Social Movements: What are ’emotathons’? #Manchester #movement-building

Emotathons are the Events (marches, camps etc) at which we emote for hours/days.  Don’t get me wrong – emotions are legitimate and vital in every sense. It’s just that by staging virtually nothing but emotathons we use up limited resources on, in my opinion, the wrong things…

What do you think?

mcmonthly August 2013page5


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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6 Responses to Social Movements: What are ’emotathons’? #Manchester #movement-building

  1. Very good! Comfort zone events are echoed in comfort zone strategy:
    • single issue
    • incremental
    • simplistic do this, stop that
    • comforting visions such as ‘steady state’

  2. Thanks for commenting. Would you like to write something using examples of campaigns that you feel have – even briefly – escaped the emotathon-cycle? Doesn’t have to be either climate or Manchester based…

  3. I’m impressed with which is about money creation.
    For an example of a climate project with at least the right scope you could take a look at

  4. This from facebook-

    I agree. But I’d go further and advance an argument that the theatre of emotathons in Manchester don’t just use up (waste?) limited resources, but they work to smother any chance of alternatives by denying them the oxygen of opportunity.

    When I commented in another thread a few weeks ago to the effect that I felt it was a shame that protests in Manchester were dominated by one man and his megaphone, and how I thought it’d be good if space were given for other people, an acolyte was quick to pop up and say that actually other people spoke at the protest too, and to gush with appreciation about his efforts and how they were sure he would love a break from organising, but he had to do it because there was no one else who would*.

    *facepalm* Well, precisely. That was my point. If there’s one person who’s overly dominant, it’s a bit like having a big tree that is overgrown and never pruned, so there’s no possibility of new growth fighting it’s way up through the grassroots and becoming stronger. If he and his acolytes perceive that there’s no one else who’s willing or able, personally speaking, I think they need to consider why that is, what his/their role is in that, and whether the best thing they could do would be to actually take a step back and let things happen more organically, let other people do things instead. (Although I doubt they’ll ever do this, because of the need to recruit cult members/newspaper sellers.)

    *And I’d actually dispute that person’s assertion that he effectively has to organise because no one else does or no one else will, I don’t think it’s as absolute as that, because people have tried, because when other people have spontaneously or organically organised things, the man with the megaphone has stepped in and stamped on things. I’m thinking about the first UK Uncut anti-Vodafone demo in Manchester. Someone had apparently listed an event on the website for noon, presumably on an optimistic ‘post it and they will come’ basis, and some people did come, quite a few, in fact. But then there was another demo organised that was timed to meet at central library a couple of hours later. And thus the organisation of future demos was taken on/hijacked by the same old faces.

    So any opportunity there might’ve been for ‘regular people’ not affiliated to any particular party to come together, share skills and develop as community organisers was quickly stifled by the man with the megaphone, his group’s ‘branded’ placards and newspaper sellers. As happens with any and every campaign in Manchester.

  5. Pingback: Out of step: marching for climate justice versus taking action | Em News

  6. Pingback: Bloody compassion and the bloody smugosphere | Marc Hudson

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