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Parent Article: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
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Re: counterproductive
30 Jul 2004
I don’t mean this in an attacking way andy, but you probably haven’t talked to any of the protestors, have you? (if you have and they didn’t articulate their reasoning well… then … sorry, talk to more) I think you’d find we don’t consider ourselves an elite vanguard. Are many of us part of a particular sub-culture? Yes. Are we part of a mass-movement? I think so, if you include the millions of people in the 3rd world (from the phillipines to argentina, to mexico to many more) who anarchist collectives communicate with, the millions of people scattered throughout the 1st world who you can see at the much larger just globalization (anti-corporate) protest around that world, a movement of people who believe in community co-operation, autonomy, self determination, and seeking alternatives to capitalism. I think you’d find that we are not a vanguard because we aren’t trying to impose a vision about how the world should be. We are instead a movement of people who want back the right to control our own lives and we think that everyone should have a voice in the way that their world runs. More than a mass movement, I would call us an international community movement

So why are we protesting? (first of all these are my thoughts, others feel free to disagree) Our goal isn’t to prove our superiority by having more people on our side of the line than there are there for the convention. Our goal is to voice the opinions that aren’t being heard in the convention hall and joyfully celebrate an alternative. Inside the convention hall everyone is talking about standing united behind one man who is expected to represent everyone on “the left.” In reality many of us don’t think he does a very good job of that. Granted he’s no neo-con, but there are many areas where he and bush are very similar, and they both lack the spirit and the imagination to create anything really new from the current culture of fear, inequality, and submission. We are protesting to let those in charge know that we’re still here, that we’re not just going to go along with their attempt to sell off those last free pieces of our world. And if that means that we have to do it ourselves, a bunch of scruffy kids, then we’re gonna have a good time and play our bucket drums and dance. The real aim of what we do happens in communities all across the world. We recognize that we’re gonna be demonized by the media, if covered at all, and that’s okay, regrettable, but okay. Because the people in power know that we exist and are afraid of what we’re accomplishing (just see all the harassment and arrests recently, from Sherman Austin, to the convention related Midwest round-up, to SHAC, etc.) We’re living true to ourselves, and while we hope that everyone can find happiness and freedom in their own lives, if they don’t that doesn’t mean we can change what we’re doing. And every now and then at one of our protests, when the conditions are right, something amazing happens. In seattle we shut down the WTO, in Cancun (WTO) and Miami (FTAA) we gave the dissenting countries enough support that they felt comfortable standing up against the U.S.

Oh… and as far as the Bush thing… everytime there’ve been really notable protests at a convention they’ve always had the effect of making a convention look bad.

That’s my piece.