--- In smygo@y..., "Clore Daniel C" <clore@c...> wrote:
> News for Anarchists & Activists:
> January 30, 2002
> LA Times
> From Newsday
> by Ellis Henican
> Aren't Anarchists Supposed to be Fun?
> It was after the guy from the Anti-Capitalism Convergence
> and before the woman from the Pagan Cluster.
> Or maybe it was after her and before the fellow from the
> Peoples Law Collective.
> I can't be 100 percent sure. There were all these groups I'd
> never heard of and more boring speeches than had ever been
> delivered in one room, one after another, mostly read from
> prepared texts, dense with dependent clauses, suffocating
> with complex ideologies, clouded with linguistic
> distinctions no outsider could keep straight.
> The mind did start to wander after a while.
> But at some point yesterday, as the World Economic Forum
> protest leaders laid out their plans in a church hall on
> East 35th Street, somebody definitely said something that
> was almost funny.
> "I'm a spokesman for the puppet here," David Solnit said. He
> was holding a large, yellow puppet as he addressed the
> crowded room.
> No one actually laughed out loud. But believe me when I tell
> you: That, right there, was the rhetorical high point of the
> Solnit's group is called the Art and Revolution Convergence.
> (Yes, there's a lot of converging going on with these
> protesters.) The Art and Revolution Convergence comes from
> San Francisco, and it is here this week to entertain,
> educate and outrage us, all in service of the cause of
> global economic justice.
> What can I say? Sorry, David.
> You guys might have shaken Seattle or Davos. But you're in
> New York now. We demand some genuine creativity from our
> street protesters. You'll have to come up with something
> more original than this.
> All of which, frankly, left me wondering yesterday: Aren't
> anarchists supposed to be fun?
> And aren't these anarchists supposed to be masters of street
> theater, with their masks and giant puppets and their
> raucous public demonstrations taking over whole cities at a
> So where was all the drama?
> These world-famous protesters are here to torment the
> world's most powerful government officials and corporate
> bosses, which is fine. But what do they give us on day 1?
> A tedious graduate seminar.
> Here they were, sitting before this giant throng of
> reporters, cameras, tape recorders and notebooks. And the
> first woman to speak, Beka Economopoulos, delivered a
> lecture on reportorial word choice, even before anyone had
> actually written one.
> "We're not anti-globalization," she said. "We're in favor of
> global economic justice."
> There's a thrilling sound bite.
> Then my friend Fred Kaplan had a question. Kaplan is
> employed by the Boston Globe, which is owned by The New York
> Times, which as you know is a pernicious supporter of the
> corporate status quo, which proves all kinds of things, I'm
> sure. Kaplan asked if the protesters had any plans to damage
> property in New York.
> With that, the woman from the Pagan Cluster leapt to her
> feet. She said her name was "Starhawk." Or maybe it was
> "Star Hawk." But either way, she was none too pleased with
> Fred Kaplan of the Globe.
> "Somebody had to ask that question," she sneered.
> She then proceeded not to answer it but to issue a long
> advertisement for a "vigil/ritual of healing" in Washington
> Square Park Friday night.
> You won't want to miss that.
> "What I have seen," she finally allowed, "is a level of
> police violence directed against demonstrators that far
> outweighs any broken windows."
> I guess that's a "yes."
> Now this stuff probably intimidated reporters in Seattle,
> and had them shivering in Davos.
> But given yesterday's performance in the church hall on 35th
> Street, I'm not sure New York will be transfixed.
> The show has only started, I know. The police could be
> excessively rigid in their reaction and spark something bad.
> But I'm betting this week, New York isn't Seattle. We tend
> to greet these things with a yawn. I'm just hoping the
> quality of the theater improves before the show moves on.
> Let the puppet speak.
> Dan Clore
> Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
> Lord Weÿrdgliffe:
> Necronomicon Page:
> News for Anarchists & Activists:
> "It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
> *anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
> -- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
> _Detective Comics_ #608
Well, i hate to admit it, but i agree with this guy on a few
points, anyway. For one thing, i feel the anti-globalization movement
in the form of large street mobilizations is coming to an end. Beside
the fact that many activists couldn't even make it to NY for this
one, due to tighter border security as a result of the 9/11 attacks,
many such as myself didnt WANT to go. It's all very same-old same-old
now. Not only is the anti-globalization movement extremely limited in
terms of speaking a common language, its tactics are very repetitive
and boring. We have to get a little more creative than waving the
same old puppets around to generate some excitement again. Im not
saying that a round of rioting would be positive or anything, but
they really do see us coming a mile away now. Considering how
effective this movement is, i just have to wonder if it's even worth
showing up for these things anymore. maybe we should start focusing
our efforts on educating our communities and performing local actions
instead of everybody putting their lives on hold and travelling to a
distant destination to watch puppets in the streets.