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Effective Politics Or Feeling Effective ?
Chris Carlsson
The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance
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Table of Contents
The Movements of Movements
MOMBOP Advance Pre-Final Movement Edition, 2016-17
Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?
Proem :
Shailja Patel What Moves Us
Introduction :
Jai Sen The Movements of Movements : An
Introduction and an Exploration
1.1 David McNally From the Mountains of Chiapas to the Streets
of Seattle : This is What Democracy Looks Like
1.2 Fouad Kalouche and Eric Mielants Antisystemic Movements
and Transformations of the World-System, 19681989
1.3 André C Drainville Beyond
: Anti-Capitalist
Dialectic of Presence
1.4 Tariq Ali Storming Heaven : Where Has The Rage Gone ?
1.5 Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel - Being Indigenous :
Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism
1.6 Andrea Smith Indigenous Feminism and the Heteropatriachal
1.7 Xochitl Leyva Solano Geopolitics of Knowledge and the Neo-
Zapatista Social Movement Networks
The Movements of Movements :
Struggles for Other Worlds
2.1 Anand Teltumbde Anti-Imperialism, Dalits, and the
Annihilation of Caste
2.2 Jeff Corntassel Rethinking Self-Determination : Lessons from
the Indigenous-Rights Discourse
2.3 Xochitl Leyva Solano and Christopher Gunderson - The Tapestry
of Neo-Zapatismo : Origins and Development
2.4 Roma and Ashok Choudhary - Ecological Justice and Forest
Right Movements in India : State and Militancy - New
2.5 Emilie Hayes Open Space in Movement : Reading Three
Waves of Feminism
2.6 Virginia Vargas International Feminisms : New Syntheses,
New Directions
2.7 Lee Cormie Re-Creating the World : Communities of Faith in
the Struggles for Other Possible Worlds
2.8 François Houtart Mahmoud Mohamed Taha : Islamic Witness
in the Contemporary World
2.9 James Toth Local Islam Gone Global : The Roots of Religious
Militancy in Egypt and its Transnational Transformation
2.10 Roel Meijer Fighting for Another World : Yusuf Al-‘Uyairi’s
Conceptualisation of Praxis and the Permanent Salafi Revolution
2.11 Peter Waterman The Networked Internationalism of Labour’s
2.12 Cho Hee-YeonFrom Anti-Imperialist to Anti-Empire : The
Crystallisation of the Anti-Globalisation Movement in South
2.13 Emir Sader The Weakest Link ? Neoliberalism in Latin America
2.14 Daniel Bensaïd The Return of Strategy
2.15 Peter North and David Featherstone Localisation as Radical
Praxis and the New Politics of Climate Change
2.16 Guillermo Delgado-P Refounding Bolivia : Exploring the
Possibility and Paradox of a Social Movements State
2.17 Alex Khasnabish - Forward Dreaming : Zapatismo and the
Radical Imagination
Laurence Cox ‘Learning to be Loyal to Each Other’ :
Conversations, Alliances, and Arguments in the Movements of
Compiled, comprehensive Bibliography for The Movements of
Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?
Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance
Proem :
Shailja Patel Offerings
Introduction :
Jai Sen On Rethinking Our Dance : Some
Thoughts, Some Moves
Interrogating Movement, Problematising
3.1 Rodrigo Nunes Nothing Is What Democracy Looks Like :
Openness, Horizontality, and The Movement of Movements
3.2 The Free Association Worlds in Motion : Movements,
Problematics, and the Creation of New Worlds
3.3 Jai Sen Break Free ! Engaging Critically with the Concept and
Reality of Civil Society (Part 1)
