G20 protests

If you have ten minutes to spare, have a listen. It fits our time so well.

This week not only marks the anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s death, but that of Martin Luther King, civil rights leader, advocate of protest by non-violent means, and deserved winner of the Nobel peace prize in 1964.

I wonder what they’d make of our current situation.

If you have any thoughts at all about the G20 summit and protests in London, please don’t keep them to yourself.

There’s much controversy surrounding the (heavy?) handling of demonstrations by the police, the true intentions of those labelled ‘anarchist trouble-makers’, and I don’t know about you lot, but I have a very bad taste in my mouth since hearing reports of City workers provocatively waving money at protesters from behind office windows. I’d quite like to throw red paint at them myself. (Yes, whole tins.)

Apologies again that the topic being discussed here has only the slightest connection to David (that being, of course, that a portion of the protesters have done so under the banner of climate change, including the Not Stupid bunch).

The chatroom will be open to discussions of less serious matters, if you want them, tomorrow – from 15:00 (UK). Hope to see you then.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

79 thoughts on “G20 protests”

  1. Personally I’m completely against the G20 demonstrations. If we were still living in a Thatcherite Britain then perhaps I’d see their point, but we live under a socialist government and capitalism is the dominant paradigm for most of civilised society. Not much more can be done, and so I have no patience for the bitter morons who just like to disrupt with grandiose ideas and plans but nothing in the way of real practical solutions.

    It’s fine to disagree but you have to have an alternative solution, otherwise it’s just whinging… and that’s what the G20 protesters are… underperforming bitter whingers.

    I don’t work in the City but if I was at work and some toe rag decided to judge me, I’d throw photocopied money out of the window too.

    N

    1. I’m not convinced that we are living under a socialist government, but…

      Bitter whingers? All 35,000 of them?

      Lots of them, if not most of them, know exactly what they want.

    2. I just can’t help but question the value of a general anti-capitalism demo, when if those people spent that much time, effort and enthusiasm on the specific issues that they feel need to be addressed, they would have more chance of making a change.

      But just raging against the machine is tantamount to banging your head against a wall. 35,000 people out of how many million? It’s a tiny tiny section of society who are more inclined to rage without a solution, hence resorting to violence.

      What do they want? If they want the western world to adhere to a communist paradigm then they’re living in a fantasy world and it won’t happen. But I fear they’re just in it for the fight, not the cause – just like hooligans as someone else commented.

      Also, now is a unique time in economic history – venting anger at the financiers or the wealthy is not going to solve anything. Voting out the dopey left wing “socialists” that got us into this mess in the first place would go a long way to solving it. But that would mean admitting that a conservative government would be more sensible and effective… and in those 35,000 minds they’d rather roll over and die before they voted blue.

      And therein lies the rub IMHO… hence bitter whingers.

  2. I watched the BBC News 24 coverage of it yesterday. I must say some if the live coverage was uncomfortable to view. Saw the police use their weapons more than once just feet away from the reporter and camera man. I have a feeling that won’t be shown when they repeat the story!! But they’ll show people breaking a window countless times… even though is was just a very, very, very small amount of protesters that did these things….

    And people were really waving money at the protesters?? Tsk. Get your paint out, FEd. 😡

    And pass me a pot!! 😛

  3. A few people misbehaving on both sides of the fence, both are wrong, including paint throwers (sorry Fed) but does that not bring you down to the same level as those waving money at you, except they are not causing criminal damage?

    I don’t condone the office workers behaviour either but if the protesters are so thin skinned as to be wound up be such childish behaviour…

    Unfortunately, the media must have loved seeing what went on, polarising our views even more.

    1. Good point.

      I’m not suggesting that I would throw paint, of course – it seems very wasteful to me, think of the chemicals needed to clean it up – just that the sight of shameless Loadsamoney characters, taking great delight in gloating, knowing that they’re protected by baton-wielding riot police, would make me want to.

      Surely that sort of behaviour is incitement to hatred?

  4. Maybe I’m only seeing one side, but when I see protesters (the minority of thugs – reminds me of some football matches) kicking gates and throwing fire bombs at the police without the police retaliating I say the police are doing a good job…

    When I read this… it makes me ill: Police officers came under attack while they tried to help a dying man at the G20 protests in London’s financial district Wednesday night.

    It is always the minority – on both sides – that usually gets the most media play. Maybe the protesters should have “Tea Parties” like we are seeing all over the US right now… that’s a more peaceful way to protest IMHO.

    Of course, if more information comes out I might change my opinion, but for now it seems more like a minority behind the worst of it that are really only there because it’s an excuse to be destructive.

    1. Undoubtedly a very difficult job, policing large numbers of people/keeping baying mobs under control.

      I’m sure we’ll hear lots more about the fatality. I wouldn’t be surprised if the police, to a degree, will be blamed for it… if they haven’t already been.

