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(en) US, Connecticut Global Action Network - CT RESISTANCE | the anti-globalization edition I (1/2)

From ctresistance@hotmail.com
Date Sat, 2 Dec 2000 09:22:44 -0500 (EST)


 ________________________________________________
      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
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Volume 1 No. 06                                    11/30/00
<<<<<<< C O N N E C T I C U T   R E S I S T A N C E >>>>>>>
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!    WTO SHUTDOWN ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY    !!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            f o r w a r d  w i d e l y
    
    Published by the Connecticut Global Action Network
                  ctresistance@hotmail.com
                 I N  T H I S  I S S U E :
___________________________________________________________
                         NEWS
___________________________________________________________

1. Unexpected Line At Airport
2. Seattle Activists to Mark Last Year=B9s WTO Demonstrations

___________________________________________________________
                        FEATURES
___________________________________________________________

1. Complacent Too Long: Protest Too Little
2. Revolutionary Potential of the Anti-Globalization Movement

___________________________________________________________
                        RESOURCES
___________________________________________________________

1. Tools for White Guys who are Working for Social Change
2. Quick links on globalization
3. ABOUT THE CONNECTICUT GLOBAL ACTION NETWORK (CGAN)

<<<                     NEWS                            >>>
___________________________________________________________
1. Unexpected Line At Airport
___________________________________________________________

11/22/00


Travel expert are expecting this to be one of the busiest air travel weeks
in history, with millions of people taking to the skies to visit family and
friends for Thanksgiving. Lines at ticket counters are expected to be long
right through Sunday.

But at Bradley Airport, there has been a different kind of line. It is
something many people don't expect to see there a picket line.

The food service employees at Bradley Airport were protesting their
employer's sick day policy, health benefits, and wages. Their ranks were
about 100 strong, nearly 100 more than were inside the terminal.

The picket line outside of Bradley Wednesday afternoon was the only line at
the airport. Midday travelers were experiencing little to no wait. "It's
definitely a lot less hectic than I expected," said Laren Morlock, a holiday
traveler.


___________________________________________________________
2.Seattle Activists to Mark Last Year=B9s WTO Demonstrations
___________________________________________________________

Published on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 in the Seattle Union Record

by Florangela Davila

  Real-life activists, not to be confused with those "trustafarians" who
have healthy bank accounts and the means to jet around the world at a
moment's notice, work temp jobs and appreciate the conveniences of modern
life, like a cell phone.

They do not always grow up in communes: Aaron Wood, 26, grew up in suburbia
and graduated from Bellevue High School in 1993.

They are not always politically active from a very young age: Vanessa Lee,
24, participated in a total of one Take Back The Night march before last
year's WTO. And though the mass demonstrations in downtown Seattle initially
made her curious enough to stay affixed to TV broadcasts of the events, she
took her time wandering downtown to protest.

This year, Wood, Lee and a half-dozen others, including 16-year-old
high-school student Jesse Inman and a 25-year-old waitress named Laurinda
Janlewicz, are in a Pioneer Square building literally watching the paint dry
on Gore/Lieberman and other campaign signs, now being transformed into
protest signs.

These and other preparations are taking place for events scheduled for
Thursday (Nov. 30), widely referred to as N30, the date only a year ago when
50,000 protesters overtook the city. They blocked intersections, disrupted
the World Trade Organization ministerial conference at the Washington State
Trade and Convention Center and unleashed a series of unprecedented police
actions in the city's downtown.

Stark images remain of police officers in riot gear dispersing tear gas,
pepper spray, concussion grenades and rubber bullets in order to regain some
control. More than 500 people were arrested. The week of Nov. 28, 1999,
according to the city's final report on WTO, was disastrous.

Over the next four days in Seattle, a series of teach-ins, two potlucks, a
cultural celebration, a Mass, claims filing for damages against the city and
two marches are scheduled. Not so much to commemorate last year, the
activists explain, but to rekindle the public's awareness that the world
still needs to be fixed.

"WTO told the world that the time had come, that people, Americans, were
ready to stand up to the world and stand up against the wrongs," says Wood,
a full-time graduate student at Antioch University in Seattle, who didn't
start doing grass-roots activism until last year's WTO.

"There was a determination and a feeling of empowerment. But we still need
to engage the community, to tell all those people out there shopping for
Christmas that there is another way to live." To that end, activists intend
to demonstrate at Westlake Park, the heart of the city's retail core,
already trimmed with a holiday carousel, a Christmas tree and other
decorations just across the street. The city is not granting any permits for
Westlake Park, encouraging demonstrators to gather north of Pike Place
Market at Victor Steinbrueck Park instead.

Wood and Lee, who are organizing a group called Citiaction (to protest the
Citigroup corporation), plan to join others at Seattle Central Community
College on Thursday for a mass student walkout and demonstration scheduled
for 12:34 p.m. Their permit to assemble in the city and march, Wood says, is
the U.S. Constitution. He carries a copy of it in his car.

