Self-organizing Democratic Alternative Institutions in Greece: Solidarity for All


nothing about us

Recently we’d been discussing Ben Reynolds’ essay at Roar Magazine ‘Whose lives matter? The limitations of Bernie Sanders’ and this core thesis:

“Rather than channeling popular anger into institutionalized politics, we need to articulate a vision for the radical reconstruction of the political and economic structures of society. We have to devote ourselves to the hard work of organizing in working-class communities, building power in the streets and in workplaces rather than the halls of Congress. More than anything, we have to recognize that the radical left is at its strongest as a grassroots movement and at its weakest when it tries to bargain with institutional powers.”

The Roar collective feels that there are indications of a revolutionary spirit growing globally, the magazine has set itself the task of stimulating those forces bubbling just below the surface by imagining what the new Building Blocks of power in search of creating a better world not ruled totally by capital as it is now…but spurred by radical imagination for working people might look like.

“We are acutely aware that the construction of a new world is far more than an academic exercise. We do not harbor any illusions about the “Eternal Truths” of radical theory and we certainly do not aim to write any blueprints for a post-capitalist future.

We simply write to learn from each others’ struggles, to share our common dreams and aspirations, and to amplify our collective powers—so that one day we may be able to recount the story of our struggle to future generations:

Yes, we lived amidst the ruins.
Until we picked up the stones,
And we began to build.

I’ve been trying to make my way through them, but some are frankly just a bit over my head, never having learned  Marxist dialectics; others are simpler.  But in the David Harvey interview concerning ‘Consolidating Power’ was this response after he’d been speaking of Occupy Sandy sorts of community help:

Question: But how to avoid filling that gap by helping, for example, unemployed people not to get squeezed out by neoliberal state?

Harvey: Well there has to be an anti-capitalist agenda, so that when the group works with people everybody knows that it is not only about helping them to cope but that there is an organized intent to politically change the system in its entirety. This means having a very clear political project, which is problematic with decentralized, non-homogenous types of movements where somebody works one way, others work differently and there is no collective or common project.”

Most of the essays are in agreement on the tenet that self-organizing movements need to be of the dual purpose he names, but as to his final sentence there, I was heartened to run into an interview with Christos Giovanopoulos at Counterpunch the other day (among the host of ‘candidate contrasting’ posts.  He’s been deeply involved with Solidarity for All in Greece since:

“…the Greek parliament accepted the mid-term (2011-2016) bailout program (late June 2011). The popular movement responded by attempting to block its implementation. Strikes and government-building occupations – primarily in the public sector – occurred, but most importantly, there was a ‘no pay’ campaign against a new household tax. The tax was included in the electricity bills. Refusal to pay meant you risked having your power cut. The last People’s Assembly of Syntagma Square (end of September) called for the ‘no pay’ campaign. The Assembly stated “we won’t leave anyone alone against the crisis.” This became the banner of the solidarity movement.”

The movement’s About Us page is here, including aims, a Constitution, the Resistance, endorsement of The European Antifascist Manifesto, etc.  Our Purpose:

“Solidarity for All is an organisation which identifies and supports the many social solidarity initiatives which have been established in Greece as a part of the resistance to the harsh austerity policies which have led to a humanitarian crisis. People have taken matters into their own hands through grassroots activism and local collective action. The many and varied  social solidarity initiatives include – social pharmacies, social medical clinics, social kitchens, social groceries,  markets without middlemen, a social collective of mental health professionals, social solidarity drop in centres, time banks (sharing skills and time), olive oil producers sharing olive oil, the ‘potato movement’ where farmers trade direct with consumers cutting out the supermarkets.

He’s being interviewed by Alexander Kolokotronis, who is the Student Coordinator of NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives, founder of Student Organization for Democratic Alternatives, and more, and his introduction gives an overview of this key movement that’s apparently been a rather hidden part of the solidarity economy movement in Greece (a USian version is here, and Christos had gone on tour with the movement in May 2015.

In a 2014-2015 report entitled Building Hope: Against Fear and Devastation, Solidarity for All draws attention to “the devastating effects of the radical neoliberal experiment on Greek society.” The report also sets out to highlight “another experiment: that of Greek society taking action through self-organization and solidarity, of people standing up and resisting their economic and political ‘saviours.’”

