Wednesday, 1 April 2009

20+ who speak for billions or 4,000 who speak for no-one?

As predictably and sadly, some of the 'protests' in the City of London descend into mundane violence, the focus has to remain on the leaders who represent billions. The 4000 in the City, and no doubt there will be accusation and counter-accusation between police and protesters, represent nobody but themselves. Leaders representing India, China, European nations, Africans, other Asians, America, South America are rather more significant.

The contrast between the Put People First campaign which marched on Saturday and had a positive agenda of economic, social, and environmental change and what we are seeing today couldn't be more stark. Saturday's march presented a practical way forward for leaders tomorrow. Their agenda expressed ideas that could find their way into the final G20 communique.

Of course, like a heat-seeking missile the media home in on the 4,000 and gave scant attention to the 35,000 who marched in good humour, determination, and in a positive and constructive state of mind. The 35,000 from trade unions, NGOs, environmental groups, and pressure groups did represent millions. There has to be a question about why the fringe is more newsworthy than mainstream.

Marching and protesting with a positive agenda has to be worthwhile. That relies in part on the media. They have a vested interest in a better, more prosperous, more sustainable world too. Let's give voice to billions, and millions, and put the 4,000 in their place: on the fringe.

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