Freedom of speech – when ordinary folk participate in a peaceful sit-downs for important and good causes that are important to all of us, then they should be respected not sprayed with poisonous liquids by bullies in blue.
But in Helsinki, this last weekend, this was not the case. Peaceful protesters – not thugs, not neo-nazis, not extremists, just ordinary students, workers and pensioners – sat in the middle of a quite road in a peaceful protest organised by Extinction Rebellion Finland (in Finnish “Elokapina”). They sat there without causing anything more than a short detour for traffic on Saturday afternoon. After a few hours of repeated warnings, the police showered them with a painful pepper spray – even then the protesters remained peaceful and remained patiently doing their duty. That duty was to make sure than we understood that our world is being threatened and that this fact is clearly supported by the best scientific evidence that politicians and other leaders wilfully ignore.
Let’s be clear – when Trump and Putin come to town the traffic is snarled up for hours across the whole city.
Let’s be clear – when the Finland was running the EU Council’s Chair, many key roads were closed for hours in the middle of the working day.
Let’s be clear – Climate Change is far more important to us ordinary folk. We are in danger of losing this globe because of the likes of Trump and Putin who take no action to stop greenhouse gases polluting our air.
Let’s be clear – The British Interior Minister, Ms. Priti Patel, has said that Extinction Rebellion activists are “eco-crusaders turned criminals” who threaten the UK’s way of life. She failed to mention that Murdoch’s Fake News, Covid-19, Brexit and Climate Change have a much bigger impact than the voices of a few thousand protesters!
Amnesty International UK’s Director, said, “It’s extremely worrying that the police is apparently still seeking to curtail the right to peaceful protest. The right to non-violent protest is a cornerstone of any proper rights-respecting society… and … “Protest is a fundamental human right and central pillar of our democracy which is protected in law. It’s how we stand up to power, tackle injustice and defend our rights. Police have a duty to facilitate protest – not obstruct it.”
Let’s be clear – what we see in the USA with Trump, what we see with Covid-19 pandemic, what we see with fossil fuels and the filthy air in China’s biggest cities, what we see with melting ice-caps and shrinking glaciers, what we see with forest fires in Brazil, in Australia, in the USA, in Russia, and in Indonesia, and what we see with bleaching corals in Australia, etc.. these are all perfectly clear red flags that we are on a path of ruin if we do nothing air not enough…
Aren’t all of the above as clear already to everybody? Are you really so confident that this is all fake news or do you really think that we don’t need to be concerned about our globe’s future?
Perhaps we could summarise the words of the British Interior Minister in another way to make more sense of the present situation by saying that politicians are now “economic-crusaders turned criminals…”