He cites some horrifying facts and percentages of unemployment, foreclosures, loss of health care, increasing precarity and downright poverty (the majority of Greeks are living below the poverty line) in the report, and notes the figures are from 2014, so they would be far worse now.  Having mentioned that the report mentions alternatives that are springing up all over Greece…

“These include solidarity healthcare clinics, food solidarity structures and solidarity kitchens, “without middlemen” networks, immigrant solidarity networks and cooperatives. With the crisis bringing the capitalist mode of production into question, these democratic organizational forms are being sought out and created. As Christos Giovanopoulos – member of Solidarity for All – emphasizes in this interview, these alternative institutions are not simply about fulfilling a need, but about building capacity and ensuring all participants have agency within those same alternative institutions.

Thus, one finds a range of organizational designs and setups even with one type of alternative institution. As Solidarity for All states, “There is not one model of solidarity clinics, each one is unique, and the same goes for all the solidarity structures.”  He offers examples, and then talks about food, then after touching on the cooperative movement, which Giovanopoulos discusses at length later, including pitfalls, potentials for cooptation, state law and financial constraints, etc.

“Food distribution has also taken different forms with solidarity food structures, solidarity kitchens, and “without middlemen” networks. Without middlemen networks connect food producers directly to consumers through mechanisms such as preorder. The result is reduced prices in food, as well as ensuring a higher income for producers. These networks also provide a framework through which socialization of production, distribution, and even consumption, can be steadily built and scaled. One example of this is that each producer of a given bazaar donating two to five percent of their goods, which are then distributed to families that cannot afford to purchase food.” [snip]

“Also, expanding due to the rapid inflow of migrants and refugees is immigrant solidarity networks and structures. These have received increased attention in large media outlets, and have been noted for the inclusion of migrants and refugees in the decision-making processes and apparatuses of such organizations.”

When asked if the movement is largely a response to austerity, Christos expounds at length about varying opinions, but this seems to be the pithiest, most powerful part:

“The solidarity movement transcends those positions. First and foremost, the practice of the solidarity structures holds the potential to synthesize active popular participation – as a response to immediate needs of a population threatened by a humanitarian crisis – while it enables the resilience of this society to stand up and carry on resisting. Beyond supporting the suffering, it aims to engage them in the struggle to change both deeply rooted habits of political ‘assignment’ and the conditions that cause their hardships. Thus, it develops spaces and practices that could form a different paradigm. Specifically, a paradigm for people-managed ‘institutions’.

This implies a different role and practice than that of merely supporting an ailing society. Its modus operandi – based on assemblies and self-organization – can foster new kinds of social relationships, pushing against the disintegration of the social fabric. Moreover, the practices of the solidarity structures develop a favorable terrain for breaking the split between ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘benefactors’. [snip]

“…the solidarity movement does not hide its political role and what it stands for, including its aim to produce social and political change, and to create the material conditions that permit a different democratic paradigm to emerge in order to restructure the existing clientelist public (welfare included) system. Thus, its difference from the ‘traditional Modern Left’ political culture is not in its long-term aims, but in that it goes beyond just demanding and voting. It defends social rights in a very tangible way by trying to develop tools and through standing by the people needs. This means forging enduring social relationships in order to show that there is an alternative based on a different set of principles, ideas (e.g. equality, universal rights), and mode of social organization.”

Now his contrasting ‘taking power’, ‘political emancipation and (exercise of power for)’, and how it fits with ‘the meeting of quotidian politics with the struggle for political power’, ‘open and participatory forms of bottom-up democratic infrastructures of resistance (today) and power (tomorrow)’ gets pretty murky to me, albeit I do think I understand ‘bottom up’, which of course reminds me of the Zaptaista form of grassroots populist government, in which even in the various caracoles, citizens meet to discuss things for a few weeks, then yield their place to others.  And they’re saying: “If it doesn’t work….try something else.  (i.e., self-critique is key in any new endeavor)

It may be that he and his comrades don’t have a firm vision about how this movement would interface with, or replace ‘state power’, but he says:

“This movement has laid out a different question, or rather task, than the “take or not take power” (in order to change the world). By building self-organized social structures, it delineates processes to “create power,” which also enable the power to change when one acquires state power. If there is a reason to argue for the transformative potential of this movement, it is exactly due to its capacity as a network of (infra-)structures and as generator of policies designed on the basis of its practices through the deepening of democratic processes and popular participation.”

