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Effective Anti Capitalism

XX | 11.09.2003 18:57 | DSEi 2003 | Analysis | London

DSEI tactics ineffective

Capitalism and the State will not be put down by a few hundred activists when everyone else is at work.

Building the kind of (non vanguardist) mass movement capable of 'regime change' (at some point in the future) can only happen by involving large numbers of diverse 'non-political' people in actions not just the usual suspects. Activism, Reformism, and 'Democratic' actions by professional demonstrators achieve nothing. Mass Actions need to be bigger and more frequent (and fun).



Hide the following 5 comments

We need more numbers

11.09.2003 19:14

I didn't go to this year's DSEi cos i went two years ago and it was crap and felt really dispirited. This year sounded a lot better and i wish i had gone, it sounds as if there were loads of small actions happening that were effective. However the numbers were really low (should have been one more if i'd gone) and it is a reflection of our weakness that only about 500 people showed up, when for old RTS parties thousands would turn up.
Sorry t be so negative. See you at the next DSEi in a couple of years time.

Miss Point

A response

11.09.2003 19:33

In response..

Lots of people had the day off work.
Lots of people there are aware of the dangers of vangaurdism, and the problems of 'career activism' have been long debated - see for instance 'Give Up Activism' printed after J18 and revised in Do Or Die 10.
It takes a lot of time, energy and money to work on actions and drawing mainstream
( sic) awareness to the arms/oil/financial/political industries crimes. ( Not to mention the hassle / injuries / imprisonment from the Old Bill).
The move to a 'DIY culture' from a 'Spectacle Culture' twill time and energy and a radical conscious change for everybody. Lets hope it can be pulled off before the agenda from the London-Washington Axis of Greed manages to finally destroy our planet.

Also - many thanks to the residents of Newham for their support and involvement.


agree with all of the above

11.09.2003 20:46

I agree with everything said above, positive and negative, about DSEi 2003. Now is the time to start having a friendly discussion of tactics and strategy to see what it is that we're doing wrong, because there is very definitely something wrong with getting such a small number of people out for an event like this, which in the present situation of a continuing war in Iraq, continued bloodshed in Palestine / Israel, economic jitters, etc., should have been a gift for us in terms of organizing. I was very depressed after Tuesday, had a good long talk with friends that night, and felt much better on Wednesday. I felt especially bad for the foreign activists who travelled a long way to come to DSEi, the low turnout was quite embarrassing. Overall I am still happy and it was a good experience, but we have got to do better in future.

A few quick thoughts:

Tone down the revolutionary _rhetoric_ and up the revolutionary _content_. Despite the extremely militant graphic design on the DSEi activists map (black and red, skulls, etc.) the analysis on it wasn't all that great in my opinion. I found generally that I learned almost nothing about the arms trade throughout the protests, as people just werent' articulating themselves very well besides "these arms will be sent to foreign countries that have bad human rights records..." which is true enough but only the tip of the iceberg really.

Where were the solidarity groups? For example, where were the Kurds, who have been systematically slaughtered by US/UK ally Turkey throughout the 1990s?

Would it have been possible to get somebody like George Monbiot to write something about the arms fair? Despite his recent dodginess, and my hatred for the corporate media, the only way we can get lots of people out is to use the mass media to our advantage.

Would it be possible to never again divide the protest into "green, yellow, and red" days, and do this geographically instead? That was a disaster, I thought, people (a) don't like to be categorized and (b) feel that they shouldn't show up on certain days, which is really bad.



11.09.2003 20:58

one other thing - the poster for the action looked really cool but didn't do a great job of explaining itself. If you were walking down the street and saw a poster for "DSEi Enders" what the fuck would you think if you weren't clued in and already a member of the 5-800 people who eventually showed up at the protest?


The Local Heroes

12.09.2003 09:12

I think the Locals deserve a fucking award of the most immense and moving proportions, we could not have acheived everything we did without there support and encourogment.

I had a well wicked day, only my second attempt at direct action, but i definately will be doing it again, as it is increasingly in my opinion, becoming our only avenue left.

I will also be on the march for Sep 27th, that now seems the very least i can do.

well done everyone, i don't know if we are winning, but we are certainely changing minds and hearts in people, and inspiring dissent in others.

Love and Peace.




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