From the TUC

Demonstrating for jobs, justice and climate isn’t a fashion statement

14 May 2009, by in International

There’s a fantastically empty-headed article in the Times today complaining that people went on the Put People First demonstration ahead of the G20 for ill-defined reason, or because it was fashionable to. Or at least, no one who spoke to the author of this ‘opinion piece’ (definition: journalism without bothering with hard research) went beyond what she interpreted as platitudes but which were in reality merely the motivators.

It’s possible that the people who spoke to this starry-eyed looney were so tight-lipped about detailed policies because they just wanted to get rid of her of course, but more seriously, it’s rare for demonstrations to be focused on more than one or two issues, which get people to actually give up a day and march through London.  They don’t often come with a fully-worked-out manifesto attached – or if they do, they’re much smaller!

In fact, however, the Put People First demonstration DID come with just such a document, hammered out by the impressive range of sponsoring organisations and used as lobbying material in a huge number of meetings with Ministers, civil servants and others.

But that manifesto didn’t make the media, because the launch of the Put People First manifesto went largely unreported by news editors or op-ed writers. No, it’s much more fun claiming that 35,000 people were there without an agenda than actually reading and then reporting what that agenda was.