3.4 Anila Daulatzai - Believing in Exclusion : The Problem of
Secularism in Progressive Politics
3.5 Josephine Ho Is Global Governance Bad for East Asian Queers
3.6 Jeffrey S Juris and Geoffrey Pleyers Incorporating Youth or
Transforming Politics ? Alter-Activism as an Emerging Mode of
Praxis among Young Global Justice Activists
3.7 Tomás Mac Sheoin and Nicola Yeates The Anti-Globalisation
Movement : Coalition and Division
3.8 Stephanie Ross The Strategic Implications of Anti-Statism in
the Global Justice Movement
3.9 Michael Löwy Negativity and Utopia in the Alterglobalisation
3.10 Rodrigo Nunes The Global Moment : Seattle, Ten Years On
3.11 Ezequiel Adamovsky Autonomous Politics and its Problems :
Thinking the Passage from Social to Political
3.12 John Brown Childs Boundary as Bridge
3.13 Chris Carlsson Effective Politics or Feeling Effective ?
3.14 Massimo De Angelis PR like PRocess ! Strategy from the
Bottom Up
3.15 Matt Meyer and Oussenia Alidou The Power of Words :
Reclaiming and Re-Imagining ‘Revolution’ and ‘Nonviolence’
3.16 Jai Sen Break Free ! Engaging Critically with the Concept and
Reality of Civil Society (Part 2)
Reflections on Possible Futures
4.1 Michal Osterweil “Becoming-Woman ?” : Between Theory,
Practice, and Potentiality
4.2 John Holloway The Asymmetry of Revolution
4.3 David Graeber The Shock of Victory
4.4 Kolya Abramsky Gathering Our Dignified Rage : Building New
Autonomous Global Relations of Production, Livelihood, and
4.5 Muto Ichiyo Towards the Autonomy of the People of the
World : Need for a New Movement of Movements to Animate
People’s Alliance Processes
4.6 Samir Amin Towards a Fifth International ?
4.7 Rodrigo Nunes The Lessons of 2011 : Three Theses on
4.8 François Houtart – ‘We Still Exist
Lee Cormie - Another World Is Inevitable… But Which Other
World ?
Complied, comprehensive Bibliography for The Movements of
Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance
MOMBOP Advance Pre-Final Movement Edition
made freely available for Discussion and Debate on a Not-for-Re-Publication / Distribution basis !
Effective Politics Or Feeling Effective ?
Chris Carlsson
We fought the police with words, dances, clown-armies, yoga, laughs, music... they tried to
stop us with gas, batons, water cannons, bulldozers, helicopters, stop and search actions,
blockades, riot gear and intimidation… We are happy. Any action is better than none. We’re
having fun.
Despite all the dozens of beautifully designed posters all around Germany calling people to come and
blockade the G8 meeting at Rostock in June 2007, and to ‘smash capitalism’, capitalism was not
smashed. But the week-long protests still felt like a success to most participants, as the quote above
indicates. Thousands of people converged in Rostock to partake in marches, discussions, meetings,
and symposia, and some 6,000-10,000 marched to the security fence (erected by the German State
at great expense) to ‘blockade’ the G8 summit. Real courage and creativity buoyed the blockaders
and kept the security forces in an exhausting round-the-clock state of alert while politicians wined and
dined in monarchical splendour behind the formidable barriers. Their vapid pronouncements were
dutifully reported by the world’s media but always, a few paragraphs down, the presence of
thousands of blockading protesters had to be mentioned too. Little coverage was offered of the
multiple critical views and myriad alternatives to ‘business-as-usual’ presented by the assembled
protesters, but the ‘global war’ hysteria whipped up in the past few years has clearly failed to silence
the growing global chorus of people who insist that Another World is Possible’.
The anti-G8 protests have to be seen against the background of a steadily increasing
delegitimisation of representative democracy. Politics has become an empty ritual in most western
democracies. Moreover, political formations based on class and community have also dissipated in the
past two generations to the point that most formal politics is more a habit than a living, breathing
This demise of formal politics coincides with increased polarisation of wealth both inside and
between nations. Leaders of the wealthiest countries who meet at the G8 summit every year are
managers of an ever more brutal world system that keeps billions in catastrophic, intolerable misery,
and many millions more just a step or two away from immiseration themselves. Political systems
drained of meaningful choices, combined with a fragmented and largely numb polity, have pushed
those seeking change towards developing new forms of doing politics. Crucial to these forms is a
need to
effective in ways that regular politics has prevented.
June Camping In Germany
At the beginning of June 2007, anti-G8 summit protesters from around the world descended on
northern Germany, united in their determination to ‘shut down’ the summit through direct action.
Prior to the June 1-8 gathering in the former East German countryside, an Asian-European Market
summit in Hamburg on May 28 was confronted by protesters, led by several thousand black bloc
anarchists and squatters joined by hundreds of others. This was the warm-up for the coming days of
protest and for those inclined towards brawling with the police it was a tantalising taste of what was
to come or so they hoped because they certainly ‘got their riot on’ in Hamburg that day, as the
streets filled with tear gas, high-powered water cannons, burning cars, and smashed windows.
