The evolution of environmental protest in Britain is considered against the background of the development of the environmental movement and the emergence of the environment as a political issue. 1323 protest events reported in The Guardian during the years 1988–97 are analysed to explore the varying incidence, issues, forms and organizational affiliations of protest. In a decade in which environmentalism was widely supposed to have been institutionalized and domesticated, the evidence reveals an extraordinary surge of increasingly confrontational but generally non‐violent protest, especially against roads and for animal rights. In terms of issues, forms, networks, and organizations, animal welfare appears quite distinct from and scarcely linked to the broader environmental movement. The varying incidence and changing character of protest is explained chiefly in terms of changing political opportunities, but also as a legacy of a cycle of protest that began with the campaign against the poll tax.
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