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Protests: Do they bring about change?

Share your views and experiences.


World leaders will meet in London on 2 April at the G20 summit to discuss plans to tackle the current economic crisis.

For The One Show, Matt Allwright reported from the G20 protests that took place in the capital.

Matt met grandmother Dorothy Kear. She may seem an unlikely protestor but she told Matt that she's angry at the way our economy has been mismanaged. So, for the first time in her life, Dorothy got out onto the streets and joined the marchers. She said: "I want to feel like I'm doing something - because in so many of these circumstances you feel helpless."

Matt was told by a veteran campaigner that it's not just the usual groups at the G20 protests: "this time it's different... it's a much broader movement protesting about much broader issues."

So, will it be a 'summer of rage'? Will you be taking to the streets? Will the ranks of protesters be swelled by middle class victims of the recession? Or can't we be bothered to protest anymore? Share your views and experiences.


  • 1. At 7:04pm on 31 Mar 2009, AndyfromTonapandy wrote:

    Only the BBC can stir up anarchy in this way. Interesting they show the peice before the summit tommorrow. Auntie stirs the pot again I say

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  • 2. At 7:11pm on 31 Mar 2009, couchtripper wrote:

    That was an interesting piece on this evening's show. I can't remember a single time when an anarchist was given even the slightest amount of coverage on primetime tv.

    The fact that none of his views were shown was noticable, of course, but you have to start somewhere.

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  • 3. At 7:11pm on 31 Mar 2009, Mizzlaydeepink wrote:

    Possibly it says something about the fact that people can protest on a wednesday? Surely these poeple should be at the job centre and actively looking for a job instead of wasting time and causing trouble.

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  • 4. At 7:14pm on 31 Mar 2009, neodenny1 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 7:15pm on 31 Mar 2009, dynamicsatsuma wrote:

    On protesting on Wednesday. I work in marketing in central London and I'm planning on popping out in my lunchtime to join the protest. It's not just anarchists that want to protest on a weekday - anyone can be there!

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  • 6. At 7:16pm on 31 Mar 2009, jshrek wrote:

    Banks dont pass on cuts if credit card intrest wasnt so high we would be able to clear debts faster giving the working class a chance to breath and spend again surley this would boost the economy faster.

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  • 7. At 7:18pm on 31 Mar 2009, purplecrysania wrote:

    My partner works for a bank in london and has been told to expect trouble tomorrow. Why should people be treated this way just for going to work and paying taxes that will be feeding the very anachist that will be causing the trouble. I am really shocked that the BBC painted such a nice picture of these people. People should remeber that redundancies happen in the banks too.

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  • 8. At 7:21pm on 31 Mar 2009, Lordlucarne wrote:

    The British people rarely do much more than complain about political issues over a cup of tea, they have no idea what protest means. Only the Poll Tax riots actually achieved anything, due solely to the fact that the protest was violent. Peaceful protest is a complete waste of time in the UK, there will be another peaceful protest tomorrow and your protest will be history. I do not condone violence, but history shows that peace achieves nothing!

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  • 9. At 7:23pm on 31 Mar 2009, geezerriverrun wrote:

    Yes, it's great that all these people take time out of their busy lives of scrounging off all of us, who spend our busy lives working to support our families as well as these ............................scroungers.

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  • 10. At 7:25pm on 31 Mar 2009, markybruv wrote:

    a good number of people on the march will be unemployable troublemakers. Why does the BBC focus on these people, that woman with the banker mannequin was obviously vastly naive. And stupid to boot! Where does she keep HER money?

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  • 11. At 7:30pm on 31 Mar 2009, Mizzlaydeepink wrote:

    Exactly and she is probably not at work!!! May some of these people should just work hard like the rest of us and quit the moaning.

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  • 12. At 7:39pm on 31 Mar 2009, dynamicsatsuma wrote:

    I honestly don't understand the 'everyone who protests is an anarchist, unemployed and violent' attitude (although I am clearly outnumbered on this forum). If people want to protest about global social and environemental injustices then what better forum to do it at than the G20? I am sure some protesters may use violent methods but they are in a minority.

