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Does Protesting Do Any Good?

Sustainable Harborough Community has organised a gathering on Saturday November 12th, 1pm – 3 pm, near the Old Grammar School in Market Harborough, to join the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. The Global Day of Action is being held at the midpoint of the COP 27 UN climate talks, which run from 6th to 18th November in Sharm el-Sheikh, hosted by the Egyptian government.

But does it do any good? Does it make change happen?

The leaders of the world’s governments including our own, urgently need to take bold action if the 1.5 degrees limit is going to be achieved, something they agreed to do at the COP 26 talks in Glasgow.

Since then we know not much action has taken place though life seems to get more difficult for many by the day. How wonderful that groups in our communities are setting up warm spaces and food for people struggling, while our local foodbanks become ever busier.

Last year in Harborough, about 60 people took part in our gathering. Car horns blared, climate activists chanted, placards were waved, whistles were blown and even church bells rang. Did it achieve anything? Did our MP or local government members subsequently take action?

Does protesting do any good? Does it bring about change?

Apparently, research suggests it does. For example, there is a clear strategy being used by Just Stop Oil and other disruptive organisations which creates the radical flank effect. The radical flank effect is where more radical factions of a social movement can increase support for more moderate factions. So people express strong disapproval at these actions, including myself, but research shows that support for more moderate groups is increased, with more mobilisation and additional donations.

It's food for thought but for this year we are repeating last year’s event so if you see this in time, you will be very welcome and safe to join us!

Julie Fagan, volunteer, Harborough Climate Action

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