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Subject: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Todd Pettingzoo on 09/24/20 at 7:16 am

I wonder why this was? There was plenty of things to be upset about. The arms race, record homelessness, AIDS, crack and the farming crisis. This stuff was certainly addressed, but there was very little major protesting going on like there was in the 60s, early 70s, early 00s, mid-10s and now.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: AmericanGirl on 09/24/20 at 11:47 am

I was there.  Hardly anybody was interested in protesting in the 1980's.  The Vietnam war, the main reason for 60s/70s protesting, was over.  Racism was certainly still around but by and large the needed laws were already (mostly) on the books, and things were improving.  There were a few protests like "Save the whales", PETA, "No Nukes", and protests about global matters like Apartheid.  But nothing like today (or the late 60's for that matter).  Moreover "protesters" as individuals didn't fit the corporate culture which was oh so important in the 80's (ala, "Dress for Success" which predated "Casual Friday", a more or less 90's phenomenon). 

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/24/20 at 11:50 am

Tiananmen Square in 1989, probably one of the most famous protests of the 1980s. The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the People's Liberation Army to occupy central parts of Beijing.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/24/20 at 12:44 pm

I was there. The 80s were the antithesis of the 60s and 70s. The pendulum had swung. People were very pro-America in the 80s. Nobody had to say "make America great again". People already believed it. It was the jingoistic Reagan era with movies like "Top Gun". A far cry from innovative movies like "Easy Rider" from the golden age of "new Hollywood" in the 60s and 70s. In ten short years from George Harrison spiritually pleading for deliverance from the "material world" by "the Lord Sri Krishna's grace" in 1973's classic "Living In the Material World" we had gone to the hedonistic Madonna celebrating being a "material girl".  The last thing anybody felt like doing was protesting. Not to mention it wasn't "hip" to protest. Such people were seen as leftover hippies. Never underestimate the supply of "day trippers' who just protest because "it's the thing to do" without any real conviction. We see a lot of those types today as well. The suburban white kids running into the burning cities, throwing a bandana on their face to "protest" for a weekend then running home to mumsy and daddy's beautiful suburban home.

I still don't get the not-yet-born people here who have this love of the 80s. I mean, I was there. It was just...EMPTY.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: yelimsexa on 09/24/20 at 1:25 pm

The first episode of Family Ties says it all, where Alex is ready to conform back to traditional values. You also didn't have the Internet yet speeding the spread of the hysteria. You still had conservative KKK rallies, but the minorities would tend to be more silent with their reactions with a "just let it be" type of attitude. Everyone was all worried about violent crime, nuclear attacks from the USSR, and the war on drugs, and this came at a time where suburban living was at its pinnacle, with suburbs not nearly as "urbanized" as they are today. Threads like this shows the relative calm of the 1980s, and people weren't afraid about having a good time!

Remember, there were plenty of '60s and '70s babies who had a fascination with the 1950s back then (another decade without much protest culture), even in rose-tinted terms.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: karen on 09/24/20 at 3:52 pm

In the U.K. there were several peace marches organised by CND and also the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (protesting at  Cruise missiles being installed in the U.K.)

There were also two March for Jobs in the U.K., one in 1981 that marched from Liverpool to London and the other in 1983 from Jarrow to London, in part marking the 50th anniversary of the Jarrow March. I remember this one coming through my town.

There was also various race riots in cities across the country in the mid 80s

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/24/20 at 3:58 pm


In the U.K. there were several peace marches organised by CND and also the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (protesting at  Cruise missiles being installed in the U.K.)

There were also two March for Jobs in the U.K., one in 1981 that marched from Liverpool to London and the other in 1983 from Jarrow to London, in part marking the 50th anniversary of the Jarrow March. I remember this one coming through my town.

There was also various race riots in cities across the country in the mid 80s
Were there protest marches during the Miner's Strike?

I recall a nurse's strike too?

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: karen on 09/24/20 at 4:22 pm


Were there protest marches during the Miner's Strike?

I recall a nurse's strike too?


I don’t know. Leicestershire miners didn’t really go on strike for some reason. I have half an idea that there was a short national strike as part of this. I remember my dad been on a local picket line for a couple of days.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/24/20 at 4:23 pm


I don’t know. Leicestershire miners didn’t really go on strike for some reason. I have half an idea that there was a short national strike as part of this. I remember my dad been on a local picket line for a couple of days.
I have an image from television of Arthur Scargill, the Miner Union Leader, walking with miners.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: karen on 09/24/20 at 4:26 pm


I have an image from television of Arthur Scargill, the Miner Union Leader, walking with miners.


The Wikipedia page shows a picture of some sort of march, but I couldn’t find any information

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/24/20 at 4:31 pm


The Wikipedia page shows a picture of some sort of march, but I couldn’t find any information

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/da/Miners_strike_rally_London_1984.jpg/440px-Miners_strike_rally_London_1984.jpg
Miners' strike rally in London, 1984


I have an image from television of Arthur Scargill, the Miner Union Leader, walking with miners.
An image like this...

https://editorial01.shutterstock.com/wm-preview-1500/3923833a/72838018/arthur-scargill-leader-of-the-n-u-m-on-the-picket-line-at-ollerton-colliery-during-the-miners-strike-shutterstock-editorial-3923833a.jpg

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Jaydawg89 on 09/24/20 at 6:46 pm


I was there. The 80s were the antithesis of the 60s and 70s. The pendulum had swung. People were very pro-America in the 80s. Nobody had to say "make America great again". People already believed it. It was the jingoistic Reagan era with movies like "Top Gun". A far cry from innovative movies like "Easy Rider" from the golden age of "new Hollywood" in the 60s and 70s. In ten short years from George Harrison spiritually pleading for deliverance from the "material world" by "the Lord Sri Krishna's grace" in 1973's classic "Living In the Material World" we had gone to the hedonistic Madonna celebrating being a "material girl".  The last thing anybody felt like doing was protesting. Not to mention it wasn't "hip" to protest. Such people were seen as leftover hippies. Never underestimate the supply of "day trippers' who just protest because "it's the thing to do" without any real conviction. We see a lot of those types today as well. The suburban white kids running into the burning cities, throwing a bandana on their face to "protest" for a weekend then running home to mumsy and daddy's beautiful suburban home.

