Response#12

“The subversive imagination of anti-road protest and Reclaim the Streets” 

I was very intrigued by this reading, especially with all the creative ideas the protesters came up with to display their version of a detournement and culture resistance. From the new festive living quarters in the streets or the carnival-esque vibe that the Reclaim the Streets movement created which in  both cases had a duality to them of expression and prevention. What stood out to me, and I found to be a common thread about protesting and activism whether from the Black Panther documentary or from this reading was once the initial thought of action was implemented. I noticed how the movement would change and viewed because of police involvement.

Since the the protesters were seen as disturbing the peace, the police enforced tactics to prevent the protesters from gathering and going through with their plans, which resulted in violence and rioting. This was unfortunate being that Reclaim the Streets whole idea was to be a non violent movement that had a party and family friendly atmosphere. Jordan described in the beginning of the movement at Camden High Street they were able to express themselves peacefully for majority of  the day without any violence until the rioting police came. Jordan wrote that the police tried to reassert their authority because what they were doing went against the rules of society. I understand the police are trying to enforce order, but as soon as their presence was at the movement then violence and rioting occurred then the movement loses its message because now it is seen in the media as a movement that is violent and dangerous. This reminded me of the black panther documentary even though their movement was different from RTS both ended being viewed in the media in a negative light.

When the RTS movement went to the National Gallery, Jordan said police fought some protesters with batons. I wonder how can the police be involve in any protest any where, and it does not result in a violent exchange among police and protesters. Why does keeping order mean to to treat protesters so harshly. I understand there might be some individuals who may take things too far, but why would you beat people with batons or in the case of occupy wall street with the police officer spraying mace and they did not pose a threat. Once any violence occurs the focus is no longer why people were gathering but about the violence itself.

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2 Responses to Response#12

  1. Abigale says:

    “I understand the police are trying to enforce order, but as soon as their presence was at the movement then violence and rioting occurred then the movement loses its message because now it is seen in the media as a movement that is violent and dangerous.” Great point, Kimberly! Jordan was also trying to convey that although there are authoritative figures to establish order, none is really needed if people just united based on common interests. Imagine, all those people dancing, eating, and having fun in the streets, and no fights broke out until the “authority” (whose job is to keep order) comes along. It’s rather ironic, isn’t it? As usual, I enjoyed reading your response!

  2. Nice follow up, Abigale. It is amazing how disorder comes from those who wish to establish so called order, which is really establishing power and control.

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