Friday, 13 April 2007

groups, individuals and groups of individuals..the story continues

Dear Tide Turners,

So this is what we missed: 50 - 80 protesters, roads blocked for an hour and a half, eleven arrested after locking on (aldermaston women's peace camp blog:

They also, rather charmingly, did this:

A useful discussion has grown up over the last week, and a series of themes has developed:

DD wants to state 'the obvious', but I don't think your comments are obvious at all, DD, and what is obvious to some is not obvious to all. It was an interesting response to our disappointment/unmet expectations to link to 'Appreciative inquiry', which perhaps we should talk more about as a way to approach protest situations.

Anyone know more about appreciative inquiry?

A thread running through the discussion, however, is the tension between the personal and the group-oriented, as Carl said. Rachel mentioned how protest seems like 'part of the system', which I think is really interesting, and Carl brought up how this 'protest system' is oriented more towards the individual rather than the collective. This perhaps reflects what DD said about self-empowerment through forms of protest. Self-empowerment is admirable but if taken as a basis for a philosophy of protest could it create the kind of chaos which we felt we had encountered last week?

Ok, to push it further: could it be said that some forms and expressions of political protest are mainly aimed at serving the cultural and psychological needs of the protesters as individuals, rather than at truly resolving problems. If, as Kathryn suggested, we/the people in the pictures really did have a dialogue with the nuclear industry, would we achieve more?

Hope thoughts can flow further, obvious and less obvious all's only cyberspace...see you on Saturday.


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