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Tibet Protest Great, But . . . .

Carry On Team | 07.04.2008 09:33 | Mayday 2007 | Analysis | Iraq | Repression | London

Are there lessons to be learned for the wider activist scene in London?
or questions to be asked about these Free Tibet Protests that seemed so successful in saturating the media?

I was as thrilled as the next Indymedia reader to see all the posts from yesterdays Olympic Torch protests, and overjoyed to watch it all again on the BBC and mainstream news programs.

But how come these protests where such a success?

How come, even with 2million marching on Feb 15th 2001, the Peace Movement can't bring the same chaos to the streets of London when in Iraq 'Children can not go to school for fear if kidnap' - (, Iraqi civilians are targeted daily by ill-prepared, ill-trained, and just plain ill UK & US soldiers -( - ( and Iraqs already dire refugee crisis is 'deepening' - (

Why don't these caring, kind and concerned British citizens who took part in yesterdays street protests and civil disobedience, take to the streets also to protect our freedom and right to protest? - (, or to protect the human rights of those illegally imprisoned in the UK because of there race? - (

Imagine if all those who where on the streets yesterday in support of Tibet, also took part in the May Day protests? - (

Imagine the fun we could have on the streets of London?

But could it happen?

or was yesterday just a big publicity stunt - ( for 'our' democracy and because actually the west has a lot to gain from Chinas bad press.

Come on people, give yourselves a pat on the back for the success of Sunday, but please, don't stop there, don't wait around for government approved civil disobedience, thank them for showing us how it is done, and lets take it to the next logical level, lets carry on regardless!

Carry On Team


Hide the following 20 comments


07.04.2008 09:58

These protests were well funded and organised by those elements within the UK and US that require China to be under some level of pressure as its economic power increases. The fact that so many activists have been sucked in by this charade doesn't surprise me in the least as the same thing as happened with the whole mankind driven / CO2 / Carbon footprint bullshit that the Oil industry has convinced the activist community is real.

Some people are just happy to jump on the latest trendy bandwagon and this is it. The government must be laughing their tits off at how easy we are manipulated.

WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

news to me

07.04.2008 10:08

I was on the protests. I know most of the organisers. They got severe pressure from The Authorities to can the protests, who are highly embarrassed over the whole thing and - unsurprisingly - value good relations with the PRC rather more than they do the right of protest.
These protests were NOT funder or instigated in any way by HMg or any other western govt organisation, and it is conspiraloon paranoia to suggest that they are.

mail e-mail:

Olympic Flame Takes Heat Away From israel

07.04.2008 10:39

Alarm bells began to be prepared when Spielberg created a big media splash by withdrawing as an advisor to the Chinese Olympic committee. The alarm bells really began sounding however when Sarkozy threatened to boycott the Beijing games - citing human rights abuses. None of it rang true.

By this stage it was obvious that the latest round of 'Operation Distraction' was being rolled out by the owners of mainstream media.

The fair-minded majority of the worlds people realise that it simply will not do to have such selective campaigning against human rights abuses.

Where are Speilberg and Sarkozy when human rights are being trampled in occupied Palestine?
Or are those lives somehow less valuable than Tibetans?

Joe Meek

it could be

07.04.2008 10:58

A good point rised in the article, why were more people seemingly involved in this protest than any other, I can only think it's because the item of protest's route was known and it's clause had a more identifiable icon of support. Plus the U.K. Government hasn't been able to do the usual pre-media spin on how bad the supporting the clause is. Together with this, there is an good exsisting network between the tibet groups support network through out the country bringing people together, being on a weekend and a good pre-media coverage of the event taking place. (And of course it didn't involved the usual A-Z protest march organise by the usual group of people). ;)

this truly was a Genuine protest from the start rather than one made up.


Easy to see the manipulation

07.04.2008 12:56

Come on people ! Can you not see how the well crafted operation was put into effect.

Of course those taking part thought they were doing it in good faith and many of the organisers I know thought they were sticking it to the man with their defiance but all this was just part of a well planned and executed operation that saw the Middle Classes encouraged to "protest" with planted details of the route nicely listed in the appropriate media (Daily Mail, Times, BBC etc) and an amount of police suspiciously small for an event that was obviously going to be protested.

