Today there is the first demonstration of the OBA era.
I fully admit I have not followed the exact reasonings behind the demo, although I am aware of both the general sentiment behind it, and the opposition to it.
I personally see this as an organisational dress rehearsal for what I foresee to be numerous demos against the OBA. I think this is almost unavoidable based on the direction I expect the OBA to take, notably a resurgent and aggressive neoliberal gamble.
This will involve opposition from both organised groups – the PLP, the unions and various NGOs – and the generation of novel, sometimes temporary, agents.
This is good – I fully support the spread of non-violent action and civic engagement.
And if all it does is force the OBA to live up to its electoral propaganda of transparency, accountability and inclusivity, then this is a good in itself.
When the OBA first reversed on its pre-election promise of suspending term limits, I was quick to warn them of the consequences of this. This demo is but one manifestation of those consequences.
I admit I am disappointed, although sadly not surprised, to see various OBA partisans adopting similar perspectives as much ridiculed PLP partisans previously.
Many have been quick to describe the demo as part of a combined opposition, of a conspiracy by the PLP and, more generally, as ‘manufactured dissent’. Others have been quick to dismiss them as reactionary and ignorant.
The PLP frequently dismissed protests – even union action – along similar lines.
One would hope that we could develop greater political maturity and social understanding.
Just as the dismissive responses of the PLP to demos and criticism helped strengthen the resolve of those it attacked, these dismissive responses by the OBA or its partisans will have the same effect.