Wednesday night I went to the Red and Black Cafe on SE Division to listen to a representative of the DC ACC. There were roughly 55 people there, most were younger people between 18 and 25.
I was interested in what was going to be said because this particular event will be utilizing a more decentralized demonstration model. Rather than converging en force, as at a rally or march, the DC ACC plans on running a series of affinity group-style actions that are aimed at closing off the downtown work corridor in DC on the 27 of September.
This is interesting. A real experiment. Since Seattle, these mass assemblies have had an undeniable impact on raising consicousness about many isses. They have also, however, become stuck in a familiar routine that no longer invoke mass appeal. That is a main point isn't it? To raise the awareness of people who are being exploited? Certainly the other goals of such 'globalization summits' include disrupting the various meetings of uber-exploiters like the IMF or the folks at the World Economic Forum in NY. These direct-action style confrontations have met with varying degrees of success. Certainly the initial breakout of Seattle in 99 ushered in a new range of civil disobedience not seen in this cournty in decades.
But over time, the semi-predictable pattern of the protests diluted their effectiveness. There would be safe, permitted marches where people could listen to speakers, march as one, and demand change. There were also clusters of various blocs, a whole spectrum of colors, and they were instantly targeted by law enforcement. As always, there was State violence. The police target people and inflict massive bodily harm on people.
This D.C. protest aims to be different. Whether or not it will succeed at stated goals like "shutting down downtown" remains to be seen. Rather than give enforcement a large, single, body of people to harrass, they will be forced to move at smaller groups for shorter periods.
Curious-What did others think of this presentation? What do people see happening in D.C?