As it turned out, the only time the anti-G8 protests resembled that day in Hamburg was at
the end of the first day’s legal march, on June 2, a Saturday, when black bloc marchers attacked the
police and a riot erupted, injuring 250 protesters and 250 police, some seriously. A sea of words was
rapidly splashed across the internet and the world’s newspapers, a remarkably large proportion of
them dedicated to reporting on and discussing the infamous black bloc. Though commentary in the
first few days of June focused on the question of anarchist violence (both in the press and among the
protesters themselves), by the end of the week the analysis of anti-G8 protest in Germany had gone
well beyond that narrow framework.
There were a range of preferences regarding tactics among demonstrators aiming to shut
down the G8, as there have been since the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle. German organisers
accommodated this difference of tactics by setting up three different camps to house protesters.
Closest to the ‘red zone’ was Camp Reiddelich, where anarchists and ‘hard core’ protesters
concentrated. Furthest away, but closest to the largest nearby city, Rostock, was Camp Rostock,
located on the northern outskirts of the urban area, and among its over 5,000 inhabitants were many
of the more organised NGO groups and political parties, as well as a large number of independent
demonstrators. The last, Camp Wichmannstorff, was far away to the northeast, more than an hour
from the other camps, and was supposed to be home to experienced anti-nuclear blockaders, but
never had nearly as much attendance as Camps Rostock and Reiddelich.
Relations among the various tendencies remained largely cordial. The exception to this was
the French NGO Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid to Citizens (ATTAC),
which, after the June 2 riot in Rostock, publicly denounced the black bloc. This was at odds with
German NGOs organised under the umbrella Block G8 who saw themselves as occupying the ground
between the more cautious ATTAC on the one side and the more provocative black bloc anarchists on
the other extreme. Another non-profit NGO, La Via Campesina, present at previous summits, once
again brought their message on behalf of the Global South’s millions of impoverished peasants and
farmers. When they were hectored to denounce the black bloc’s violence during a press conference,
they firmly refused to accept the framing of the discussion. Similarly, a spokesperson for Block G8,
Christophe Kleine, also turned the tables on the press, urging the discussion to focus on the structural
and day-to-day violence imposed on most of the world by the policies of G8 countries. In this way a
solidarity was maintained, which avoided splitting the movement over tactical disagreements, even as
the press and police sought to expand that division. Instead, a mutual respect and acceptance was
based on the shared knowledge that everyone there needed everyone else for the concept of anti-
g8 protests - to be effective. Riots alone would not achieve political results, just as political
demonstrating without any militancy could be easily absorbed and trivialised.
Beyond the attempt to blockade the meetings in Bad Heiligendamm, there were also four
separate legal marches in Rostock on different but related themes between June 1-4, as well as an
alternative summit, nightly music concerts, and an unknown number of decentralised actions around
the vicinity. Thousands of protesters set up tents in camps and held meetings, ate meals together,
staged concerts, showed films, and carried on debates and discussions in many languages.
Remarkable global villages took root in the German countryside, but these were no ordinary villages :
The anti-G8 gathering sprawled over three camps, two convergence centres, and two Indymedia
centres. At the level of infrastructure it was impressive. Big, expensive tents, 200 portable toilets,
daily food for thousands, communications facilities, even a tent dedicated to recharging mobile
phones, and another with ten open-access internet computers.
As at the summit battles of past years in Seattle, Washington, Genoa, Quebec, Gleneagles,
etc, protesters were inventing a new culture in the camps, workshops, and protest marches, or at
least many were trying to. Camp Rostock, where I stayed from Friday night to Monday night, was
jumping nearly twenty-four hours a day. Impromptu stages featured hip-hoppers, beat-boxers,
speeches, bands, DJs, and movies, while bars in many group camps poured out an endless sea of
beer. Camp Rostock became quite intimate and resembled the Nevada desert’s annual Burning Man
Festival wall-to-wall tents made it quite cozy, even too cozy ! A hundred porta-potties dotted the
perimeter, and within the space was crowded with a big communal kitchen, meeting tents, ‘streets’
(mud paths) called Durruti Blvd, Via Guiliani, Rue de Arundhati Roy, Kurt Eisner Platz, Rosa
Luxembourg Allée, and Leiselotte Meyer Weg. We had speed tweakers next to us the first night but
they thankfully slept through the next day and night.
On Sunday night there was an absolute roar
surrounding us until at least 3:00 in the morning. The nearest stage had beat-box and rap
performances in German, English, French, and Spanish, but terrible quality speakers make it pretty
loud and bad at our distance.
