Articles

Protestfest: a festival of alternative culture

In Brno, Culture on May 21, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka

Fans of “alternative cultures” once again met in Brno and marched across the town to meet in a park next to the exhibition centre where a series of concerts and DJ performances is planned for Saturday night. I must say I don’t understand what they want. According to their website, “people have been losing their rights, ideas and public space” – and yet this event has been given plenty of time and space, even the busiest streets of Brno on a Saturday afternoon. They claim they fight for open discussion on current social and environmental problems. We already have that. They claim this event was not a place for advertising for private companies – and yet they had a Stella Artois parasol. They claimed that this festival was the venue for various opinions – and yet several banners carried by the march participants declared several business-related phenomena are inherently bad. So where is the tolerance and discussion?

3 Responses to “Protestfest: a festival of alternative culture”

  1. You haven’t described any of the good work the event was trying to promote!!??

    I don’t call this journalism, just narrow opinions of someone who does not go out very much.

    Trying going out, asking people for opinions, not just your own.

    • I admit, the description is a little brief and possibly one-sided. The thing is that the goals of this event, as defined on http://www.protestfest.cz, make no sense. They already have everything they want. Many of the proclamations were vague (something along the lines of “we want open discussion”), or even self-contradictory. It is quite common for left-wing Czech politicians and activists to be hypocrites. This was one example…

  2. I don’t see any evidence of hypocrisy. Maybe bad branding in terms of describing what they wanted, but that’s not the same as hypocrisy. You gave two examples of “hypocrisy” but neither is really true.

    Have you ever tried to get a large parasol that had no writing on it? I imagine it is quite difficult, and you haven’t given any proof it was sponsored by the brand. It also could be a personal preference expressed by an individual, rather than something endorsed by the event as a whole.

    Also, what do you imagine is a “venue for various opinions” that doesn’t express any of those opinions? The fact that an opinion was expressed does not at all mean that other opinions weren’t allowed to be expressed. I think you don’t understand how free speech works.

    The fact that the event had bad PR doesn’t mean that it is a bad event. Many of the statements are also broad because the event represents a wide range of views. That’s part of the idea of open discussion.

    If you had actually read the website with care, you also would have seen what their specific claims are with regards to people trying to shut down the discussion. I don’t know if they are accurate, but I can’t even see them here, while I do see them on protestfest.cz. It seems silly to complain about the event not making concrete claims and then not looking at the concrete claims they do make.

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