Twitter Sphere: Vigils, Protests & Rules

The tragic death of Sarah Everard dominated my Twitter timeline this week, which possibly says a lot about the profile of people I follow, but also highlighted once again just how angry people in this country are.

Unfortunately it also highlighted, again. how hard it is to have an opposing point of view to the ‘trending one’, or even to recognise that there may be a different (and valid) point of view.

A number of factors struck me:

  1. Without doubt woman need to feel safer and more respected, and yes it is far more likely that their attacker will be male. It is not just woman though: we ALL need to feel safer and more respected and I am often left feeling uncomfortable as to the way these issues are often ‘dominated’ by a specific group. Without wanting to stir up the hornets nest; Black Lives Matter 100%, but then again ALL lives matter so maybe Black Lives Matter Equally, or even All LIves Matter would be more inclusive? We do need stringer law enforcement, but we also need better education, parenting and government: everything that contributes to making society as it is needs to be included in changing how society is.
  2. A number of people made the point that under the current COVID-19 restrictions any gathering was illegal, and that a contributing factor to our extended ‘Lockdown” has been an ongoing avoidance of these guidelines. Over 120,000 people have died the vast majority buried without a full contingent of friends and family present. Society needs everyone to be more respectful to the rules, and the sacrifices so many have made already, and continue to make.
  3. During the first Lockdown we saw how powerful the “clap for carers” became in raising and maintaining awareness, so it is a fair point surely to question if the vigil could have been organised in a similar way, supported by an online video event as has been the norm for many wanting to share their feelings this last year.
  4. Probably the strongest single question I saw asked though was “When did it become normal to take banners and placards to a vigil?”
I have only ever attended one protest in my life. It was in Spain and I was covering it for the blog I had at the time. Ironically the video footage was used by ITV. A lot of work had gone into the placards and organisation.

It seems to me that once again the debate has shifted from the reason to the reaction: without doubt people have the right to express their feelings, and to share with others, but maybe something within the current rules initially followed by a series of public vigils across the county at the locations of other tragic incidents would have been more powerful, more respectful and more inclusive.

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