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Italy erupts – a student calls for solidarity

I don’t usually lift things from other sources, but I don’t think this writer will mind.  This was posted today as a comment under a NY Times article about the student protests which have erupted in Italy over Berlusconi yet again clinging to power.

The post speaks for itself.  This person asks for solidarity.  As this student say they are not just protesting about education cuts but about an entire corrupt system.  Last year I was in Italy and had long conversations with young Television Producers who described exactly what this student describes – a system utterly corrupt where there is NO way ahead except through patronage and graft.  The people I spoke to said they wanted nothing more than to leave Italy because they felt there was nothing for them there.  They asked me about coming to the UK to  look for work in British broadcasting.

I thought then how sad it was that the young and talented should feel that their hope of a future had been repossessed from them and sold.  We have let it happen in Italy and Ireland. Will we wait meekly till it happens here? Or will we join our own students and make this a protest, as this person says, not just about one set of unfair cuts but about a dysfunctional and sociopathic financial system?

WE HAVE COMMON CAUSE with this person.  I wish I could talk to him/her and say we are in this together.  If we can reach out and link arms then we do have the power to change Europe and take it back from the corrupt oligarchy who have sold our democracy and sovereignty, and their paymasters in the financial class.
 
This is not an Italian fight nor an Irish fight nor an English fight.  This is a fight for all our futures against those who are trying to take that future away and sell it for their own profit and power.
Mercuzio
Everywhere in Italy
December 14th, 2010
3:05 pm
There has been totally anarchy today in Rome, only fire, tear gas and streetfights. People burning cars, police’s vans, rubbish, more than 100 000 students, immigrants, people from Aquila, people fired up at work because of the politics who don’t substain their industries…1500 cops, everything blocked by the Guardia di finanza, and every kind of army force. People that has came from all over the country. Political leaders have had to stay into the parliament defendend from people who wanted to reach them from the streets all around there. We are quiet like in a dictstorship. A policeman had tried to take his gun to front the aggressions and had been stopped in time.Students have errupted in the Stock exchange today in Milan. We, the students have started our protest almost two years ago, it has all intensified in these 3 months, we have blocked train stations like in Milan, Venice, Padua, Pisa, and many more…we have blocked higways like Bologna, Salerno…Universities are occupied by students, there are manifestations everyday in our cities, we have reached our monuments, we are trying to let us be listened by institutions, but no one cares about us. We aren’t yet only students now, people is enjoying us. We are fighting not against a simple educational legislative act, we are fighting against our sick system: we can’t find jobs, we don’t have any kind of agevolation for families, for living by ourselves, only depending from the people you know a career can come. We don’t have information, we don’t have cultural and social possibilities, all the best of us have to go away from the country, everything is corrupted, everyone is corrupted…and at least, thanks the Vatican for not paying any kind of taxes…I think we are at the break point. Please Help us in keeping attention

Excuses for the english but we are still fighting and we haven’t time

38 Responses to Italy erupts – a student calls for solidarity

  1. tris December 15, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    http://munguinsrepublic.blogspot.com/

    100% with you, and I've included his letter in my comments after being tipped to your blog by one of my readers.

  2. Rod December 15, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    People power can take out the banks that our politicians have sold out to.

    That would force the corrupt to wake up.

  3. tris December 15, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    I can't subscribe to the blog. As so often happens that facility appears to be down. I'll come back and do it later.

    I'll also add you to my blogroll.

  4. RichGB December 15, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Golem

    I've been reading about the alarming possibility of a new derivatives market opening up in the US for carbon-based emissions, potentially worth a staggering 10 trillion dollars. Ben Bernanke is all for it – no surprise there.

    HERE is where the CBO report can be found. HERE is Bruce Krasting ripping it part with far too much glee.

  5. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 15, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    tris and Rod,

    Welcome. Thank you for commenting. I hope you will stay around and that we'll hear your thoughts.

  6. RichGB December 15, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Corrupt Republicans are treading a very fine line indeed: see HERE.

