Blog: Olly Wehring"What do we want?" "Erm..."

Olly Wehring | 8 April 2009

Is it me, or has the age of protest taken a slightly surreal path?

In the space of a week here in the UK, we've seen two different protest groups head to the seat of Government, protesting at the sorry lot of drinks companies and pubs in the country.

The first, organised by a French wine brand, and backed by three trade publications in the UK, saw a glove puppet deliver a petition to Downing Street, calling for the reduction of the duty on a bottle of wine to GBP1 (US$1.47).

Then, this week, a collection of five human-sized pints of beer led the call to 'Axe the Beer Tax', urging the Government to scrap beer tax rises in the country.

Last week, many of us here in the UK held our breath when the G20 protests took place in London. The fear was that demonstrators would turn violent on either people or property. As it turns out, a branch of RBS was set upon.

My concern is whether the former two forms of protest trivialise their respective campaigns, or whether they personalise them. If they trivialise, then not using 'cartoon characters', and not kicking seven shades out of something, leaves us with...

... what, exactly?


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