    2. Undoubtedly a very difficult job, policing large numbers of people/keeping baying mobs under control.

      Seems especially true at international football (soccer) matches. How many times have people been killed at these events? More than need be that is for sure.

      Certainly in some cases it is an accident, like the recent goalie that was shot because someone was celebrating in the crowd by firing off his pistol into the air.

      In the end, it is amazing at how passionate people get over certain things.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    3. Certainly in some cases it is an accident, like the recent goalie that was shot because someone was celebrating in the crowd by firing off his pistol into the air.

      Are guns allowed at these sporting events?

      Scary to me. 😕

      Jan

  5. I just don’t get those demonstrations. Do they really want countries not talking to each other?

    Those people are to low to be calling themselves anarchists.

  6. Oh dear! Here we go.

    I have no problem with people protesting or drawing attention to their cause/beliefs but why do the few have to ruin it all by resorting to violence? That is a naive statement because there will always be those that see the thronging of a crowd as an ideal outlet for their particular brand of fun. I really do not have the time for it.

    As to the accusation that the Police were heavy handed, let’s just take a look at that situation. Most Policeman are like you and me, ordinary people doing a job of work. Not everyone’s choice, nevertheless we all need them from time to time. They are in uniform which makes them stand out and they are outnumbered from the start. No matter how ‘hard’ you think you are, I would feel apprehensive facing a crowd of protesters and in your experience, there will normally be an incident. Is it any wonder then that at the first sign of an issue you try to quell it first before it gets dangerous. I think that is a normal reaction.

    As to the G20 summit itself, I think it is good to see many countries coming together to gain agreement on among other things, how we get out of this economic climate. And before any body cries out that it was the fault of the greedy institutions, the greedy institutions just fed off the needs of their customers!!

    Anyway, I heard last weekend that a friend of mine was very pleased to have beaten his record for love making at 1 hour 30 seconds, until he realised the clocks had gone forward by one hour!

  7. Although the police are often heavy-handed, I feel sorry for them. What can they do? They have to keep order somehow.

  8. There have been protests conducted by the people for a very long time, the only thing that has changed is the decency in which these protests are conducted.

    It is ironic that Martin Luther Kings was brought up at the beginning of this piece. Some of the most significant protests led by MLK were silent. Mind you there were other more militant groups which used shock and awe, but the groups that were most effective were the calm, organized protests led by MLK and his circle of organizers.

  9. I am as big a David Gilmour fan as anyone, and I sadly must stop visiting this blog due to the number of unrelated liberal-leaning posts.

    What does the G20 have to do with David Gilmour? What do these protests have to do with David Gilmour? I get enough of this garbage on the news and in the papers. I visit sites I’m interested in to ESCAPE from some of the realities of life, not to be reminded that my thinking on something doesn’t agree with others.

    Also, as an aside, ever since the last re-design of this blog, it has been a horribly slow-loading (initially) site.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that, Don. Thank you for letting me know.

      As I said up top, this topic has only the vaguest connection to David, but it is one that some people are clearly interested in talking about today. In the absence of anything that’s of greater relevance than this, I’m afraid this is the best I can do for now.

      It’s not ideal, I know. I’d love to have more appropriate stories for us all to chew on. In the meantime, a topic that David or Polly might be interested to read about will have to do.

      I don’t recall you commenting previously, but you’re very welcome to criticise any (or all) of my opinions, or anyone else’s, for the good of a healthy debate; that’s what I hope for with each new post of questionable suitability.

      Should any more explicit news about David surface, I’m sure it will be on the Latest News page first and perhaps I’ll manage to squeeze it in here, too.

    2. Well, I personally like these type of topics. And I do think they are relevant to David Gilmour, particularly if one understands the lyrics of Pink Floyd too or at least understands where the inspiration behind the lyrics comes from.

      Lest we forget that Roger’s and Nick’s parents were members of the Communist Party. So it is obvious that their parent’s beliefs might spill over onto their children.

      I personally have always thought that Gilmour fans and Floyd fans to be rather more intellectual than other bands fans. And these type of topics are very interesting.

      I have to admit, I enjoy reading the various opinions, but I think it is safer for me to keep my political thoughts to myself.

    3. It’s not slow loading for me.

      I agree with Julie. I like to read all the points of view even if I don’t always leave a comment.

      Thanks for all you do here FEd!

      P.S. I agree with you about the paint tins!

    4. I agree with Julie also.

      I know that I have said many times here that I learn so much from this site. And I meant that sincerely. It is good to keep an open mind and to find out how others view current events. Sometimes in the process you learn something new and even change your opinion. Not a bad thing.

      Unless people are really subscribing to ‘we don’t need no education’.

      Jan

  10. I find myself caught between the Buddha and the chocolate box (an imagery created by Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam when he felt confused about the material and the spiritual sides of life).

