This weeks climate change protests in London have appeared to achieve their desired effect. The aim was to disrupt as much of day-to-day life for the capital, bringing streets bridges to a standstill. Yet the protests, necessary as they are, would have affected more regular people just trying to get to work than it would the major players who were the intended target of the protests.
The people involved in the protests do, mostly, have good intentions. Their frustration is aimed at the right people, but unfortunately many other members of the public have become caught up in the crossfire.
The third day of the protests, saw the numbers of arrested protesters rise to 500. People glueing themselves to trains and fences, including outside the home of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn have caused significant disruption. Enough so to attract the undivided attention of Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Scotland Yard, who stated that officers were being diverted away from where they were most needed.
Yes, these protesters are making an impact on a subject which desperately needs attention. However, when officers are being taken away from areas of the city where they are required it may be time to change tactics. The concentration on oil company offices made sense, now it just seems like chaos for the sake of chaos. A rethink of strategy needs to be considered by the protest groups.
As previously mentioned, climate change needs addressing now. If one was to picture a political party which would be active in environmental issues, very few would think of the Conservatives. What is making things worse for the government is their failure to build any dialogue with the protestors. No channel between the two will surely see the protests carry on until deep into the Easter bank holiday weekend, with rumours of disruption planned at Heathrow Airport in the coming days increasing in likeliness.
The hardline attitude and the call by Home Secretary Javid for the ‘full weight of the law’ to be used against the protesters is to be expected of a right-wing government. These people have a right to protest something which they feel their country is failing to address, therefore the near thousands of police being drafted in seem somewhat exaggerated.
However, the heavy hand approach has yet to be successful. Despite a large number of arrests, the disruption continues. The refusal to work and discuss with the protesters on such a key issue will backfire, most likely resulting in increased support from further afield for those protesting.
Severely disrupting the capital has achieved good results for the protest movement, but now it is time for the government to put down the shield of police aggression and talk through what moves are going to be taken to tackle climate change and the deadly effects it is having on our world. Because after all, the world is all of ours’ and we will all suffer as a consequence.
A persons political persuasion shouldn’t factor into issues of the environment, yet even at a point where cooperation is necessary, each party has their own interests at heart and not that of the planet.
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