  7. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 15, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    RichGB,

    Are you in fact a cover name for a whole office of people? Some sort of clandestine research organization or what?

    Thank you for the links. Haven't read Mr Krasting yet but read the original proposal on the first link.

    I do think the proposals for creating a market in cap and trade and modelling that market on financial trading will be an utter disaster and negate any potential benefits such a scheme might ever have had.

    The finanical logic of usiung swaps and derivatives to bring all future risk as close the the present moment as possible by hedging long term risks for short term ones will destablilize the 'market' in carbon emmissions and cause its pariticipants to become too-big-to-fail.

    In other words if we follow the financial model of a market based solution, that market will become captured and will end up doing nothing more than protecting the profits of its largest participants.

    All the talk of the need for liquidity etc is the infection of environmental matters with the already failed logic of financial markets.

  8. RichGB December 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Hi Golem

    As I grow more accustomed to the language of finance I've been able to skim through articles faster and follow the links behind the links to route out the nuggets.

    Rhetoric is not something I'm good at, as evidenced by the short sentences I use. To compensate I'm taking a characteristically logical approach and amassing links to persuasive arguments and information-rich websites. I hope soon to set up a web page so that everybody can arm themselves with evidence and make informed representation.

  9. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    RichGB,

    That is a wonderful ifdea. I'll be one of your most grateful users.

  10. JamieGriffiths December 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Hear, hear!

    Bring it on RichGB! It would be great to have all this stuff in one place.

  11. JamieGriffiths December 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    I think the clamour to introduce cap-and-trade will reach fever pitch very soon as the banks lobby for inclusion in any kind of market in which they can make big money quickly.
    It will obviously be an unmitigated disaster.
    Look what happened to the corn, wheat etc futures markets when those were opened up to speculators.
    I suspect it will also have the benefit (for the elites) of wiping out smaller players in the fossil fuel burning business and concentrating assets and resources in the hands of the few large companies that can cope with huge fluctuations in the prices of allowances.
    Obviously cartels and monopolies already exist in the energy sector but this can only help to consolidate their power.
    Bad, bad news.

  12. MrShigemitsu December 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi RichGB, Matt Taibbi outlines this too:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/12697/64796

    The Great American Bubble Machine.

    The last couple of pages (p6, p7) is where he describes the plans for a market in carbon credits ("Bubble No. 6"), but the whole article is essential reading, if you haven't already seen it (which you probably have – but maybe some others haven't?)

  13. RichGB December 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi MrShigemitsu

    This is a very interesting article. As you say, it's essential reading.

    The 'bubble' concept is a difficult one to understand for many people, but is usually presumed to be an inevitable side effect of capitalism. This article clearly explains how the bubble is a useful tool in the hands of people with power and a disregard for the consequences.

  14. Pat December 15, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    The Fed is the main if not the only source of fiat money in the world today. Through it America has achieved a monopoly on seigniorage. This has enabled New York to suck tax revenue from every government around the world. Finance ministers have no option but to insert the intravenous tube how and where Wall Street instructs.

    Watching the Irish Government act as servile brokers for the New York moneylenders in the Dail today confirms my belief that the Wall Street vampires have taken over most, if not all, western governments. The finance ministers of Europe are now little more than retail outlets for the New York extortion machine.

    Wall Street and its supplier the Fed have graduated from sucking (securitizing) the world’s private mortgage payments to sucking (securitizing) the world’s tax payments. Next will be the world's utilities and road systems. In other words anything that produces revenue worldwide will be securitized.

    If not resisted, the Wall Street vampires are potentially as destructive as the barbarian invaders. It looks like the ordinary people of the world, deserted by their leaders, will have to drive them back on their own.

    Sorry for the doom and gloom but these are extraordinary times and need to be fully understood. It requires a full understanding of the Wall Street/Federal Reserve dynamic.

