May Bulletin

  • 04 May 2017 09:00

UK and Ireland Civil Unrest and Activism Bulletin


Activism Review
On 22 April, some 12,000 people joined the March for Science in London to demand protection for scientific research and the environment. Protesters rallied outside the Science Museum in Kensington before moving to Parliament Square. The event, which coincided with Earth Day, was held to denounce the increase in misinformation and so-called ‘post truth’ politics, particularly around the impact of climate change and environmental damage. Climate scientists and other scientific experts are becoming increasingly concerned that the June 2016 referendum regarding Brexit, the election of Donald Trump in the US and other political changes including those made after the snap election on 8 June will result in further reductions in climate protection, a reneging of commitments to combating climate change and a decline in scientific investment and research. The protest coincided with some 600 actions across the globe, including demonstrations in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Bristol and Manchester. It is expected that issues around climate change and the UK’s government commitment to the environment will remain protest triggers before and after the general election on 8 June.

Activism Analysis
On 1 May, multiple groups, including single-issue movements, trade unions and socialist organisations, will mark May Day with the annual march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square. The event, whilst traditionally volatile, has been peaceful for a number of years, albeit well supported. Attendance is expected to be high again this year, with organisers referencing cuts to public services, particularly the NHS and the police as core issues. It is likely that with the upcoming general election on 8 June, actions demanding protection of public services and opposing the Conservative government’s recent policies, including those associated with Brexit, will be held in the coming weeks. Protest action could escalate prior to 8 June, particularly around protecting public services, the wealth gap and the impact of a so-called ’hard Brexit’. 

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