Sunday, 7 August 2016

The two protests

Two days ago, I read that a small and peaceful anti-racism protest occurred in Nottingham; the protest consisted of this small group temporarily blocking the tram routes to draw attention to their cause. While they received praise, there was significant public outrage, especially on social media, which referred to the protesters as "jobless losers", "unclean" and an "annoyance for workers and people going on holiday", as well as referred to them as "thugs".

Yesterday, the English Defence League, which is known for its extreme racism and history of violence, held a protest in Nottingham. While extra police officers were called in to guarantee peace and attractions in the Market Square were closed because of "the risks [the protest] could pose to children and families", there was no equal outrage on social media. In fact, there was nothing that I observed to condemn the protest, despite the EDL's bigotry and reputation for violence.

I found these double standards saddening. That people would be outraged at a small anti-racism protest - even if it did delay public transport users a little - while ignoring a much larger and potentially dangerous racist protest is highly disappointing.

A news article about the protest can be found here.

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