China is growing and the corporate power brokers know they need to be reigned in and controlled, Tibet was the chosen subject. Over the next couple of weeks pressure will be applied and then Bejing have been shown who is boss will be encoureged to make an empty gesture toward Tibet or the Dali Lama to allow world leaders to talk about China having "moved position" or "compromised under pressure".

It so bloody obvious but like a poster above said it's the same as the global warming crap, nobody wants to admit they were conned and manipulated so we all pretend we are fighting against a great and powerfull movement when in fact they are controlling and using us.

When the US oil companies needed to control Total/Elf Oil in France and remind Sarkosy who is boss Burma was rolled out in the same way, now that Sarkosy has agreed to play ball we see no more grainy cellphone films coming up on the news do we ?

Not fooled by latest Neocon dirty tricks


07.04.2008 14:57

The way the activist community in the UK has been turned and used by those who they think they are opposing is incredible. The stupidity and time being wasted by actions like the protests against aviation is a case in point, the most cursory glance at the so called evidence of climate change being in someway influenced by human action is simply laughable but that has not stopped thousands swallowing the whole Carbon Footprint fantasy without a second thought.

The West has needed a stick to beat China with for the past five years ever since its economic power and demand for energy began to impact on areas like gas supplies and steel prices and of course they were prepared to be patient until they knew China would be the centre of world attention, cue suitable time and suitable cause Tibet and what do you know a well orchestrated campaign in the mass media sees a big number of people on the streets and an embarresed China.

This we might expect from the bastards but what really pisses me off is how again and again the European activist community falls for it and there are people who come to Indy with their action reports and smug pictures telling us all of their contribution to the day without wanting to see how they have been used like a cheap hooker.

Tony Patterson
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funny the way things pan out...

07.04.2008 15:38

so the pro tibet protests got huge coverage, maybe its because its something the general public are interested in at this pont in time? also many people argue that it didnt matter in genoa when the police infiltrated the black bloc and destroyed even more property because that was its aim. the aim of the protests were to highlight chinas human rights abues in tibet and darfur, as well as britians role in legitimising the way the chinese have acted. other reasons for the media coverage could have had somthing to with the fact that people were willing to use non-violent direct action to achieve their aims of putting the flame out and blocking the route.

also funny to see the only other post to support the protests has been censored, a bit like china i suppose?


tibet protests

07.04.2008 15:46

This whole idea about the protests being coopted by the government may be true but what else is there to do? Just rail against it all and sit on our hands? This is a great opportunity to bring attention to Tibets suffering, so lets not ignore that. Anywa i was there, and the police certainly didnt seem to be making it easy


No contest

07.04.2008 17:21

It's not a competition, people. You can oppose the UK/US intervention in Iraq, and Israel's treatment of Palestinians AND support the human rights of those in other countries.

The conspiracy theory that those who want to highlight human rights abuses in Tibet / Burma / Darfur are all puppets of a sinister plot by the US/UK/Israel governments and media to distract from Palestine and Iraq would be laughable if it weren't so depressing.

So Darfur - where 400,000 people have been killed - doesn't matter then?.

Tibet is in the news because of protests in China which led dozens of protesters to be shot. Do you think the decision to shoot the protesters was decided by the UK and its press? The same thing with Burma, apparently "rolled out" at the Western countries' request.

The more I read Indymedia, the more I realise that Nick Cohen's book "What's Left" is absolutely right in its assessment of how the left's moral compass has gone totally topsy-turvy.

Norville B

I despair...

07.04.2008 22:34

"The fact that so many activists have been sucked in by this charade doesn't surprise me in the least as the same thing as happened with the whole mankind driven / CO2 / Carbon footprint bullshit that the Oil industry has convinced the activist community is real." - what? You think that climate change is a conspiracy MADE UP BY THE OIL INDUSTRY? That just doesn't make any kind of sense. The British, American and Israeli governments are unjust and oppressive, the Chinese government is unjust and oppressive, and for the benefit of the last poster Nick Cohen's a fucking prick as well. We can, and should, consistently oppose the whole stinking lot of them. If resisting China's oppression of Tibet makes you a tool of the British state, then I must be a stooge of Saddam for having opposed the war in 2003.



