pleased and thinks we ought to do something.
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 12:24, 7 replies)
My family were celebrating my Father-in-law's retirement on his yacht.
My Wife's brother told me it was a pirate themed party. When I left my hotel (after picking some pirate-styled items from my wife's luggage) I followed a group of flamboyantly dressed men, who, it turns out were a group of gay-rights protestors on their way to the yacht club.

It was a lovely day.
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 11:41, 4 replies)
I meekly do what I'm told
Which is why I'm sitting here quietly waiting for the next QOTW.
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 11:11, 4 replies)
I like the more militant wing of the anti-vivisectionists
Especially when they put up their stalls on main streets with all the grisley photographs of animals having vivisection at eye-level for five year old kids.


Right on!
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 11:07, 12 replies)
A very stylish riot
I like this country. Sure, we get a bit smashy-smashy when we protest, but at least it is for a noble cause. Down with fees! Down with fascism! Down with war! As an American, I have learned to protest like the best of the British - I turn up and look a bit embarrassed, then eat a sausage sandwich before catching the train home. Power to the people!

In the United States, I had one single attempt at protesting Dow Chemical and their tendency to kill my friends and family with their dioxin river pollution (not even my sister turned up, and she was my pièce de résistance, seeing as she was all baldy cancer-y from the evil Dow Chemical.) However, I inadvertently found myself in one large protest-turned-riot.

No, the government wasn't involved. No, American lives would not be lost. No, it wasn't a battle of good against evil. Find out, they were protesting an alcohol ban at football tailgate parties. I was attending a wedding in the middle of this melee. As the fires were creeping ever-closer to the venue, we were evacuated into the madness. I stepped into the streets in my dress in heels just in time to see a crowd petrol bomb a police car. The police, not taking terribly kindly to such japes, responding by tear-gassing all of us. Windows were smashed, cars set alight, a Delorean was overturned...mind, I couldn't see any of it because I was sat on a curb in a very lovely riot-antithesis frock while my eyes burned out of my skull.

30-50,000 people turned up to protest fee rises. 10,000 people rioted at my University because we wanted to get drunk in a field. Suck on that, Daily Mail.
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 11:04, 3 replies)
Hundreds ride with 13 year old boy who was told he couldnt ride to school showing his countries flag!
Yes its America, but this is definately sticking it to the man and a damn good protest. School officials had told a 13 year old that he wasnt to cycle to school with an american flag decorating his bike. Apparantly it may offend people! Kicked up a bit of a fuss, and before they knew it, hundreds of riders turned up equipped with flags and rode to school with him.

Video here:


School superintendant appologised and promised that something like that would never happen again:)
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 10:16, 9 replies)
The 1992 revolution
In the early 1990s, I took to pinning Socialist Worker fliers around my rather-too-impressed-with-itself wannabe-public school.

Some of them survived for three or four whole minutes before being removed or defaced.
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 9:56, 2 replies)
I write angry letters to (semi-notable pisstaking website) Speak You're Branes.
They must be having some effect, because in the past five or six weeks they've only posted two updates and appear to be coming to a halt.

One man can make a difference!
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 9:30, 1 reply)
"Chameleonic Life Forms, No Thanks" t-shirts.

But only if the major and I mean major leaflet campaign, whist drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts don't work
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 7:31, 5 replies)
Didnt we have this exact qotw a few weeks back?
answer: yes. www.b3ta.com/questions/theman/
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 3:58, 3 replies)
My one proper job* protest
I missed the London Poll Tax riot 'cos I had to move house that day (booted out by my Dad, meh). I did go to the march in Truro just before though. That day was one of the funnest of my life - there were many hundreds of people there (this was Cornwall where three unrelated people gathered together is a major event). We burnt an effigy of Thatcher in front of the cathedral and generally made a racket.

Things turned nasty when one of the policemen (and I saw this with my own eyes) pre-empted the Tomlinson murder and sent an innocent old woman flying - and I do mean flying** with one of those two handed shoves they love to do when they think no-one is looking.

Now I admit now that my memory is somewhat fuzzy after 20 years, but I remember the crowd went nuts and turned on the police, sending them scuttling back to the police station, with the baying crowd dogging their piggy footsteps back to the nearby police station and making a hell of a racket outside for quite a while. I guess if we were more so-fist-icated, or this had been after the London riot we'd have smashed the place up, alas it was just plenty noisy. We scared the police shitless though, and that was the day I lost all respect for the law.

