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World leaders, including our very own Obama met in London to try and work together to solve our global economic crisis. They were not alone, but joined by thousands of protesters trying to demonstrate their opinions, and concerns. There were as many as 35,000 anarchists, anti-capitalists, anti-war, and pro-environmentalist protesters in London, that showed up for these meetings.
After looking through the photographs at the event, it seemed to be a type of circus. People were dressed in costumes of all sorts. Some of these included the Joker from “Batman,” a Storm Trooper from “Star Wars,” Jesus in a police helmet, a nightmare version of Mickey Mouse, a horse with a flower in his nose, a gorilla in a bathing suit, there was even protestors carrying a effigy of a giant dead canary. I seem to wonder if all of the costumes ended up undermining the seriousness of the topics they are protesting about. From the surface, when I look at the pictures all I see is a sort of angry Halloween in the spring. Is it possible that by going to such great lengths to catch the attention of the global press, the world then became distracted from the real issues.
The variety of costumes and outfits played out well for the cameras, the people protesting, failed to send out one main coherent message to the world. Everyone had a different concern about what was being done in this modern world. A man named Harry explained that he was dressed as Death to represent “the death of the economy” and “the death of the English pound.” He was also concerned with the micro-economic problem that he was in danger of losing the deposit he’d left on the grim reaper costume he’d rented, since the police had confiscated the mask that went with it, arguing that people with covered faces were trouble. He was side by side with people carrying a large dead canary. One of the people carrying the canary that he had brought the huge bird effigy to the demonstration “to symbolize the death of Canary Wharf,” a former dockyard area that was redeveloped to become a center of London’s financial industry, and also the death of “the current financial system.”
The large crowd of protesters were not left to roam freely in the streets, but were met by a crowd of the 5,000 police that were deployed for the event, that were armed and ready for battle. Using the photographs as evidence, we know that the clash between the protestors and the police resulted in scenes of dramatic bloody violence. A modern successful protest is an even that requires coroperation between the protestors and the police. Violence only happens when people no longer decide to cooperate. The people decided not to work together with the police, but that’s what got the world’s attention. I also find myself wondering, is this what people are resorting to, in order to get their opinion heard? Shouldn’t the common person’s opinion matter just as much as our world leaders?
As we can see, no longer are people just able to express their opinion. Well, they can, but it’s very unlikely that anyone will hear what they have to say. Now people have to show what they mean through their actions. Costumes and bloody violence may be going to the extreme, but that appears to be what is now necessary. After all, it worked. I am sitting here talking not about the decisions made in the G-20 meetings, but what the protesters did. So their efforts may have been extreme, but it captured the attention of the media, and was brought throughout the world. I am now listening to what all the protestors have to say, and what they want done.