  15. Rebecca December 15, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    This talk of solidarity reminds me of a something Dope Addict posted recently (I think in the Unicredit post) he said

    'its an all out attack on the working and middle classes, perfectly set up to justify itself until we're all neo-feudal serfs'.

    This is almost exactly what I thought on reading the IMF's 'advice' for Europe which it conveniently released the same week it was moving in to instruct the Irish Government on how they are going to rule for the next four years. (Or the next four years after that presumably – when we need the 2nd bail out to pay off the first and so on). I mean I could understand them instructing us even, but the whole of Europe? It just gave me the worst shivers.
    But back to the solidarity issue – because as I was sitting there – horror struck by the thought that what they ultimately wanted was to use this opportunity to push a Chinese style serfdom on EU workers- my next thought was,

    'well wouldn't that be just Karma at work?

    We cannot give out about the immorality of bankers and what they have done to us (as Western people) and then turn around and keep supporting, through our purchases, the exact same things being done to people – over there, out of sight,in those countries where they don't really care about never seeing their families or living four to a room. As if misery and inhuman working conditions are fine as long as its contracted out, not stricly ordered by us but just fine all the same.

  16. Rebecca December 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    We have to remember that we are not just workers in this system – we are also its bosses – we are the consumers. We can send a message with what we choose to buy or not to buy about the values we wish to uphold in this world. I know its a pain, sending the emails, replying to the evasive 'corporate social responsibility', agonising over every purchase, but I believe its pain we will have to put up with if we really truly want our grandchildren, or even our children to inherit the kind of rights we have taken utterly for granted until now.
    I can almost sense the eyerolls happening as I type this (I've been a fair trade pain in the butt for a while now, so I'm used to it) and I know this kind of action has been turned into a kind of 'do gooder' joke by the media. They've done their best to make it fashionable to sneer at this sort of idea – that's because they're bosses don’t like.
    Look at fair trade chocolate – Nestle has had to get in on it – NESTLE! And look at how the American Christian right is paid attention to by big corporations. Consumer action, despite what they might want you to believe – can work very well. It’s Capitalism at work surely – the market working to express those values that the 'Rational Man' espouses? They want to believe that the 'Rational Man' must always chooses self interest above everything else but recent developments are shaking this belief and they don’t like it.

  17. Rebecca December 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Look at fair trade chocolate – Nestle has had to get in on it – NESTLE! And look at how the American Christian right is paid attention to by big corporations. Consumer action, despite what they might want you to believe – can work very well. It’s Capitalism at work surely – the market working to express those values that the 'Rational Man' espouses? They want to believe that the 'Rational Man' must always chooses self interest above everything else but recent developments are shaking this belief and they don’t like it.
    I think the most chilling thing in all this for me is that, right when Western consumers started looking like they might be developing a conscience ,(the fair trade market growth in tea, coffee, chocolate ) these moves have been made which will severely limit the purchasing power of much of the EU population. Pushing us to choose the cheap unethical options, if we are to maintain our ‘lifestyles’.
    You see I think it would greatly suit those who see themselves as our feudal lords to switch the roles and have the BRIC consume and Europeans only produce. The BRIC consumers will be so drunk on the new and sudden onflux of material wealth that it will take them at least four generations before they develop a conscience. I don't mean that as a blanket slur on people from these countries – many of whom are very engaged in promoting consumer awareness, it’s just that this is generally and understandably what happens when a once poor population becomes suddenly rich – they don't give a shit- they're too busy enjoying themselves.
    I really hope that this crisis doesn't just wake us up to the evils of lack of regulation in the financial markets, but the far worse evils of a lack of accountability and regulation in the production sectors. From mining in Africa to the electronic subcontractors in China.
    Lets use our wallets and our emails to call for an end of exploitation while we still have some consumer clout left. It is NOT particularly easy or fun (kettling is probably more fun – there's immediate comradeship and adrenalin, as opposed to vaguely felt smugness) but it will be worth it.