Amidst all this noisy cultural invention, I had a strange thought about the camp experience
one dark view would see it as practice for involuntary life in camps in the future… with fewer
resources and pleasures one might assume, but who knows ? And, beyond this, that this might be as
much an experiment for the state as for the ‘multitude’, which seems more true in light of the official
cooperation that was given to open and maintain camps large enough to accommodate thousands of
people. It was a remarkable blend of Political Camp, a dash of Boy Scouts and an ample splash of
Burning Man though unlike the last, everyone here was intentionally political. I saw a lot of affinity
groups meeting, characteristically held in the open, and undoubtedly self-consciously transparent, and
oblivious to who stopped to listen. I overheard Greek, Spanish, and Francophone African groups
(Senegalese and Malian, I believe), but mostly the groups were German, French, a few Danish, a
smattering of Russians and Poles, and some US Americans. The few Latin Americans and Asians
present were probably already living in Germany.
Protesting Success
The structure of the week of protests was complex, with hundreds of affinity groups intersecting with
a large number of NGOs and somewhat fewer political parties. Issues that usually get balkanised and
kept apart are continually brought together at summits like this; one of the better aspects of the
whole thing. So after the big opening anti-G8 demo, again using the slogan Another World is
Possible, the second day had a big demo against GMO agriculture and in support of food sovereignty
and local farmers with the slogan Resistance is Fruitful. It was a spirited march of several thousands,
very well decorated and quite mellow in terms of police response, who only put a few dozen ‘anti-
konflikt’ cops in windbreakers around the march.
The demo on the next day, June 4, was called The Right to Movement. It was aimed at
addressing the plight of immigrants in Germany and Fortress Europe, which is generally as bad, or
worse, than in the United States. In Germany an immigrant is placed in a certain district, usually rural
and poor, and while they await processing it is illegal for them to leave that district. Later, if they get
legal residency status, and if they are still on welfare, it is illegal for them to leave that district unless
they have a job outside of it. Of course, it might be tricky to arrange a job somewhere that you are
banned from visiting ! This Kafkaesque nightmare of harsh restrictions on migration stands in sharp
contrast to the ever-easier movement of capital, whipping to and fro in a frenzy of speculation across
the planet.
The police however turned the march into an exercise in patience and attrition. Its route was
to be the same as that of the Agriculture march, but at the gathering point there were a lot more of
us than the day before; and it began with several thousands of participants, seemingly more
determined and ‘militant’. Before too long hundreds of heavily armoured riot police had spread out in
the forests, surrounding us completely. As soon as the march started it was stopped. From the sound
truck came the news that the police had detected 500 protesters who had evaded their control and
infiltrated the march, and who they were sure were going to be violent. After an hour and a half of
negotiations, the march organisers and police agreed that we could proceed only if no one wore a
mask, a hoody or sunglasses, or any kind of face-obscuring clothing. It’s officially illegal to hide your
face in Germany during demonstrations, though that rule had been flouted by 2,000 black bloc’ers on
So finally we moved a bit, only to be stopped again after a few hundred yards. Now the
police insisted on lining the route of the march with riot cops, three deep on either side. The
organisers refused to proceed under those conditions, so another hour went by as they negotiated.
Finally, we got to move without that level of police accompaniment, though there were thousands of
riot cops all around, along with giant water cannons, and fleets of police vans constantly moving
around Rostock. These form the backbone of the police infantry, their 21
century horses, which at
times they park three to four rows deep, crisscrossing the road to serve as barricades.
Capitalism was never threatened directly by these protests, to no one’s surprise. At this point
in history, we are creating the foundations for a challenge to capitalism rather than taking it on
directly. Still, it’s important for many participants to claim that the anti-G8 protests were successful on
many levels. Of course, measuring ‘success’ in this kind of week-long event is a pointless exercise,
akin to reducing a complex moment in social and political history to a football match with a final
score, a winner and loser. It’s an inappropriate framework for understanding the meaning of this, and
insofar as we accept it we succumb to the logic of Spectacle, flattening complexity into bite-sized
nuggets of un-nourishing mystification.
The individuals who animated the camps, marches, and blockades contributed to a process of
political re-invention and re-engagement. No one protesting the G8 would have been satisfied by
merely writing a letter to a politician or a newspaper (though some of them undoubtedly did that
too), let alone accepting that the proper way to respond to this self-designated global elite was to
await the next election in their home country. It is precisely against the impotent rituals of modern
democracy that these folks are in motion. For those 10,000 plus who hiked miles across open fields to
sit on roads and rails to blockade the summit, direct action was a far more potent act than any of the
activities that preceded it, even if politicians and supplies were flown over the blockades by
Among the people who took time out of their normal lives to camp and march and argue and
blockade, there were more differences than commonalities, but they represented a continuum of
subjective choices, refusals of the limits of politics, and embrace of ‘action’, defined in various ways.