Thoughts?

Given that after citing some of the abysmal immiseration statistics in Greece, Kolokotronis notes that: “It is for this reason that a UNICEF report has referred to this crisis as a “Great Leap Backward.” The economic cost is clear, but the psychological and social impact is immeasurable”, how could it not remind me of this Billy Bragg tune?

It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro’s brother spies a rich lady who’s crying
Over luxury’s disappointment
So he walks over and he’s trying
To sympathize with her but thinks that he should warn her
That the Third World is just around the corner…

(the lyrics)

19 responses to “Self-organizing Democratic Alternative Institutions in Greece: Solidarity for All

  1. oh god. i just had a brilliant vision for a massive org w/millions if not billions of wealth-for-me-generating dependent clientelist entities & consumers and a huge budget for marketing how much good i am doing…then i had to pop in here. bummer man.

    i’m not sure what the fates or furies or fateful furies are doing, but it’s curious that as greece got assaulted by the neo-lib financial program, they also got assaulted by the neo-lib refugee manufacturing program (it’s not exactly the same thing as fleeing, e.g., Syria, but many greeks themselves have also become economic migrants; let’s not forget that.) even as we find ourselves immiserated in our own little spot on the globe, we meet capital’s global reach in the wandering, exiled victims of capitalism’s more violent depradations. the only response of Big Capital possible is to try to convince the immiserated that the war refugee is coming to steal all the many, many jobs that would be out there.

    i don’t know enough about the moccasins-on-the-ground decentralized solidarity practices you detail here, but for us amurkins, and speaking as an uncle honkey myself, the black panthers provide many lessons, incl. what the unspeakable things the state will do to stop you.

    • sorry to have harshed your mellow on your great-sounding plan, jason. may i advise you to continue with it so that i might be able to head a subsidiary of it, please (with attendant percentages as my fiduciary responsibility, of course)? in a major wing of mr. wd’s fambly, if yer earning, yer good with god, always a blessing in itself to know….

      well, as far as the USA and solidarity for all’, it’s hard to say what would be the unintended consequences due to the massive security state apparatus, isn’t it, given say, DHS’s metrics for ‘domestic terr’ists’? the land mass is also ‘a thing’, especially compared to greece’s, and communications among assemblies, etc.

      it’s just that various peeps (as here) are advocating that bernie sanders start an actual/factual political revolution if he doesn’t win at the convention, and the many essays at Roar have some interesting ideas along that line. now most are speaking of ‘progressive’ reforms/notions, whatever that means, but not necessarily ‘anti-capitalist’ ones.

      thank you for reminding me of the large numbers of greeks in Employment Diaspora, but as far as refugees to lesbos, isn’t it down to ‘location, location, location’?

      heh. i was forced to reconsider my long-time imagining that when the shit really hit the fan here (not far away, of course), that it would spur more and more of us to epiphanies of higher consciousness, including that we really are, or need to be, our brothers’ and sisters keepers. it’s also been historically true that for far too many, as the economic pie shrinks, blame-fingers start pointing at ‘whose to blame’, and too often, those targets are people of color, refugees, migrants, yanno: the Rabble classes and Welfare Queens. i hope and pray that it can change with solidarity movements, which will be increasingly a construct whose time has come.

  2. It defends social rights in a very tangible way by trying to develop tools and through standing by the people needs. This means forging enduring social relationships in order to show that there is an alternative based on a different set of principles, ideas (e.g. equality, universal rights), and mode of social organization.”

    That standing with the people is not some unequal smarter-than-you-are stuff that is the way a lot of academically-originated Left folks have come off with the locals. (Even Che had this fault and it eventually did him in.) Vanguard cadre and all that. These times are different, and the movements emerging within them are different. We are at that cusp from which we soon will avalance into corporate feudalism or some sort of structure (socialism is a weak term) of radical solidarity (not sure at the moment what that points to but what you are reporting here comes close). That cusp matures at the point of near-collapse; thus the Greek experience is a good one for us in the West.

