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The Protestor's Handbook Paperback – 1 Apr 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852652119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852652114
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,027,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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This book will help you move the world in a better direction (John Sauven, Greenpeace UK)

Book Description

A step-by-step guide to effective political activism

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
The determined and inspiring Bib van der Zee has written a book about how ordinary people can engage with our politicos and our system. This is something that no-one else has bothered to pen recently, which makes 'Rebel Rebel' a rather estimable feat in itself.

Such is the cynicism of our political scene, you'd half believe her efforts would have come to nothing with people saying "Don't bother. No, just don't. It won't come to anything anyway. The Tories and Newish Labour have got a closed shop",

When, for instance, was the last time the BBC explained offered such an excellent 'How to...' guide?

On a general point for anyone actually reading this, have you noticed our political system is only explained in any sophistication to the populace at university level - hence the great amount of ignorance amongst our populace about how to get hold of these archaic, but doughty leavers of politics?

You'd half suspect that politics were engineered just so it can be accessed only by those who can afford an advance state of education. "While you lot can have your Suns, Pop Idols and your soggy blackpudding......" you can almost imagine the powers that be saying, "we'll sort the country out. Don't you worry you're pretty heads about that..!."

Well unfortunately, this heavily ingrained, uninformed, apathetic state of affairs is clearly unhealthy, decaying and in danger of leading useful and vital elements of our system to be dismantled. As our rights to trial by jury, legal aid and even to a Tribunal over unfair dismissal are being eroded under the whip hand of "saving money", I felt a real injection of our rights under the cosh whenreading this book.
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Very interesting book for a novice protestor - i have much to learn but this book is already teaching me stuff & ringing true in many aspects that we have encountered in our campaign - so I 'm using this book as a text book!! :-)
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This book is a good place to start - it introduces the basic methods of protesting,from lobbying to organising mass rallies. And it takes it further than that. Using the information included in here, you can, and many have, organised mass demonstrations, effectively contact your MP and work towards influencing politics in a real way.

But, it has it's weaknesses.

It's purely a basic introduction, and doesn't have time to go into any specific depth about anything - this can, and does, often leave you hungry for more information that is often difficult to find. It frequently ignores weaknesses of the methods, issues that you may come up against and misses hints and tips that the most junior activist would know very quickly.

So, if you want a good introduction, this is the book! However, if you want depth and detail, you may want to talk to your local activist group...
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If you want to start protesting and learn the insights of how that's done, then this is the book you should have first, before anything else!

I recommend it because it covers all aspects of protesting, from legal tips to losing yourself in the moment. Extremly useful!
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Guardian Books 2008, retitled and reprinted unchanged 2010

Guardian Books seems to be an imprint of the Guardian newspaper. In the most hypocritical manner possible, the Guardian is owned by or connected with the Scott Trust, or Scott Trust Limited, which does everything in a purely profit-making and tax-avoiding basis.

The authoress of this book appears to be purely journalistic; there are sections contributed by four lawyers, on subjects related to activism and protest, but her contributions are mainly interviews, with a few accounts of visits (e.g. to south America). It's not clear whether the interviews were hers, or the result of raiding Guardian files. Some may have been telephone interviews. Much of the material is biographical - a few random examples are: a Palestine Solidarity Group, protected by police, at a 'crucial' football match with Israel; Jon Trickett, a (then?) Labour MP who lobbied for a clause 'to include in their annual review anything that might harm profits because it endangers the company's reputation'; Sue who wanted to throw eggs at Tony Blair's car; Ralph Nader; Dave Currey, a wildlife trafficking investigator.

Some of the material is historical flashbacks over the last few centuries - sometimes at unnecessary length - there's quite a bit on Gandhi, Tolstoy, M L King - she doesn't seem to know Indian partition resulted in massive deaths, Tolstoy's Russia was swept away by Jews, M L King failed in his aims. She also for, presumably, traditional reasons includes Marx, and groups liable to suspicion, such as the British Nutrition Foundation. She does not extend her scepticism to other funded groups which she approves of.
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