There are sharp differences on appropriate tactics and behaviours. For some, showing up in Rostock
and walking in legal marches and attending workshops was already a break from the atomised lives
most of their compatriots accept as normal. For many others, participating in a legally approved
political demonstration was to affirm one’s own passivity in the face of a system that demands
acquiescence. Some of them wanted to make music, to dance and sing together, to make wild and
marvellous artistic floats and puppets with subversive messages. For them, drumming and dancing
was to throw their bodies into another level of engagement, to feel their own participation in a
visceral and sometimes powerful way. By introducing this Dionysian element of pleasure and even
celebration, they were refusing the sombre, obedient, sheep-like behaviour acceptable to both the
state and leftist organisers. At their most extreme, they were creating the beginnings of a new post-
capitalist culture, filling the streets with art and music in the here and now. For those who wanted to
connect through pleasure and joy, the passivity and quietude of many demonstrators was what
they’re trying to break through.
Seen from outside, the black bloc seem like a Calvinist nightmare, all colour and individuality
expunged from their ranks, while their hostility to the limitations of legal marches or to the ‘hippy’ fun
of drummers and dancers is palpable. In a real way black bloc’ers are ‘throwing down’ throwing
their bodies on the gears of the machine as best they can (to echo Mario Savio’s epochal call during
Berkeley’s 1964 Free Speech Movement). It’s a romantic and ultimately doomed approach fighting
military with military will fail even if the insurgents ‘win’. Though the ‘machine’ may use the police as
its first line of defence, the cops are replaceable parts too, and underneath the ninja turtle suits,
much to the dismay of those who have demonised them in their symbolic roles, they are people
whom we need to join us, not fight us.
This became even more clear to me as I enjoyed a walking tour of Berlin after returning from
Rostock. It ended with a stirring account of the revolt that finally brought down the Berlin Wall. In
October / November 1989, in Leipzig, hundreds and then thousands of demonstrators had turned out
until a crucial evening when the mobilised armed forces of the East German state were sent to crush
them but the soldiers refused to fire on the crowds. Weeks later the iron curtain was kaput ! Mass
demonstrations were crucial, but the subversion of the police and army, and not their military defeat
per se, was equally important.
Black bloc ‘anarchists’ got most of the press here between Saturday and Tuesday, at the
expense of the other 75,000 protesters and their respective messages, because of the riot at the end
of Saturday’s big anti-G8 march. This obsessive press angle led eleven US American protesters to
write an open letter in which they argued :
Summit after summit, we have seen the same pattern in the media. The images of black-clad protestors
hurling rocks at police, the stories of senseless hooligans those whom the government says should be
punished and locked away. These stories and images of street fighting do nothing but spread fear,
criminalise protests, divide social movements, and distract the public from the story of the G8 and their
unaccountable polices that are spreading militarism, poverty, violence, environmental destruction and
climate change.
Only US Americans can be surprised that the media does not communicate their message
properly ! However, it is true that few commented on the strange psychological operations
undertaken by the police as they continuously made bizarre claims about nonexistent weapons
(potatoes spiked with nails ?) and nonexistent combatants, filling the air with disturbingly unverifiable
claims that went unchallenged by the media.
There was actually a striking parallel in the behaviour of the mainstream press and many
protesters in their mutual obsession with and focus on the black bloc and violence. At a breakfast
table on Monday morning, everyone was reading about Saturday’s demonstration. At the Indymedia
Centre (IMC), most of the international writers and bloggers uploading pictures and stories were
using images of the riot. My friend browsed English language Indymedia sites and, in the first few
days, there wasn’t much mention of any other aspect of the protests at Rostock. In this sad way, the
anti-G8 protesters perfectly mirrored the mainstream : If it bleeds, it leads. Conflict and violence are
much easier to capture and communicate, and resonate much louder, than any of the dozens of other
messages, groups, and creative expressions.
Anti-G8 Protests, Rostock
There wasn’t anything particularly new or different about this anti-G8 protest compared to the protest
at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2005, or to the longer history of protests against other summits (and
before that, the anti-nuclear and anti-military protests in the 1970s and 1980s). It might have been
more effective to have the blockades at the gates of Bad Heiligendamm matched by mass strikes and
urban demonstrations in Berlin and Hamburg, but the protests were not embraced by a sufficiently
broad swathe of the population to bring that about.
