Thursday, December 24, 2009

Best of Decade part 2

First things first, it turns out that Hewlett-Packard has created a webcam that is racist. Click here to see a video of it.

If you think this is a youtube hoax you can go to CNN and read a story about it.

Also some people have been checking out a post I wrote a little while back entitled "I guess I'm a racist."
In case you missed it you should check it out.

And finally on to my next best moment of the Decade....

Best Demonstration That Almost Happened: IMF/World Bank demonstration -Washington DC 2001

The demonstrations set to take place on September 29 and 30, 2001 were cancelled shortly after the attacks of September 11.  This demonstration was setting up to be one of the largest and most intense anti-capitalist convergences in United States History.  It's hard to remember what the climate was like back than on the eve of 9/11.

The anti-globalization movement had grown increasingly large in the U.S. as well as around the world.  Activism in general had a resurgence not seen since the sixties and seventies.  In 1999, "The Battle in Seattle" (No not the movie featuring Charlize Theron) also known as the WTO demonstrations rocked the powers that be to the point where the meeting had to be cancelled.  Simultaneously a strong movement for U.S. political prisoners was developing with large demonstrations like Jericho 98 and Millions for Mumia.  All of this taking place under the watch of a Democratic President (William Jefferson Clinton).  In the first 8 months of the decade, massive demonstrations continued to develop including the A16 mobilization against the IMF and World Bank in DC as well as crazy brawl like demos in response to the Democratic and Republican Conventions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia respectively.

And than George W. Bush was (s)elected as the new president.  Bush was instantly seen as a joke.  This fueled the anti-capitalist movement even more.  And everything was about to coalesce into something extraordinary.  The AFL-CIO signed on as supporters of the mobilization saying: "This fall, America's unions will unite with a broad range of activists from around the world to insist on transforming the rules and institutions of the global economy to ensure that they work for working people....". An organization as large and connected as the AFL-CIO signing on, for a demonstration like this, was a sign that this was going to be a serious event.  Their leadership knew full well that this wasn't going to be about sign-holding, rather massive blockades and and organized effort to shut the meetings down utilizing a wide range of tactics, some quite illegal.  This was the level of organized anger towards the capitalist power structure that directs world economies.  And it was going to be a fierce representation of resistance to repressive forces. 

And then 9/11 happened...

George W. Bush was suddenly (and temporarily) seen as a great leader.  The AFL-CIO immediately backed out of the mobilization and the IMF/World Bank postponed their meeting.  The demonstration never happened.  I believe that activism in U.S. has not recovered from that time period.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led some people to focus more energy on electing Kerry, Clinton and Obama than focusing on resisting the entire power structure.  

And here we are some 8 years later, with a dream President, a super-democratic majority in congress and the war in Afghanistan is escalating.  Meanwhile the IMF and World Bank continue to promote policies that deprive developing nations of the opportunities they need to create sustainable economies.  It's interesting to see how things unfold sometimes.

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