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(en) India, Bangalore, THE PIE-RECT SIDE OF ECO-ACTIVISM

From Biotic Baking Brigade <bbb@asis.com>
Date Sat, 19 Feb 2000 06:08:39 -0500


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Below is a Q&A article that appeared in the Bangalore edition of The Times of
India on November 28, 1999. I am forwarding it because I think it captures
the spirit and essence of what pie-rect action is all about, and offers
ideas on how to carry on the global pastry uprising.

--Agent Apple for the BBB/Ecotopia

------------------------------------------------
THE PIE-RECT SIDE OF ECO-ACTIVISM
By Ravikumar Menon

The crusade for Ecotopia is spreading itself thick with the emergence of the
Biotic Baking Brigade (BBB). The redoubtable BBB has exemplified underground
eco-activism in recent years with its avowed goal of pie-rect action -
attacking global capitalism full in the face with pie, preferably custard or
cherry. Their Tried and Pied list of entartements includes technocrats, policy
makers, heads of trade bodies, politicians and corporate honchos.
By the BBBs own admission, the twofold path of the modern warrior is no longer
that of the sword and the pen, but the pie and the keyboard; and, few weapons
as effective to subvert an event as pie served in unconventional fashion
rounded off with a captivating press release.
But has the BBB brand of pielitical pressure paid off? In an exclusive
interview via e-mail, a leader of the movement who gave his name as Agent
Pecan minced no words on the group's mission. Excerpts:

Q: How did the idea of pie-throwing originate in the history of
remonstrations?
A: In my consciousness, pie-throwing was something that was done in the movies
to bring someone down off of their high horse. The pie had universal visual
meaning. With an understanding of the situationist's idea of disrupting the
spectacle and using the disruption to point out the cracks in the official
reality, the power of the pie was given whole new opportunities to cast light
on shadowy figures. Tasteful entertainment at protest prices.

Q: The splashy approach seems to be a trifle too hard on the egos of your
beneficiaries. Is pie-throwing as soft as it looks, going by the media splash
you have generated?
A: Pieing is not so much a personal attack, as it is an attack on authority,
secrecy, corruption, and greed. If the ego of the person pied is bruised, that
is not the intent. But shame can be a powerful motivator, and persuade people
to change their behaviour. This, of course, is an unintended result, for the
goal is to disrupt the spectacle and expose the lies official reality requires
for its existence.
In my case, State Representative Carol Flynn, whom I pied, said the only thing
that hurt was her self-esteem. No physical injury, when a pastry projectile
took her down a notch, and exposed her violation of the law and her racist
lies.

Q: Isn't pie-throwing a legal offence as in causing public nuisance? Is
operating underground the result of or the very backbone of the movement?
A: Most pie-throwers try to escape and are thus underground. Some are caught.
I chose to stay and explain my actions, so I did not run. I had something to
say, and wanted to take it to trial to say it. I was convicted of a
misdemeanour.

Q: Given an option, what other methods would you seek recourse to to spread
awareness?
A: There are all kinds of methods of raising people's awareness. Pie is a
particular tactic that is great in some circumstances, and in others, the
results would not be quite as sweet. But pie injects humour into protest, and
a visual esperanto, a universal message that is conveyed via action that
everyone understands.

Q: You prefer the electronic media for a slice of the action.
A: The idea behind pie is to spin the spectacle so that the creators/keepers
of the official reality must respond. Pie has little effect without a wide and
live audience, and the media both creates the reality and the audience.

Q: What about allegations that the gravity of eco-policy decisions are being
drowned in splashes of pie?
A: The media does damage control mostly by focussing on the pie and the pier
and not the actions of the piee that led to the pieing. So, some may argue
that the message was lost. In my case, it never came out in the media that
Carol Flynn had admitted on the stand under oath to violating the law, abusing
the power of her office, and telling racist lies. But it did go out over the
media that she refused to hear a Bill pertaining to the issue (not quite
accurate, but nearly so). The pie forced people to ask why someone would do
such a thing, question the state's explanation, and it created tremendous
visibility for our campaign, as well as recruitment opportunities to get more
people involved.
The specifics of the issue are covered in pastry puff and undiscernible with
this type of action, but the issue in general is thrust in the face of the
public. More attention, but few specifics of the issue.

Q: How positive has been the victim's approach after the 'treatment'? Does he
who flings the pie expect to change hearts?
A: Well, we never expect to create a change in the decision of the project
when we pie, but do intend to expose the corruption of the process in the
pieing of the individual most directly linked to that corruption.

Q: Do you still repose faith in environmental summits?
A: No.

Q: How often have you participated in the proceedings and put forward workable
proposals on environmental management?
A: Very often. I, for one, have sat on governmental advisory boards, done
electoral and issue politics for 10 years.

Q: On your opposition to the neoliberalism paradigm. What is the ideal balance
of power you envisage between corporates and governments in the coming
century?
A: The real question is do we even want to abdicate our power, our community
autonomy and self-determination to nation states that represent the interests
of the wealthy, or to corporations that represent the interests of the
wealthy? Neither. Not to corporations or governments. Mutual aid, and an end
to consumer culture. Really going back way before agriculture. Primitivism.
Take from the earth what it offers, instead of changing the earth to fit our
preferences.

Q: What is your vision of an eco-safe world?
A: Civilisation must end, and we must go feral. I just wanna be a naked monkey
on a rock. We are animals, with no more or less right to live on this world
than any other animal, plant, or rock.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"Never doubt that a small and dedicated group of people with pies can
change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

PLEASE NOTE!!!!! New BBB email and website addresses:  bbb@asis.com
                                       http://www.asis.com/~bbb/
---------------------------------------------------------------------

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