Archives for posts with tag: demo2010

I’m not going to tell you what my political leanings are, precisely. That doesn’t matter, and it is important for this to be read as it is; not tainted by what I believe, or what people think I believe.

What started out as a noble advert, ironically; in Adbusters magazine has grown into a morphed and sickening monster. The advert depicted a ballet dancer atop the bull, the famous bronze sculpture symbolising that most important of streets just off-Nassau St. In the background, however; was a group of people who appeared to be shrowded all in black, throwing things; looking lively; causing things to happen.

Instead, Occupy has become so self righteous it is beyond nauseating. As one umbrella organisation it has become bogged down in stodgy decision making (consensus is great, of course it is; but it can be taken to a ridiculous extreme); a sense of its own importance far beyond any that has ever been independently attributed to it.

It is saddening. It could have been a force for real dissent, for co-ordinating civil disobedience and disrupting things. Alas, it is content to stay in areas the state has deemed acceptable; a focus on “non-violence” to the point of apathy (guys, it isn’t violent if it is towards an inanimate object i.e. a coffee shop); and god help you if your views stray from those of the party line.

In the U.K. the most successful action has been placing a banner inside a railway station. When you aim to bring capitalism to its knees, who is processing the thoughts that arrive at that being the best action? Banner drops are never going to end capitalism. It’s all too vague. Where are the marches, the direct actions, the actual energy?

Occupy likes to declare itself as the vanguard of the Anticapitalist movement. From where does this legitimacy stem? Just because you shout the loudest and have tents on public ground does not make you a vehicle through which all dissent must be channelled. We’ve had the Millbank demo, the December student demo and the riots in this country in the last two years. Still Occupy doesn’t get it.

If you’re trying to engage with “the youth” eventually they will get sick enough of being told what to do by Levellers fans toting the Morning Star that they take back their voice. They don’t need you. They do things properly. They don’t happily sit within the confines of a system they despise, and which has neglected them for years. They get it done.

The most fantastic thing is the “state sanctioned” protest aspect of Occupy. Sitting on public land is not a protest. Sitting outside a Cathedral is not a protest. The people at the helm of the movement are steering a course straight into an iceberg of mediocrity and ridicule.

Occupy could have been fantastic. Alas, however like so many groups akin to UAF and others, it has fallen foul of egomania. It’s a shame.

Now the dust has settled, and the glass has been cleared I have a question: Where are you?

Where are the artists in society who have been calling for actions such as those carried out on wednesday, where is their support? Where is the benefit either to the artist or the audience in procrastinating on forms of anti-government action, if when it comes down to it, the artist is not prepared to show support for their audience who took the message to heart?

Where are the union leaders who have been calling for organised resistance to the cuts, and in extreme cases asking for the TUC to call a general strike? Where are the union members who share the same core values, whose political compass points far away from the tories’ slash and burn approach to economics?

Where are the lecturers of more establishments willing to put their necks on the line in support of their tutees, as the tutees put their necks on the line for the jobs of the very same people?
Where are the Student Unions offering support for the actions of their members? The NUS President coming out on television to denounce his members may well be a desperate attempt to protect any political aspirations, but such selling out of members is not on.

Where are the people for whom the tories of old are but an angry memory? Who fought against them in the 80s and protested them then. Where are you? Where is your support for the current generation not prepared to take the cuts lying down?

Where is the support in the media, instead of daring to go out on a limb and support the cause, only the Socialist Worker paper has congratulated the demonstrators openly. The former bastion of left-wing thought, The Guardian, had an apparent crisis of conscience and could not openly support the students. The Mirror, commendably, did the most they could do without openly declaring support for the actions.

Most importantly, where are you? Where will you be the next time we march? Will you be sat at home, planning an essay, leaving it to someone else- or will you be there? Will you stand with the student protestors and support them openly for daring to remind the government that they are elected to serve the people in their best interests.