    I came to this blog to ask about the lyrics of a PF song and I realized that issues were being discussed here other than David Gilmour related ones. My first impression was that the Blog was the wrong place to discuss lyrics, but then I felt quite comfortable because I realized that talking about serious and real things and sharing it with my dearest musician David G. was a privilege, because it is quite probable that I will never meet him personally and, thanks to the internet, I can share my views with him and many interesting people like you all.

    I’m a member of some PF Web Forums and I feel that some discussions are almost surreal, because sometimes we are interested in ridiculous details, but then I realize that we are just having fun… in our own way.

    I’m still interested in the lyrics of “Country Song” (He or She, remember Fed?) and I’m also interested in people’s opinion about the G20. I’m from Brazil, and yesterday the news here highlighted our President “Lula”‘ saying that “this world economic crisis was created by the blue-eyed white men”…

    I think this is a time for learning. The world has become a village and we must take part in this process, whether it may be fun (sharing lyrics on the internet!) or not (protesting against injustice).

  11. Hey FEd,

    As for the G-20, I’m glad they’re talking to each other and trying their best to come up with a solution to all this chaos. I’ve become a victim of the tailspinning economy and I’m sure I’m not the only one around here that’s feeling the pinch (it took me a week just to get a hold of the unemployment office to set up benefits). It’s a very bad time right now and hopefully these people at the G-20 can come up with something to help us all out.

    Now then, this crap about city workers waving money at the protestors: jeez, screw the paint, where’s the rocks at? I’m not one for violence but if that was me being taunted, I’m gonna do something. I don’t care if I’m stooping down to their level, I’m gonna make sure it doesn’t happen again. What the hell is wrong with people these days?

    1. Now then, this crap about city workers waving money at the protestors … What the hell is wrong with people these days?

      I’m afraid it is the typical selfish attitude of the car-driving “Brit” nowadays. Self, self, self.

      Now who’s getting political. Whoops. :))

  12. There’s a long and honourable tradition of protest in this country. And MLK also represents a terrific example of the power of mobilising opinion in a way that was both authoritative and dignified.

    Unfortunately any mass protest runs a significant risk of disorder and it’s something the organisers share responsibility for. Self styled urban warriors will be keen to show their anger. As has been remarked on above, there will be thugs and idiots on both sides of the line but I do believe that the Metropolitan Police has a sincere wish to allow peaceful protest whilst also containing potential crimes against property and theft.

    Large crowds of shouting people on the streets are very rarely anything other than intimidating and ugly to anyone outside them and mob rule is something that must be avoided in a civilised society. The protesters must be content that they have raised the issue, got some media attention, forwarded the debate. Smashing windows and hunting down errant bankers does not forward the cause one bit – quite the contrary. And being goaded from office windows… well that’s all part of the sport I think… if you march through the streets you are inviting both cheers and jeers… if waving money is a sign of idiocy (which it is), take comfort that it will be seen as such and congratulate yourself that you have illicited such a fitting response.

    The mark of a civilised society is that people can be heard and disagreed with in a spirit of peace.

  13. We are very lucky to live in a country that promotes freedom of speech and the right to protest. Most people were out to protest in a peaceful manner, you’re always going to get a small number of dick heads causing bother. I for one would not have like to been a police officer in that crowd, especially the one who lost his helmet and got cracked on the head by a low life scumbag, I can still hear the crack now.

    I wish we could have a revolution but without the violence.

    Long live the memory of Martin Luther King, he should be made a saint.

    Damian

  14. Ah, “the most popular politician on Earth”.

    Did you see this video?

    Thanks FEd! This is hilarious… Lula is not that popular here in Brazil, but considering some of our previous Presidents, it is impressive how he has achieved so much as a politician, and one thing I have to admit: he is much more spontaneous than the average.

    1. I have to say, I agreed with him when he said that the economic crisis was created by white men, although some of them had brown eyes, green eyes, grey eyes… 😉

    2. A little homework post our chat F’ed.

      Quote from Wiki: “Born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Goodwin is the son of a Scottish electrical engineer and was the first of his family to go to university, attending Paisley Grammar School before studying law at Glasgow University. He joined accountants Touche Ross, and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1983.”

      So you see it isn’t just public school boys – granted he is white but then he is Scottish so it’s a reasonable chance.

      My point is this. There’s a strong thread that runs through comments on topics like this that presume that we live in the worst of circumstances, victims of oppressive forces of “business” and faceless malevolent authority.

      I just don’t believe that’s true. I believe it is our great fortune to live in a society as free and liberal as we do. By any standard, these are the best of times. We are healthier, better educated, enjoy more leisure and opportunity than has ever been the case. I’m happy to be proved wrong on that if people can suggest otherwise.

