Rebels with a cause, folk devils without a panic: press jingoism, policing tactics and anti-capitalist protests in London and Prague

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Donson, Fiona
Chesters, Graeme
Welsh, Ian
Tickle, Andrew
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New University Press (NUP), flashmousepublishing ltd.
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This paper examines whether anti-capitalist political activists are (mis)constructed as ‘folk devils’, through an examination of media coverage in the UK and Czech Republic. The construction, of such protestors, as violent criminals and dangerous ‘anarchists’ has, it is argued, influenced their treatment at protests by public authorities in London and Prague. The paper also offers, in juxtaposition to this representation of the current anti-capitalism movement, a discussion of the accounts of activists themselves. In particular it examines the activists’ own perceptions of their engagement in the global social movement against capitalism. The paper is based on evidence drawn from the preliminary findings of interdisciplinary research into global social movements, and in particular the protests against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Prague in September 2000.
Political activists , Anti-capitalism movement , Media coverage , Social movements , Global social movements , Protests , Criminal justice systems
Donson, F., Chesters, G., Tickle, A., and Welsh, I. (2004) 'Rebels With A Cause, Folk Devils Without a Panic: Press Jingoism, Policing Tactics and anti-capitalist protests in London & Prague'. Internet Journal of Criminology, Available at
Internet Journal of Criminology (IJC) © 2004