19 January 2010

Selfish children take to the streets and get in my fucking way AGAIN

For those of you who read this blog from time to time, you may remember my angry ramblings regarding the puerile and ill-directed protest that Brighton endured last May courtesy of the Smash EDO organisation.

Well they were kind enough to do it again yesterday, and once more they got in my fucking way and generally annoyed me.

The protest was directed as before at the EDO weapons factory in Moulsecoomb, and to the protesters' credit this time they actually managed to find it. Someone must have bought them a map or something, as last time it seemed they couldn't be bothered to walk the three miles up the road from central Brighton to where the factory is actually located.

This time they managed to protest near and around the factory, but unfortunately they got bored after a while and decided to fuck off the rest of the city by coming into the centre. Despite taking a different route home, I still had to take several diversions in order to avoid the places where the police were trying to hold them back. I was also unlucky enough to catch sight of a few of them, wearing black, faces covered and hoods up, looking not at all like the group of peaceful protesters they claim to be. Fortunately it seems that there wasn't as much wanton destruction as last time, but their presence was still rather intimidating for the city's residents, and as always seemed rather pointless.

Why did they need to come into town? No one in town CARED about their protest, all they did was fuck us off AGAIN. It stops even being about the protest after a while, and they instead just seem to enjoy trying to outwit the police and get to places the police don't want them to get to. It's childish and pathetic, and it costs the taxpayers a ridiculous amount of money in policing.

I was also annoyed to learn that EDO denies that it supplies weapons to Israel anyway. According to a tribunal ruling last November, there is nothing in their export licences that proves they do so, and so the tribunal turned down Smash EDO's request to publish them (they're normally confidential, apparently). Of course, Smash EDO retorted "that doesn't prove that they don't, it just says there isn't evidence they do".

Well I'm sorry but I object to that on two counts. Firstly, we live in a country where our legal system is predicated on a party being innocent until proven guilty. Secondly, as a person with a scientific mind, I base my opinions on the evidence that is presented to me, not on the say so of a bunch of idiots in face masks. If I see evidence that EDO sells weapons components to Israel, or if EDO confirms that it does, then fine I'll believe it, but not until then.

Furthermore, even if they do sell components directly or indirectly to Israel, I don't actually give a fuck anyway. People talk about the murder of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army in illegal military action - but as I said before, if that's your beef then go and protest outside the Israeli embassy. Stopping a small piece of equipment being made in Brighton is not going to matter one jot to what happens in Palestine, and it is insulting to the Palestinian cause if that's where you decide to focus your efforts. If you care that much, go to Gaza and help the injured. Stand in front of an Israeli tank. Lobby the British government and the UN to condemn their military action and impose sanctions. No? Too much effort? Prefer to piss off the people of Brighton instead? Well fuck you then.

While we're on the subject, I may as well make my position on Israel/Palestine clear. I am not pro-Israel, as some people might infer from the above. My position is that both sides are as bad as each other, and so I just don't care what they do to each other any more. I do not take this view lightly, or without having taken them time inform myself on the subject beforehand, I might add.

The problem I have with their conflict is that neither side is prepared to compromise. They are much happier to carry on killing each other, so why should I care about it? The broad strokes of a peace deal between Israel and Palestine have been known for years: a two-state solution; shared custody of Jerusalem; Israel to stop expanding into Palestinian territory, and to give back large portions of the land they annexed in the 60s; limited right of return for Palestinian refugees to land within Israel; recognition of Israel's right to exist. There have been times when they have been close(ish) to peace in the past, but every time one side or the other or both fucks it up, because ultimately they don't want peace. They aren't prepared to share. It's ridiculously childish considering what's at stake. And yes the land is 'holy' in various ways to them, but you can still fucking share it.

Yes Israel kills far more Palestinians than Palestinians kill Israelis because they have bigger guns, but the Palestinians aren't innocent either. If they were, they wouldn't elect Hamas who want to see Israel wiped from the map to represent them. They wouldn't tolerate militants firing rockets at Israeli houses. Being the weaker person in a fight doesn't necessarily exonerate you of all blame.

And yes, I fully acknowledge that perhaps it would have been better if the world's superpowers hadn't plonked Israel there in the first place, but it's there now. You have to deal with the situation as it stands.

So I agree that it is all a big fucking mess, but it needn't be if both sides wanted to compromise. They won't, so fuck them.

Anyway, I have digressed a little from my original topic. The protest was annoying, achieved nothing, and cost me money. I don't agree with their cause, but that's not the major problem I have with Smash EDO - it's their methods I object to. Their protests end up directed more at the police than anything else, they disrupt the lives of people who really don't care, they directly or indirectly cause violence and intimidation, and they generally piss me off.


Anonymous said...

Happily, I do agree with pretty much everything you've said so I do not need to fear your wrath.
Plus the whole Gaza situation lead to the West Wing killing off Fitz, so I'm angry (still) about that too. And, indirectly Leo's heart attack as well since that happened at Bartlett's peace talks.
ps. yes I do prefer to live in a fictional universe, why do you ask?

superlative said...

Haha! I love that you blame real world events for plot lines you don't like on TV. I might start doing that.