  18. Rebecca December 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    PS I PROMISE not to take up so much room again as I know this board is primarily about the finance end of things and I will henceforth leave the commenting to people alot more knowledgeable than myself– but this is my two cents worth about what it is that we can DO – now this minute, when your out there shopping for xmas . Its not easy but I’ve done it (insert smug smiley face here) and yes my family hate me now but they’ll thank me later (more smug smileys)
    It is fine and good to want to end the machevllian games played by these supposed Master of the Universe and I truly hope that we can take back our democratic process and achieve that end – but until that happens we must keep playing them at their own game – and use the hallowed rules of that game to win. A huge part of their power comes from nothing except that they have succeeded in making us feel powerless and alienated – as workers, as voters and consumers. Only we can reverse this.

  19. 24K December 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Personally, I love it when G, Pat, Rebecca or whoever JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I love it when you guys/gals let your souls spill out for free and no other reason than love of your families, friends AND people you don't even know, and always so respectful.

    Please don't promise not to lose it again.

    Promise to lose it again.

  20. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Pat, Rebecca,

    What 24K said goes for me too. This sort of discussion, this sort of commited passion is what I build my hope upon. More power to you both.

  21. Pat December 16, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    Rebecca,

    You are right in everything you say, including your fear that the severity of the Irish budget will tend to push Irish consumers in the opposite direction from developing a conscience as they struggle to maintain their lifestyles on diminishing purchasing power.

    That makes me wonder whether consumer action should be the weapon of choice in our present battle. I wish I had a better suggestion but I don’t.

    I can only look to Michael Davitt as he struggled with a similar dilemma in the latter half of the 19th Century. He had concluded through his failed Fenianism and long incarceration for it that violence was not the answer.

    He finally came up with the campaign of ostracism we now know as the boycott. His brilliant new campaign not only prevented a possible second famine but laid the foundations for the demise of England’s grip on Ireland through its landlordism.

    Once the economic and political powers of the English landlords were broken it was only a matter of time until England’s economic interest was insufficient to maintain its political domination of Ireland.

    Gandhi credited Davitt with inspiring his successful non-violent campaign for India’s independence. Michael is also widely credited with inspring the foundation of the English Labour Party by resigning from Parliament saying “no just cause could succeed there unless backed by massed agitation”.

    He recognized Parliament as the talking shop it is. The real action takes place out among the people.

    So, how do we in 2011 start a mass agitation movement for financial freedom similar to the Irish tenant farmers’ Land League in 1879? What would a Financial League look like? If we don't find the inspiration we need in the fight for land ownership in the 19th century, where should we look?

    What will be the glue that will bind a sufficient number of people in a common cause? Must it get much worse before a mass agitation movement emerges? Is it consumer action?

    I wish I knew. But we must keep searching.

  22. RichGB December 16, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Rebecca is henceforth anointed 'chief banner writer'.

    Deal with the smiling faces of proud farmers rather than the glassy facades of the mega-corporations.

    It reminds me of buying wine for dinner in the middle of Burgundy. The method was to walk out the door, point at a vineyard and head in that direction. Every viticulturist displayed their produce with pride, perfectly labelled and bottled, and could give a full description of the wine and what it was a good accompaniment for. What a way to shop!

  23. RichGB December 16, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Regarding the recent theme of vampire squids and their market manipulation games, HERE is a real treat – a webpage dedicated to nothing but recipes for vampire squids.