As they did last year, activists will employ giant papier-mache puppets to
make their point: The world is too close to being ruined by corporate
globalization.

Janlewicz, a recent Seattle transplant from New Zealand, painted yellow Ms
(McDonalds), red Nike swooshes and black Mickey Mouse heads. They will be
affixed to a giant world puppet, which will lose its trees and fish, she
explains. The country of Brazil, she adds, will also be at-large, a symbol
of the ecological destruction that is already too pervasive there.

Janlewicz, expected to wear some sort of blue, shimmery gown, will play the
moon. The moon and the sun will carry the Earth until the WTO (a giant
skull) and several Business People begin to batter it, forcing the moon and
sun to let the Earth go. The Public (depicted as giant TV heads) watches,
but is unmoved until Officer Friendly (think Darth Vader) and his baton and
pepper spray beat up the Public one too many times. The Public wakes up.
Brazil is secured back to the South American continent. The giant skull is
sent away.

"People now think WTO and they think of smashed windows. People know about
the WTO now," says Inman, a student at Nova, an alternative Seattle high
school, as he transformed a "Governor Locke" sign into one that reads "Free
Trade Costs Too Much."

Inman had never seriously protested until last year when he performed as one
of two giant red devils. This time, he has been upgraded to play the role of
the WTO, which is scheduled to appear Thursday at Seattle Central.

"People now know the WTO exists and that's a start. Now we've got to tell
people why we're protesting it."

When Florangela Davila is not on strike, she is a reporter with The Seattle
Times. She can be reached at florangela11@yahoo.com



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___________________________________________________________
1. Complacent Too Long: Protest Too Little
___________________________________________________________

By Robert Krause    Robert.Krause@aya.yale.edu


"If I can=B9t dance, I don=B9t want to be part of your revolution"
-- Emma Goldman


Outrageous charges have been levied against the "New Left" by the popular
press and even by presumably left leaning press. The New Republic Journal
last spring ran an article whose title sums up the attitude of the press
left, right and (?) center, "The New Left: Bold, Fun, and Stupid." In much
of the presses depiction of the new left the activists are described as
being theoretically and politically na=EFve, even "stupid". The attacks
directed at a whole group of people are either misinformed or are attempts
to misinform the readers about a current political movement. Perhaps the
writers of these political journals have been reading too much of their own
rhetoric.
   =20
Both the editors comments and Mr. Foer, the author of the New Republics
article "The New Left: Bold Fun and Stupid" begin their polemic with the
accusation that the "New Left" doesn=B9t have a "deeper citique of global
capitalism. In fact, claims Foer, "=8Athey=B9ve (the New Left) absorbed the
central lesson of the consumerist ethic they claim to loathe: Pleasure
sells". Foer goes on to state that he asked an anarchist (presumable during
the (Washington direct actions) to define their ideology, they responded
according to Foer, "Anarchism is like socialism without the state." Foer
sees this answer as na=EFve and insufficient. I wonder what he expected duri=
ng
an action? A strategy for fielding questions of political actions throughout
the political spectrum is to respond with slogans and Sound-Bits. One never
knows what sort of answer a person who is asking a question like that is
likely to be able to receive. After all a protest or direct action is not a
final exam of a graduate class in radical political economics.
   =20
What I would like to do here is respond to these criticisms with a brief
outline of what I understand to be the range of conceptual foundations of
this new left and their critique of capitalism. It is important to preface
this with the comment that in any movement participants will differ in their
individual interests and capabilities. Some will not have as developed
theoretical perspectives as others. Everyone is not an ivory tower
academician, and that=B9s wonderful. The grassroots and broad based quality=20=
of
this "New Left" is a sign of its strength. Unlike some of the
talk-till-we-drop leftists infighting well into impotence this new left is
content with being perhaps under-theorized (perhaps) and with protesting
along-side people who may differ in some way that could become significant
in the future. Having said that, there are some important criticisms that
the "New Left" is making, that the liberal left for the last 20-30 years has
failed to pursue.

Lets begin with Foer=B9s claim that incorporating a "Pleasure sells" or "Fun=
"
attitude is conceptually na=EFve to the point of embracing the ideology they
desire to subvert. The left political analysis embraced from the puppeteers
to the anarchists is a long tradition from Kropotkin to Foucault.  The New
Left according to the words of Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco seek not only
"Bread but roses". Not coincidentally one of the best known of the puppeteer
groups is called "Bread and Puppet". This sound bite strikes to the heart of
one of the New Left=B9s core beliefs: we fight not only for livable wages,
just and representative governing bodies etc. but we also fight for quality
of life: Roses.  Explicitly we seek a world of social and economic justice
and a world that has room for humanism, joy and beauty. Issues the serious
academic left of old often overlook. Foucault=B9s "Dandy" is a possible icon
for this position. Along with this superficial and idealistic critique comes
a more serious discussion regarding the difference between the politics of
"pleasure" and the politics of "desire".  As Foucault, Deleuze and Guatarri,
and Baudrillard point out, desire is the insatiable commodity capitalism
essentially deals with. That is, desire is productive, because the
cultivation of endless new desires (a never ending stream of new products)
sucks individuals in our culture into a never ending morass where they must
forever produce more and more so they can continue to consume more and more.
This same ideology is our chief export. This culture colonialism by the
capitalist first world throughout the world seeks to transform the world
into a global version of the Roman vomitoriums.  The drive that the
Republicans, Democrats, (and yes, even Marxists) have to continue to grow
the economy ours, theirs and the worlds, by having our every experience of
life mediated through capitalism is itself a serious problem.

