The irresistible rise of global anticapitalism



These are rough descriptions of essays, written by the editorial collective, that outline key themes of the movement of movements:

EMERGENCE: an irresistible global uprising

Beginning with a description of the Zapatista uprising, this essay gives an inspiring overview of the movement. It introduces the notion of a new kind of politics, and articulates what its defining characteristics are. It explains that this is a global 'movement of movements' fighting for direct democracy, ecology, diversity, and radically deconstructing traditional ways of wielding power. The essay also explodes some myths - eg: that this is an 'antiglobalization' movement, that it 'started in Seattle' - and traces some of its true origins.

NETWORKS: the ecology of the movement of movements

Netwar - the potent, anarchic territory of the internet - was the terrain upon which a new war was waged. For the first time, computer linked movements began to talk to one another, to meet - and the possibility of a truly global social movement was born. Unlikely new coalitions - between North and South, labour activists and eco-warriors, between indigenous guerrillas and cyberpunks - were woven. This essay looks at the way radical convergences sprang up to form uniquely diverse networks.

For Professor Harry Cleaver, the perfect metaphor for the type of organizing taking place between grassroots groups, is 'oceans with their ever restless currents and eddies, now moving faster, now slower, now warmer, now colder, now deeper, now on the surfaces a process of dynamic self-organizing that refuses crystallization yet whose directions and power can be observed and tracked.'

AUTONOMY: creating spaces for freedom

If the central fact of our time is the upwards transfer of power and wealth to unaccountable global elites, then a key aim of our resistance is to create spaces for local autonomy and participatory decision-making. This essay examines models of direct democracy in action, from the convergence centres which spring up before mass actions, to the popular consultas of Latin America and Spain. The latter are a form of self-organized referenda in which, for example, six million Brazilians voted to kick the IMF out of the country. This piece also looks at ways of not only creating but also maintaining autonomous organizations and institutions, and offering new challenges to the movement to live pre-figuratively, in the world for which we are striving.

CARNIVAL: resistance is the secret of joy

In many parts of the world, carnival is a subversive force. Perhaps this is why the FBI have added Carnival Against Capital - the name given to many of the mass actions at economic summits from London to Québec - to its list of most wanted groups. But Carnival Against Capital is not an organization. It is: a pie in the face; a fire juggler; a samba rhythm. It is a tactic. It is the spirit of contemporary resistance to global capitalism, from Tactical Frivolity women dressed in outrageous pink dresses, wild wigs, nine foot high fan tails, armed only with feather dusters, dancing towards lines of riot police; to the teddy bears launched over the six kilometre fence surrounding the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit in Québec City by a large medieval catapult.

Its endless creativity is irresistible, contagious and utterly unpredictable. Anything can happen during carnival. World Trade Organization meetings get shut down. This essay explores the joyful manifestations of carnivals around the world and their potential as methods of social upheaval.

CLANDESTINITY: surviving state repression

Inevitably, as the global movements against neoliberalism and for life have grown and become more vocal, so has the repression. But with each act of repression, the men of money reveal themselves further. No longer can they meet in relative anonymity. Their unmasking has become a carnivalesque ritual, repeated in Seattle, Prague, Seoul, and Buenos Aires. The fences have grown ever higher and the meeting locations ever more remote as the mask of 'tolerance' continues to slip. Besieged by those who desire justice, the men of money are getting scared. They want to name the faces of resistance - name them thugs, terrorists, flat-earthers, delinquents, dreamers. They want to capture, catalogue and criminalize the faces of those who are saying 'enough is enough'. They arrest people for dancing in the streets. They pass laws prohibiting the wearing of masks, or the expression of political opinions. They want to wipe the smile of resistance off these faces forever. They are prepared to treat us like terrorists, kill us if they have to.

WALKING: we ask questions

The concluding essay attempts to envision where the anticapitalist movement can go in the post September 11 world, in the current climate of increased criminalization of dissent. It explores the critiques of summit hopping and examines the discussions around returning to community organizing and creating sustainable social bases for a movement that often lacks a grounded constituency, particularly in the global North.

Narco News has published the introductory essays to each chapter of We Are Everywhere.

They are:

Emergence: an irresistible global uprising

Networks: the ecology of the movements

Autonomy: creating spaces for freedom

Carnival: resistance is the secret of joy

Clandestinity: resisting state repression

Power: building it without taking it

Walking: we ask questions

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