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 Contested spaces

One of the key roles of civil society is to provide a platform for like-minded individuals and groups to come together to put pressure on powerful decision makers in society; from site stake holders to elected representatives. However, strategies to undermine the active civil sector (facilitated through the systematic implementation of a series of legislative acts which permeate social division); creates the current situation; where the responsive body of citizens is less active and effective than they have been in previous decades. The lack of political desire to challenge the cyclic fall-out embedded within our current mode of capitalism; means that citizens cannot rely on traditional political ideologies or parties to overt this modern phenomena and problematic global outcomes. Thus, the role of alternative practices, particularly that of protest actions which take place in the public realm; are a key arena in challenging the problems created by global capitalism. This paper aims to build on protest actions which took place in London between 2010 and 2012 in the aftermath of the Global Economic Crash of 2007/8. These actions often crystallise the embedded social and political problems – and if allowed to gather momentum can become a forum that catalyse change. This paper will explore the way in which protest and other oppositional action can become a route to more sustained oppositional practices which can become institutionalised and inform the direction or the way in which we approach contemporary global challenges.

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