I'm 37 and what memory I have of protest and unions comes from a very different world.
I vaguely remember Arthur Scargill filling the news bulletins and Ken Livingstone when he was still "Red Ken" and hippy women in shabby parkas painting their faces with CND symbols.
My hazy memories also tell me it's pointless.
Arthur Scargill failed and the miners went back to work, their pits closing one by one up and down the country until the coal industry was finished. Ken managed to be elected Mayor of London under a Blair government and the CND movement just drifted away.
Maggie went on to crush the unions and it became accepted rhetoric that they were divisive agitators. it became unpopular to join a union and today, most young people probably don't have a clue what they do.
Yet, later in her reign we saw the Poll Tax riots. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens took to the streets and told Thatcher that enough was enough. Later, under Blair, over a million people took to the streets of London to protest what they saw as an illegal war.
This coalition has taken us by surprise. As the brilliant article above points out, we've been totally duped and the only thing that remains to be seen is how long will the British people allow themselves to be treated as fools? It took 11 years under Margaret Thatcher, by which time we'd seen whole industries decimated, unemployment soar and our public services dismantled. Under Blair, protests took until 2003 to really get off the ground, 6 years after he was elected.
Now, we have a new coalition who pledged no swingeing cuts, who pledged to protect our NHS and who pledged to look after our poor and vulnerable. We are still in the "honeymoon period" of a new government and it is rare that opinion can change so swiftly from "Time for Change" to "Oh God, what have we done?"
Osborne can let Vodafone off a 6 Billion Tax bill while cutting vital support for adults in residential care because we let him. Lansley can take our NHS apart only if we allow it. Gove can experiment on our school system, taking money from the poorest schools to give to the richest if we let him do it.
Just think back to May 6th. Cameron didn't win. Osborne didn't win. Clegg didn't win. We didn't trust them. We weren't convinced that they were suddenly "Compassionate Conservatives" and even after 13 long years in opposition, we still didn't trust them enough to hand them the kind of power they now wield. Nick Clegg has tacked on a handy majority, allowing the Conservatives to act like the Chosen Ones. They aren't and we must not forget it for one moment.
We, the people, have the choice to get rid of them tomorrow, but we have to make that choice. A government cannot govern without the will of the people. 8 Men in a backroom don't get to cobble together a deal that no-one voted for.
We've spent so long paying no attention, we've spent so long thinking things will never change, that we've forgotten what to do, but we can speak out today or we can speak out in ten years time.
By then it will be too late.