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August 30, 2014

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Paul Flynn

Thanks K.
I believe the speaker who wanted the demo to side with Putin is Boris Kagarlitsky. When I was dis-invited to todays's 'alternative conference' he was invited. There has been an alternative debate to the alternative conference going on twitter this morning where I asked is Boris is a Putin Stooge.
I'm afraid the organisers of the demo are taking a stalinist line of conformity with their extreme views. If you disgree with them a platform is denied as it was to me. I am sure there are more people following the alternative to the alternative on tweeter than are in the conference this morning.

K

Totally agree with your point about the dangers of extremists hijacking often very worthy causes for their own ends, Paul.

I was worried that the far-right would turn up too - either to cause trouble or infiltrate and hide behind perfectly reasonable causes as an attempt to lend 'respectability' towards what would otherwise be viewed by any rational person as insane, conspiracy theories. Thank goodness, I saw no evidence of the far-right jumping on the bandwagon yesterday.

However, although several important issues were highlighted this would have also been a golden opportunity for people to protest about ever-decreasing wages, ever-increasing inflation the ever-widening gap between the majority of very poor workers and the minority of very wealthy people - which some analysts claim is actually wider now than during the Victorian era! I'm pretty sure the Chartists would have had something to say about the rights that they had campaigned and died for now being eroded.

Instead, a platform was given to a pro-Putin speaker who called on the protestors to take sides with pro-Putin separatists in Ukraine and on British leaders to refuse to give financial aid to the new Kiev government when its president, Peter Poroschenko, visits next week.

I'm sure there were many worthy, intelligent protestors and speakers at yesterday's event and I'm so pleased that it passed off peacefully. However, calls to pick a side in a heartbreakingly cruel Civil War somehow doesn't sound like a promotion of authentic pacifism to me(!)

Paul Flynn

Thank you, K. The reason I was disinvited from the alternative conference was that I did not share pro-Putin view against Kiev.there is one truth among some of the organisers who preach a new intolerance. i have been a member of CND for a long time without sharing the pacifist views of some of its members

Paul Flynn

The publicity from No to NATO constantly bigged up the numbers and anticipated biggest demo ever. Problem is that demo of this size give prominence to extreme groups seeking platforms and obscure message.

K

Personally, I would find it very disconcerting marching alongside apologists for Putin bearing the rainbow pride flag, whilst knowing full well that if I did so in Russia under the Putin regime's homophobic laws I would instantly be arrested, handcuffed and bundled into a police van charged with the 'crime' of 'promoting homosexuality'.

Tombfowler

The 20,000 number came from Jeff Farrar, not from protestors.
http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/11096920.20_000_protesters_expected_ahead_of_Newport_NATO_summit/

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