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Discussing the news - vandalisms, protests....

Have you discussed the actions of Just Stop Oil with your Thinkers?

Just Stop Oil have become known for their dramatic actions - throwing soup and paint at various works of art and monuments. Their recent actions on Stonehenge have perhaps garnered the most attention because Stonehenge is such a key part of British identity. I think this presents an interesting case for discussion with your Thinkers (and, as I would in any class I lead, I am not here to tell you what I think about this group of their actions, but to bring up questions we might discuss, to help you and your Thinkers develop your own views).

Clearly Just Stop Oil is trying to get attention. Some marketing gurus might say that there is no such thing as bad attention. This is the first question we could consider. Is it good to do anything to get attention?

We could test this out - JSO has got our attention. How many of us know what they are asking for? They are protesting, something about oil, but exactly what?

Does getting attention convert others to our point of view?

What would JSO need to do to make us agree with them, join them? This is really about communication. If we want to change how others think, if we want to make a difference, we need to think about how we communicate. Is screaming effective? Is is sometimes necessary?

It makes me wonder - if you scream once, people turn to look at you, if you keep screaming wouldn't they then run from you?

But let's return to JSO. Their actions on Stonehenge have been condemned as vandalism - as destroying an invaluable piece of human history. Again, a question: is it ever right to destroy? JSO argues that their actions are drastic because we are facing and life and death situation. Clearly, if global warming continues, there will be no humans to appreciate Stonehenge. So, what is the purpose of keeping this monument safe while humanity dies? Is it not worth destroying this monument if it gets our attention, if it gets us to 'wake up' and act to save humanity? Is what humanity creates worth more than humanity?

But we could turn this issue on its head. What is the point of saving humanity if in the process we destroy the best parts of us - the ingenuity and creativity that Stonehenge symbolises, the expertise and beauty captured in art. Is progress ever made through destruction?

What do you think? What do your Thinkers think?

(I believe JSO has thus far acted in ways that created no permanent damage to the objects they acted upon. This should be considered when assessing their actions).


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