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Posts Tagged ‘resistance’

bahdies

In early September 2008, thousands of anarchists and other radicals descended on the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities to ‘crash the party.’81 The protests lost focus after the McCain campaign cancelled the first day of the convention – possibly nervous about the impending protests, even though the official claim was that the cancellation was to wait for Hurricane Gustav to make landfall.82 Confrontations between riot police and anarchists were numerous, but for days, a huge police force outnumbered and outmaneuvered them, and prevented them from being more than a mild nuisance.83 Yet on Thursday night during McCain’s acceptance speech as the Republican Party nominee for President, a series of Code Pink anti-war protestors rose from the gallery and interrupted the event.84 McCain, looking irritated, dismissed the protestor by saying “Americans want us to stop yelling at each other, ok?”85 Another protestor soon interrupted McCain. Subsequently, McCain was so distracted that he stopped his speech to directly address the protests and urged the audience to ignore them. Those protests, along with McCain off-the-cuff responses, soon became the most memorable part of an otherwise routine speech.

Beyond Signification: Or, How to Have a Good Time

Strictly speaking, it was the Republican audience that interrupted McCain’s speech and not the Code Pink protestors. Every time a lonely protestor raised their voice, a whole chorus of ‘USA! USA!’ thundered through the convention center to drown them out. In that way, the delegates turned potentially insignificant irritations into event-shaping disruptions. If the crowd had responded as they did the day before, when two Code Pink protestors rushed toward the stage during Sarah Palin’s speech only to be snatched by the Secret Service at the last moment, then McCain would have continued without interruption.86 Yet it appeared difficult to calm down McCain’s chanting crowd – a group so incensed by the mere presence of a dissenter in their midst that they were compelled to match her verbal outbursts with an overwhelming vocal response of their own. This excessive response is indicative of the paranoia present in a group obsessed with the politics of identification – so anxious to erase an otherwise minor disruption, the intensity of the crowd’s reaction reveals the precarity of the imaginary fantasies that bind together state discourses. Caught within a perspective that structures relations in terms of identity and opposition, the politics of identification leads to an aggressive policing of borders that reacts violently to anything that evades categorization.87 (more…)

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negatif-affectusThis post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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no future2
This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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http://streetfiles.org/photos/detail/1670910This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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NEW KIDS ON THE BLACK BLOCK (pdf)

100_0209-1

During debates about organization theory, I consistently cite this wonderful piece of ethnography: Chris Low’s interview of London youth who tellingly describe their entry into the black bloc.

No academic studies, no political theory, just straight-up personal narrative.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. /awc (more…)

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This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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Please check out this wonderful new publication, Three Word Chant, by the folks at Giles Corey Press.

If you like what you see, please consider donating some startup funds to get the print version of their summer catalogue off the ground.

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Transcript of a talk I gave December 10th, 2011, as part of an Occupy event entitled “Economics Justice, Economic Resistance.”

I. OCCUPY

I want to begin with two stories from the first weeks of the Occupy protests in New York City.

Think first of CNN’s Erin Burnett, who, in her segment “Seriously?!”, which covered Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park downtown, asked the question, “What are they protesting?” What did she decide? That “nobody seems to know.”

Or, to use our favorite whipping boy, Fox News, look to the outtakes from their show “On the Record.” The Occupy interviewee, dogged with the question of how he wants the protests to “end,” artfully finds ways to refuse the question. His response? “As far as seeing it end, I wouldn’t like to see it end. I would like to see the conversation to continue.”

By now, I’m sure we have each come up with our own way to respond to this feigned ignorance. Some try to add to the seemingly endless list of demands. Others gesture to the Trotskyite desire for a permanent revolution. Even others try to simplify things down to a few key points.

II. GHOST STORIES

Today, I would like to propose something much more profound:

We need to learn how to tell ghost stories.

(more…)

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