(In memory of a fallen comrade – Carlo Vive!)
(An uncomprehensive look back on the era of the counter summit, anti-capitalist movement inspired by the recent 20th anniversary of the G8 protests in Genoa. Not going into detail about specific events or the content of debates, just a general reflection on lessons learned and some of the tactics, ideas and cultural markers that circulated during that time.)
The size, force and fury of the protests that confronted the G8 when it met in Genoa marked the peak of what was being called the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement. This naming never sat right with many of us who were around at the time for numerous reasons including that, to whatever extent it was a coherent ‘movement’, it tied together a series of disparate rebellious moments and ongoing struggles that occurred across the globe. The common affect of that time could most precisely be described as a sense of connection that we were part of the same thing happening in so many parts of the world. So instead of ‘anti-globalisation’, I’m going to refer to this as the ‘anti-capitalist’ movement, even though that isn’t perfect too.
Building anti-capitalist knowledges from disparate sources
One of the defining aspects of an upsurge in social struggle are the forms of knowledge that are generated and how these circulate, seeping into a broader societal consciousness. At the level of analysis, of creating a generalised understanding of the systemic conditions which shape our lives and the world we inhabit, the era of the summit protests made popular a wide-ranging discourse around its core idea: anti-capitalism. This wasn’t one central theory but a series of divergent, and sometimes conflicting, ideas and experiences.Continue reading “Rhythms of a Movement: 20 years since the battle of Genoa.”
Thinking about the courageous resistance to white supremacy, fascism and police brutality going on in Turtle Island right now. I can’t form these thoughts into coherent words yet and, being an ocean away, maybe it’s not really necessary for me to try to. So instead i’ll leave this track here – says it all really.
Just because a reminder is needed in this moment when everyone is suddenly willing to acquiesce to the violence of closed borders as a form of ‘common sense’. There’s not going to be any ‘opening up’ after. There’s just going to be capital taking advantage to control migration in such ways that benefit it’s needs for particular forms of labour in particular sectors. And there’s going to be nationalists (and righteous liberals) fretting and mobilising against the disease-carrying Other. Against that, there’ll be the unceasing struggles of people to cross borders to where they need and our resistance to pull them through and repel racism and nationalism.
(Also this is actually a bangin’ track).
The cops shoot dead a young Indigenous man in his home in Yuendumu. The eastern seaboard burns. The coloniser’s logic won’t let them make the connection between genocide, relentless resource extraction and ecocide.
This track is where my head is at. Here are the lyrics:
When the flames engulfed the home of the brave, the stampede toward the border was in vain. Faces palmed, faces paled as the wall they said would make them great could not be scaled. When the free-market fundamentalist steps on a roadside bomb outside Kandahar bleeding to death, I swear to Ayn Rand I’ll ask if he needs an invisible hand. You say #notallcops. You say #notallmen. Yeah you insist #itsonly99%. There’s nothing new for you to learn. Ok, sit back, relax and watch it all burn. The colossal waste of energy: talent upon the talented, freedom upon the free. This whole damn beautiful life wasted on you and me. God are you there? It’s me, in the denim jacket. Are you receiving my prayers through the noise and cosmic static? God are you there? Can you confirm i’m on the right goddamn planet?!? The day the rapture came, a forgettable event. The clouds, they opened up and not a single person went. To the chromatic whistle of a carousel calliope stomp the citizens of our clown idiot dingbat society.
Felt like putting up something a bit more posi here so… Sorry if you didn’t get to any Rebel Diaz shows on their recent tour of this dire place. But damn they were great. Revolutionary, anti-colonial hip hop from Chicago/ the Bronx that was an injection of inspiration straight to the veins. Plus now we’re crew I have to rep them. So here’s a track and film clip from their most recent album ‘America vs Amerikkka’. The track name translates to “And it’s going to fall”.
‘Matangi, Maya, M.I.A.’ is a film about the discontinuities and dislocations, and the adaptability and resilience of being a brown migrant transplanted into a new, predominantly white culture. It is a film about the multiplicity of identity that migrants live with – of re-discovering cultural heritage as an anchor, at the same time as finding ways to enter into the surrounds in which you now find yourself. And of course, it is a film about all these things told through the story of the immensely popular, hip hop artist/musician/performer, MIA. Some impressions:Continue reading “Matangi, Maya, M.I.A.”
I encountered P.O.S. when I was travelling in North America a couple of years ago, passed to me by one of the rad anarcho-nihilist crew I was hanging with. And that was basically his music: anarchist in the sense of being rebellious and unruly, but nihilist also, in that it wasn’t preachy moralism trying to ‘convert’ everyone else to some cause. One of my favourite lines from an early track called ‘Drumroll’ goes: “I ain’t no casualty/ Got no surface with spotless morality/ My dirt may have to cover up my grave”.Continue reading “P.O.S. – Sleepdrone/Superposition”