Waiting for politicians or legal protest to bring about radical change is hopeless. But as people
‘take action’, curious questions emerge about how feeling effective is not necessarily the same as
effective politics. Obviously the people in motion are an evolving social and political movement, and
Rostock is another important chapter in that evolution. Just as obviously though, capitalism is not
directly threatened by dancing in the streets or brawling with the police, though it may someday be
challenged by the culture that these activities help nurture. If anything, we might note that security
bureaucracies are responsive and evolving too, learning lessons and making adjustments in response
to the endless creativity of their opponents. And as protests grow larger, so too do the resources
dedicated to repressing them.
Is the summit-hopping culture too insular and self-referential ? Is it too disconnected from
the daily lives of everyday workers and citizens ? Aren’t protesters themselves everyday workers and
citizens ? Why the separation then ? These are among the questions that summit protesters will have
to face in the coming years.
Can the movement escape the cycle of predictability and a politics of ineffective self-
gratification ? Can more of the same, bigger and better, produce more subversive results ? Or might
there be a lesson in the disobedience of the Eastern bloc soldiers back in 1989 ? A new world, beyond
borders and capitalism, is in formation. Will it burst forth one day, inspiring even those who are
employed to suppress it to join in ? Our protests and creative alternatives have to inspire even our
enemies to join us. That’s a big challenge, to be sure. Revolution is not something to be imposed but,
rather, should be an irresistibly compelling invitation. That other world we keep claiming ? It beckons
some of us already, because in it we’ll feel and taste and know things we’ve only dreamed about. Are
our protests communicating that dream, those implausible hopes, those urgent necessities ? Would
your mother want to come along ?
Chris Carlsson, director of the multimedia history project Shaping San Francisco, is a writer,
publisher, editor, and community organiser. For twenty-five years he has focused on horizontal
communications, organic communities, and public space. He was one of the founders, editors, and
frequent contributors to the ground-breaking San Francisco magazine Processed World, and helped
launch the monthly bike-ins called Critical Mass. He has edited four books, most recently The Political
Edge (2004, City Lights Foundation), and published his first novel, After The Deluge, in 2004 (Full
Enjoyment Books), and his book Nowtopia was published in 2008. He is a member of Media Workers’
Union Local 100 in San Francisco, and recent board president of CounterPULSE, an arts organisation
where he has produced a series of public talks since 2006, and conducted award-winning bicycle
history tours for over a decade. His website :
Content Editor : Vipul Rikkhi and Jai Sen
References :
Jai Sen, 2012b - ‘Another World Is Possible !’ : Critical Explorations of the World Social Forum and
The Dreams It Has Inspired’, Introduction to Jai Sen and Peter Waterman, eds, 2012 World Social
Forum : Critical Explorations
Volume 3 in the
Challenging Empires
series (New Delhi : OpenWord)
Websites :
Notes :
Ed : This is a somewhat revised version of an essay first published on Mute magazine Culture and politics
after the net, @, on June 26 2007. My thanks
to Mute for publishing this article and for doing so on an open basis and given that they have, we too are
publishing it similarly, as is our preferred policy; and my thanks to the author for working with our content editor
and revising this essay for us.
From Germany and Portugal and the rest of the world, Voluntari@s IMC-PT, June 8 2007, Rostock, Germany,
available at :
Ed : For those not familiar with the contours of the social movement world of the early 2000s, this – ‘Another
World Is Possible !’ – is / was the slogan coined for the World Social Forum in about 2001. (For a quick history,
see Sen 2012b.) To the extent that the anti-g8 protests held in Germany in June 2007 but which also took
place in several other parts of the North during those years were far more front line direct action than the
WSF, it is in some way even a little surprising that the Rostock protests should have adopted this very vague,
open call as its slogan. But then this happening is also an indication both of how strongly the WSF had ‘arrived’
in that decade and perhaps also of how attractive the idea of ‘another world’ seemed, and also of the strong
presence in European protests of ATTAC France, which was one of the founders of the WSF and whose
president, Susan George, is credited for this concept and slogan.
Speed tweakers are abusers of methamphetamines. They stay awake for days at a time and tend to play loud
music and behave very antisocially, so when they sleep it off it is a relief to anyone who has had to be near them
during their binge.
Available at :