Queen’s Speech: Who’s really behind the #DayOfRage hashtag?
A hashtag which seemingly promoted a protest outside Parliament was actually boosted by people sharply opposed to the demonstration.
But the most influential people using the hashtag weren’t left-wing protesters opposed to austerity and angry about the fire – in fact they were conservatives and others opposed to the march. Many accused the protesters of putting an unnecessary burden on police and emergency services.
The theme was picked up by other users, including Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith who tweeted: “#DayOfRage – just what our emergency services need right now.”
Some messages were scathing about the protesters, portraying them as hypocrites:
Most of the top retweeted messages came from protest opponents, although sprinkled among them there were a few widely spread messages of support:
The subject even came up on Radio 4’s Today Programme, when Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell was asked whether he was egging on the “Day of Rage” protesters when he claimed the Conservative Party does not have the right to govern.
McDonnell stood by his statements but noted: “People can be angry but they mustn’t resort to violence.”
“I heard yesterday about this Day of Rage and I said immediately, anyone who’s protesting against government or any other matter has got to be peaceful, otherwise you undermine the cause and people stop listening to you.”