Once we sang songs after diner around a piano at home, now we watch TV, and
buy CD=B9s of professionals we don=B9t know and who aren=B9t accessible to u=
s.
This cultural change creates people who are afraid or unwilling to sing,
dance, or do art unless it is "professional."  We used to go for walks in
the woods to experience being with nature. Now our very experience has been
commodified by ever increasing consumer crap needed to enter nature: Gortex,
hiking shoes, mountain bikes, ad nauseum.  Desire is productive because when
you desire you work to obtain the product that is believed will satiate this
insatiable need and in doing so you produce.  Pleasure is not productive,
pleasure is an end in itself:  Roses.  Punks, know their artists.  Their
artists are often accessible to them.  I have friends who have gone out with
Ani after a show.  Part of the new political left=B9s agenda then is a serio=
us
introspective critique about how capitalist desire for wealth, power, and
respect (Weber) often through a na=EFve and unexamined embrace of the
technological perspective (Heidegger) can be mitigated through deliberately
cultivated relationships with self, others, society, technology and the
world (Heidegger, Foucault).  This micro analysis frequently is combined in
the new left with a macro critique that economic growth and the ecstatic
orgiastic celebration of the "triumph of capitalism" and promotion of this
growth all over the world will have serious if not deadly (as in world
deadly) side effects.  That is, we cannot continue the level of consumption
and growth without 1) running out of non-renewable resources and 2) damaging
perhaps beyond repair our biosphere.

Now these are serious global economic critiques not only of capitalism but
also of Marxism and any economic ideology that holds that continual growth
is a desirable social end.  The fundamental policies of the IMF/World Bank
and the WTO then on this account are seriously flawed.  The goal to open and
keep patent world market with the ends of increasing the "standard of
living" both for the first and third worlds is environmentally catastrophic
if we maintain an ideology of insatiable desire.  We will kill ourselves and
perhaps the planet.

As far as the workers of the world go, while it may be true that the threat
to first world labor is the growth of a competitive third world, it is also
true that the policies of the world bank in particular have left many third
world countries terribly in debt.  And while it may be argued that
significant portions of loaned monies have been misused and mismanaged by
the dictators and corrupt state governments, it is also the case that the
structural adjustment programs of the IMF/World Bank have wreaked havoc in
many states with existent and previously more functional infrastructures
than after the conditions and specifications of loans from the World Bank
and IMF.

The details of those this is not the proper context to delve into, however,
readers might want to consult Joseph Stiglitz=B9s article entitled, "The
Insider" (April 17&24, TNR) that addressed some of these issues.

The critiques of this IMF/World Bank offered by demonstrators and activists
offered in the form of slogans "More world, No Bank" are simplifications of
complex and often diverse opinions regarding what should be done. Radical
revision of existing systems, altogether new economic systems and regulatory
bodies that are democratically elected, and getting rid of the IMF/World
Bank altogether are examples of the range of opinions held.  It means little
to say that some positions are better thought out than others, but the depth
of thought is hardly the point.  No one is about to say OK anarchist
generation Xer, go ahead and create a new economic system.  Capitalism is
hardly about to roll over and die.  That being the case the entrenched
nature of the existing system speaks to how it is that anarchist punks,
union workers, Earth First!ers, the Green Party, and so many others can
stand united despite differing agendas. As progress is made and policy
changes or institution changes occur the groups that stood side by side they
will be forced to reconcile or separate. Until then however groups with
differing ideologies and agendas can stand together unified unlike the
stupid infighting among the intellectual subdivisons of the political left
for the last who knows how long. Stupidity, Mr. Foer, is not individuals
with differing agendas (many of whom may have not read Baukunin or Kropotkin
or even Marx) standing together united in an understanding that something
has gone very awry. Rather stupidity is well read leftists arguing forever
about whether Trotsky, Lenin or Mao have it right and so do nothing in the
face of environmental disaster or oppressive nondemocratic bodies imposing
economic burdens on the people of the world.


Robert G. Krause, teaches philosophy at Quinnipiac University and at Western
Connecticut State University. He is a Clinical Instructor at Yale University
where he lectures and instructs in Bioethics and in Psychotherapy. He is
also the Faculty Advisor at WCSU for a student activist group Youth for
Justice and he is a member of CGAN.


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