  24. Rebecca December 16, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Pat,

    Thank you for your inspiring and educational example. I know it is hard to place much hope in consumer action. The media has been adept at mocking and marginalising it. It has presented joke of all the concerns of the G20 protests, encouraging us to mock and chunter at the anitcs of a few fringe troublemakers rather than engage with their core arguments – but those concerns seem more relevant every day.
    But when you look at the change in advertising, you see that the big corps DO pay attention to things like the green dollar and ethical consumerism. That tells me that consumer action CAN be effective – but we can't fall for nicely worded policies – verifiable, audit ready, concrete measures – or NEXT PLEASE.
    I have hope for this because everything is conspiring to push thinking people to re-examine throw-away consumerism and the power of mega- corporations and mega banks. Concerns about the environment and corporate power and human rights have converged to push thinking people to buy local, to buy independent, to buy sustainable goods, to harass large corporations about ethics. So many of these campaigns are already in place – we just need to swell the numbers, and join the dots together.
    The media has tried to alienate the working class, the masses, from these movements by protraying them as snobby, elitist past-times for spoilt yummy mummies. That is not how these campaigns started and NOW is the perfect time to turn that perception on its head. It is the working class that has most to lose in this battle and most to gain also.
    If we want our children to inherit a peaceful world we should be trying to ensure fairness and co-operation across national boundaries – we need to reclaim the idea of Globalisation and make it something positive and hopeful. This could be a major opportunity for the EU as well, let America go play its Star Wars, let it scheme and double deal and talk itself into a New Cold War – surely we as a people, together with those of India and China and Russia can show greater wisdom and maturity. We've been around for too long to keep falling for the same old crap.

  25. Rebecca December 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I don't know how much more time we should waste protesting on outside parliaments etc – they are too ready for this tactic, and they will win too easily. I think if we gather, en masse, and I think it is important to do this – it should be to talk to each other, to spur each other on to do the real protest work on an individual basis. We should bombard our politicians clinics like web spammers, with reasoned thought out and politely worded concerns and we should respectfully decline to accept evasive, non-commital answers, and we should do the same via email to every vile exploitative Corporation that we know of. If we could take the spirit of this blog – and spread it – we could really have something that would be hard to dismiss.
    I know its hard to be the first but so many really significant movements started with just a few people in a room.
    Also what can make emailing way more fun is to play the Concerned Christian, and thump them with their own Bible – thats another narrative that could do with reclaiming.
    I always state how I really love there products and would simply love to make Tiny Tim's Christmas by buying it except that as a Christian I am duty bound to always treat others as I would treat myself or my children, so therefore how can I possibly reconcile it with my conscience to 'cross to the other side of the street' as it were and ignore the plight of my Global neighbours in China/DRC etc as it would seem especially scariligeous to celebrate OUR LORD's birth in that manner. And how I'm very sorry but that given the recent scandal at Foxconn in China I can only accept firm proofs and don't want to be sent their Corporate Social Responsibility Document.
    Yours sincerely,
    Concerned of Saintville.

  26. JamieGriffiths December 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Hi Rebecca,

    I'm loving your ideas and your passion here, but I would suggest caution in dismissing traditional forms of protest.

    Firstly: Corporations and governments are not afraid of individuals. They assume, rightly or wrongly, that an individual can achieve nothing acting alone. They can ignore you as a crank or not a part of their target audience. Your MP will probably only look at the subject line of your email before firing off a stock response (I know mine does, and any follow ups are ignored entirely). And as you say a corporation will send you their CSR bumf. It doesn't get them sweating.

    But they are afraid of movements. They are afraid of the masses. They are afraid of the public. There is still no more immediate a representation of the power of the public than a mass demonstration in our nation's capital. It'll make headline news every time and though the effects may not be apparent immediately they do cause ripples.

    The recent student demonstrations have made the government frightened enough to discuss the use of water cannons and even banning public demos altogether. Johann Hari wrote a good piece on the power of demonstrations recently.

    Secondly: I can't help think that to reject traditional forms of protest is putting the cart before the horse slightly.

    How are you going to attract people to your movement of active individuals without them being made aware of and engaging with the issues in the first place? And what more effective way is there of promoting the issues than taking to the streets, making the news, engaging people face-to-face by marching on parliament, blockading shops and handing out flyers?

    It may not be sophisticated, it may not be web2.0, but only old fashioned face-to-face organisation can create the strong bonds required to keep people commited to the cause and to each other. It's the only way that you can see your own actions having an effect in the here and now by prompting public debate and attracting new people to your cause.