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  • 13. At 7:43pm on 31 Mar 2009, growingshockhorror wrote:

    How condescending to say that tomorrow's protest "was not the one for Dorothy".

    Tomorrow's protest is for anyone who is fed up to the back teeth with this rotten-to-the-core government, to show them that people are fed up, and be in no doubt about it - the public want blood. They've had enough of the mediocre chimps at Westminster and their binbag-booty full of soiled receipts for 88p bath plugs and thousand pound antique fireplaces (to name but two).

    And as per usual, the puffed up brigade of the self-righteous indignation squad at Westminster are the last to 'get it'. As per usual, Gorballs Mick, the thickest plank of wood ever to park his complacent arse upon the Speaker's throne, whistles dixie and watches as his Missus continues with her West End shopping binges. As per usual, parliamentary standards watchdog John Lyon, the tame poodle with the mental capacity of a steak pudding tut-tuts at the public for not 'understanding' that MPs need to binge for Britain so they can tell us it just ain't worth it. As per usual, Gordon-the-Bloody-Amazing, the great leader, saving the world one minute and issuing a tribute to Jade Goody the next, does his standard volte-face and announces that the enquiry so maliciously kicked into the long grass only a few days ago is now uber urgento...

    Tomorrow is an opportunity to let MPs know that our parliamentary system is a basket case - thanks to the sleaze, the broken manifesto pledges, the expenses cash-cow, the refusal to address the English and West Lothian Questions, the Lisbon Treaty, the continuing assault on our hard won civil liberites - all nodded through by a supine cabal of festering dullards, more concerned with helping themselves rather than SERVING the public...

    So, don't be such a BBC-employed dullard Adrian. YOU and the rest of the BBC are a part of the problem. I hope when this government falls, that the BBC either falls or is reformed, and weaned away from the tax-payers teat, at which you suck so well.

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  • 14. At 7:49pm on 31 Mar 2009, Sauna-Nut wrote:

    Point taken, the protest is taking place midweek. Therefore either their employers are sympathetic enough to let their workers go, or they are unemployed, or both.
    However, I fully support the idea of a mass protest to convey the message that greedy bankers and fat cat capitalists have let us down badly. These Amelekites (meaning "plunderers") should have their comeuppance.

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  • 15. At 7:50pm on 31 Mar 2009, babybomberboy wrote:

    sorry but i agree with most of the comments made why are these people not at work im over sixty should be drawing a pension but because i value my job more i carry on working. my husbanbd is 65 this month but will carry on working because neither of us believes in sponging off the state - not that either of us would get much because we have actually worked all our life!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 16. At 7:53pm on 31 Mar 2009, couchtripper wrote:

    The people here who complain about these people being unemployed are just insulting. I can't be there tomorrow as it's 400 miles away, but, being self-employed (because I had the brains to stay out of the corporate mantrap that these complainers are stuck in), I most certainly would be there if it was practical.

    The people who hate the 'scroungers' are the real problem as they do the system's work for it.

    Wake up to the reality of the situation, for your own sake as much as well as for those you condemn so ignorantly.

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  • 17. At 7:55pm on 31 Mar 2009, tilingjohn wrote:

    I don't believe that protesting does very much good, the government, if the protest is against them, already knows most of our views and takes very little account of such demo's.
    I also think that a lot of people are not in such a protest to just air their views, I feel that in this type of situation some people are there just to cause trouble, to "have a go" at the police and carry out as much damage as they can, the Poll tax riots for example. they want to rouse the average protester to a rioting or looting, to get a something out of the whole affair.
    Has such protests ever caused the government to alter their way; well just maybe the poll tax protests.
    But, I do support the idea that in this country we can protest in such a way but not when protests get out of hand with riots etc and I do object when the police are the objects of violence.
    Although I "lean" to the left, I suppose I'm really conservative, not my politics, in my views.
    I'm 63, living in Norwich, semi-retired from lecturing and have a part-time job.

