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When does the defence of freedom and democracy in Britain demand a non-pacific response?

Peter Gelderloos recently suggested in the Utne Reader (May/June 2007) that the belief that only nonviolent protest led to desegregation in America is wrong. Gelderloos says that violence or the spectre of violence contributed significantly: The city of Birmingham and the federal government did not desegregate in response to peaceful marches but in response to “3,000 black people. . . fighting back, pelting the police with rocks and bottles”.

Going further back into history, suffrage and the American Revolution were won by people who were willing to die for freedom, and did. Magna Carta was achieved only because the barons were willing to fight John, and did. This leads us to a provocative case in East Anglia.

Christopher Booker writes that East Anglia protestors “destroyed a 280ft anemometer mast, built to test wind speeds for yet another clump of giant wind turbines in Norfolk.” The turbine company called this “rural terrorism” and asked for a more reasonable and democratic response. But according to Booker, democratically-elected local councils are constantly being overruled by Government inspectors who use John Prescott’s PPS22 directive to “ram through turbine proposals regardless of planning law or the wishes of local communities. . .” The Government expects one hundred and fifty 300 to 400ft giant wind turbines to be installed.

According to the Wall Street Journal (February 23, 2007), governments are boosting wind power by giving grants to energy companies and “by requiring utilities to buy electricity generated from renewable sources at premium rates. The extra cost is passed on to consumers.”

So a government uses taxpayer-generated funds to grease the turbines of energy companies because they can’t make wind power pay for itself. Then the government forces utilities to buy the wind power, and the utilities pass on the higher costs to the poor benighted consumers. The citizen is hit at every turn, not least by the sheer ugliness of structures that dominate the country and devastate the soul.

Booker asks whether it is surprising that “terrorist tactics have hit Norfolk?” A related question might be when does an issue such as Civil Rights in America or the defence of freedom and democracy in Britain demand a non-pacific response?

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