bypasses

David Graeber: Major Direct Actions (1994-2003)

The following timeline appears in David Graeber – Direct Action: An Ethnography, AK Press (2009).

January 1, 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect. Uprising by the EZLN (or Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or Zapatistas) in Chiapas begins with a surprise military offensive that leads, briefly, to the seizure of Chiapas’ capital, San Christobal de las Casas.  The Zapatistas, however, quickly transform from an offensive force to a defensive one, creating a series of self-governing autonomous communities, seeking international allies, and promulgating a politics of direct action, democratic experimentation, and a new approach to revolution that converges with the anarchist tradition in its refusal of traditional attempts to transform through the seizure of state power.

August, 1997 Second Zapatista “International Encuentro For Humanity and Against Neoliberalism” in Spain ends with a call to create an international network, that ultimately comes to be known (in English) as Peoples’ Global Action. Aside from the Zapatistas themselves, the core of PGA, at first, consists of the Brazilian Landless Farmers’ Movement (MST), the Indian Karnataka State Farmers’ Association (KRRS, a mass-based Gandhian direct action movement), anarchist or anarchist-inspired groups including Ya Basta! in Italy and Reclaim the Streets in the UK, and various indigenous and agrarian movements and radical labor unions.
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This Week on Against the Grain

Mon 11.07.11 | Anarchism in Thought, and in the Streets
Anarchist principles inform much of what is happening at Occupy Wall Street and beyond. So what does anarchism, a rich tradition of political thought, mean? Martha Ackelsberg, Cindy Milstein, Tomas Moniz and Roger White discuss anarchist ideas and dynamics. Milstein also describes “anarchism in action” at Occupy Philly.

Tues 11.08.11 | Wall Street, Populism, and the Left
Moving your money out of the big banks that have helped create the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression may seem like an excellent idea. But leftwing journalist Doug Henwood believes such actions — along with community currencies and attempts to abolish corporate personhood — are misguided. Henwod discusses the long, and problematic, history of American populism, and what a radical approach to finance might look like.

Wed 11.09.11 | “Free Trade” & Corporate Power
Martin Hart-Landsberg points out that free trade agreements, such as the one the US is poised to conclude with South Korea, are about much more than trade — they expand the power of big corporations, strip governments of their ability to regulate them, and fuel capitalism’s destructive tendencies. According to Hart-Landsberg, the Korea-US trade deal would also fuel the already-disastrous financialization of the US economy.

via Against the Grain

Filed under: activism, economics, , , , , , , , , ,

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