08.04.2008 08:46

It's good to see that more and more activists are now recognising the links between the carbon story and big oil and how the way we have all been influenced to support the goverments of the West in their desire to raise taxation levels of free movement through road, rail and air price rises while at the same time boosting oil company profits.

I notice that this week the German meteorologist who refused to link snow levels in Bavaria with climate change has been shown to be right despite the attempt of the German authorities to silence him through funding cuts. Big up to him for sticking to his scientific principles and not giving in.

The truly independent voices on this issue are now getting an opportunity to be heard.

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CO2 monthly mean at Mauna Loa leveling off, dropping?

08.04.2008 10:22

Of course CO2 influenced climate change is a myth, it's laughably obvious and everytime I have taken the time to prove it to some PlaneStupid or Greenpeace person it's always the look on their faces I enjoy when the reality of the con job they have belived for so long hits them.

There is some further recent evidence here when the Mauna Loa figures were released

Source: NOAA

In the graph the black line is the seasonally adjusted value while the red is the monthly mean. This is based on data through March. May is normally the peak month. Here we see how Mauna Loa CO2 has lagged in its annual rise. The likely culprit: Pacific ocean cooling due to La Nina and increased solubility of CO2 in water.

This graph certainly supports the notion of the ocean’s importance in CO2 trends, something Roy Spencer did a guest post on CO2 and oceans here on this blog and was roundly criticized for it in some circles.

Given that May is normally the peak month for CO2, and because we still see a strong La Nina, the result could be a lower CO2 max in 2008 than 2007 for Mauna Loa. This has happened before in the 60s and 70s in the last cool PDO phase (lasting til 1977). Even if it stays even with last year’s level, this tells us a lot and sheds doubt on these ideas:

1. Anthropogenic accumulation (civilization is still producing CO2)
2. A CO2 residence time of several hundred years seems unlikely now
3. Giegengack’s thesis that if man stopped emitting CO2, the earth would emit more to compensate, the premise being that since man has for the first time “upset the balance” and is pressing CO2 into the earth, then once the balance is restored the earth will resume emitting it instead.

It will be interesting to see in the coming months what happens globally, should we see a drop-off or leveling of global CO2 in response to our quiet sun and La Nina, it will be difficult for AGW proponents to explain. Nature will indeed be the final arbiter of this debate.

We live in interesting times.



08.04.2008 11:10

I agree entirely with bemused (well, apart from his swipe at Nick Cohen - but his main point is spot on).

Why on earth would Big Oil be in favour of the environmental movement? Given that the oil companies have fiercely lobbied the US government not to sign up to the Kyoto protocol and that they've had to set up dozens of front groups and dodgy scientists to promote their global-warming-is-a-myth line, doesn't that seem totally unlikely.

So what's the theory? Big Oil wants to distract protest groups from Iraq and Afghanistan? I seem to recall that environmental organisations were raising concerns about climate change long before both of those incidents. Backing Greenpeace didn't stop anyone going on the anti-war marches.

The only people on here who are Big Oil patsies are those who quote their scientists and their front groups who claim that CO2 changes are a myth. Surely that's obvious.

Norville B

In reply to Norville B

08.04.2008 13:27


I understand why you feel the way you do, up until about six months ago I was just the same. The first part of the jigsaw that made me start to question the theory was attending a lecture at Birmingham University on an unrelated subject and getting into conversation with a professor of chemistry and during that listen to him pour scorn on the entire Carbon linked to Climate Change theory. I strongly defended the theory, I listed the IPCC report only to receive howls of laughter from the assembled academics there. These were independent chemists and at least two meteorologists, I left feelng confused and somewhat pissed off but it did make me read and do some research.

A few simple Google searches start to show up a number of factors and a common thread across the developed world.

The idea that emissions of CO2 create climate change is at very best a weak theory, the majority, I will repeat myself, the majority of chemists find it simply laughable and wrong.

