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Twitter Reacts to Tory MP Assaulting Peaceful Woman Protester

By Petr Knava | Politics | June 21, 2019 |

By Petr Knava | Politics | June 21, 2019 |


Yesterday, a Conservative MP’s dinner was rudely interrupted by a woman loudly and threateningly protesting about climate change. Worried about his and his fellow banqueter’s safety, MP Mark Field calmly and proportionally handled the situation and defused any threat the woman may or may not have posed and the dinner resumed in an orderly fashion.

…is how you might have heard the establishment British media, and various commentators online, describe the following situation:

What you see there is some Greenpeace activists disrupting a dinner of Conservative MPs on Thursday night, interrupting a speech by Jeremy Hunt—a millionaire MP responsible for dismantling and selling off Britain’s NHS, a man who forgets the ethnicity of his own wife, and Boris Johnson’s, only remaining contender for Tory party leadership (and thus Prime Minister, yay for democracy working a treat).

In the words of one of the protesters:

Despite the attempted signal jamming by some, your eyes and ears quite reliably tell you what you see in that clip of the altercation. A stocky man forcefully slamming a peaceful, non-threatening woman into a pillar, before grabbing her by the neck and violently frog-marching her away. There was reportedly applause when Field re-entered the room. Yet if you were to believe some sources, your senses had been deceiving you, because following the uproar about Mark Field’s actions the white male centrist dad brigade were out in full force, rationalising and defending Field because he is, after all, 1) White, 2) A Man, 3) Rich, 4) A Tory, and therefore exists at the perfect nexus of unaccountable power in the UK. Thankfully, Twitter was not having it, providing a much needed counter-weight to that odious nonsense.

From one of The Guardian’s senior journalists:


From a Tory MP:

Indeed. Try being a white male Conservative MP. Just think of how terrifying that must be.

This from another Tory MP:

This from the BBC’s chief political editor, in response to a horrified, emotionally charged reaction by a female Labour MP:

Butler responded herself:

The incident was all over Twitter today.

Field has thankfully since been suspended, but the whole episode serves as a stark reminder of the situation we currently face as a society.

We’re facing an extinction crisis so urgent and so deadly that most people probably have not been able to process the reality of it properly. Industrial capitalism and its pathological need for endless growth has brought our planet to the brink. Millions in the global South and frontline communities around the globe are already feeling the effects of the cataclysm to come. Melting ice caps and permafrost. Sea levels rising. The acidification of the oceans. Desertification and soil degradation. Drought. Extreme weather events. Mass extinction events. A looming refugee crisis such that we have never seen before.

But you know, what, it’s actually quite understandable that so people have yet to process this properly. People are working longer hours for less pay, working precarious jobs with diminishing security. It is not always easy to absorb all the information about the world that is out there. Especially not when it is constantly suppressed and warped by the powers-that-be. But some people have noticed, and noticed keenly.

The travesty of the climate crisis, the truly heartbreaking sight of it all, is that it’s children protesting. Whether it is mass school strikes or heroes like Greta Thunberg speaking out, it is those who have barely lived long enough to begin to understand how the world works yet who already understand keenly how it will soon work if things don’t change, their protest cry simply often ‘we deserve a future’.

So the children know. You know who else knows, and always has? The oil and energy companies. Shell and Exxon knew about climate change decades ago. They covered it up, and funded millions into propaganda to counter the mounting evidence of the doom that they would soon bring to our feet. You know who else fucking knew, and still do? Those people in that room with Mark Field. Conservative MPs, forever in the pocket of big oil, big energy, big auto. They are our Republicans. Right-wing Labour MPs are bad too, as are establishment Dems. But the cartoonish villainy on display on the other side of the bench is truly a sight.

Mark Field’s violent outburst against a woman showing solidarity with the children who will have to inherit a ravaged earth shows us everything about how the world works. Hateful, entitled, arrogant, toxic white supremacist patriarchal capitalism bleeds the planet dry, getting rich in the process, and the rest of us are supposed to sit there and accept ashes. And as Field has shown, nothing enrages that power structure more than when an oppressed minority dares to speak up against the fate that otherwise awaits it.

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

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