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Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

Echoes of Gezi

In #GlobalRevolution on 21 September 2013 at 01:50

PostVirtual

September 19

Dear people,

In Turkey a new wave of protest is spreading through the country. This time, it comes from the capital Ankara, in particular the campus of METU, the Middle Eastern Technical University.

The underlying motives for revolt are still the same. Resistance against savage capitalism and against a dictatorial style of government. Similar to Gezi, the direct stakes are a few hundred unsuspecting trees. Trees on the university campus, to make way for a road, as ordered by mayor Melih Gökçek.

Students at METU generally don’t like long time mayor Gökçek, and they like his party colleague Tayyip Erdogan even less. Plus, METU students have a reputation for being fierce warriors in battle.

Last December, Erdogan came to METU to monitor the launch of a Turkish military satellite built by the Chinese. He brought with him an army of 3000 police officers, 8 water cannons and dozens…

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Night of the Long Knives

In #GlobalRevolution on 19 September 2013 at 02:14

PostVirtual

Madrid, September 18

Dear people,

There’s a loud buzz behind the big panel with the world map. It’s the buzz of information. The newswire, the twitterfall, the blogosphere, the socially engaged media, the press agencies, the big networks, etc.

At some points along this information flow there are people monitoring and analysing the situation. These are nodes. Interconnecting nodes you have a network. Through a network you can have quick access to information anywhere. Sometimes, you have a real person on the ground.

M-team of Barcelona International was present at last week’s protest in Poland. The demo made it to newspapers far beyond the Polish borders, but for M it was more of a subsidized exhibition by the unions rather than a real grassroots protest for social justice.

In other parts of Eastern Europe, protest continue. In Romania for a few weeks now, in Bulgaria for more than three months.

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A Question of Gender

In #GlobalRevolution on 16 September 2013 at 13:46

PostVirtual

Madrid, September 15

Dear people,

I do not thoroughly follow the daily convulsions of Spanish politics, but I am aware of the major issues and the most prominent players. And it strikes me. There is something about them. I’ll get to that.

In Spain, gender stereotypes used to be very strictly defined, and in some cases they still are. The man is the boss, the woman obeys and bears responsibility for the household and the children. Especially among the elder generation that grew up under the Franco regime, many men still consider a woman to be subordinate. Gender violence is a persisting social problem.

So what strikes me here, in the capital of this macho state, is that women seem to dominate politics on all different levels. And they too dominate the macho party that incorporated Franco’s heritage. They take the headlines, they fill the news, they arouse the rage…

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Autumn Vibes

In #GlobalRevolution on 12 September 2013 at 14:25

PostVirtual

Madrid, September 11

Dear people,

I still haven’t created my big interactive world map yet, like the one in Dr. Strangelove. But you can imagine it on the wall of Global Revolution HQ. It’s a map with countries lighting up where there’s unrest, turmoil, rebellion or all-out revolution, depending on the colour code.

After a quiet late summer, a few countries are lighting up now. Columbia, Mexico, Romania, Poland, and once again, Turkey.

Let’s start with Turkey. Last Monday there was a demonstration against police violence in Antakya (Antioch), in particular against the assault on a 14-year old kid who had gone out to get bread in Istanbul in June and was hit by a tear gas cannister. He has been in a coma ever since. Bitter irony has it that one protester in Antakya, 22-year old Ahmet Atakan, was killed by a tear gas cannister himself. Reportedly, he was…

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Metropolitan

In #GlobalRevolution on 1 September 2013 at 15:25

PostVirtual

vodafone-sol
Madrid, September 1.

Dear people,

They say that Madrid has only two seasons. “Tres meses de inferno, y nueve de invierno.” ‘Three months of hell, and nine of winter’, courtesy of its position in the centre of the Spanish Highlands.

Hell is still reigning implacably over Madrid. Only since a day or two, in the very early morning, you can feel a first hint of coolness, to indicate that September is at the door.

From a revolutionary point of view, the city is in ruins. The movement has splintered. The United Citizens Waves have been subject to internal power struggles and disintegration. Enthusiasm has vanished from the streets. Many activists have become disillusioned and disconnected. Many youngsters who have no future in Spain have already left the country.

Symbolic of the situation is Sol itself. This is where the whole Spanish revolution took off in 2011. This square…

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