molly hankwitz on 25 Sep 2000 14:29:59 -0000

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<nettime> drafts on WTO

Regarding the discussion on the WTO protests, "the protesters" and
corporations: I feel that the WTO draft posted on this list de-politicizes
the excellent work of the dissenters.  It objectifies and denegrates the
motivations of enormously dedicated people who have organized to interrupt
unquestioned authority of private decisionmaking by elitists and to spread
a different kind of global message. The protests havesucceeded in shedding
light on the issue of corrupt transnational power. They indicate another
angle on globalization, one that is not conveniently discussed or even

That the people in the streets of the cities from Seattle to Prague do not
have a perfect replacement for corporations is neither here nor there.The
aim of these protests has been largely to question authority; to shift
global focus to alternatives to the bullshit doled out by Monsanto etc.
and have been a sign of international solidarity among oppressed peoples
and their leaders. . Some of the most eloquently angry voices are women
scientists and agriculturalists from India and Pakistan talking about
destruction of land. As media events they have been stunningly effective
in giving voice to dissent despite conservative media. Look at the
websites. Buy the videos.

The problem of corporate power is much the same as cops indiscirminantly
bashing heads of "disobedient" people. Both kinds of power are carried out
by people taking commands, following orders and hierarchy, acting as "a
body".  Both systems of power, profitmaking or the baton, rely on force,
one to protect their place, accumulating and accumulating, and the other
to keep themselves employed.  State violence is being used without regard
for the public's right to free speech and to civil disobedience. In many
instances protesters have tried to dissuade police from doing their jobs
at all;  certainly from beating up on their friends.

This kind of rebellion against such cultural violence continues a history
of activity in the form of strikes and sit-ins and be-ins and voluntary
arrests. The street has become an inevitable site to express antagonism.
It's about cities and accumulations of information and wealth. The
protests are insightful.

The slick globalizers are flying around the globe like emperors in their
new clothes hogging up all the power and making decisions above everyone's

Did they honestly think no one would notice?


Molly Hankwitz
Queensland University of Technology
Lecturer/Studio Instructor
School of Visual Arts and School of Architecture
0438 050759 (mobile)
3864 3250 (office at QUT, Tuesdays only)
3846 5457 (office at home)
2/60 Brighton Road
Highgate Hill 4101 QLD

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