    Parse that paragraph quoted above. The actions are pretty straightforward.
    1. Develop tools to deal with the collapse of many aspects of infrastructure, not just in disasters like Sandy or externally forced social collapses, as in Greece. The tools are alternative ways of supplying human needs for food, water, shelter, and so on. The skills to do them are practical skills and organizing skills.
    2. Standing by the people’s needs; you do not leave until the new social relationships are in place and operating as the default society.
    3. Articulate the principle and in fact practice the practices of solidarity and universal rights.

    That requires a further action: Operate out of a frame that whatever your situation, there is abundance enough to share on humanly determined bases of equity–equality of effects; scaling of needs to individual requirements. Richard Heilbroner was correct in this: the economic problem has to do with limits to resources and can be solved through (1) cultural mechanisms like traditional shares or religious festivals of redistribution; (2) political authority and explicit rationing (even the US had that in World War II and in context it produced the postwar boom and acceleration briefly of equality); (3) bidding, auctions, some sort of competitive process that has the effect of rationing on the basis of money or other representation of willingness to expend more resources than other bidders. So dealing with allocation of resources (land, labor, equipment) and distribution (what about the elderly, disabled, and children to start with) and what share is set aside for infrastructure (goods and service, like roads, schools, health care, communications, risk pooling) that mediates equity to equality.

    Recently saw a panel discussion with Ram Das and Eckhart Tolle. All “be here now” consciousness awakening to an audience of 2000 or so somewhere. What was clear from their view of awakening to consciousness is that no one can predict what external crisis provokes the interior crisis that leads to awakening–what external events suddenly result in a mass awakenment that moves toward solidarity. Typically movements erupt in moments of frustrated rising expectations. That dynamic is what birthed Occupy Wall Street three years after Obama’s election and not in the midst of the Bush administration. Nonetheless, awakenment to solidarity is a tremendously individual response to events. And when the transformation is widespread, the security apparatus of the old society melts away; less than widespread transformation is grounds for civil war. And war of any kind erodes solidarity.

    These are very dicey times. But that makes the possibility of transformation that much more likely.

    Thanks for tracking Greece and the Zapatistas. A look at those parts of YPG that have succeeded in restoring some modicum of normal life would show another potential model.

    The US election is shaping up to be some special donnybrook fair. Who picks up the pieces likely is more important than all of the sturm and drang between now and January 2017.

    • thanks for your parsing that paragraph, thd. but i admit you lost me in your enumerated points on ‘further action’; sorry to be thick, but…so it often goes for me. nor do i know heibroner.

      now i tend to agree with those who claim that the main reason that the ptf so feared and loathed Occupy was that in many locations, folks were attempting to build conscious and intentional communities. but even within some GAs, the academics ruled, and resentment built against that. was it harvey who said that time and again in conferences to build anti-captalistic models/thought, he saw exactly that just below the surface were…a sort of ruling elite?

      any thoughts on the paragraph i wondered as to its meaning?

      “This movement has laid out a different question, or rather task, than the “take or not take power” (in order to change the world). By building self-organized social structures, it delineates processes to “create power,” which also enable the power to change when one acquires state power. If there is a reason to argue for the transformative potential of this movement, it is exactly due to its capacity as a network of (infra-)structures and as generator of policies designed on the basis of its practices through the deepening of democratic processes and popular participation.”

      now in his CV at the end of the essay, it said Alexander Kolokotronis had written on the Rojava revolution. he’s been describes as a libertarian socialist, if i recall correctly. but i did find one on rojava and the Ypg. they announced a federation? that ain’t sitting well it seems, even with MoA. ;-)
      well, we’ll see if it’s a gambit to be included in peace talks or something larger, i reckon.

      interesting on long the ram dass/tolle alliance. i had to look up tolle, but ‘be here now’ was a bible long ago, as were stephen gaskin’s books in the same time frame. i also found a two-hour talk (arrgh) they had that’s up on youtube, so i may watch a bit of it.

