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(en) Muutoksen kevat #27 English Summary

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Fri, 31 Jan 2003 03:00:28 -0500 (EST)

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Muutoksen kevat
P. O. Box 847
33101 Tampere Finland



Niklas Vainio writes in his editorial that the question of the means of
action should be continuously under consideration among social change
movements. Risto Isomaki, a writer and an activist himself, has proposed that
civil action should always be open, non-violent and public. Activists should
uncover their faces, and tell their names and the reason for their action.
Isomaki argues that while non-violent action should not directly cause
violence, non-violent demonstrations may still provoke police officers to
behave violently, especially when disobedient activists try to break police

Niklas Vainio asks, is pushing police lines violent action?. The police may
be provoked, but should disobedient activists hit police officers? Is
breaking the wall built by the police a violent act against society, if the
activists are kept behind walls at public demonstrations because they protest
against supremacy of global capitalism? Most of the violence caused by global
capitalism does not occur between police and activists, however, but it falls
the landless people in poor countries, illiterates, indigenous communities
of the Third World, natural ecosystems, and everybody's right to self-

Niklas Vainio demands that respect  for other people should be the basic
principle of every civil movement. We all should avoid violence and hate.
And we cannot ignore common moral principles, since the course of events depends
on the masses rather than on activists alone.

This paper includes many articles about direct action. On page four we have
an interview with animal activist Rod Coronado. In his opinion, direct action
is important, since in that way animals may be immediately liberated. This is
an important point of view. However, it is unclear if the activists succeed
in influencing the public in a positive way by liberating animals. Direct
action by animal rights activists has raised the issue in public discussion,
but has it shifted public opinion positively?

For many activists Rod Coronado is a revolutionary hero. However, Andrew X
presents in his article "Give up Activism", pages 8-9, that revolutionary
leaders and activists might be hindering change rather than advancing it.
The sphere of activists is often exclusive and the role of an activist becomes
dominant. Activists begin to see themselves as experts of change and try to
start a revolution alone without building connections through society as a
whole. Instead of executing the same acts of resistance year after year,
they should redefine their aims and the best means to reach them.

People participating in civil movements should remember that small active
elite alone is not able to cause large-scale changes, as Niklas Vainio
reminds us. Internationally, the movements criticising globalisation have
succeeded in creating connections between trade unions, leftist groups and
various activists. In Finland, the movement against nuclear power has managed
to raise some questions and critical points into  public discussion.


Rod Coronado tells about his direct action on page 4, in an article made by
Niklas Vainio. On next pages we continue with animal rights, and on page 5
there is news about liberation of foxes in the area of Ostrobothnia,
On the same page there is a report on how the police have prevented
distribution of information about the alternatives of the military service.

On page 6 Ville Lahde analyses the antagonism between countryside people, 
and animal rights and environmental activists. On page 7 we have an article
about fox deaths as a result of toxins in their food.

On pages 8-9 there is a Finnish translation of the article "Give up Activism"
referred above. The article is part of a pamphlet called "Reflections on
June", which was published in the aftermath of the June 18th global day of
action. It has been translated into several languages, and has generated
discussion about the role of activists.

On page 10 Antti Rautiainen writes about the People's Global Action network,
and on pages 11-14 is the Megafoni appendix.

On page 15 Oras Tynkkynen writes about global climate policy. Teemu Turunen
writes on page 16 about the Lappersfort Forest movement in Belgium. This is
a non-violent direct action group, which occupied the forest for one year,
before they were violently driven of. The famine in the Southern Africa, is
discussed on page 17 with a focus on the dispute between Zambia and the U.S.
over GM-corn. On the same page Kaisa Kosonen discusses the Finnish
Parliament's decision to build a new nuclear power plant and its affect on
the movement against nuclear power.

Sirpa Hertell handles the Johannesburg summit on page 18, and its impact on
women's rights, and on the same page Antti Rautiainen continues by
describing a new turn in the Votkinsk situation.

On page 19 we have some news concerning the legal prohibition of an animal
rights activist, which prevents him from continuing to protest against fur.
On the next page there is an article about Bomspotting campaign for a world
without nuclear weapons.

Henri Myrttinen has travelled in Rwanda and describes on page twenty-one how
the genocide looks like today.

On page twenty-two we have an interview of Jussi Hermaja, who was sentenced
to prison for declining military service. He has escaped from Finland to
Belgium and applied for asylum.

The prisoner list is on page twenty-three.

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