* 'Proper Job' is a common term down our way. It means 'For Real' or 'Excellent' I suppose
** Length - about 5 feet and she hit Littlewoods' shop window backwards and at high speed
(, Tue 16 Nov 2010, 0:08, 1 reply)
story reminds me of how i fought against facism just the other day, when the BNP were outside the Royal Courts of Justice (all 5 of them). A fat lady offered me a leaflet, but I said no thank you and gave her a right look.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 22:24, 1 reply)
Scientologists - my own small protest
I don't do organized religion or theism in general, and have an irrational and perhaps occasionally unhealthy dislike of the "church" of scientology. It always struck me as a bit bizarre, Xenu and the Thetans always seemed like a science fiction story waiting to be made into a movie. When I read Heinlein's comment that it was the result of a bet, I put them in the charlatan column.

Two summers ago, at the local summer festival held in town, I happened to walk past a scientology recruitment booth, staffed by folk resplendent in red polo shirts. At the booth, earnest members of the "church" were in various stages of their slick recruitment, some using the E-meter "galvanometer of divine inspiration and test of personal happiness" on their slack-brained and feeble-minded prey.

Something clicked in me. Muttering a loud "well that's just a load of old bollocks" I wandered in and took a look at the instrument. "Measures skin resistance - needle will go all over the place if you're stressed out," I said to one of the hapless public. "Same principle as a lie detector - it doesn't do anything they're telling you, and the results are inconclusive and sometimes downright misleading." I became aware of being surrounded by red shirts. "Frankly, they're yanking your chain," I added.

One of the minions put his hand on my arm, attempting to move me. "You've got until I count three to remove your hand, or I will take action, and you won't be touching anything anytime soon." Wisely, he did, before attempting to wheedle me out of the booth. "I'm not going anywhere," I said, "this is public property, and I have as much right as you have to be here." They tried to engage me in conversation, "Well, no, I don't believe any of this frankly ludicrous nonsense. And yet you claim your principles are scientific. Show me the science, or even any evidence, that Xenu brought immortal humans to earth 75 millions years ago. Show me the evidence that they dropped atom bombs into volcanos. Show me one piece of evidence." Of course they couldn't.

They continued to try and surround me, but I just walked around, generally making an arse of myself, mumbling "utter bilge water" or "complete and utter arse wank" when I heard something particularly specious (and there was a lot of it.)

Finally, after about 2 hours, I tired of the game and wandered off. Walked through a couple of crowded stores, sneaking out of the back way. Hung out in a coffee shop for an hour. And then took a very circuitous route back to my car.

It was probably a waste of time, but frankly if I got one person to think a second time before being suckered into that cult, I consider it well spent.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 20:06, 19 replies)
Sticking it to the man
During my GCSEs, my graphics teacher really didn't like me, and he wasn't shy about showing it. Any thing that went wrong was my fault, despite me being well behaved.

My mates saw this and used it to wind me up. If I left my seat somthing would be missing when I got back, pen, paper, bag, coat, it was all hidden. Eventualy I stopped finding it funny, so carted everything with me. I had beat them, i could finaly do the work I needed to catch up on.

I got back to my desk, where nothing could be missing, except my desk was missing. Obviouly this caused fits of giggles and me doffing my cap to the lads. At this point, the teacher noticed somthing was wrong. "Why arnt you working mong?" He asked.
"Because my desk has been stolen sir." I explained.
"Get to work!" he demanded, angered by my valid point.
"Sir, I havn't got a desk!"
"If your not sat at a desk working in 5 seconds your in detention all week!" he shouted.
"FINE!" was my reply.
I walked up to his desk and began to work. He quickly decided to take charge and find my desk.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 18:41, Reply)

Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase! Three! Word! Phrase!
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 18:36, 4 replies)
Making a fat racist angry
I was with a friend going to the gym, we had to use a cash point so he parked the car, and we proceded on foot. Just next to the cash point was a BNP stand, with a couple of chavs handing out flyers. Now my friend is mixed race, I was clearly mates with him, yet they still held out leaflets expecting us to take them. Obviously neither of us took them, we chose to loudly discuss what a joke the BNP was, and how Nick Griffin was a half witted thug no more suited to lead a conga than a political party.