Anonymous said...

yeah if those muslims and jews can't along then fuck those dying children, it's their own fault! By the way the campaign opposes the arms industry in general, it's not solely focused on palestine, this march did so because it was the anniversary of the end of the attack on gaza when hundreds of children were killed, but why should you give a fuck about that eh? If you don't care about dead children, why the fuck should we give a shit if you're late home from work?

superlative said...

I didn't say it was the fault of the children. However if their parents are happy enough to carry on slaughtering each others' children, and not prepared to make a concerted effort for an obtainable peace, then I regard that as the fault of those parents. They enjoy killing each other more than they value the lives of their own children, and you're telling me these are people I should CARE about? To paraphrase your own retarded comment, if they don't care about dead children, why the fuck should I?

And maybe your campaign is about the arms industry in general. Your protest on Monday however was focused on Gaza, and so that's what I discussed, not that I need to justify what I write about on my blog to you.

A campaign against the arms industry in general is imbecilic in any case. What would be your ultimate aim? A world with no arms industry? As lovely as that would be, it's an unrealistic, utopian and childish point of view that takes no account of the actual world we live in. Why don't you make the purpose of your campaign "that the whole world just gets along"? I'm sure a march of 300 twats with bandanas over their faces is about as likely to achieve that as anything else.

Furthermore, if you don't like the content of my blog, feel free to fuck off and never read it again. No one asked you to read it anyway, and I'd have thought it was fairly obvious from the title of the post which viewpoint I was going to take.

Anonymous said...

I certainly do not like your blog. However it got coverage in the argus which informs public opinion. If you don't mind asking them not to circulate your profound little essays then I don't mind leaving your blog exclusively to those who agree with you. You didn;t really paraphrase me mate, that's when you convey the same meaning in a different words. I essentially said, I don't give a fuck about YOU. And your attempte at paraphrasing evinced the meaning 'why should I give a fuck about dead children?' Well most sane people agree that we should all give a fuck about dead children regardless of who's responsible.

It is within living memory of some people that the idea of you having the freedom to express your homosexuality publicly and without being arrested seemed unrealistic, utopian and childish. You can't seriously be saying that just because the aim of the cause is incredibly optimistic that it shouldn't be pursued.

You realise that it is only a small number of people actually engaged in violence in Palestine? It borders on racism to acuse an entire nation of adults of being party to the same violence as a small group of extremist thugs who unfortunately rule some of their territory. Scrap that it is very racist, how dare you. If you took any interest in the lives of ordinary people living in the occupied territories you'd know that the vast majority just want peace. Essentially you're making innocent people, living under some of the worst oppression in the world, a target for your frustration at being mildly inconvenienced by a group of people who actually give a shit about something important.

superlative said...

I certainly do not like your blog.
Evidently, although I think what you mean is you don't like my posts regarding your protests. The vast majority of my blog is about my Mum being mental, which presumably you don't find particularly objectionable.

If you don't mind asking them not to circulate your profound little essays then I don't mind leaving your blog exclusively to those who agree with you.
I didn't ask the Argus to publish a link to my blog; I didn't even draw their attention to it. They published links to more than one blog in order to illustrate the reaction of local people to the protests, which wasn't all negative. I'm not going to apologise for a decision I had no part in. But what you really seem to be saying is you don't want them to publish links to pages containing opinions you don't agree with. Nice.

I'm prepared to accept that just because I find your cause utopian that doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue it.

I am most certainly not racist though. I made generalisations certainly, and if you don't agree with them that's up to you, but race has nothing to do with it. My comments were applied in equal measure to both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and were in no way related to what colour, religion or nationality those people are. So please do not call me racist when I am not.

I don't accept however that the majority of people in Palestine and Israel want peace. I think they may very well want peace, but peace at the expense of the other side. They don't want peace enough to make genuine concessions and compromise, that's my point. If they lived in dictatorships I could accept that maybe the people want something different to what their governments do. But both sides are democracies, and by democratic majority they elect leaders who will not make the concessions necessary to achieve peace. For this reason I consider the people on both sides to bear some responsibility for the continuing bloodshed.

I'm really not an unreasonable person. I realise you may laugh at that, but I genuinely am not. I don't consider any of my views to be immutable. If you present me with a logical and compelling enough argument, I'm quite prepared to change my opinion. I'm even happy for you to do that publicly on here, and if I change my mind I'll happily say I've changed my mind. I can also confirm that yes I do find it horrible that children on both sides should be killed in a conflict those children didn't create; I was too harsh in the way I phrased my previous comment.

The point of my original post was not to discuss Israel and Palestine; I included that because I wanted to make it clear I wasn't criticising the protest simply because I'm pro Israel. I don't agree with your cause, but that wasn't my main point either. It was that I don't agree with the method of your protest, which I find not only ineffective but actually counter-productive. I don't see how playing cat and mouse with the police in the Laines and inconveniencing residents furthers your aim. I can only see that it generates negative feelings towards the protesters among the local population. I would feel it would be far better to get Brighton's residents on your side, through peaceful protest and by educating people on your point of view. The fact I phrased my opinion harshly, on my personal blog page, is entirely within my rights and does not invalidate it.