“the hard truth that society will not accept such behaviour and that there are consequences.”
“If kids are allowed to get away with violent protest there is no hope for the future.”
…just a couple of the comments made above…
It brings to mind an interesting conundrum: many (not all, but it’s a constant rhetorical feature…) of those calling for a second referendum in the United Kingdom do so on the grounds that ‘the young’ have had their futures ‘betrayed’. With these comments, the other side of this rhetorical coin appears to be being played. ‘The kids’, who are the future, should not be allowed their say. That they feel that the only way to have their voices heard is partly through violence is less of a comment on the ‘kids’ themselves and as much on the societies that marginalise their voices. As a teacher, I am also committed to ‘young people’ and their futures, and I think I have a right to comment on their chosen means of expression, but it is certainly not within my remit to close down avenues of expression, violent or otherwise. On what grounds, when most of the founding philosophical tenets of modern Liberal societies (the 1789 Declaration includes it…) reserve for their populations the right of organised retaliation against the state.
My own first taste of political action came in the UK Miner’s Strike in the 1980’s, and it involved violence at points, which I was involved in, at Orgreave, inter alia. Some years ago I lived in Athens during the main ‘troika’ protests, and then in Milan during the time of the EXPO. On all three occasions, ‘young people’ were involved, and engaged in violence, side-by-side with adults. The default critique of violence as a way to either air a grievance or as a legitimate political tool is not something I have ever been persuaded of, especially since we currently live in a Republic founded on that very act.