The British prime minister is not a big fan of the Occupy protestors at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. “I have this rather quaint view that protesting is something you should do on two feet rather than lying down, in some cases in a fairly comatose state”, he told Parliament.
Stephen Moss of the Guardian begs to differ, pointing to sit-down protests by Gandhi, Glasgow shipbuilders, the Polish trade union Solidarity and Chinese students on Tiananmen Square, as well as the bed peace protests of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
“It may be that Cameron has chosen to ignore this rich history of horizontal protest because he is so uncomfortable with it. Protesters are not marching through public space but taking possession of it, setting up an alternative seat of power. This is what has made the tented protest at St Paul’s so resonant. The authorities are at a loss when faced with protesters who refuse to go away. It seems the most effective movement may be one that is static”, Moss concludes.