Resisting Globalization with Stones and Potato Sacks

It is very clear which side the dice is loaded on- there are about 16,000 policemen in full gear protecting the Kempinski hotel, that anyway 10,000 protesters have managed to infiltrate upto 20 meters of the barricade. Kempinsiki hotel is where the the leaders of the G-8- the group of 8 industrial countries that account for 65% of the world’s economy, are meeting to confabulate over issues ranging from global climate change, to a follow up on the $50b aid to Africa to subtle messages from President Putin about the re- emergence of a a new Cold War. 

The protests have become almost as ritualistic as Mr Bush’s statements on a techno- miracle to fight the environmental challenge. The protests are marked by near primitive methods of resistance even as they are highly planned and deliberately so. In Bad Dobean, for example, around 10,000 protesters entered the zone Wednesday morning by avoiding “police roadblocks by simply walking through fields and woods“, and then bombarded the police with stones. Also interesting were the other methods of resistance.

As they were being dragged away, the months of training many anti-globalization activists had participated in was obvious. It is not advised, many demonstrators said, to lock arms during such blockades as it just gives the police an excuse to take out their batons. Balling up and being carried away is the safest alternative. The “potato sack” method is also a possibility, though not guaranteed to be free of pain — police drag protesters away and don’t pay much attention to what part of the body is scraping along the asphalt. There is little defense against the disabling neck and nose grips often used by the police.

The protesters come from diverse backgrounds:

Groups range from the “Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army,” with its colorful rubber noses, to relatively established anti-globalization movements like Attac, to radical far-left anarchists. In the building’s 55 rooms, a myriad of different strategies for forms of action are debated. With so many divergent approaches under one roof, organizers have decided to call the school the “Convergence Center” — a place to meet and find common ground.

Why are these people protesting? The answer is very simple- even as globalization creates islands of the first world in the malls in Shanghai and Banglore, it is also creating a Third World-like underclass in the developed world. The BBC explains it in a much nicer way with this graph that shows a continuous decline in the share of workers’ wages as a percentage of total national income.


There is little expected from this meeting, most likely it will end with some declaration of the promised $50b aid to Africa- no one is demanding more than what was promised, and it is a mere fraction of the G-8’s economic might. Other issues, like climate change are likely to be pushed under the carpet, and form the topic for the next ritualistic meeting, slated to be in Toyako, Hokkaido in Japan in 2008.

A video on the riots in Rostok.

Cross Posted at How the Other Half Lives

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Author: bhupinder singh

an occasional blogger

6 thoughts on “Resisting Globalization with Stones and Potato Sacks”

  1. I don’t understand why communists or socialists would protest. After all these leaders are redistributing wealth to poor third world labor from richer first world labor. That is the nature of socialism and communism as they just hijacked the money system and the corporations to do it.

    Everything is all upside down and weird. Socialists fighting socialists. Corporatists justifying their actions based on socialism. Fascists fighting corporations that represent elitists.

    I’m getting a headache.

  2. Umer/ KRA: Thanks for the links.
    Anonymous: I think you have a valid point- indeed globalization is changing things and everything is not black and white. There are benefits that are being passed onto some people in the third world. But the main reason behind globalization is the drive for increasing profits- that greed is intrinsic to capitalism. A sort of what Lenin had termed as the “labour aristocracy” in Western Europe a century ago, is being created in some third world countries.
    There is a problem when these beneficiaries try to project these policies as being beneficial for everyone.
    KRA: On the question of what is driving down wages, see what this proponent of capitalism has to say:

    The ascendance and dominance of capital vs. labor. Add a billion or so potential workers to the global labor force, blend in a technology S curve acceleration, combine these with deregulation, lower taxes, and free trade, and you have a recipe for accelerating returns to capital and diminishing returns to labor.

  3. Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    “Growth Rate” – “Economy Rate” – “GDP”
    These are figures of “Ecocide”.
    These are figures of “crimes against Nature”.
    These are figures of “destruction of Ecosystems”.
    These are figures of “Insanity, Abnormality and Criminality”.

    Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

    The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

    To read the complete article please follow any of these links.

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment


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