Chicago G8 protest planners offer city guarantees of usual ineffectual actions

Organizers meeting today to plan against next year’s G8 summit in Chicago hit the ground running –backward. On Friday a spokesperson for one of the coalition partners offered this assurance to the Chicago Tribune: “Our goal is a legal, permitted, family friendly march where people can come and have their voices heard in a safe environment.” Interesting. The objective of successful past anti-globalization protests has been no less than to shut the undemocratic summits down.

Nine months out, it appears activism’s old guard is determined to blunt all real resistance welling in American youth. The Tribune found another normalizing voice from UNAC which disavowed any recourse but nonviolence. WTF? It’s one thing not to encourage violence, another to promise to “back off from any violence.”

Hello? Activists with broken spirits need to STFD and STFU. Let younger, hotter heads give you a lesson in courage and purpose. If you are over thirty, hold yourselves among the fucks responsible for this mess. Who are you to deny the young their righteous rage?

As elder activists, precisely what wisdom is it you think you can impart? Have you stopped one war? Slowed imperialism? Ended nukes? Saved the whales? Halted global warming? Attended to anything but the erosion of democracy, the social safety net and the environment? Your exalted nonviolence neither delivered India from class exploitation nor ended racism in America. Stick with fundraising, educating, inspiring others, drawing your peers into social networking; lead, but not by edict, and not by a consensus dominated by your peers. Put your dogma aside for the young leaders, let them make their own mistakes. I hope you will at least admit they can’t fail more miserably than you.

At Sunday’s meeting, the United National Antiwar Committee spokesman acquitted himself when confronted by a young gentleman representing an anarchist entity. Committee member Ashley Smith’s full quote had been: “We will not be the ones to initiate or perpetrate any violence.” And: “We will back off from any violence.” But when pressed at the meeting, he explained that organizers hoped the event would be safe for families, but that younger militants could exercise their freedoms like anybody else. I paraphrase.

I’ll qualify my criticism by pointing out that a number of the organizers were personal victims of recent FBI home invasions, so they are fully justified in having to distance themselves from being interpreted as advocating violence. An additional challenge is presented by an adversarial corporate press determined to squeeze whatever soundbite it wants to discredit or hobble protest.

Of course I’d prefer activists recused themselves from addressing the subject of violence/nonviolence, instead of alienating potential allies by being deliberately exclusionary. And by potential allies, I mean the only allies that will get the movement anywhere, the NEXT GENERATION, because who else are you expecting?

7 thoughts on “Chicago G8 protest planners offer city guarantees of usual ineffectual actions

  1. And their timing is excellent, there’s a remake of the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes coming out in theaters now.

    It would be morbidly hilarious if their summit were swarmed over with the mutant Super-mice and cockroaches. Maybe some pissed off bees, and their bottled water supplier having a massive oopsie moment.
    A gas explosion from their own rock fracturing enterprises.

    The New Madrid fault superquake dumping the Sears Tower into Lake Michigan and taking out the Great Lakes Naval Station with it. Mother Nature as Super-Jihadi.

    Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

  2. It should also be pointed out that the “riots” across England started as a peaceful protest against Murder By Cop.
    Until the cops decided they’d had enough of free speech for the afternoon and walked in swinging clubs and shields.

    And that large scale multiple demonstrations outside the “Free Speech Zones” have proven effective and completely rout “kettling”.

  3. Right the fuck on! Your blog has become my daily read. Thanks and keep bringing it!

  4. Dear Cindy, I hope you know, you’re exactly who I wasn’t aiming my criticism. To me you continue to set the bar for gloves-off emotional outrage.

  5. Bring the muthafuckin ruckus!!! ….its time for a REAL change ….1776 style ..the ghandi style shit isnt working anymore …the black shirts will just run you over anyway ….so research how to combat riot police…

  6. Your critique is 100 percent right on. Although, if people are not standing up and doing their own shit then what? I really, really, really hope this thing isn’t taken over by fucking liberals. That would be the least inspirational thing ever. The ball is in the court of the radicals right now, take it away from the liberals and people will follow.

    – Anti-Authoritarian who does not live in Chicago

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