Activism and protest

I have been troubled for some time by the kind of mass protests which have dominated the anticapitalism news agenda. In and of themselves they seem to have become an instrument of consumption, and not a representation of a genuine desire to change.

I have pondered whether this reflects a latent lethargy in me, which just can’t be bothered to be part of mass protest movements, and would rather feel self righteous about my own small scale attempts at radical living.

But this quote from Adbusters this morning has helped me see again what it is I object to about big protest rallies (emphasis added):

Activists around the world take note: massive 1960s style protests now only reinforce the existing order – without these spectacles of resistance, capitalism would lose its dynamic spark.

So this November let’s try a new tactical beginning: A week of myriad little local actions flaring up spontaneously all over the world. We attack capitalism – not at officially sanctioned protests – but like a swarm of bees attacking a wounded beast: with a billion incessant stings. Day after day, week after week, we keep escalating our actions until the cost of doing business as usual becomes impossible to bear … and the bloodied beast finally falls to its knees.

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One thought on “Activism and protest

  1. mm.. seems to me there is an inherent contradiction in campaigning to preserve a system which is unfair and biased against the poor in many ways – ie the education system. I’m not sure what the point of this kind of protest is – it seems some distance from a Salt March or other action which directly brings down a regime even at great personal cost.

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