Posts Tagged ‘WTO’

BLAST FROM YER PAST: Happy Birthday, “Sweet A16″

By mike flugennockSunday - April 25th, 2010Categories: Clintontime, DC Local, Economy, Globalization

moreworldA16hippie200x310This Was What Democracy Looked Like!

Time once again to fire up the old TARDIS, and dive into this action-packed day of gleeful antiglob frenzy at the IMF, World Bank, and all over downtown DC on April 16, 2000 — and, unlike the ’60s, if you can remember it, you were there!

In the Spring of 2000, Ralph Nader and the Green Party were calling bullshit on the Democrats and challenging their stranglehold on the US Left, the Democratic Party was pissing in its shoes, and the US Left couldn’t have been happier — as opposed to today, when the US Left is sitting on its hands, and the “progressives” couldn’t be happier to be marching over a cliff behind Barack Obama and his cult of personality.

This was a time when The Movement™ was riding high on a wave of energy and solidarity after its victory in the Seattle Rebellion, and was full of hope for bringing about change in our future — before the Democratic Party got its hooks into us. (D’oh, sorry; I just said “hope” and “change” there, didn’t I?)

While the Anticapitalathon’s scraggly gaggle is ignored by global capital and its fawning media, now would be a good time to remember more inspiring times — times when The Movement™ wasn’t afraid to protest against a Democratic Administration, times when The Movement™ wasn’t cowed and intimidated by the Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO.

Episode 1, 09:13:

Episode 2, 06:45:

Download mpeg4 files: Episode 1, 33.8mb; Episode 2, 27.6mb

A16 Poster Series, from January 2000

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The Spirit of ‘99

By mike flugennockFriday - October 30th, 2009Categories: DC Local, Economy, Globalization, liberty

Holy jeez, gang, has it really been ten years already? Phew, now that really makes me feel old. Luckily for me, fiftysomething is the new thirtysomething…or something.

So, when I was asked to design the poster for the Seattle/WTO Tenth Anniversary event here in DC, there was only one thing to do — another parody of a famous work of art, in this case, a classic of Kitsch Americana, Archibald Willard’s iconic Spirit Of ‘76, the hit of the show at the 1876 Columbian Exposition.

seattleanniversary550w

But, aaa-aaaanyway…the big do is on Monday, November 30, at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room in Adams-Morgan, 1725 Columbia Road NW, at 7pm; it’s a fund raiser for the Washington Peace Center and the Funk The War Alumni Association (for all you ex-college kids who are too old for SDS, but still want to get funky). There’ll be the obligatory drinking and party-mix grooves, of course. There’ll also be some vintage Seattle/WTO rebellion video running, because we really loves us some anarchy.

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So, hit the copy shop, mix up the paste, grab your rollers, and hit the streets, kids, and I’ll see yer butts down at Chief Ike’s on N30!

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Anarchist Liberty

By mike flugennockWednesday - December 8th, 1999Categories: Clintontime, Economy, Globalization, liberty

Give me your Starbuck’s, your Gap,
Your Nike Towns full of sweatshop inventory,
Your McDonald’s, gobbling profit and craving more,
Send these, and tacky corporate-branded outlet malls to me,
I put my Louisville Slugger through your plate-glass door!

Oh, alright, so I’m not the first to parody Emma Lazarus, but it seemed to fit so well here, and was one of my rare moments of lyric/poetic mockery inspiration; the verse just sort of sprang out of my head fully formed and ready, and it seemed a shame not to use it.

I’d also done several versions of Miss Liberty, but all of them portrayed as a victim, or as being set upon by mobs of born-again rightist nutcakes. This is the first time I’d done her as someone taking direct action on her own behalf, and with a downright awful attitude.

anarchist_liberty550w

This was a companion piece of sorts to Who Will Control The Government’s Guns?, addressing the whole question of corporate property destruction and what constitutes “violence” in the context of the mass actions in Seattle which shut down the WTO meetings that year.

Like Who Will Control…, this was done within a few days — if not the very day after — seeing TV footage of the night of November 30 and reading accounts via the Seattle IMC of police violence against nonviolent protests and Seattle city government abuses of the basic civil liberties of the general population. I ended up taking a position on the property destruction issue which, like my gun-law stance, provoked a lot of eyebrow-arching among the old-line “Gandhi Groupie” contingents in The Movement™. Basically, I decided that if no humans were targeted or injured in a Black Bloc-style attack on corporate property, it was OK, and that it didn’t constitute “violence”. What the hell, I thought; when the windows on big banks and the fronts of Nike Town or Starbucks are smashed all to hell, do all the un-smashed globalized chain stores’ windows organize a solidarity commmittee? When the windows on all the Navigators and Explorers are smashed out within five blocks of the WTO meeting, do all the other SUVs organize a collection to cover the repair bills? Besides, what about all the destruction of human lives and communities being carried out by the corporations whose windows were smashed out during WTO Week? Windows are comparitively cheaply and easily replaced.

I also suggested the reactionary Old New Left types consider the acts of the Berrigan Brothers who, by dragging cabinets full of draft records into a parking lot and setting them afire, helped impede business as usual for the Vietnam War, not to mention proabably saved a lot of young guys from dying in Vietnam. I also reminded the Gandhi Groupies to take a look outside the coddled world of US activists, and consider how demonstrations and direct action are done in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and pretty much the entire planet outside of the USA — the French students in 1968 flipping cars to use as barricades, striking Bolivian miners bringing dynamite sticks to protests because they know the police and soldiers aren’t there to protect them.

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