Back in the car, lights stopped us alongside the stand. It was summer and the windows were down, we continued to mock the BNP, then I was dared to shout somthing. And shout I did. "Fuck off facists!" I yelled as the lights changed and we bravely sped away, air punching and shouing "yeah!"

Not exactly worthy of a film but I felt good!
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 18:08, Reply)
stupid fucking nature!
just had a row with a hippy friend of mine, who says that i am subverting the natural order and the glory of womanhood by choosing not to become a mother.
well, xara, my house doesn't smell of shitty terry nappies, does it?
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 17:57, 49 replies)

Say what you like, but I'm all for exams and other forms of competency based assessment.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 17:45, 10 replies)
I Protest!
Madam! I must protest,
I know you've tried your very best,
In all your efforts to molest
Me but I fear I shan't tumesce
Like this, you'd better let it rest
And let me go.

For we both know that blood-red dress
On some young psiren would look best,
And whilst in your case, I attest,
It does conceal two mighty breasts,
Your face is more like Rudolf Hess,
And I shall have to scream unless,
You let me go.

This is the game that you play best,
You gave me red wine to ingest,
Led me away from other guests,
And up against a wall you pressed
Me, where you boorishly caressed
Me, I wasn't too impressed,
And I fear cardiac arrest
Might suddenly befall me lest
You do not let me go.

So, Madam, please desist,
For the more that you insist,
I fear the more I shall resist,
I know you seem to think we've kissed,
But there's a subtle point you've missed,
That to gain a kiss of course,
Should not have needed so much force,
In fact, "under duress,"
Describes my own position best,
And so before you get undressed,
Madam...I protest!
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 17:33, 3 replies)
A lady that I used to go out with
was a bit 'right on', as the Daily Mail would probably call her - a member of Amnesty International, plus various feminist and animal welfare organisations, etc.

She thought it was a disgrace that in certain parts of the world people still didn't have the right to vote. She saw this as a denial of their basic human rights. All very worthy, as I'm sure you'll agree.

However, she spent one Saturday afternoon handing out anti-BNP leaflets - which called for the outright banning of the party.

She failed to see the irony in this.

We don't go out anymore.

NB: This doesn't mean that I support the BNP - far from it. However, you cannot bang on about democracy and then expect to ban a political party just because you find their views abhorrent - without looking like a frightful twat.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 17:16, 8 replies)
I was on a protest march once, rather reluctantly as it happens - not an issue really cared that much about, but the other 'arf did so I was dragged along. Typically, as we passed McDonalds, some rent-a-mob fuckwits decided to smash the windows. Since this didn't relate even tenuously to the theme of the march, I decided I'd had enough and bailed.

As I turned abruptly away from the march column, I stepped right in front of a copper who was photographing people. This was when they'd just started doing this, and it was a fearsome looking camera, with an equally big flash which popped right in my face.

For a second I stood, rather dazed, staring at the equally surprised plod. Then my stupid gland must have recovered, because I said, "Any chance of a print, then?"

Thankfully he laughed and replied "I shouldn't think so, mate" and we went about our day.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 16:49, 1 reply)

(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 16:10, 23 replies)
Qui est le K-PAXien le plus célèbre sur terre?
prot est.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 16:10, 7 replies)
More on The Rebel's Dilemma
I ended my post below by mentioning the Rebel's Dilemma, an interesting book I read a few years ago that tries to explain in what circumstances people will protest or revolt, and the demographics of the people that do. The author's point is that rebellion is essentially irrational, by a similar logic to the Prisoner's Dilemma:

Any individual incurs costs by protesting - at the very least losses of time and money, and in more extreme cases imprisonment and death
Any individual's protest makes very little difference
If the protest *is* effective, non-participants gain the same benefits as participants

So by that logic, it's hard to see why anyone protests at all. The book demonstrates how the opposing sides in the protests work to change the balance of the logic in their favour: rebels highlight the amount of difference one person can make, protests are held on weekends to reduce the cost and so on, while governments work to increase the cost to participants (by tightening laws), try to deny protests publicity (to reduce the impact of individuals) and try to marginalize them.