      i guess i’d seen the Great Awakening foretold by many indigenous spiritual leaders as almost ‘catching’, myself, as through the noosphere, something akin to whales in the south developing and singing a new song…catching on with whales far to the north in a very short time. what would john lily posit? or leary? ;-)

      time and energy allowing, i hope to write up some of the recent discussions of true unionism (one on social unionism) i’ve read lately. diversity of tactics and aims, as well. april 1 is the CTU and BYP100, transit workers, and others one day or turning into general strike, in these times wonders. me too.

      but yes, creating a massive egalitarian solidarity society is an extremely worthy process. i always liked welsh terrier’s definition of socialism: shared power (the very most shorthand version).

      also, this came in on their newsletter this a.m.: ‘Global Refugee Crisis Humanity’s Last Call For Culture Of Sharing & Cooperation

      i only scanned a lot of it, but it ends beautifully:

      “Thankfully, ordinary citizens are leading the way on this critical issue and putting elected representatives to shame by providing urgent support to refugee families in immediate need of help. In their thousands, volunteers stationed along Europe’s boarders have been welcoming asylum seekers by providing much needed food, shelter and clothing, and have even provided search and rescue services for those who have risked their lives being trafficked into Europe in rubber dinghies. Nowhere is this spirit of compassion and generosity more apparent than on Lesbos and other Geek islands, where residents have been collectively nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for their humanitarian efforts.

      The selfless actions of these dedicated volunteers should remind the world that people have a responsibility and a natural inclination to serve one another in times of need – regardless of differences in race, religion and nationality. Instead of building militarised borders and ignoring popular calls for a just and humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, governments should take the lead from these people of goodwill and prioritise the needs of the world’s most vulnerable above all other concerns. For European leaders and policymakers in all countries, it’s this instinctively humane response to the refugee crisis – which is based firmly on the principle of sharing – that holds the key to addressing the whole spectrum of interconnected social, economic and environmental challenges in the critical period ahead.”

  3. Ben Reynolds critique is a bit dated and comes from a pure outsider perspective that NO candidate ever can satisfy. I still think Bernie will win -or- the Democrats will succeed in nominating a candidate who will proceed directly to impeachment. Certainly plausible within the ‘death throes of empire’ scenario…
    Notice the media poo-poos Bernis chances with Hispanics (and Catholics) but that is just Deez Nutz. Pope calls for politicians to speak for the poor and aganst inequality,. Bernie appears and preaches a gospel of empowerment/equality to tens of thousands, -continuing all the way up to- Bernie is solid NO death penalty in recent debate – a few days later, Pope Francis I confirms that stance… Beltway pundits misunderstand people and how they think.
    Bernie’s numbers among the youth continue to rise – approaching all natural limit. Into the teeth of that pure expression of solidarity: Trump is toast, Cruz is weak and Clinton is a poser. Cruz’s wife is on sabbatical from a top level of Goldman Sachs and Kasich was on the board at Lehman Brothers when it went down and ‘forced’ the bankster bailout.
    Bernie still has the magic white knight aura (no PAC – millions of small donations) and he ALWAYS earns it by saying no one person, not Bernie Sanders, no President can do it alone. Real change happens when millions of people become politically active and refuse to be divided by race, gender, place of birth, what have you. When we stand together – that’s when real change happens.
    Bernie needs to get bolder – he has already spoken To Hundreds Of Thousands: break up big banks, an economy and government that work for ALL of us, solidarity and action are required, healthcare and maternal/paternal leave are natural human rights…
    Perhaps to (over half) a milion or more …
    And the crowds scream at every line, eh?
    Bernie needs a 16 word agenda -or-
    To get bolder: a 4×16 self-reinforcing 64 word agenda
    Something we old farts can grok in an instant.

    • Check out the last 40 seconds of WADR – you will have to wait thru the ad (perhaps a Godman Sachs ad) and click to near the end… 44:00
      With All Due Respect …
      If you are to the left of Senator Warren, Bernie Sanders is your candidate for President.
      Sayonara.

