The Weekly Stripe – 25.04.19
This week’s links cover the poetics and pragmatics of protest - the different forms it takes across time and cultures from colonial India, Brexit, Extinction Rebellion, peasant society and American football.
One of the brighter spots in the recent Brexit Turmoil: Led by Donkeys. “After consulting an online tutorial from a painter and decorator, they purchased some high-vis jackets, a £90 B&Q ladder, and a bucket of wallpaper paste. They then spent a day near the A10 in North London plastering the tweet over an ad for Halifax.”
Extinction Rebellion is a new form of movement with both a highly organised but seemingly distributed and highly savvy approach to bringing an issue into public view. This won’t be going away anytime soon. The FT explores this new style movement.
“When the King walks by, the servants bow deeply and fart silently.” In his classic anthropology of everyday resistance James Scott argued that peasant rebellions are pretty uncommon and explored less visible, every-day forms of resistance such as foot-dragging, evasion, false compliance, feigned ignorance and sabotage.
A dig into the origin of the act and expression of “taking a knee” which started and has re-emerged in the world of American football – but initially as a tribute to a revered coach.
Reginald Dyer ordered his men to fire on a large gathering he considered an insurrection in Amritsar 1919. As this book review notes at the enquiry into the massacre he said: ‘I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed.’ As George Orwell’s once wrote – ‘every white man’s life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.’