He points out how protesters are usually those with the least to lose - students, the unemployed and those without families - and that protests are better attended in good weather. And lots of other good stuff - well worth a read, although it does go on a bit.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 15:07, 6 replies)
decided to foist their new overdraft charges onto us. Rather than pay interest on the overdraft balance, they changed it to the 'easier to understand' £1 a day whilst you're in your OD. And if you go over your OD limit, that becomes £5 per day. Being well into an OD and being too fiscally challenged to pay it off before the new charges came into effect (if we wanted to eat, pay bills and keep a roof over our head that is) meant that we were now going to be charged double what we were paying before. FUck that I thought. So I wrote to them and told them that although they are entitled to change their T&Cs, I am not going to agree to them and asked to them to freeze the account or at least carry on charging the old interest rate whilst we pay it off.
Did they listen? Did they bunnies. So we jumped ship and went to another bank, leaving that one in limbo. I wrote again four more times telling them they can't force us to accept their charges and each time they said 'tough shit'.
I got FOS involved, but they were as much use as a plastic frying pan.

So, 9 months later with best part of a grand added on in unlawful charges and debt collection agencies writing to me and calling and sending texts, I wrote to the bank demanding the signed copy of the agreement between us that showed that I had agreed to their new charges. The agreement that doesn't exist. Nothing showed up so I wrote again quoting various credit agreement regulations and so on.
A few weeks later, we received a reply saying that they've refunded all the new charges (£1060), frozen all new charges and asked if I'd phone them up to arrange a payment plan.


Especially considering that I was happy to carry on paying the interest which would've probably added several pounds to the total.

I now need to check if they've added any blemishes to my credit record.
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 15:03, 3 replies)
During the 1990s we had a friend that was a big part of Reclaim the Streets and we went along a few times to East London to protest about the M11 extension that knocked down a whole lot of Leytonstone and the surrounding areas. I took part in a few 'actions' and appeared on the news almost falling out of a tree at one time.

What I loved most about protests was the strange mingling of art and defence: no one could make a barricade without it being turned into a sculpture. The best part was the giant tower known as Dolly, named after an old lady that had been forcibly evicted and gained the movement a lot of publicity. To prevent one of the houses being knocked down, the protesters built the tower out of random bits of scaffolding, emerging from its roof and climbing extremely high, a long way beyond the reach of the cherrypickers. It was very cool, and a very effective barrier too. Music was also a big part of the protest community - I still get a bit emotional remembering the impromptu drumming session that went on during one construction site occupation.

Now, of course, the motorway has been there for years and you'd never know it had ever been different. We've all shaved a few minutes off the drive to Cambridge and the congestion has been relocated south of the Blackwall Tunnel. Life goes on. Was the whole thing pointless? I don't think so.

The Stop the War protests finally proved to me that democracy is dead, and non-violent direct action really is the only thing that makes a difference: hold as many placards as you like, it's financial costs that actually cause people to re-think. How many road-building projects were shelved or improved as a result of the M11 (and Twyford Down and many other) protests, knowing that they might face similar problems and escalating costs? Would there be a green consensus these days without the Greenpeace activists of the 80's?

Of course, now I have a job and family, and with the anti-terror laws I'd have to think pretty hard before getting involved in anything like that again. It's a job for young people (The Rebel's Dilemma)
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 14:26, 4 replies)
Fluffy animals & scary animals
Way back in the mid-1990s, some of the wrinklier members may remember the animal export protests - various ports were blockaded to prevent truckloads of live animals being exported to Europe in appalling conditions. Well, I live near one of these ports, and my girlfriend at the time was an animal rights activist, so we went along.

It was quite fun, at first. The local Sussex police were friendly enough, and were clearly aware that, unusually, the crowd had a good proportion of grannies, kids and nice, normal people. Oh, there were a few rent-a-mob types, and of course some ALF wannabe terrorists, but by and large it was a peaceful, and dare I say it effective protest: the police ensured that the trucks got through, but the protest was made and the media reported it.

After a couple of weeks of this, though, the Powers That Be decided to ramp it up. The local plod were replaced with Metropolitan Police Riot Squad types, bussed in from London. These guys were brutal, and clearly very happy to have a ruck with the unwashed lefties. I saw one girl elbowed aside so hard she was knocked unconscious on the kerb. The Metrocops had also, of course, removed their uniform numbers, so we couldn't report the bastards.

BUT they'd not thought it through, had they? These guys were brought in from London, and put up at the local hotels for the duration. Turns out that quite a few of the hotels' junior kitchen staff were students, exactly the kind who also attended the protests, or knew people who did. I'd hate to think how much spit, snot and piss those cops ingested during the course of their stay in sunny Brighton...
(, Mon 15 Nov 2010, 13:20, 5 replies)

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