    • konnichiwa, le moyne; nice to see you, and i feel your fervor. ;-) now all i got from the last five minutes at your link was ‘anti-trump air balls’. thd had said that it the young uns in michigan that were key to his win there, and iirc, black young uns. yes, it’s important cuz they will be inheriting the world, won’t they?

      now please understand, i don’t begrudge anyone’s support for the bern, as long as they know who he is…and isn’t. i won’t parse my objections again, and you may be right that he could still win the nomination. RT has the numbers. but the sole reason i clicked into the article was the title, given that many commenters under the roots action dude’s call for ‘a real revolution’ (or close) in that TRRN link were giving boatloads of suggestions to him, as so many of their interviewees do, but one was to make stein his running mate. thank goodness someone said she might make HIM her running mate. but what the hell is this about anyway?

      now the collaboration is elusive as rt says, and i can’t say i care for it whole-heartedly and depending on her meaning, but:

      but one very noteworthy thing going on for months has been that soooo many peeps are putting their efforts both blogging and campaigning for bern (or clinton, never mind) that so many world-changing events have gone begging in both the msm and entire blogsites, and that peeps aren’t paying much attention to creating a better world in solidarity within their communities. a far cry, imo, from bern’s: i can’t do this alone”. sheesh, next it’ll be ‘make me do it’ (fdr, obama)./s

      on edit: pretty sucky that liz warren hasn’t endorsed the bern; not hard to speculate why that is…

  4. The corruption that existed so recently in memory in Russia (aided and abetted by our own mud-dwellers) gives me hope as I survey the political scene that somewhere out there is a budding Lavrov and a budding Putin to begin the laborious task of addressing the issues of greed and abuse, the pretense of glory, the appeals to mendacity and obliviousness of guilt ( do you know what you have done?) To restore the attention to honor, to traditional values, to truth in public discourse, to all the woefully neglected common values that have long been trampled into dust.

    That budding Putin, that budding Lavrov – they are not visible yet, except in their native land. And there, barely visible to us, but only to a grateful world. We need such leaders. Then all of us can rally to our better angels, and we will. Meanwhile, we have more to endure in this fraudulent age. But as we do, that day draws nearer. Corruption, like a stinking heap of compost mysteriously transforms in rapid decay. And when it does, the support of all these good people will be there, like so many teams of strong and willing horses waiting to be hitched to the plow.

    • mornin’, juliania. while i don’t quite share all of your enthusiasm re: putin (not sure about lavrov, but a stellar diplomatic, for certain), i do hear you, i think. i’m not sure we need to return to ‘traditional values’, since some new ones are good, especially the power various groups are in the process of accumulating: blacks, browns, lgbt, the planet herself (by eco-warrior victories here and there).

      putin’s “do you know what you have done?” was iconic, and reminded me in a far grander way of the man who threw his shoe a dubya’s head once upon a time…. well, okay, maybe not as shaming as putin’s, but the feeling was there.

      i guess in the final analysis, i’m not so much in favor of leaders as social and political power movements, and in fact wish our system did what the swiss do: each cabinet minister is prez for a year, then…the next in line for rotation…tra la la. theirs is also a direct democracy, not that it’s in any way an ideal place to live, but at least people power does exist in some measure.

      sounds dicey down under, yes. and i’ll have to read street’s new op-ed later; things here in RL are also quite dicey re: mr. wd’s assisted living, bigPharma, a crap personal (ptui) physician…and of course the clincher: Money.

      edit: i’d hoped you’d have stopped by to see this Roosia diary, and had some fun with it. i know, i know, i’m red skelton, allus reckoning i’m funnier that others do… ;-)

      second edit: i’d meant to separate putin as a domestic leader, and as a world leader. the latter: yes, excellent.

  5. Here’s a short bit from RT that I don’t know much more about, but has something of the sort of decay I was pointing to in it (will have to contact my kiwi/aussie cousin for insight):
    *****
    Australia PM expected to dissolve both houses as Senate passes voting reforms
    On Friday, Australia’s Senate passed voting reforms after a marathon session lasting over 28 hours. The move clears the way for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to dissolve both houses of parliament and call an early election to end a hostile Senate, Reuters said. Independent and minor party senators elected at the last election in 2013 have stalled key aspects of the government’s agenda. They include changes that would make higher education and health care more expensive and limit access to welfare. The voting reforms would make it harder for smaller parties to enter parliament through vote sharing deals.
    ******
    Sounds pretty drastic downunder. And we kiwis just beat them at cricket in Dharamsala as well. Revolution, anyone?

