Excerpts from an A Post Script for the Global Anticapitalist Movement written by John Jordan and Jennifer Whitney, May Day 2002
The last decade has seen the increasing delegitimazation of the neoliberal model, as a movement of movements has sprung up on every continent, challenging the seemingly unstoppable expansion of capital. From Chiapas to Genoa, Seattle to Porto Alegre, Bangalore to Soweto, people have occupied the streets, taken direct action, practiced models of self-organization, and celebrated a radical spirit of autonomy, diversity, and interdependence. The movements seemed unstoppable, as mass mobilizations got bigger, more diverse populations converged, and the World Bank, WTO, IMF, and G8 were forced to meet on mountain tops, protected by repressive regimes, or behind fences defended by thousands of riot police. Seeing them on the defensive, having to justify their existence, gave the movements an extraordinary sense of hope...
... Then, history did what it does best, surprising us all on September 11th when the twin towers were brought down, and it seemed for a while that everything had changed ... Suddenly hope was replaced by the politics of despair and fear. Demonstrations were called off, funding was pulled, and mass backpedaling and distancing occurred within the movement itself. Commentators immediately declared anticapitalism dead. The editor of The Guardian wrote "since September 11th, there is no appetite for [antiglobalization], no interest, and the issues that were all-consuming a few months ago seem irrelevant now." Others suggested that the movement was somehow linked to the terrorists. Clare Short, the UK development minister, stated that the movement's demands were very similar to those of Al-Qaida.
September the 11th forced a reappraisal among activists, particularly in the global North. It challenged us all to take a deep breath, put our rhetoric into practice, and think strategically, and fast. Then three months later, history seemed to resume its accelerated speed, when Argentina erupted, followed closely by the collapse of Enron. It seemed that despite the blindly nationalist, racist, and indefinite "war on terror" to distract the world, neoliberalism was continuing to disintegrate...
Perhaps the biggest challenge the global movements face now is to realize that the first round is over ... There has been a "...nearly complete collapse of the prevailing economic theory," according to economist James K. Galbraith. But the next round will be the hardest. It will involve applying our critiques and principles to our everyday lives; it will be a stage of working close to home. A stage where mass conflict on the streets is balanced (but not entirely replaced) with creating alternatives to capitalism in our neighborhoods, our towns and cities, our bioregions. This is exactly where Argentina can show us an inspiring way to move forward ... It may be absurd to think of a capitalist system without banks, but it is equally absurd to believe in the continuation of the present global system ... One day we may look back at the absurdity of the present and remember how the people of Argentina inspired us to demand the impossible, and invited us to build new worlds which spread outwards from our own neighborhoods. [ Struggles in Argentina 2003 | 'Que se vayan todos' | Argentina Indymedia ]
In some ways, this may be your ticket to the future. Come see six short films about the economic collapse and peoples' uprising in Argentina. A co-producer of Beware the Bourgeois Block will be at Clinton St. Theatre to explain what triggered the economic crash in Argentina. After the videos, she will answer questions and relay recent news from a friend and collaborator still down in Argentina.Tuesday May 27th - 8pm ~ Clinton St. Theatre ~ 2522 SE Clinton st. ~ $5.00 donation at the door
|A New Cinema for a New Country 30min|
Coverage of the uprising of the 19-20th December 2001 by ADOC, the Association of Documentary Makers of Argentina, and cut by Myriam Angueira and Fernando of Ojo Obrero.
|Hinge of History 20 min|
Made by Venteveo Video. also coverage of the 19th and 20th but more arty, focused on cool graffiti and mad shots of cops on horses, with a great soundtrack. This is a powerful film from the new resistance.
|Eye of the Storm 15min|
Stylish documentary essay about the need for really independent news media. This documentary is an ode to Journalistic independence, to decentralized networks and their relationship to the alternative media. In particular, it examines the functioning of the Independent Media Center network and its special place in today's political climate in Argentina.
|Cacerolazo in the Rain and Piquetero 10min.|
two shorts by award winning non-profit video collective Bignoisefilms cut on the ground in Argentina shortly after the collapse and uprising.
|Beware the Bourgeois Bloc 14min|
Made by Postworldindustries, a collection of folks from the Infernal Noise Brigade and Reclaim the Streets London. This funny short film contains great footage of soccer moms and businessmen attacking banks, ATMs and armored cars in the financial district of Buenos Aires.