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Monday - 11.28.11 -- What Makes a Movement Powerful -- A Conversation

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Monday - 11.28.11 -- What Makes a Movement Powerful -- A Conversation

What: A conversation organized with Brian Holmes
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
When: 7pm
Who: Free and open to all

This Monday's discussion begins with the question: What Makes a Movement Powerful?

The evening is an open invitation to join in a discussion at a critical juncture of the contemporary global struggles against processes of privatization, dispossession, financialization, and destruction of the common(s) in the name of austerity, ‘sound monetary policy’, ‘fiscal responsibility’ or ‘the free market.’

It is also an attempt to give space to the kind of open ended discussions
which can allow us to understand through each other’s perceptions, what
kind of questions confront us individually and the movements at large at
this moment.

It will take place on the heels of a day dedicated to protesting police
violence, the latest being a series of attacks on students from Davis to
New York City.

Globally, the last weeks have brought at least two very strong trends in
the various struggles against the concentration of power and wealth. On
the one hand, an increasing willingness on the part of states to
shamelessly resort to a militarized police violence (it was recently
revealed that the Department of Homeland Security in the US had advised a
meeting of mayors on how to crackdown on the occupy movements). On the
other hand, the willingness by millions, especially young people and
students, all over the world, to put their bodies on the line in
confronting systems which systematically benefit the one or so percent.

The intransigence on the part of those in power, is demonstrated by the
folly of a use of force which only seems to fuel and strengthen the
movements they attempt to subdue. Moreover, the hypocrisy of a state which
critiques the use of military force to quell civilian protestors, while
employing military tactics and technologies against its own people, cannot
be lost on anyone.

The militarized operations against civilians in Cairo or the violent
evacuations of occupations in Oakland, New York, and other cities
throughout the US, even inside universities, have made evident that the
reassertion of a politics from below is not only deemed a serious threat,
but also makes visible the willingness of states and their corporate
backers to risk open insurrection and civil war, rather than allow these
movements to grow.

It has been said that in revolutionary times, all who stand against the
forces of dissent and revolt, simply show themselves for what they are,
counter-revolutionaries. These times are revolutionary because for the
first time in nearly 40 years, from protests in Huangjiang to Lisbon, New
York to Bogota, London to Cairo, there is, once again, a clear
understanding that these struggles cannot be waged alone. What's more,
they draw inspiration from each other. They are struggles that many
thought impossible just a year ago.

And today, unable to fully leave the grips of our habitual life and now
expired consignment to an unchangeable present, it is difficult to
apprehend the magnitude of these tectonic shifts unfolding and the great
potentials they present.

At issue are the modes of assembly, decision and action, the modes of
confrontation, the uses of media, the relations to formal political
processes, the questions of gender, race and class, the interface with
social institutions, the generation of counter-knowledge, the role of
storytelling, art, and the imagination. Also at issue: the realities and
threats of repression, the problems of cooptation, the question of sects
and splinter groups, the reality of competing strategies... We are hoping
that people will offer experiences, observations, ideas and proposals that
can circulate among us and help each one both to understand what is
occuring globally and to contribute in their own locale and at their own
level to the movements now unfolding.

This event is a follow up to a long line of discussions we have organized
since the beginning of this year. And in particular, they follow a
trajectory of conversations we have organized with Brian Holmes over the
last months.

The evening will also be a lead up to a more intensive meeting we hope to
be organizing with Brian and other friends in early January.

__________________________________________________
2. The Shocking Truth about State and Corporate Violence

Look around you.

__________________________________________________
16 Beaver Group
16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.
New York, NY 10004

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:
http://www.16beavergroup.org