Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mark Thomas - see him if you can!

I’ve just come back from seeing the excellent Mark Thomas. He has taken comedy and grafted it onto political activism in a totally brilliant way. He has applied comic genius to the Government’s absurd restrictions on the right to protest outside Parliament. You can join in monthly mass protests of individuals each registering their own individual demonstration with the Police – the details of what to do are here.

Mark explains this on his website as follows;

“A recent law has made it illegal to demonstrate anywhere near Parliament without official police permission, and Mark is organising MASS LONE DEMONSTRATIONS to highlight the danger and stupidity of having this law in a democracy. The law is essentially a ban on demonstrating as there is no point demonstrating in a location where the people you want to know about your protest cannot see you! And, as everyone knows, terrorism arises when people feel that their dissenting voice has not been heard, thus the preservation of free speech and demonstration is essential to a peaceful democracy. Remember, you don't have to be AGAINST anything - you can demonstrate FOR things too - Christmas leave to be for the mandatory 12 days, the right to wear odd socks and purchase them singly, for the Government to give more money to provide clean water in the 3rd world, the right to have free weekly therapy on the NHS... whatever..”

I am certainly persuaded to find time to join in this essential protest. Some of those who spend so much time arguing on the blogosphere may need to get out a bit and should come and join in! (Thanks to this blog for the photo above btw).

Mark also did a routine about his trip to last year’s arms fair, and about the evidence he gave to Parliament about illegal arms trading. Although you might think that there is something unfunny about a world in which it takes a comedian to enforce legal restrictions on arms trading, I came away laughing. I may even buy the book!

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