Protests in London: June 21 – June 22
Protests in London June 2021 to June 2022 uses the Metropolitan Police Service (Twitter) and Metro news service to visualise demonstrations and protests over a 12 month period. The analysis helps answer two common questions: When do protests in London happen and where do protests in London happen?
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How to use the map
Each protest is identified by a red icon on the map. Because the map is interactive, when you place your cursor over a marker you’ll see:
- Date etc.
You can find each post/story if you click on the ‘Go to link’. Because this is a web address, you are taken to a new web page.
Because our technology analyses every source you have the option to filter the information on the map by: Organisation, month, source and grievance.
Where do protests in London happen?
Protests happen in Westminster more than any other London borough. Popular locations for protest include organisation’s head offices (London has more head offices than any other city in the world) and bridges.
When do protests in London happen?
Protests happen mostly in August (17). Use the filter to find the most popular week.
Find what’s the most popular day for protests in London using the calendar feature.
Cause of protest
The greatest cause of protests in London are environmental. The top three grievances rank as follows:
- Environmental (36)
- Anti-government (13)
- Social justice (7)
The crime statistics are split by London borough and type. Therefore, as we’d expect, we see a high number of public order offences in Westminster.
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The Metropolitan Police Service and Metro news were chosen as sources owing to their coverage and reliability.
Other sources we use include:
- News outlets
- Social media
- Security services
- SIRV users in the field
- Other informal information networks
Conclusion: Threat assessment
Data visualisations get attention because they present data in a way that prompts discussion. However, owing to the Protect Duty requirement for security risk management, we expect this visualisation to be more than a discussion point. We expect this and more of our work to form useful tools in threat assessments.
If you have any questions or comments about this visualisation please contact us.
Further discussion on why people protest
Why people protest is a mystery to many. Protestors may have a cause that attracts the sympathy of some. But few people actively participate in the protest itself. Put off by the discomfort of large crowds and the dangers they face, most figure if someone else is already bearing the cost of a protest why join one?
But some people are attracted to protests. Moreover, they don’t just go to one protest, they join many different ones. Sometimes on the same day. What motivates the serial protestor?
Three Principles of Motivation
BJ Fogg Stanford Professor, suggests people are driven by:
- Pain / Pleasure
- Fear / Hope
- Isolation / Social inclusion
BJ Fogg’s theory on human motivation suggests protests are very attractive. Because they offer people all three motivations: social inclusion, hope and pleasure.
Social inclusion: Protestors feel part of something
Many people join a protest because they feel excluded from society. A protest gives them a sense of belonging, a community.
‘A Protest if nothing else is a community’. Zeynep Tufecki
People make friends, share experiences, and build long-lasting relationships through protests. For example, take a look at most protests in London and you’ll see it’s highly sociable.
In a world where community is hard to find, the protest has a unique offering. Because it’s like a big party. And, just as we fear missing out on a party, people fear missing out on a protest. Of course, a protest is riskier to attend than a party. Being sat next to a frozen pea tester at dinner is tedious. Whereas being hit by a baton can be lethal. However, the threat of danger has its own appeal. Because sharing moments of adversity forms an uncommon bond.
Add social media to the mix and protests appeal even more. Not only does social media keep non-attendees connected but it also makes protests more inclusive. Because everyone has a voice on social media, the same overflows to the physical protest. As a result, protests use a flat, decentralised power structure (referred to as horizontalism). This gives every protestor a say in decision making. Therefore, protests feel highly participatory and socially inclusive.
Moreover, the combination of digital and physical connections make protests in London more likely. Because London has readily available public transport, digital and physical connections are made easily.
Why people protest is clear, it offers social inclusion.
Hope: Protest brings a new beginning
Most protestors are anti-authoritarian. In other words, they oppose institutions and the electoral process; because they’re seen as only serving existing power structures.
To see protest, not institutions or elections as the way to change the world is highly motivational. Because it is a simple, easily understood solution to a complex problem.
Why people protest is simple, it offers hope.
Pleasure: Love to protest
Being part of a protest is pleasurable. Meeting similar people is fun. But the protest itself has properties that make it a truly uplifting experience.
Meet similar people
Before social media, if your view was not reflected in the media (TV, press, radio) it was easy to think it was unique to you. However, social media makes finding likeminded people easy. As a result, if you are anti-authoritarian, finding others who share your view and show their solidarity through protest is probably the ultimate vindication of your views.
Being part of a crowd that acts and communicates as one generates a powerful feeling of euphoria, known as ‘collective effervescence’ (Emile Durkheim). This uplifting experience means protestors feel they are part of something much larger than themselves. A sense of awe and being ‘in touch with the universe’ overcomes them.
Protests in London are motivational
Given all the above, it’s clear to see what motivates people to protest in London.
Other protest articles of interest:
- Protest and social media relationship
- Protest and climate change link
- Freedom convoy protest bound for Britain?
- Protest algorithms: Outrageous stuff modern security teams needs to know
- Why people protest: Motivations of a serial protestor