Our survey on the incident last Thursday with Mark Field and a Greenpeace activist has not surprisingly shown overpowering support of Greenpeace.
72% of the responder “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with the statement “Greenpeace should be congratulated on their bravery and continue to take action in this fashion”
The actions of Mark Field MP were significantly condemned – 75% against and 88% saying this response was too strong. What’s is most surprising is that 17.5% actually agreed that Mark Field was right to stop the activist.
Although some in the media have tried to say that the actions would have been proportionate if the protester had been a man, over 82% of those who responded to the survey said that this would make no difference.
The Right Ethos responded to this topical and sector relevant issue on Friday with this survey. And we tried to present the questions in as neutral a way as possible so to try and get a true sense of the views of those potentially being affected going forward – the campaigns, policy, public affairs and communications audience in the not-for-profit sector.
Now that the survey is complete, we now feel we can express our views.
What Mark Field did was an assault in every way. A direct physical assault on Janet Barker.
An assault on Greenpeace and their strong and proud tradition of peaceful, creative and highly effective protest, particularly at this time of a climate emergency.
And an assault on the campaigning sector as a whole. 13 years ago, after working for campaigning organisations such as Liberty, Amnesty International and World Development Movement (now Global Justice Now), I set up The Right Ethos for the sector. And what I find most disappointing about this survey is that 8.9% – around 1 in 11 of the responders did not feel that Mark Field’s response was too strong. The campaigning sector has changed. When I started out in the mid-1990s, at Shelter this figure would have been negligible. The sector is getting broader, perhaps some may say reflecting society more.
But, surely one of the fundamentals of campaigning for justice – whichever cause, be it environmental, international development, health, disability or whatever – is to fully challenge the power of the privileged, the decision makers over our lives. Perhaps we need to challenge those in our sector who don’t have this view and perhaps restraining the ability of others to campaign with full effect.
The full survey results
How do you feel about the Mark Field and Greenpeace incident. He was right to stop the activist?
Strongly agree 3.5%
Neither agree nor disagree 7%
Strongly disagree 54.4%
His response was too strong
Strongly agree 84.2%
Somewhat agree 3.5%
Neither agree nor disagree 0%
Somewhat disagree 5.3%
Strongly disagree 1.8%
The response would have been fine if the protestor was a man
Strongly agree 1.8%
Neither agree nor disagree 8.8%
Strongly disagree 45.6%
Mark Field was right to do what he did with the attack of Jo Cox MP, 3 years ago in mind
Strongly agree 5.3%
Neither agree nor disagree 10.5%
Strongly disagree 50.9%
Greenpeace should be congratulated on their bravery and continue to take action in this fashion
Strongly agree 38.6%
Neither agree nor disagree 11.3%
Strongly disagree 7%