    I don't want to labour the point but there is no silver bullet here. It will take the full spectrum of available means of protest, civil disobediance and resistance to effectively oppose the huge forces that are ranged against us. There is no quick win, no easy solution. Our methods must be as varied and relentless as those used by our enemies.

  27. JamieGriffiths December 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Aargh! My last comment has disappeared. About 13.10pm today.

    Is it stuck in the back end somewhere?

  28. dave from france December 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Jamie – it'll be the famous google spam filter, frog2

  29. JamieGriffiths December 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Well, that's annoying. OK, must remember to copy to clipboard before posting this time…

    Hi Rebecca,

    I'm digging your ideas and your passion here but I would urge caution when it comes to dismissing traditional forms of protest altogether.

    Firstly, governments and corporations are not afraid of the individual. Rightly or wrongly, they assume that the individual acting alone can achieve nothing of any significance. Your emails can be dismissed and you can be given the brush off ad infinitum. You will be seen as a crank (by politicians) or someone who doesn't fall into the target audience (by corporations). The MP will send out their stock response on the subject and thereafter ignore you. The company does the same with their CSR bumf. Individuals don't make them sweat.

    They are afraid of the public. They are afraid of movements. They are afraid of the masses. There is no more immediate expression of mass discontent than thousands of people demonstrating together. You are right to say that we have to gather in large numbers – but this only has an effect on the politicians when they see this as a manifestation of the power inherent in the public. When they remember that they hold their offices only with our consent.

    The recent student protests have scared the government so much that they are now discussing bringing in water cannons and even banning protest altogether. I don't see that as a government win. Although the immediate objective of the protest (getting a 'no' vote) was lost, the effect has reverberated and will influence government policy going forward.

    Johann Hari has written an excellent piece on the power of protest here.

    Secondly, I think you're kind of putting the cart before the horse.

    Demonstrations gain publicity for the causes they promote. They attract new people to the issues. They raise the level of public debate. Without this kind of exposure you'll never attract enough individuals to make the letter writing and exercising of consumer power significant enough. The only way to form links strong enough to bond people to the cause and gain their loyalty is through old fashoined face-to-face campaigning. Handing out flyers on the street, marching and occupying shops may not be sophisticated but it is necessary to create these strong links that can prompt people to do more than just send a couple of emails. If they know the people they're working with, can put names to faces*, they'll be more inclined to continue and to make further sacrifices of their time and effort.

    I don't want to labour the point but I think dismissing traditional forms of protest is counterproductive. There is no silver bullet, no quick win. We'll need a full spectrum of protest, civil disobedience and resistance in order to combat the massively powerful forces that are ranged against us. Our methods must be as varied and persistent as those of our enemies.

    *I don't think it's a coincidence that the number of subscribers to this blog started shooting up when David abandoned his anonymity.

  30. Golem XIV - Thoughts December 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

    I am very sorry that some of your comments still get sucked into the spam filter. I cannot understand how it choses which are spam but notice it never, ever gets it right.

    I usually check frequently and set them free, but I have been away for a couple od days working and only just got back.

    Thank you for taking care of the shop with such great discussions.

  31. Rebecca December 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Hey Jamie,

    I do think you're right about getting out on the streets, and demonstrating the numbers behind a movement – and definitely consumer action will only have effect if it becomes a widespread movement – but I don't agree that corporations simply dismiss these things so easily – or that they are ineffective. To give an example when I was growing up you could basically only buy detergent from one of two giant corps – Unilever and Procter & Gamble- sure there's loads of brands- but only 2 manufacturers. Now I can go to my local health store and buy one that's eco friendly and made here in Ireland by a small start up company.
    Ethical production has given many small suppliers a way to break into previously monopolised markets and the main brands are falling over themselves trying to put a green spin on their products. We have had only the very dampest squibs of green demos here and yet this has happened. So I think consumer action can effect change, and it can reveal a greater level of support than street demos alone can (due to work/school/location/schedule issues) I think we have to put our money where are hearts are when it comes to the kind of society we want. Very right wing people in America are constantly pouring huge amounts of money into think tanks and lobbying for all kinds of social engineering and we to need to show economic support for the kind of society we want to live in if we don't want our world to be shaped by these neo-liberal agendas.

