10 years after Seattle... (en)

Strategies and Perspectives of Radical Left Politics in the Anti-Globalisation Movement

Much has happened since thousands of activists took their resistance against the WTO summit to the street in autumn 1999 and obstructed the meeting seriously. Worldwide since the so-called anti/alter-globalisation movement has left its marks throughout history of the past decade. The shooting in Gothenburg, the killing of Carlo Giuliani and the many injured persons and prisoners of this movement are as ever-present for us as the many moments of solidarity, shared political processes and collective resistance which were evoked. The history of the anti-globalisation movement has been from the beginning as well the history of radical left, autonomous and anarchist groups which organised themselves in it. Although within the context of summit mobilisations alliances and networks succeeded in creating focal points and gather various political currents and sections, often they disappeared again from the stage as quick as they came into being. Beyond the „event“ itself the summit protests could hardly be embedded in social movements and everyday struggles. Especially dealing with the global economy crisis and the highly conjured social riots the undogmatic radical left appears poorly prepared to create new spaces in this situation where an emancipatory alternative society seems possible. Instead it does business as usual and is stuck in old habits and defensive actions. Summit protests become more and more predictable rituals and welcome democratic side programmes of those same summits.
We think that the time has come to calmly take a look at the developments, forms of action and experiences of the last years and as well to reflect upon criticism of them in order to develop together new strategies and perspectives. We hope in doing so for an open and nonhierarchical process of discussion which involves as many activists as possible.

militant reflection…

…is the attempt to create a kind of „radical left consulta“. In different cities and countries decentral events will be organised where after a short introduction and presentation of previous discussion results and a collection of subjects the discussion can proceed, for example about subjects like:

  • How can movement building and change of society be thought concretely? Which could be the next steps to realize that practically?
  • How is the relationship to local protests and struggles? How to support, initiate, radicalize them? How to act in the tense atmosphere between radical principles and the reformistic reality of many struggles? How to deal with the often not exactly emancipatory everyday consciousness without getting stuck in social insignificance indulging in scene internal contemplation?
  • With which action forms do we want to further our aims and do these action forms make sense at all times and places equally? How can we break through ritualisations and fetishisation? How can the much injured variety of tactics be realized concretely?
  • Which status do major mobilisations have for example to summits, camps or castor transport? How to resume former successes constructively? How to break through calculations of police large-scale operations? How about the feedback to continuous, local struggles? Is selforganization within camps welcome and in case of yes how can it be strengthened in comparison with consumistic needs or intentions of instrumentalisation of single activists?
  • Under which conditions do alliances with reformistic organisations, NGOs, trade unions as well as left organisations with authoritarian structures make sense? How can be initiated or strengthened in such alliances nonhierarchical structures of decisionmaking and organisation? How can be stopped efforts of manipulation and instrumentalisation of single activists? How can one´s own objectives be enforced in alliances?
  • How do we wish to deal with sex and gender in our associations, on camps and actions? How to deal with sexism within or outside our structures?
  • Speaking of public relations work – how can radical left criticism and perspectives and unadulterated news be spread? Where to place oneself dealing with established media between the poles „professionalizing media work“ and „not uttering a sound towards the press“? Which media are available for one´s own public relation work and how can a wider public be reached by using them?
  • How to secure one´s own existance and stay flexible at the same time to be able to throw oneself into important mobilisations and struggles? Which structures allow it to counter the widespread individualisation with collective/solidarity attempts of solutions? How to protect oneself and others of burnout at activities of high intensity?

This enumeration isn´t meant to be a guideline but an example for inspiration. Resumees of the event are supposed to be published in the internet (for the moment on we.riseup.net/militant_reflection, dissent.fr and www.gipfelsoli.org) where they appear besides in the prevailing language at least in english translation so that the discussed subjects can be taken up internationally. On the website can be collected as well experience reports and proposals for carrying out the events. After one year this „radical left Consulta“ shall be evaluated on an international meeting on which future common activities can be discussed, as well.

friends of dissent!