    • to be fair, bernie had said ‘interrupting meetings’, so street’s conflation of massive protests with meetings…eh. but the larger issue is the efficacy of the ‘interrruptions’ of that man with the hair’s rallies. ‘disruptions’, i guess. i’ve read comments saying that the communists disrupting fascists actually had the opposite effect, but as to that i can’t say.

      emptywheel offered a few thoughts on the subject the other day that are worth thinking about. “managed spectacles” at the core.

      but i sure did love that he used the mario savio quote from the steps at sproul hall, iirc.

    • Tthe efficacy of the Chicago action, it is much too early to tell beyond the success in defeating Anita Alvarez. The movement in Chicago moved close to a thousand people to protest and explicit racist event in the Near West Side of Chicago. But the more frequently the movement moves and expands the number of people involved, the more political power it gains.

      The fact remains that the appearance was that Trump cancelled because he feared people who would contradict him in the midst of his managed spectacle.

      • or was that cancellation another ‘managed spectacle’? i really don’t know, but i’d not (even if i could) give him any media juice. and no one knows who the ‘protestors’ were, but yes, the bye anita signs were juuuuust fine.

        i’ll yield as not knowing just intuiting.

  6. oh f me, oh my, turkey is EU-bound. is this why: nato ships in the Aegean?:

    The EU has struck a deal with Turkey that would mean all refugees and migrants arriving in Europe from Sunday being sent back across the Aegean Sea.

    The European council president, Donald Tusk, confirmed the deal on Friday afternoon after clearing the key sticking points with the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, during talks on Friday morning.

    • b/c i was being lazy last night, i left the radio on PBS newshour. Small issue, but Samantha Rice? she labored mightily at the cliche factory. what a dunce. nothing of the remotest interest in any of the dialogue w/…i was gonna say softball pitcher margaret warner but what do you call the person who sets up the tee in the little kiddy whiffle ball games? from now on, let’s call him or her margaret warner. and whatever next gen sedative Big Pharma comes up with we’ll dub the Gwyn Ifill.

      anyway, they had a couple of Big Thinkers opining with such concern how the EU/Turkey deal will impact….wait for it…wait for it…Human Traffickkkkking. not one mention of warfare. not one word. the words human trafficking were used 8 or 10 times and all were aglow with praise for the deal for how it will stop those awful modern traders in flesh.

      per the troskyite fundies at wsws today, “Greek Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis directly compared the Idomeni camp on the Macedonian border with a Nazi concentration camp. “This is a modern Dachau…””

      • ay yi yi, your soporific naming made me chuckle; thank you. yep, high fives all around, and the photos of refugees being beaten and arrested at barbed wired borders…make one ache with pain and outrage.

        oof, thanks for the trotskyite report and key quote, but hey: frau frumpy says it’s such a success because: EU! and yep, tsipras is indeed tweeting as holding hands with Davutoğlu. this man has a few in your face garphic art pieces up, as well as other….questions.

        on edit: was it samantha power or susan rice on with the whiffle ball moms?

        • http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#175006
          susan power, samantha rice, hilary rodham, condi albright, madeline rice…i got the names mixed up. had to rearrange their faces and give them all another name. this’ll probably the last time anyone on this planet notices or cares for how interchangeable these eichmannerin all are w/each other. i’m not sure i’d ever heard this particular harpy screech anything out before, so i confused her w/her that other chick who’s always at the UN crowing about how noble & immediately necessary US carpet bombing campaigns are to prevent the next Hitler from giving some spears & slingshots to the natives in some remote, inaccessible yet somehow globally menacing jungle of tora tora bora! or wherever.

          • oh FMH. susan rice is still trying to pretend she’s a fooking adult. yeppers, no matter who wants to cry ‘sexism’, those 3 harpies have created so much evil in their alleged “apologies for rwanda’. jayzus, mary and guiseppi.

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