      I’m not stupid. That doesn’t mean I think there aren’t problems, improvements to be made, causes to promote, fights to fight. But the problems cited are not “the machine” – it’s just how people are.

      People club together, people pursue self interest, it doesn’t matter what “system” you construct, that will always be the case because there will always be “position”, “power”, “differences”… So I choose to emphasise personal responsibility within the system. Trust in progress and refinement and evolution because it works, broadly speaking, over revolution, anarchy and a blame culture.

      Good topic though… 😉

    3. Alessandra,

      My comment was actually intended to moderate rather than provoke a reaction and of course I would never be offended at a sincere and polite answer like yours.

      I don’t doubt that many people are worried about unemployment, and rightly so.

      My point is that private sector organisations have a responsibility to manage themselves efficiently. They are not job creation schemes, so it really is not helpful to blame them for shedding workers who are not required. Their duty is to their shareholders, who are largely comprised of pension funds, insurance companies, investment funds to provide a return for savings of common people.

      Governments of course do have a responsibility to provide unemployment support and have the ability to “create” demand for labour by pursuing policies in support of business, targeting particular trouble spots, promoting training and providing direct training. Some governments are better at this than others. It’s one of the things we can differentiate between them on.

      But it seems to me that the current governments in USA and UK (I’m not so sure what is happening elsewhere) are taking extraordinary steps already to do that… so we should be applauding them, shouldn’t we ?

      Our current economic systems are very successful at providing work… or at least work at an above subsistence level. But the test of the system is the opportunity it affords the individual rather than the responsibility it takes for providing for their every need… unless you are happy to give such control to someone, and then we have another sort of problem again.

    4. Granted, not all of the men responsible, in my opinion, for this grim economic crisis are (white) public schoolboys.

      But most of them are – and they wouldn’t know real work – or real life – if it bit them on the backside.

      With that image in mind, I hope you’ll excuse me for wishing each of them a savage mauling before the year is out.

  15. As you can see from the number of comments I’m writing, I’m feeling very involved in the subjects we are discussing these days.

    That’s because I see everywhere that the greatest part of the ideals in which I’ve always believed are in danger and I don’t know what to do to avoid it.

    My first reaction to the news about the protests was the one I wrote this morning.

    Using violence is wrong and it doesn’t work. It takes the attention far from the real messages and, most of all, sends away the people from the demonstrations. People are afraid of violence and if you put them in danger, they won’t come again. That’s something I could observe directly after the Italian G8.

    I really have no word about the behaviour of those people who were waving money to the people just to provoke them. There is a lot of tension when a mass of people protests in the streets and a similar behaviour could be enough to start the violence. The oppressive feeling created by the massive presence of the police do the rest.

    For me, a little vandalism is normal when we put so many people together, but we should stop and think about the reasons for similar violence and anger, because I think that maybe it’s the sign that there is something wrong with this system we live in.

    This is my opinion, sorry if my English was awful.

    1. 8| Awful? It never is.

      I’m sure that some genuinely enjoy violence. You only have to look, as Rob said, at the thugs who go to football matches looking to fight with rival ‘firms’, and how their actions sour the event for the majority.

      Yet I really believe that what we’re seeing now is a group of predominantly decent, law-abiding citizens (well, we’re more ‘subjects’ in the UK, but let’s not go there) who have tried other means of arguing yet feel that nobody is listening. We can’t believe all that we read, and certainly the media whips us into a frenzy with well-timed stories designed to shock, yet every day seems to bring a new outrage: politicians fiddling their expense claims, pay rises for the rich, obscene bonuses for the incompetent, job cuts, strikes, rising unemployment. The list goes on and on. How much more of this should anyone take?

      We talk, quite rightly, about Gary McKinnon facing the consequences of his actions, but what about the people that got us into this sorry mess? They get financial rewards as their ‘punishment’? It’s no wonder that people who are losing their jobs and struggling to make ends meet want to unleash their fury on something or someone.

      Would anyone really take any notice if they sat placidly with their tea and cakes and banged apologetically on a drum every now and then?

      Sadly, there’s no guarantee that the world’s leaders are even capable of being moved by whatever raging chaos develops outside their comfortable G20 cocoon.

    2. F’ed, have you been visited by the ghost of the militant tendency ? I imagine the rattling of those chains of capitalist exploitation have been keeping you awake…

      I’m not so sure that people should be looking to blame anybody. Recessions happen. It’s the flipside of the growth, we’ve (mostly) all enjoyed. Politicians (and just about anybody else I can think of) have always pushed the envelope on expenses. The solution – fix the rules. Rich get pay awards and obscene bonuses… it’s simple market forces.. anyone can apply for the job if they think they can do it better (but you’d probably hate it); job cuts… why is there a duty to employ people who are not in demand? Strikes… well I thought we wanted jobs.