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  • 18. At 00:47am on 01 Apr 2009, deborahmoon wrote:

    Blog 13. Way to go!!

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  • 19. At 1:42pm on 01 Apr 2009, magrattheblack wrote:

    All these comments about these people being unemployed etc or having employers who are sympathetic to their views are all very well but you seem to have forgotten that some people there have also taken a day as leave from work, taking it as part of their holiday entitlement. I would think that the majority are not scroungers or idle, everyone is entitled to protest and only a minority are violent.

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  • 20. At 4:03pm on 01 Apr 2009, Johnfrum wrote:

    Change is a slow process and it takes a while for things to sink in. Attitudes change gradually or through sheer necessity of survival.

    Generally, people cannot be bothered and a lifetime of protest may see change towards the end of one's life.

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  • 21. At 9:24pm on 01 Apr 2009, mammachou wrote:

    What are they protesting about, most of them are under 25 and dont look as if they have done a days work in their lives, who do we blame for that?

    We have created an unbalanced and unfair society by trying to make a fair one, how?
    by the government forgetting the majority and listening only to loud pressure groups.

    They listened to benefit cheats and disability fraudsters, result- people like my Dad who is in a care home with dementia and needing nursing care is paying with his hard earned savings, and that is around £25k a year, not exactley a contribution and try and find anywhere that costs less. The local authority in Wallasey has just squeezed the nursing home even harder forcing them to increase therir fees, you ring social services and and a hard female voice asks is he self funding? if so there is nothing we can do!!!!!
    My Dad worked in the same company for 50 years and only had time off for a major operation. He paid his taxes and NI saved his money, fought in the war, look how he is treated now.

    They listened to Greenpeace about not developing Nuclear Power and just putting up windmills,, result, now we are 10 years behind developing a reliable energy supply.
    These are people who have no knowledge of science or energy needs with harebrained schemes like connecting Gyms up to the grid,.

    They set up a toothless watchdog called the FSA and stood by as the pensions industry was decimated in 2003, they were then suprised that the same watchdog watched credit run out of control and allowed people to borrow what they could only pay back if their houses continued to rise when most people couldn't afford to buy them.

    Now people who have saved hard for their retirement are being conned out of their savings while those who took on big mortgages sit and laugh as their rates drop to pounds per month.
    some are losing their homes, but why should savers support them?

    Yes there is a lot to protest about but Mr Brown you remember most people are not on the street but at home waiting for the next election.

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  • 22. At 9:23pm on 02 Apr 2009, legendaryjoanie wrote:

    I am strongly in favour of assisted suicide. i have secondary progressive MS and if I choose the time is right for me to die and that I have had enough no one has the right to tell me I cant die with dignity. I have always believed that even before I became ill.We can`t choose to be born,or who are parents are and majority can`t have well payed jobs to choose what kind of life they live. If I do choose to die I would like my family around me and not have to sneak of to a foreign country and die alone. I think it my right.

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  • 23. At 7:14pm on 03 Apr 2009, penvither wrote:

    To make MP salaries fair, link them to the average pay in the country. Include multi-millionaires, include the unemployed, exclude benefits.
    Then when the country is doing well, the MPs do well. When we hit a slump, so does the pay of the government and MPs.
    It would work well for jounalists too who always seem to be so keen on reporting bad economic news. If that cost them the same as the ordinary working man, they might think a bit more responsibly.

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  • 24. At 9:32pm on 03 Apr 2009, Horrabridgeyokel wrote:

    To avoid MP's having to have second homes why not build some large accomodation blocks in London. This could then be used by all out of town MP's and when they lose their seats or retire then the incoming MP could then use the vacated premises. This would avoid any frivolous claims for expenses and would always be an asset owned by the country. Let us not forget that people become MP's to make a difference and for the good of the nation. They do not do it to line their own pockets do they ???

