The letter (“Lost support” Viewpoints 29 March) left me bewildered. The correspondent, who declined to give their name, starts by criticising “the actions of protestors in Bristol.” He or she neglects to point out that many people in Bristol say that the police started that the violence. He or she also doesn’t mention that the police themselves have admitted that the claims they made of police officers suffering broken bones and punctured lungs were totally false. (Who made these claims? Why? Will they be disciplined for falsehoods? we will probably never be told).
The letter writer then lays into Extinction Rebellion – an entirely non-violent, if sometimes tactically inept – organisation.How does the letter writer think that the rights we take for granted – freedom of speech, of assembly, to elect politicians – came from?
The words of the abolitionist Frederick Douglas, writing in 1857, are relevant here – “If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.”
Dr Marc Hudson
editor Manchester Climate Monthly