The major world oil companies have on at least six occasions over the past 100 years pushed a story into the media that oil supplies are running out, these stories have always been at a time when the price has started to drop.

Every developed world government will lose a subsequent election if it increases taxes, the public expects and demands tax cuts. After funding for education this is the most important election issue in both Europe and the US. Taxation on consumption is still felt acceptable by the public if it is for a 'good cause'.

The major oil companies need the public to think the following:
Oil is in short supply, this is basic economics, short supply = price rise

The developed world's governments need the public to think the following
CO2 is harming the planet so we must restrict it, this will be done by taxation. The taxes raised are for a 'good thing' so they are acceptable.

We now have a situation where the public thinks that a high oil price is acceptable and high taxes on the refined product of that oil is acceptable. The 'sell' of this idea started as a result of a succesful campain invented by the American Nuclear Power trade body who sold the US public on the idea that Carbon (ie Coal) was dirty and nuclear was clean and good. When Thatcher came to power in the UK and needed a reason to break the power of the NUM she on the advice of Keith Joseph expanded this idea and with the formation of a couple of 'Activist Groups' and infiltration of Greenpeace by the Security Servies in the 1980's we had a bunch of activists fed a line that was spead through the world. Of course oil companies keep up the front as they are not stupid enough to let anybody know the truth as they know the unjustifiable high oil price can only be maintained as long as the fiction of an oil shortage is kept up.
We now have the ludicrous and pathetic situation where oil company profits are at an all time high, the governments of the developed world are all preparing CO2 linked taxation and the activist community rather than questioning this is activly promoting and pushing it.

I am still in awe of how well an efficient PR campaign can change the views of millions of people but since something similar has convinced millions to drink Coca Cola every day perhaps not.

I strongly encourage you to read and read again about this, it may well be the greatest con of modern times but then I suppose that most people still like to waste their time 'researching' 911 and the Moom landings so I don't hold out much hope.

All the best and good luck


Former supporter of Carbon driven climate change theory

One thing extra

08.04.2008 13:50

Sorry forgot to say that the links between Shell and a number of climate change organisations are currently the subject of a book from a London writer. It will be out in the summer and documents the funding that Shell, through a number of front companies and reserach groups put into establishing groups that push the CO2 driven climate change idea. I understand that Shell has already tried to stop publication through a High Court writ but without success. The evidence of manipulation of several journalists who write on climate issues is also written about.


OMG! the key to the universe!

08.04.2008 14:52

It seems like some people have trouble holding more than one idea in their heads at a time. I'll lay out how I see these situations:

Tibet first:
* it used to be ruled by a theocracy, now it's a totalitarian state
* neither of these are good for ordinary Tibetans
* people have been tortured by the Chinese State
* it is in the interest of Western governments to embarrass the Chinese government, as it is powerful
* ordinary people can enjoy the embarrassment of a totalitarian state that treats its citizens appallingly across the board
...all of these things can be true at the same time and I see no reason for condemning peoples' protests against the torch because some folk in Langley might be smirking at the discomfort in Beijing

Nick Cohen:
* has made some valid points about the weakness of some left groups' uncritical engagement with certain tendencies
* is a New Labour cheerleader making those valid points as to shore up his party's haemoraging support can take his points as valid where you find them valid and call him out as a pro-war fud where they aren't valid.

Climate Change:
* Oil companies have spent a lot of money and a long time funding, promoting and otherwise supporting the anti-science, anti-environment climate change deniers
* Some oil companies may now find it expedient to change their strategy now that this has become untenable
* current economies are built on the impossibility of perpetual growth
* All economic interests and governments want to avoid the massive structural change implied in curbing this
* freedom of movement is a good thing but it is not shared equally, the rich have much more of this
* so they should have less freedom of movement, while the poorer people of the world should have theirs increased
* the rich & powerful do not and will not give up their privileged position
* therefore they seek ways to pass costs, inconveniences and restrictions on to ordinary people
* it then becomes convenient to pass the blame for this onto other bodies, such as scientists or greens

....if you follow the "it's a conspiracy path", the bad guys win either way: you discredit scientists and environmentalists making action against climate change harder or less effective; and the businesses escape the attention that should be placed on their activities.