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  • 25. At 12:30pm on 04 Apr 2009, eyes-of-the-world wrote:

    In the week that MP’s have given themselves a pay rise of 2.33%, that will give them an annual salary of £64,766. The charity Save the Children has warned that thousands of children in households of poor and financially hard pressed families are facing malnutrition. Save the Children said it will be setting up a crisis scheme to help these families for the first time in the UK. Also by the governments own admission we are in the worst recession since the 1930’s, the avarice of these people knows no bounds.

    On a personal note, we clamed Family Tax Credit and sent in the forms as requested and we were awarded the clam. However when we informed them that the amount awarded seemed too much we were told that it was calculated and that was that. So shock horror last year we get a bill form HMR&C looking back the £6500 they over paid us over a period of 4 years. Now this was not a request for the monies to be taken back over an agreed time period this was a demand to pay it back in full within 28 days this we duly did.

    What I would like to remind MP’s is that unlike many professions there is no qualification required to be an MP, in fact the village idiot can become an MP, in fact quite a few greedy idiots are MP’s. MP’s first and foremost there to represent the people and the nation not be separate form the people or the nation and fill their own pockets.

    It is nice comforting to know that our parliamentarians are getting their pay increase, when potently hundreds of thousands of UK workers face the possibility of unemployment. Yet they can clam ten’s of thousands and others hundred’s of thousands of pounds for alleged second homes, some of which our Honourable Members already own outright. Then if they are married they can clam twice for the same alleged second home and when they come to sell this house there is another Capital Gains Tax doge that MP’s can do. They can then clam thousands to furnish that alleged second home. With state of the art plasma TV’s, surround systems, kitchens, white goods, leather furniture, beds, soft furnishings, cable TV, their TV licences, their porn movies, bath plugs at 88p, people to clean the alleged home and anything else they can think of submitting an invoice for.

    We must also not forget they also have family members on the pay role, being paid well over the market rate with not the necessary required qualifications and most of the appointments were given the job there was no open selection process. Their families are also permitted first class travel to visit them in their alleged second homes. Add to this you only need to be an MP for twelve consecutive years to be awarded the full Gold Plated Pension. There is no requirement to appear at all in parliament, the best holidays of any section of UK society, subsidised meals and booze and the only government building were you can legally smoke. Is it any wonder the MP’s gravy train is one that come election time ten’s of thousands clamber to jump aboard.

    We also have MP’s who are doing double jobs in regional governments and there are MP’s with consultancies and directorships earning ten’s of thousands more a year?

    Then there are generous settlement packages when they are no longer MP’s or ministers.

    The MP’s motto printed large on their bank statements. “Ask not what you can do for your country but what can your country can do for you”.

    The only difference I can see between an MP and a criminal is the MP’s make the law to suit their particular set of circumstances.

    What I would like to see are, MP’s getting twice the average wage, a fixed set of allowance for running their offices and an end to family members getting unadvertised jobs. The government should build apartments on government owned MOD land in London near to Parliament, where MP’s are given a two bedroom apartment. They must then furnish this apartment with their own money, the running costs, water, electric, gas, internet, security and council tax will be paid for by parliament. They can have the security they crave in a secure building close to parliament, and when they are unelected they move out and the newly elected MP moves in. MP’s will get travel permits to cover themselves and researchers for work solely connected with their duties as an MP, no family members will get free travel.
    The Pension will be on the same grounds as all other government workers pensions.
    There will be an end to subsidised meals and booze and the smoking ban will be brought in with immediate affect.

    No MP should be permitted to have a second job, consultancy and or directorship running the country should be their only concern. These second jobs, consultancies and or directorships are potential conflict of interests!

    There should be an independent committee drawn up form all aspects of UK society who will oversee MP’s pay and conditions.

    Put my name down for that committee if you like!

    MP’s should remember the words of Abraham Lincoln “Government of the People by the People for the People”

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  • 26. At 12:37pm on 04 Apr 2009, eyes-of-the-world wrote:

    By the way extend my proposals above to the EU parliamentary gravy train.

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