      This isn’t meant to sound prickly (perish the thought) and I know that you like to provoke occasionally, and I could just sit here with my eyebrows raised and tut, but I know you enjoy a little cut and thrust…

    3. :)) Indeed, I wondered what took you so long.

      This hasn’t just happened. It’s the result of slack regulation, appalling greed and widespread over-consumption; a set-up which has benefited the few, not the majority.

      With respect, you’re being naïve if you think that anyone can get the top jobs. Anyone can apply for them, sure, but it’s proven fact that such positions always go to a certain group (namely white, public school-educated men whose well-to-do daddies occupied the roles before them).

      In my view, as in all areas of life, there has to come a point where people accept that a system isn’t working and change it, even if it means that a few noses are put out of joint (or re-directed downward from that aloof sniffing-the-air pose and forced to see what’s happening on the ground, which is rarely pretty).

      Those who revel in creating violence for the sake of violence aside, I feel it’s about time that the British showed some steel in how they protest. The French have been leading the way for years, forcing its government to listen. Look at where Sarkozy and Merkel are standing on the issue of regulation now.

    4. With respect, you’re being naïve if you think that anyone can get the top jobs. Anyone can apply for them, sure, but it’s proven fact that such positions always go a certain group (namely white, public school-educated men whose well-to-do daddies occupied the roles before them).

      My, my FEd. You really are wearing your Phrygian Cap lately!

      I wouldn’t entirely agree with your statement above. Well, at least in sunny Birmingham. Usually the man/woman for the job gets the job. However, my opinion is rather small and based on what I have seen in my small world of work. I have had lots of jobs by the way. There are a lot of working class Brummies in top jobs and not all are white.

      I’m feeling firey today. 😛

    5. anyone can apply for the job if they think they can do it better (but you’d probably hate it); job cuts… why is there a duty to employ people who are not in demand? Strikes… well I thought we wanted jobs.

      I can assure you, Tim, that I would be very happy to apply for my job if I only could have it. I’m sure that many of those people who were protesting would agree with me.

      And yes, I’m firmly convinced there is a duty to employ people, because we all have to survive some way and because work IS a right for each person, not less than life, freedom and so on. My Constitution say so, not myself.

      Common people have no fault if the system can’t guarantee them a work; they would certainly change many things if the ones who have the power let them free to do it.

      If the unemployment is rising, it means that this (capitalistic or post-capitalistic, as it’s called the present one) system doesn’t work as it should, or we want to believe that all those people in the streets have no will to find a job and they are protesting just to kill some time?

      I wouldn’t be too amazed by this way to speak, since that’s something I heard lots of times with my ears.

      If your comment was only made to provoke a reaction, I hope you won’t be offended reading my answer.

    6. My, my FEd. You really are wearing your Phrygian Cap lately!

      I am, but I did make a rather crass generalisation back there, to be fair.

      I’ll re-phrase.

      Such positions almost always go to a certain group (namely white, public school-educated men whose well-to-do daddies occupied the roles before them).

      Political correctness and this, I find patronising, practice of having to build a small part of the workforce using a certain quota of workers of different ages, nationalities and social backgrounds, some with disabilities, some without penises, etc. can be a topic for another day.

      Somewhat patronising, but if it creates diversity and gives more people an opportunity previously denied to them, great. I just don’t think it happens towards the top of the chain – and it should.

      I don’t believe that many influential people are in their positions through merit alone.

    7. Look at where Sarkozy and Merkel are standing on the issue of regulation now.

      Haha… Speaking of N. Sarkozy and A. Merkel, 1st April was April Fools’ Day and some radio stations here announced that Angela Merkel was pregnant by Nicolas Sarkozy… :))

      Yes, no need to tell me, I know it’s a bad taste joke but I couldn’t help but burst into laughter!

      And it’s Friday, and tomorrow…

      Hope you forget for a while your Phrygian Cap and enjoy your weekend! 😉

      Michèle

  16. Honestly, I don’t know if I trust anything that ever comes out of a politician’s mouth any more.

    These people live in a fantasy land. They don’t do any actual work, regardless of what they claim, and provide nothing of value to a society other than more problems. So the idea that they are going to solve the problems that they are partially responsible for is laughable at best, pathetic and dangerous at worst. They certainly had no problem disregarding the problems of the economy when the fat cats were lining their pockets to help get them re-elected…

    As far as the protesters go, I could care less about what they are doing. I think it’s important in a free society to do something and voice your opinion, but taking positive action to better yourself is more worthwhile. The way I see it, out of chaos comes opportunity. People are better off spending their time learning something that will improve their position. Whether it’s a trade, a craft, or even lessons in personal financial planning, these would all help rather than shouting at planners who are only going to work to prop up a foolish system that benefits those in charge (mainly, politicians and their financial backers).

