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Yellow jackets!

Published: Apr 25 , 2019
Author: Alan Smith

Yellow jackets! Red mist!

Easter weekend and blazing sun! In Britain?

Global warming?

Certainly, the Extinction Rebellion think so.

This weekend there has been a bit of a carnival atmosphere in the British Capital as 1,000’s of well-behaved protesters have been guilty of disrupting travel across London.

Taking up positions in Westminster, Oxford Street and on Waterloo Bridge, the police have moved in to arrest over 1,000 of them in a very gentle crackdown.

In fact, many of the police ‘management’ have been concerned about the entertaining way in which the rank and file have approached the situation. Metropolitan Police Commander Jane Connors said she was "disappointed" by a video appearing to show officers dancing with protesters.

She said: "I'm disappointed by the video and the unacceptable behaviour of the officers in it. We expect our officers to engage with protesters but clearly, their actions fall short of the tone of the policing operation at a time when people are frustrated at the actions of the protesters. We will be reminding officers of their responsibilities and expectations in policing this operation - however, the majority of officers have been working long hours and I am grateful to them for their continued commitment."

Compare this with the Gendarmes in Paris and how they have been dealing with the Gilet’s Jaune.

The French police, notorious for their robust approach, have been accused of fanning the flames of the burning cars and buildings by the use of tear gas and stun grenades.

Now, of course, the two protests are for completely different reasons, one is about the damage we are doing to our planet, which many believe our ancestors will look back on (if we survive) with horror. The other about fuel prices and economic reform. Oh, the irony.

A spokesman for the British police this weekend was asked about the attitude of the Bobbies on the Beat and how they were being managed to handle the protests.

His view, and I have to agree with him, is that if possible, it would be much better to deal with the protesters with respect and try not inflame the situation by being heavy-handed.

Trained negotiators know that increasing the tension by being confrontational, aggressive and disrespectful will not help anyone. Violent behaviour breeds violence in return. The conundrum being which side starts it. Whichever it is, the likelihood is that the other side will react in kind. Competitive stances breed competitive stances.

Whilst I love the French, I think I would prefer our British police any day.


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Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

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