affinchè la protesta non si fermi a Genova

The mounting protest anti-globalization in view of the Genoa G-8 meeting has now reached a media visibility unthinkable of just some months ago, but what I have noticed is that media coverage tends to concentrate more on the logistic aspects of the protest than on its motives.

Reading Italian newspapers in the past few weeks I have been glad to see a growing interest about the requests of the Genoa Social Forum & others claiming their right to protest and demonstrate, and certainly a lot has been done to ensure that some basic rights of citizens would not be restricted out of proportion, but I think that public attention has been focused too much on what is in fact the tactic of the protesters than on what are the real issues at stake here.

Is that what we want? Or is it just another kind of manipulation perpetuated by the mainstream media to divert attention from the real issues, which is not the protest in itself but the reasons why we are protesting. I believe the average Italian knows by now about the red zone and other restrictions but how many understand the real reasons behind our protest?

The impression you get in talking with people (at least this is my experience) is that they know there will be demonstartions and maybe chaos and acts of vandalism, but they don’t really know what the whole thing is about. I am not talking, of course, of all those who are already actively involved in some organizations. Nor I am talking about illiterate people. I’m talking about the general public, those who read the paper, secretaries, accountants, retired people, ex-teachers etc. just average people. I am talking about all those who are not really sure what globalization is really about, who don’t know how the WTO, the World Bank, the G-8, and all the many other international bodies really work, those who may understand that something is wrong, but are not sure what exactly, who might in theory sympathize for our cause, but not strongly enaugh simply because they are not sure what it is at stake. I think we must remember that the dominant paradigm, in large part of mainstream media is that globalization is inevitable, an opinion rarely challenged in any public debate, and most people believe it.

I think the movement born out of the Seattle protest has done a great job so far, it has managed to gain media attention and to make its voice heard, it has gained respect across the political spectrum, but I believe the movement has reached a turning point: we wanted attention from the media, the governments and public opinion: we’ve got it now. Millions of eyes will be watching carefully what will happen in Genoa in two weeks time. Now it is time to use this incredible media exposure to our advantage, not only to stage spectacular actions of protest, but to come up with an agenda, a sort of Manifesto, a statement of our goals, of our clear requests, a document which will be given maximum coverage worl-wide. It is probably a very difficult task, considering the many souls of the movement, but if we can manage to agree on some common points our movement will make a giant step forward.

I think this is something due at this stage. Otherwise the risk is that those who will be watching us will dismiss us as kind of “rebel without a cause”, a mass of idealistic youngsters who like rebellion just for the thrill they get in organizing and staging these carnevalesque events.

The production of such a document I believe would be a proof that we are serious and need to be taken seriously, that we have a real alternative view about the future, one that we can put forward and explain to the general public so they can see us as not merely a destructive force but as a force capable of building a new world order for real.

If we can come up with an agenda we will answer what has been so far the main accusation we receive from our detractors (echoed in large part of mainstream media): that the movement lacks real focus and lacks long term goals. Basically it would provide an answer to all those who say the organizations composing the People of Seattle are vaguely and superficially opposed to globalization, but do not have a clue in terms of positive actions as they have not come up with real proposals for an alternative way forward. It will help gain major consensus among all those who still have no clear opinion about us. We will not be portrayed merely as the protesters, but also as the proponent of a new world order we are capable of envisioning. In fact the lack of clear goals beyond the protests has been recognized by some as one of the major factors preventing larger part of civil society to get involved, (read the speech posted by Micheal Albert to the Athens Conference in March)

Many will oppose my view on the basis that the movement is not really a movement, but a loose aggregations of very different realities, which makes it impossible to reach agreement on a single agenda. I red the analisys of the movement Naomi Klein has written (http://www.globalsolidarity.org/articles/naomi.html) and agree with her in principle, but let’s not forget that the strenght of the movement lies in its capacity to go beyond differences of opinion. I believe we are united in what is the main goal of all of us: change the present world order into one that is more just and more human. This is not a simple task, and the forces at play are enormous. We need to be united to win.

The People of Seattle have proven to be capable of orchestrating great demonstrations, of disrupting international meetings, thanks to the number of people they have been able to involve. United we won some battles. We need to be united to win the war.

The presence of the movement on the global scene is a fact now recognized by national governemnts and international bodies, they know what the People of Seattle are against, but it is also time to state what we are in favour of and use the force we have gained in the past years to confront them with our requests which will be given world-wide media coverage. We should exploit the media attention we have gained so far to further our cause. I believe it’s a chance we cannot miss, because media attention is so volatile that there cannot be another occasion as good as this one.


luca 2001-07-10T11:12:02+00:00

I completely agree. Even here, on Indymedia, everybody speaking about policemen…small groups topics, jocks, anarchists.. Is anybody there interested in what “no global “deal with?