    The reality is, society flourishes when people voluntarily work together, and politicians hate that fact because it brandishes them as useless.

    My advice: do what you love, and ignore everything else (so long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process).

    Just my two cents.

    1. They don’t do any actual work, regardless of what they claim

      Or what they claim for, as the case may be.

      Great post, Ax. Thanks for that.

      I’m with Tony Robinson (quoted in the Guardian): politics should be about people, not about profit.

      Besides, if I may be facetious, if a bank was damaged yesterday, haven’t we already paid up-front for the repairs, anyway?

    2. My advice: do what you love, and ignore everything else (so long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process).

      Very good advice! Joseph Campbell, in his book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” says something very similar: Follow Your Bliss.

      “Follow your bliss.
      If you do follow your bliss,
      you put yourself on a kind of track
      that has been there all the while waiting for you,
      and the life you ought to be living
      is the one you are living.
      When you can see that,
      you begin to meet people
      who are in the field of your bliss,
      and they open the doors to you.
      I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid,
      and doors will open
      where you didn’t know they were going to be.
      If you follow your bliss,
      doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”

  17. Another problem is that we get information that varies depending on the media we use. I didn’t get the same feeling about the situation when I read the BBC News site, when I read the AFP (Agence France Presse) site, when I read my local newspaper or when I watched TV, so, where is the truth? It’s all about manipulation.

    What is ironic is that these protesters and police have probably the same problems, the same feelings about the global financial crisis, environment problems or wars, the same fears to face the future, but don’t have the same freedom to act. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a cop these days.

    There were similar clashes today in Strasbourg between protesters and police (NATO summit)…

    What can people do if they want their voice to be heard? Not so easy to find an answer…

    Michèle

    1. I dread to think what Fox News would make of it all. Maybe they’d change their Terror Alert (read TERROR ALERT!!!) graphic to a more scary colour?

      Yet another facetious remark. Sorry about that. 😛

    2. Michèle,

      The fact is that there is a bit of truth in all of the sources you reference.

      Maybe the answer is a blog?

      Look at this community. We have one common interest but reality is that we are all very different with varying ideas, beliefs, thoughts. We disagree often, many times with me (LOL). But every now and then we do find common ground.

      And when we do disagree, I don’t feel as if someone’s life is in danger. I don’t think someone is planning a vendetta against someone with a different view. I think there are people here who would rather never meet other than at a Gilmour concert or event.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    3. Where is the truth? It’s all about manipulation.

      Sadly, you are correct. I don’t have a link at my fingertips right now but I have read that a lot of newspapers tend not to be very profitable, or at least weren’t until they started accepting more advertisements. Maybe most still aren’t. The kind of people who buy newspapers are generally not in it to make money or report the news… but to influence opinions. And all too often they are able to do so with a large portion of the public.

      There is a certain kind of power in that that money alone can not buy. I am disgusted at the amount of snivelling and crawling that Tony Bliar did to get Rupert Murdock (not even a British voter!) to help with his campaigns. The day when media moguls are banned from walking in to 10 Downing Street or having contact with our politicians will be a great day for Democracy.

      Talking of Bliar, Damon Albarn of the band Blur once said in the Guardian Music supplement that when he met Bliar in 1997 after “New” Labour won the Election, Tony had said to him, “If you are still popular in 4 years time, maybe we can do a deal.”

      Beware musicians everywhere of friendly politicians and potential Knighthoods!

  18. We had G8 in Genova, years ago. Bush was hated and so the war in Iraq.

    It was a tragedy: an entire town was a guerrilla land, a guy died shot by police, a school where protesters where sleeping was attacked in the night by police with terrible violence. There where hundred of thousands people. While the town was fighting the prime ministers were eating a chatting with their false smiles.

    Now G20, under the economic crisis, seems a “useful” thing since they have something to talk about. But before? Every year they added this unuseful meeting spending a lot of public money for nothing. In Italy Berlusconi provoked everybody because everybody was told that Genova was not a location. It seems violence was “obtained” as to show the need of a powerful government to stop it.

    Why not to go in the countryside to meet? In a secure place? Why to set a meeting in London? Or Genova? To search for that violence?

    It seems the typical strategy of “fear”: let’s create the condition of violence, let it explode, then let us use force so to show that it is NECESSARY. Let us show to people at home how violent the protesters are, all of them (who cares if the minority is violent, the news will make them all seem violent). So the good cause loses its sense, and the politic of power and control prevails…

    Politics doesn’t care if a man died, if people fought, if the real security of a town is put in jeopardy.

    Let us STOP this unuseful kind of meeting forever.

    1. I hadn’t thought of that.

      A little snow brought London to a standstill in February, so the prospect of thousands of angry protesters should have set alarm bells ringing.

