portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary oregon & cascadia

actions & protests | community building s24 mobilization

IMF World Bank Rant

it makes me sad to see that portland is having a vigil for Cindy Sheehan, who is just one person exasperated with the bush administration, who ISN'T EVEN THERE RIGHT NOW, and it has to be on this weekend, the weekend of the IMF/World Bank meetings, but we're not doing shit in solidarity with the anti-IMF/WB'ers.
I feel like this is a result of the radicals letting the liberals co-opt the entire concept of protest. Who cares about fucking cindy sheehan? Can someone try to explain to me why I should? She wants to speak to the president... well... I want to do the most extreme thing I can legally say I want to do to the president. I'm going to be down there tonight, but i'm going to be there in solidarity with the resistance against the IMF and World Bank. I invite others to do the same.
ranting can be good, but so can exploring the issues 24.Sep.2005 13:34

.

The vigil tonight is a peace vigil. Code Pink is the only group doing a solidarity protest with Cindy Sheehan. And personally I think you'd have a hard time trying to label Sheehan as a liberal and I think doing so is pointless. Labelism doesn't advance thoughts or actions.

I believe the reason for holding an "anti-war" protest for this weekend was to bring people out and expose them to world band / imf issues. Whether that will be effective, or whether it will lead to those issues being eclipsed by anti-imperialism sentiment remains to be seen. And once it is seen people can organize future actions accordingly.

As for why you should care about Cindy Sheehan I would say it's because she's the beginning of the movement that will end the occupation of Iraq. This "war", like Vietnam, will be ended by the Iraqi fighters who choose to continue their attacks and by the US soldiers who increasingly choose not to fight. Cindy Sheehan is giving a lot of support to the latter.

... 24.Sep.2005 14:22

...

I'm with Some Kid. The Peace Movement, the endless, eternal Peace Movement, is pathetic. "Peace" inevitably turns into a demand for a return to the status quo ante, the way things were just before the current war began, whichever war the current war is. "Peace" is a fundamentally stupid idea -- "peace" is a matter of presentation more than anything else. Clinton bombed Iraq every day and fought two wars in Europe but everybody thinks the Clinton administration presided over a "peaceful" period. I know Ms. Sheehan herself, personally, is smarter than this and is pretty sophisticated about world affairs, but the "movement" that she and others have constructed around her is a silly, lowest-common-denominator Disneyland version of political reality. "She's just a grieving mother." Yeah, and she's also a radical political activist, and why is it we're supposed to pretend she's not. We're expected to pander to the stupidest elements of the "center" in order to end the war, WHICH PROBABLY WON'T HAPPEN ANY TIME SOON, and the end result is we just contribute to the ambient level of stupidity.

One of the great things about the "anti-globalization movement" was that it couldn't be dumbed down. To engage it at all you had to leave your brain turned on and talk about something real. Maybe someday we'll get it back.

yo 24.Sep.2005 14:36

some kid

it seems clear to me that United Peace and Justice, the group that planned this, intentionally planned it to interfere with the resistance to the IMF / WB. It would have to be a huge coincidence. They have never participated in the anti-globalisation movement because that's not a liberal platform. Just as they did in Seattle, the liberals have sold us out again to further their ballot-bullshit.

And Sheehan ISN'T EVEN IN TEXAS ANYMORE.

And further, I find it presumptuous for you to tell me what's going to end the Iraq war. moreover, I can't find any example of the protests of the Vietnam war ending it. It just ended because the US couldn't take the fiscal loss. Grr.

keep thinking it through 24.Sep.2005 15:06

.

>> it seems clear to me that United Peace and Justice, the group that planned this, intentionally planned it to interfere with the resistance to the IMF / WB.

Perhaps, but it does not seem that way to me. Remember ANSWER also organized today's protests in DC. Perhaps what you have is 2 groups trying to take advantage of a particular situation to further their goals. Whether either will be successful remains to be seen.

>> And Sheehan ISN'T EVEN IN TEXAS ANYMORE.

No, she's marching in dc and planning to camp in front of the white house now that Junior is allegedly no longer on vacation (and himself no longer in Texas). Meanwhile you and I are sitting in front of a computer; who do you think is accomplishing more?

>> And further, I find it presumptuous for you to tell me what's going to end the Iraq war. moreover, I can't find any example of the protests of the Vietnam war ending it. It just ended because the US couldn't take the fiscal loss. Grr.

It seems clear to me that the parallels are obvious. Note, I didn't say anything about protests ending the war. The soldiers on both sides of the Vietnam occupation ended that occupation (I haven't seen any evidence it had anything to do with money, the US has plenty of money (debt) to throw at the military industrial complex) just as soldiers on both sides of the Iraq occupation will end this occupation. But what Sheehan is doing is influencing the military families to speak out about their frustration and their doubts and their uncertainties about US soldiers getting killed in Iraq. It is when those soldiers decide in greater numbers to stop fighting that the war will end, just as in Vietnam.

An Old Dilemma 25.Sep.2005 11:05

Tom

This is an old anomaly and debate 'some kid', tracing back -at least- to the turn of the 20th century. The cause of this, is the tension between the 'masses', (who seldom radical enough) and the 'vanguard', who (due to their insufficient numbers), are isolated and ineffective most of the time.
Auxilliary to this issue, is the ceaseless searching and fomenting for the coveted 'revolutionary condition' and the "spark" (in russian "iskra") which might flame it up. In todays' vocabulary also known as the 'the tippimg point'.
There have been a lot of ink used up to analise this phenomenon and search for a solution. In the most basic conclusion; -in spite of all the disappointments,- the 'vanguard' and the 'masses' deeply need each other, to have any chance of success and they must co-operate to fight together for the common goal, even if their tactics differ.
What you are voicing on the top of the page; (ie. that you do not need Cindy Sheenan and the seemingly fruitless diversion of mass protests.) has been analised in the past, as a self defeating strategy, ending in a dead end and it is called "elitism" or "revolutionary elitism" (not to be mistaken with capitalist elitism) I suggest, that you -as a budding, youthful radical,- read into some literature, pertaining to this matter, to gain a 'bit of perspective and an 'insider knowledge'.
After all, we do not need to repeat all the mistakes of the past, if we can avoid it.