I think that anyone who tries to understand what's going on in the world has to recognise that there are 1000s of factors in any situation. We're in a *very* *complex* *place* and seeking 1 truth to explain everything, whether it's NeoCons, Imperialism or Israel leads to massively flawed reasoning.


Yes, but

08.04.2008 15:50


Some good points made there and yes of course I agree with you about not following the latest conspiracy theory. With the Diana verdict yesterday the newswire already has enough of those !

In reply to the points you made
Tibet - agree with everything you said 100%

Nick Cohen - same

Climate Change - Well it's up to you I suppose, to be harsh about it I don't really care that much if you, or anybody believes what I have found out about the lies surrounding carbon inluenced climate change I was just pointing out that having been firmly in your camp I did some reading and came to a different conclusion. I know I was very pissed off when I realised how much I had had my views manipulated by a slick PR machine but I know that some people prefer to stick to a dogma rather than face up to their mistakes. Such is life.

I do agree with you that the rich will not be hit as hard by the Carbon taxes as the poor, I see that as a bad thing but again that's just how I am. I am certainly not of the opinion that it's all a great NeoCon, Mossad ,McDonalds plot as some would have you think but then I don't think that 911 was a result of energy beams or Israeli run patsies so I guess I must be a spook already in some people eyes. :-)

I do know that climate change is real and I do know that it is the poor who will be hit the worst by it and I do know that governments are using the fallacy of CO2 driven climate change as a way to increase taxes, restrict individual travel (and the human right to do that) and I do know that several of the world's major oil companies without a single shadow of a doubt invented the idea of CO2 driven climate change. But don't take a word of what I say as true, assume I am a liar who gets a big cheque every month from Texaco just go and do some research like I did.


"CO2 monthly mean at Mauna Loa leveling off, dropping?" - erm, no

08.04.2008 16:42

water says:

"CO2 monthly mean at Mauna Loa leveling off, dropping?
Source: NOAA
this tells us a lot and sheds doubt on these ideas:

1. Anthropogenic accumulation (civilization is still producing CO2)
2. A CO2 residence time of several hundred years seems unlikely now

That's a hell of a lot to read into a one-year downturn in a consistently rising trend. Could be the downturn is caused by the solar cycle and La Niña as you suggest, but what the hell that has to do with the two points you're trying to make here, I can't imagine.

If you burn a million years' worth of hydrocarbons every year for a few decades, stands to reason it'll accumulate in the atmosphere, the ocean, and every other place that can hold CO2.


Cheers for that

08.04.2008 18:20

Thought sdf's summary of the situation was excellent. It's like what they say about the best doctors: rather than assuming that five different symptoms must all have the same cause, they recognise that someone may actually have more than one illness.

And, yes, found your response very convincing Clive. Will look into that, and look forward to seeing the Shell-link book when it's published.

Thanks to you both.

Norville B

They Are Saying My Protest is Ugly.

16.04.2008 03:52



Tibet protest turns ugly, 4 held
15/03/2008 11:53 - (SA)

Cops 'hurt' in Tibet clashes

Deadly violence in Tibet

Violence erupts in Tibet

Tibet monasteries sealed off

Sydney - Four protestors were arrested on Saturday after a demonstration by Tibetans at the Chinese consulate in Sydney turned violent, police said.

Media reports said police used batons and pepper spray to break up the demonstration, which came after China said on Saturday that 10 people had been killed during violent unrest in Tibet.

New South Wales state police said officers moved in after protestors tried to force their way into the consulate in suburban Camperdown, about three kilometres from Sydney's city centre.

"The consulate was not breached, one person was arrested for assaulting police," a police spokesperson said. No details of charges against the other three demonstrators were available.

It was reported that police and protesters fought a running battle on the street outside the consulate. It reported at least eight people were arrested.

Police said the protesters were dispersed after bang contained in a park near the consulate. Earlier, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith urged Chinese authorities to exercise restraint towards protesters in Lhasa.

He said: "We call on Chinese authorities to act with restraint and to deal with protesters peacefully. We urge the Chinese government to allow peaceful expression of dissent."





Ugly Riot