    2. Sounds like the losers in this are the police. The fallout over all of this will be more at their expense. As stated by another blogger. They are just like everyone else, with their own opinions and just doing their job. Granted they get to carry a stick to enforce it, but it is a scary job and they are after all outnumbered (even though we know now and again there are those who probably like wielding a stick).

      Jan

  19. About Gary McKinnon, I think the US Gov should have kept this in silence and propose him a job, so their computer networks could actually work! Seriously, Microsoft and other software giants have hired many hackers, and who knows to do what exactly?!

    1. This would OK if he wasn’t using as part of his defence that he wasn’t a real hacker but only used a simple script that he attached to already available hacking programs to search for blank passwords.

      If that is the case then he hardly merits interest from companies who want employees with real programming experience.

  20. Yin and Yang, they will always be there in life. In a perfect world they would be equally balanced as nature intended it to be.

    Too much of either one wreaks havoc and mayhem.

    To opine either way is fair, to go to extremes is another story.

    Just a thought! 😉

    1. That’s just it. Yin (moon, shadow) and Yang (sun) are “divided” so they are not in a state of harmony. There is a gulf running between them. The bridges that are holding them apart are not burnt. So until the bridges are burnt there will not be peace.

      Now I am just going over people’s heads. I will leave planet Zog now and come back to earth. 😀

  21. Thanks so much for the Marvin Gaye video, FEd! Still one of my favorite songs ever, and every bit as relevant today as it was thirty-eight years ago.

    Our modern world is shrinking, in the sense that we are able to communicate globally (like we do here on the blog). We know that we are facing modern problems that need modern solutions. Unfortunately, there are those who cling to old ideas, either in fear of losing their power grip, or simply fear of change.

    Big changes, though, are necessary in regards to the ecology, poverty, and health care. This requires Global Thinking, without the “Us and Them” attitude, or as John Lennon said – “Imagine there’s no Country”, or, as Marvin Gaye said – “War is not the answer”.

    In any case…

    Have a great weekend, all!

    Bill C

  22. Marvin Gaye was really something. Have always loved this song, and this is a great performance. Love the piano solo here!

    I disagree with the writer above who said this Blog should be about David’s music. I think serious topics like this are important. Without understanding the issues we face as a world society, we cannot understand ourselves. This, I think, is where violence and militancy originates. Because we have strong emotions without understanding their basis, and we thus fail to understand why and how other people can have differing opinions, and we act out.

    This kind of discussion is very healthy, especially as we’re on the thresh hold of a global economic collapse. As that continues, we’ll have a choice. We could either strike out and cause destruction, or we could band together and create a phoenix from the ashes.

    As to the connection between this and David Gilmour? I think David is more than just his music. He does other things, too. It makes perfect sense that his Blog includes issues that are important to him as well. David cares about his community, as we see in his involvement in Crisis and other organizations. Why should that not be reflected here?

    NY Dan’s Website, if it existed, would not just be about teaching. It would also have sections on music, my political views, art that I love, and other things. This is probably true of most of us. Our interests run the gamut. So why do we expect something different from David?

  23. Can I also point out a teeny weeny fact that everyone seems to be forgetting:

    For the majority of us, we are but serfs in this United Kingdom. There is a monarchy and aristocracy and on so many practical and real levels we are just serfs. I’m a happy little serf too. I know my place in society and have opportunities to further myself and to make money. And heck, it’s EASIER these days to get qualifications and university degrees than it was when I was a kid.

    If you want perfect democracy and perfect opportunity for everyone, equally then I’d like to smoke whatever you’re smoking… because even in a futuristic utopia there’s relatively well off and relatively poor, relatively happy and relatively unhappy. Trying to change it is as futile as trying to change gravity IMHO, so spend the time doing something on a more micro scale that makes a difference. Like reducing environmental toxins, finding shelter for the homeless and feeding the hungry. But fighting the power for the sake of it just reeks of teeange angst and moronity.

  24. Great song. I never heard that live version, and the video to it was also pretty cool.

    Right now, I don’t know what to say about the topic at hand. My hands are full and my mind is on my girlfriend who deals with MS. I don’t like the powers that be sticking it to anyone. I’m just glad that back here in the US of A, (thanks for that one Borat) we are rid of W. and his anti stem cell policies.

    What’s going on? The usual. A lot of crap is still goin’ on, but some things are getting better… And, some things are pretty cool, like this song.

    Thanks again.

  25. Whenever people mention Marvin Gaye I just get reminded of Vic Reeves’ & Bob Mortimer’s “Otis Reading & Marvin Gaye” sketches. :))

    “Here we are – sitting at the dock o’ the bay, watching the ships coming in and going out again.” 😛

  26. Great song by Marvin Gaye. 🙂

    Re: The G20, while I support a person’s right to protest, violence can never be the answer. Lobbing paint at people and pelting police with bottles who were trying to resuscitate a dying man does nothing to support their cause.