I still don't get the not-yet-born people here who have this love of the 80s. I mean, I was there. It was just...EMPTY.


Everything you stated was very true, especially the the last paragraph. Even though, I appreciate some of the stuff that came out of the 80s, they really do look like a vapid, soulless and shallow decade. My uncle born in 1973 should be nostalgic for the 80s but, he thought they sucked and much prefers the 90s (this was back in 1999 and his opinion still hasn't changed haha). It does definitely seem that the 90s brought back something that was present in the 60s and 70s but, missing in the 80s.

Also, I guess it's the current pop culture which has sparked a lot of interest in the 80s, with TV shows such as Stranger Things (a show that I do actually like). Another reason too, is the rose-tinted nostalgic Gen X people that seem to only remember a glorified version of the 80s but, they completely forget about all the crappy stuff about that decade (which was quite a lot). Because of these nostalgic people, the 80s have gotten a lot more exposure to the mainstream and young people have grown an interest of the decade and started to romanticise it (considering that these nostalgic people seem to hype it up as this "cool, perfect time").

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: karen on 09/25/20 at 2:56 am

I like a lot of the music of the eighties, but it was a hideous time to be an adult. In the U.K. we started the 1980s with mass unemployment and by the end of the eighties with sky high house prices and mortgage interest rates. Thankfully by the time I was doing such adult things as buying a house things had calmed down.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/25/20 at 4:44 am


I like a lot of the music of the eighties, but it was a hideous time to be an adult. In the U.K. we started the 1980s with mass unemployment and by the end of the eighties with sky high house prices and mortgage interest rates. Thankfully by the time I was doing such adult things as buying a house things had calmed down.
"Maggie Maggie Maggie, out out out"

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Elor on 09/25/20 at 9:56 am

There were plenty of protests in East Germany against the regime in the late 80ies which subsequently toppled the communists and reunified Germany.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monday_demonstrations_in_East_Germany

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: robocop on 09/30/20 at 11:51 am


Everything you stated was very true, especially the the last paragraph. Even though, I appreciate some of the stuff that came out of the 80s, they really do look like a vapid, soulless and shallow decade. My uncle born in 1973 should be nostalgic for the 80s but, he thought they sucked and much prefers the 90s (this was back in 1999 and his opinion still hasn't changed haha). It does definitely seem that the 90s brought back something that was present in the 60s and 70s but, missing in the 80s.


What an absolute load of bullsh1t to believe to prefer the nondescript 90s.  ::) In honesty I think protest culture was also quite absent in the late 70s as well as perhaps the end of the Vietnam War and the fallout signified an air of defeat and that was a moment 60s/70s protest culture had run its course at least in the US. I get the impression that in America 1976 being Bicentennial year and a new president felt like a case of cutting all ties with the turbulent nature of the rest of the decade and moving on to something a bit more stable.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/30/20 at 2:24 pm


What an absolute load of bullsh1t to believe to prefer the nondescript 90s.  ::) In honesty I think protest culture was also quite absent in the late 70s as well as perhaps the end of the Vietnam War and the fallout signified an air of defeat and that was a moment 60s/70s protest culture had run its course at least in the US. I get the impression that in America 1976 being Bicentennial year and a new president felt like a case of cutting all ties with the turbulent nature of the rest of the decade and moving on to something a bit more stable.


It is correct that protest was largely absent from the late 70s, once the Vietnam War ended with the fall of Saigon in 1975. People were burnt out after the war. There was some "no nukes" protest activity in the late 70s, including the famed "No Nukes" concerts in 1979 featuring Bruce Springsteen, Crosby, Stills & Nash and a host of others.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Jaydawg89 on 10/01/20 at 10:13 am


What an absolute load of bullsh1t to believe to prefer the nondescript 90s.  ::) In honesty I think protest culture was also quite absent in the late 70s as well as perhaps the end of the Vietnam War and the fallout signified an air of defeat and that was a moment 60s/70s protest culture had run its course at least in the US. I get the impression that in America 1976 being Bicentennial year and a new president felt like a case of cutting all ties with the turbulent nature of the rest of the decade and moving on to something a bit more stable.


It really depends on personal preference over which decade people prefer, my uncle prefers the 90s, other older relatives prefer the 80s and I think both decades are overrated lol.

Protest culture was pretty much gone after Vietnam really.

Subject: Re: Protest culture was largely dormant in the 80s.

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 10/01/20 at 2:15 pm


It really depends on personal preference over which decade people prefer, my uncle prefers the 90s, other older relatives prefer the 80s and I think both decades are overrated lol.

Protest culture was pretty much gone after Vietnam really.


Protest that made any real SENSE was pretty much gone after Vietnam. Protests in recent years, starting with that foolish and ill-fated "Occupy Wall Street" of some years ago are leaderless, chaotic, ill-defined and LACKING IN COMMUNAL DIRECTION. Make no mistake, those Vietnam-era protests had a big hand in finally ending that war once and for all. But I don't see today's protests, with their incoherence of ideology, achieving much except chaos and negativity. Which just may be the goal of them.

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