This is a rough description of the essay, written by the editorial collective, outlining the main themes of the movement:
BACK: irresistible global opposition
Beginning with an explanation of the opposition to the Zapatistas, this essay provides an inspiring reflection on the movement. It introduces proposals about a new kind of politics, and articulates what its judging characteristics are. It states that it is a global ‘movement movement’ that champions direct democracy, ecology, diversity, and radically deconstructs traditional ways of using power. This essay also blows up some myths – for example: that this is the ‘antiglobalization’ movement, that it ‘started in Seattle’ – and traces some of its true origins.
NETWORK: the ecology of movement movement
Netwar – the powerful and anarchic district of the internet – is the new battlefield being waged. For the first time, computer-connected movements are starting to talk to each other, to meet – and perhaps a truly global social movement is born. An unlikely new coalition – between North and South, labor activists and environmentalists, between genuine guerrillas and cyberpunk – is forged. This essay examines how radical convergence comes to construct diverse interesting networks.
For Professor Harry Cleaver, the perfect metaphor for the kind of organization that any of grassroots groups takes place, is ‘the ocean with currents and eddies that are often times restless, now moving faster, now slower, now warmer, now colder, now deeper, now on the surface. a dynamic self-organizing process that resists crystallization but its direction and strength can be scrutinized and traced.’
AUTONOMY: create space of freedom
If the main reality of our time is the upward transfer of dominance and wealth to an irresponsible global elite, then the main goal of our struggle is to make room for local autonomy and participatory decision-making. This essay examines models of direct democracy in action, from the centers of convergence present before mass action, to popular consultative in Latin America and Spain. The latter is a form of self-organized referendum in which, for example, six million Brazilians voted to kick the IMF out of the country. This section also looks at ways to not only create but sustain autonomous organizations and institutions, and offer new barriers to the movement to live pre-figuratively, in the world you are struggling with.
CARNIVAL: resistance is the secret of joy
In many parts of the world, carnivals are a subversive force. Perhaps this is why the FBI added Carnival Against Capital – the name given to for many mass rallies at economic summits from London to Québec – to the list of highly wanted groups. But Carnival Against Capital is not an organization. This is a: cake in the face; fire juggler; samba rhythm. This is a tactic. This is the spirit of contemporary resistance to global capitalism, of women Tactical Recklessness wearing outrageous pink dresses, wild wigs, nine-foot-tall fan tails, only wielding feather dusters, dancing to rows of riot police; to the introduced teddy bear above the six-kilometer fence that surrounds the Free Trade Area on top of America in Québec City with a large medieval catapult.
His endless creativity is irresistible, contagious and utterly unpredictable. Anything can happen around the carnival. The World Trade Organization meeting is closed. This essay explores the exciting manifestations of carnivals in all worlds and their potential as means of social upheaval.
CLANDESTINITY: survived state repression
Inevitably, as the global movement against neoliberalism and the use of life has grown and become more vocal, so has repression. But with each act of repression, people reveal themselves further. They can no longer meet in relative anonymity. Their unmasking has become a carnival ritual, repeated in Seattle, Prague, Seoul, and Buenos Aires. The fence is getting higher and the meeting place is getting more isolated because the mask of ‘tolerance’ keeps slipping. Surrounded by those who expect justice, the money people are getting more and more scared. They want to the name of the faces of the resistance – call them terrorists, thugs, dreamers, flat earthers, delinquents. They want to capture, catalog and criminalize of the faces for those who write ‘enough is enough’. They snatch people up for dancing in the streets. They pass laws that don’t allow the wearing of masks, or expression of political opinion. They wanted to wipe the smiles of resistance from these faces forever. They are ready to treat us like terrorists, kill us if necessary.
WALKING: we pose questions
The concluding essay seeks to see where the anticapitalist movement can go in the post-September 11 world, in the current climate of increasing criminalization of dissent. It explores the critique of the summit and examines the discussion around returning to community organizing and making a sustainable social environment.