    I’m all for peaceful protests but sadly there always seem to be those who are intent on causing mayhem and chaos.

    I was really impressed with Michelle Obama, she seems so caring and nice. I thought her putting her arm around the Queen was really sweet, I’m sure the traditionalists didn’t see it that way though.

    I think the world would be a nicer place if we all hugged each other a bit more, idealistic I know but there you go, that’s me.

  27. I may not post much but I do enjoy reading along. Keep them coming! Love the embedded video snippets…

  28. RE: Don Lacey’s comments not visiting the site anymore

    I was not going to bother with David’s site as much, but for different reasons. I think we all used to sit there and wait for Q magazine, waiting for snippets of information about David or Pink Floyd. Then lo and behold the messiah gave us this fabulous site.

    Of course there is not as much information about David, the man’s only human, he needs his RR like the rest of us. He gave us a fantastic album, a tour, with fairly cheap tickets, and loads of TV and radio stuff. Have a look at Roger’s website. It’s the same old shit, been on for months. We have direct communication with the Fed and he/she comes up with lots and lots of different topics to play with.

    Regards as ever to you all
    Damian.

  29. Someone mentioned that “New” Labour is Socialist.

    Well, that might be news to some of us who would like to see a real Socialist Government. I’m not talking Pinko Commie stuff but a form of Socialism that can live side by side with capitalism. Something similar to what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela would be nice.

    Two recommended readings would be:

    1. In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell
    2. The Iron Heel by Jack London

    One great thing here in Spain recently that happened; the farmers of fruit such as oranges were getting screwed by the big supermarkets forcing them to make hardly any profit. So in protest they went to major towns and have been giving away entire crops of oranges to anyone that wanted them so that no-one would buy them from supermarkets!

    Viva la Revolucion in Espana!

  30. We must talk about these things!!!!

    History is being manipulated all the time, and not by the liberals. Our last president, and some radio TV host would have you believe that the hippies spit all over our soldiers during the 60s. The hippies were in fact trying to save the lives of our soldiers by means of peaceful protest.

    Radicals in the sixties were everywhere. A couple of blogs back I saw the mention of the Chicago riots of 68, that was one of the instances I am talking about. Bobby Seale, Jerry Rubin, and Abbie Hoffman were some of the radicals that invited themselves to a peacefll protest and turned it to hell! Abby Hoffman by the way was the same person Pete Townshend bashed in the head with his guitar for inviting himself on stage at Woodstock.

    We are more familiar with songs like “The Cost of Freedom”, “Ohio”, and “Give Peace a Chance”… then we are with “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama”. We also think more about MLK, John Lennon, Jesus and Ghandi then we do about Abby Hoffman and Malcom X.

    I attended a protest when George Bush came to town to sign a bill in my State (Arizona) drawing up plans to build the fence around Mexico. I showed up in a devil costume and had a sign that read “HELLUVA JOB W”. Believe me I was very cautious when he drove by. I had a pitchfork and kept it raised and did not point it. I had secret service military police with M16s staring me down 3 feet away just waiting for the wrong move… we were well organized that day.

    1. Believe me, I knew where that pitch fork belonged!

      :))

      Your story reminded me of one of my favourite Robert Burns poems, which you can read here.

  31. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked “What’s Going On” as the fourth greatest song of all time. My favorite lyrics are:

    You know we’ve got to find a way
    To bring some lovin’ here today

    Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
    To bring some understanding here today

    Picket lines and picket signs
    Don’t punish me with brutality

    Talk to me, so you can see
    Oh, what’s going on
    What’s going on

    A great song and meditation on the troubles and problems of the world. Based on my observations, What’s Going On, are too many people, who are weak minded, can’t seem to keep life moving forward in healthy directions, and instead of doing the right thing, continue to “live” backwards, “evil” – the Lucifer Effect. 🙁

  32. I guess me question would be; who do you find to be Evil and weak minded? Hopefully it’s not the picketers?

    1. I guess my answer would be; anyone who acts contrary to what they know is truthful and right. Living backwards or contrary to what one knows is right is a waste of time, time which cannot ever come back for a second, filling one with so much regret, that eventually they find that they have literally created a living hell for themselves. 8|

  33. 8| Yes, that would mean the picketer’s also. If they had spent more time drawing up engaging letters instead of hurtful signs, and spent more time being involved initially in legal discussions instead of picketing after the fact, screaming profanities from outside, instead of pulling up a chair inside and bringing their issues to the table, their effectiveness in moving things forward in positive directions would increase dramatically.

    I don’t recall the administrations, that are being persecuted with picketers, accomplishing anything, good or bad using picket lines. Any monkey can draw a picture and scream, but it takes a courageous human being to take a seat and speak intelligently at the table on the issues at hand. 8)

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