    I guess I am just trying to point to other means of protest as well as demonstrating, one that's just as possible for busy working parents who are scared of losing their jobs and little old grannies as well as students.

  32. Rebecca December 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    But your right in that any for any form protests to be truly effective they need a strong widely disseminated narrative – which is what I mean by gathering to talk to each other first. This also upsets the government far more because it is less likely to result in vandalism and it will make them feel like they're out of the loop. It is a gathering to make each other feel the strength of the movement, it about building up momentum rather than releasing it all at once.
    For myself personally I think the Tea Partiers in 'Merica are totally… em.. nuts. But whoever is directing that movement (…cough ..Fox New…cough) knows what they are doing. They know all about narrative and how to both play the media and circumvent the MSM. (cough..because they are the media.. cough cough)
    And I was thinking of the example provided by Pat above – the Irish failed heroically every time they tried a direct charge against the might of the British empire – it was when we began to rally in huge numbers to listen to each other, and when we tried different tacks to 'grab your torch and pitchforks' – that we started to change things for our better.
    Imagine your on Survivor or something and there’s a couple of a**holes in charge running things unfairly – you can a) go for a straight on confrontation at their headquarters on your own, which will probably result in the three of you clashing heads while everyone else looks on solemnly waiting to see who wins – or you can call your own meeting to put your views – uninterrupted to as many the rest of the camp and then take an even bigger – who are all well armed with rhetoric and argument – over to tackle the two a**holes. (I don’t actually watch survivor so this may not be how things happen at all!)
    I look at Greece and even Tehran where so many many people rallied and actually gave their lives to no effect. I just think a movement needs a bit off time and ground work before taking the protest to government will really effect lasting change.
    For instance lets say the students stage a mass protest again and the Government say 'ok lets cut this movement in the bud before it spreads into something more difficult to handle' – so they drop the fees hike or abolish it altogether – what then? – is that problem solved we can all go home now? Students would have their issue solved but there are many other vulnerable groups that can be hurt that can't so easily stage that kind of protest. Do you think that today's students will get back out on the streets in those numbers for someone other than themselves?

    PS. I'm in know way directing those questions personally to you I'm just trying to point out the need to highlight all available means of protest – they should all be used in concert and with as unified a message as possible, without getting into a ' And the Promised land will look like this' type scenario.
    I love seeing these protests I find it absolutely heart-warming to see people still care that much – but many more people will come to your cause if it fits into their schedule more easily!
    Phew! – I ramble someting wicked – don't hire me as your 'on message person'. Do however talk to some people who've done well in Media Studies. Who knows Media Studies may prove useful yet – YAY!

  33. Rebecca December 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    But your right in that any for any form protests to be truly effective they need a strong widely disseminated narrative – which is what I mean by gathering to talk to each other first. This also upsets the government far more because it is less likely to result in vandalism and it will make them feel like they're out of the loop. It is a gathering to make each other feel the strength of the movement, it about building up momentum rather than releasing it all at once.
    For myself personally I think the Tea Partiers in 'Merica are totally… em.. nuts. But whoever is directing that movement (…cough ..Fox New…cough) knows what they are doing. They know all about narrative and how to both play the media and circumvent the MSM. (cough..because they are the media.. cough cough)
    And I was thinking of the example provided by Pat above – the Irish failed heroically every time they tried a direct charge against the might of the British empire – it was when we began to rally in huge numbers to listen to each other, and when we tried different tacks to 'grab your torch and pitchforks' – that we started to change things for our better.
    Imagine your on Survivor or something and there’s a couple of a**holes in charge running things unfairly – you can a) go for a straight on confrontation at their headquarters on your own, which will probably result in the three of you clashing heads while everyone else looks on solemnly waiting to see who wins – or you can call your own meeting to put your views – uninterrupted to as many the rest of the camp and then take an even bigger – who are all well armed with rhetoric and argument – over to tackle the two a**holes. (I don’t actually watch survivor so this may not be how things happen at all!)
    I look at Greece and even Tehran where so many many people rallied and actually gave their lives to no effect. I just think a movement needs a bit off time and ground work before taking the protest to government will really effect lasting change.
    For instance lets say the students stage a mass protest again and the Government say 'ok lets cut this movement in the bud before it spreads into something more difficult to handle' – so they drop the fees hike or abolish it altogether – what then? – is that problem solved we can all go home now? Students would have their issue solved but there are many other vulnerable groups that can be hurt that can't so easily stage that kind of protest. Do you think that today's students will get back out on the streets in those numbers for someone other than themselves?

