It also highlights the huge difference in consciousness and politics between centralist bureaucrats and their supporters and grass-roots anti-authoritarians.
That the billed organisers of the demonstration were, according to today's news reports BBC, Stop the War and CND, and not, instead of the ESF, exemplifies how centrists high-jacked the event for their own purposes.
The organising process conspired to exclude anti-authoritarians, and genuine activists who opposed the controlling click. Those in this clique have been motivated to boost there own long-failing and shrinking organisations. The irony of all this is that as groups become smaller they will become more aggressive in trying to hold on to bureaucratic power.
Sadly, this ruling clique became minions to the GLA when they gave a 400,000 grant. This meant eh event took ’a more commercial footing’ and booked commercial services. A correct model for the organisation of the would be for the participants to provide services where possible. This of course requires unity in the organising process, which the centrists deliberately sabotaged to gain control
Capitalism must be kept out of future ESF, and an inclusive and participatory approach must be followed, otherwise ESF will just become a social democratic political party, and they have failed.
Can anything be done to change the process, which is strangling a burgeoning movement. The answer is yes, and the actions of anti-authoritarians, in their protest on Saturday evening 'storming the place' and today's on the demonstration will surely, help.
The current rules of the ESF could be enforced, but they are being flouted. Rules about the power of sponsors need clarifying, and the numbers of anyone organisation, in any decision making process, needs to be limited. What sort of democracy is it when 50 members of the SWP turn up at a meeting to turn voting, that shouldn't even be taking place, this way or that.
The lesson for Greece in 2006 is: What is needed more than anything is unity, and participation of all groups, in an honest and open organising process. Deliberate sabotage should not be tolerated. That some of those who destroyed the organising process may have had a hand in police arresting activists who were only trying to seek a voice and be heard within the ESF is shocking.