community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
A Personal Statement in Regards to the Mobilization Opposing the G20 in Pittsburgh
by john smith Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:12 AM
Ten years ago, an energy and enthusiasm swept many of us, including me. For different reasons, a whole lot of people began organizing and defying the alienation and desperation that defined the height of corporate globalization.
Ten years ago, an energy and enthusiasm swept many of us, including me. For different reasons, a whole lot of people began organizing and defying the alienation and desperation that defined the height of corporate globalization. Instead of utilizing the traditional and accepted channels of change, inspired by movements and heros from the past, we focused on direct forms of organization. Most important, our actions inspired countless people to believe that, what is, does not have to be. That anything given time, strength and action can and has to be created.
Unfortunately, after years of organizing, the problems many of us experienced became to great. This of course is no excuse, as I do realize, many people around the world have no choice but to struggle. That said, no matter how much one proclaims becoming jaded is impossible, it can happen to anyone.
As I moved down the road, away from a culture and movement that defined me, at no point did I forget or lose sight of what I believe. This is not a self affirming statement, it makes up a component of the hope and desire within me, the idea that many more feel the same. The feeling that a decade on, at a critical moment in history, what we have now and had then can be put into action to create what will be.
I will be participating in the mobilization to oppose the G20 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The desire I have to be in the streets alongside new and old friends is mostly personal. Although, at what seems to be a critical point regarding the organization of society, ignoring this chance seems risky. The chance to push the tide in a different direction, showing the world that an unmistakeable mass of people are ready for sweeping change and the time is and has to be, now.
Over the past ten years, the spread of critical and unrestrained sources of information have exposed the contempt and irrational nature of economic, state and social policy. It does not take long to find mass enthusiasm or anger in regards to specific issues, and often the logic behind the anger is both sound and independent. Predictably, the reaction to these changes have been extreme. At no time in my life have I witnessed the traditional powers fight so hard to hold onto an irrational, outdated and dangerous way of thinking.
Whether it's the crushing housing crisis, an openly racist border policy, irrational prison policies or the indefensible hatred of gay people, it seems to be getting worse. The free flow of information only goes so far, the people with the money and power are still in control.
Lately, I have been wondering how many people are connecting dots, leading to a conclusion that thinking and talking are no longer a substitute for action. That maybe more individuals than usual are considering that it is no longer worth it to just wait. And possibly, since the old way of organizing society is producing backward, irrational decisions, a movement that recognizes the possibility and need of a new world could begin a push forward.
The people of Pittsburgh who will be welcoming us while dealing with all of the issues that the G20 brings to town deserve and require our full support. It is time for individuals, groups of friends, organizations and all who may be interested to begin shaping what is possible. We will need the support of artists, writers, speakers and others who can inspire and influence. Health and law
practitioners so that we can stay safe. Organizers, that will help create situations that anybody, no matter where you are coming from can feel effective. And hopefully, a few people able to fill in these spots can come from a similar place as I, once again ready to face the challenges head on.
Because everything is worth a try,