This weekend, I was part of a large anti-austerity protest in London. You probably won’t have heard about it because it wasn’t covered by any mainstream media.
50,000 people turned up. Almost everyone had whistles, were chanting, holding banners and placards and flags, and filled Parliament Square. Comedians and politicians like Russell Brand and Caroline Lucas addressed the crowd. The march started outside BBC News offices, so they sure couldn’t have missed it.
Yet this weekend, news outlets such as the BBC decided that there were far more important things going on - like a few thousand people at Stonehenge for the summer solstice. Like Kate and Will being given a new helicopter and a house makeover worth £8m at the taxpayer’s expense. Like Rooney’s sulking face.
I may be biased, but I think 50,000 turning up outside Parliament is significant. And now I’m starting to understand why people turn to extreme action to be heard by their governments.
The media either chose not to report this, or they decided against it. I took a hard-earned day out to travel to London and let the government know that I am dissatisfied with their performance. The BBC is owned by the public and should represent the views of the public and in my opinion, they failed in this duty - and together with the lack of response from the government now I feel angry, disillusioned and ineffective. It’s exactly the sort of feeling that I imagine drives people to start throwing things and behaving naughty - they want to *be heard*.
I’m not the sort of person that incites riot, I abhor violence, but now I at least understand why others turn to it.
The government has turned me into an activist. By ignoring our pleas for an ear, they have strengthened our resolve and next time we march, our numbers will double.
And they brought it on themselves.