  34. Rebecca December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Geez, I'm sorry if that all sounds a bit lecturing its just I think we need more than numbers here we need strategising. Its not that I'd ever want to discourage protesting just that I want your days out in the cold to really really count.

    Sorry about the double posts – it keeps telling me they're too big (you'd think i'd take the hint) and then posting them anyway (just to be nice)

    Also want to apologise to any Americans on here if I was rude above – its just your Pentagon's future plans scare the living sh*t out of me – that in combination with the Tea Party/Palinistas means sometimes I find myself getting all apopcalyptic. Anyway going on holidays from the internet for a few days – probably much needed!

  35. guidoromero December 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    From the point of view of achieving solutions and goals, social action is not the best way to get the ear of our leaders. Social action by definition cannot be disciplined and coordinated. As such, it is dangerous to the health of the demonstrators and it elicits a violent response from the state. So that whatever achievements may be obtained though social action, it will come at a serious cost to individual members of society and to society at large too as it almost often results in the creation of more political and fiscal layers to be shouldered by the people.

    In a debt based fiat monetary system, the attention of the governing elites can be secured simply by shunning the banks. Boycott banks and accumulate small amounts of physical silver and gold bullion.

    Quiet, legal, safe and devastatingly effective at short, medium and long term.

    No need to scream and run around brandishing tools. Shun the banks.

    Are you prepared to pay the price of freedom?

  36. guidoromero December 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    @Rich GB

    Looks like they are trying to revive some type of exchange that apparently failed not long ago:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/good-news-layoffs

    Please note who the main investors in the exchange are (were) –

    Quote: "New job losses would not ordinarily qualify as good news, but Reuters reports that a lack of Senate action on cap-and-trade legislation is forcing the Chicago Climate Exchange to lay off about half of its remaining “really talented” 50-employee staff.

    The first round of layoffs by owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which acquired CCX in April for $604 million, began July 23 when about 20 people were let go. Employees were reportedly told that the American marketplace for carbon credits was being “restructured.”

    The only surprise is that Richard Sandor, who founded CCX in 2003 and was dubbed a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” in 2007, is being retained as an advisor. “Voluntary” trading of greenhouse gas emissions on CCX has all but dried up and prices have plunged from a high of over $7 per ton in 2008 to just 10 cents now, making recent stock market losses look rosy by comparison. Not exactly what Sandor, who once predicted a $10 trillion worldwide carbon market, expected would happen.

    The biggest losers have been CCX’s two biggest investors — Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs — and President Obama, who helped launch CCX with funding from the Joyce Foundation, where he and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett once sat on the board of directors."

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/good-news-layoffs#ixzz18UTjVDce

  37. JamieGriffiths December 19, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Hi Rebecca,

    Sorry to disappear – was away for a couple of days.

    I don't think we really disagree. I just wanted to make sure you weren't ruling out demos. I don't think they'll be successful by themselves either but they are crucial because they have an impact beyond the immediate and direct consequences.

    Golem – thanks for rescuing my earlier posts!

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