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World Bank cancels Barcelona summit

By pavlos in News
Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:03:42 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

It was reported on Indymedia that the World Bank has cancelled its June 25-27 summit in Barcelona, fearing protests. (Indymedia article) I see this as excellent news as it shows that such protests are actually working. In an earlier article, The Economist also says so. (They regard this as a risk.)

Barcelona has a strong Anarchist tradition dating back to the Spanish civil war, has a strong labor movement, and is close to the area of operation of ETA, the Basque armed separatist group. The Bank probably has some sense.


This was also reported in metropolitic. Here are two articles from El Pais (in Spanish). Searches in The Economist, IHT, and the FT yielded nothing. It is typical of western media to under-report such important gatherings.

Allegedly, the meeting is to take place "online" instead. This seems like a face-saving gesture. How does one do this for an official policy meeting and why would that be safe from disruption? Of course there is much less political scope in disrupting the "online" meeting, so we are probably not going to hear more about it.

What does worry me is whether the World Bank, IMF, etc. really need to hold these official meetings to accomplish things. My own limited experience from international committee meetings (small, highly technical ones) was that they are a waste of time and all the important documents get agreed beforehand through correspondence. I fear that that may be even more so for the big bureaucratic meetings that these organizations are trying to arrange.

If that is so, then it may be that, as opposition becomes even stronger, the World Bank, IMF, FTAA etc. may just skip the meetings and prepare treaty documents entirely in secret, through diplomatic correspondence. If that were to come to pass, then it would be very difficult indeed for the public to learn what is proposed and to voice an opinion in time.

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Poll
The World Bank is...
o Vile and should be dismantled 35%
o Well meaning but misguided 20%
o An ineffectual bureaucracy 9%
o A necessary evil 6%
o Good in the long run 5%
o A force of development and progress 8%
o Just fine, you communist idiot! 9%
o Pink 5%

Votes: 96
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Indymedia
o Indymedia article
o earlier article
o The Economist
o metropolit ic
o two
o articles
o El Pais
o Also by pavlos


Display: Sort:
World Bank cancels Barcelona summit | 125 comments (124 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
"The protests are actually working"? (3.87 / 8) (#1)
by Osama Bin Laden on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:00:20 AM EST

It's business as usual at the World Bank/IMF/etc. If the fear of protests has indeed forced the cancellation of a meeting, I can't see how this is going to have a noticeable effect on the actions of the World Bank. So there's no face to face meeting, big deal, it just means they use fewer hotel rooms. The World Bank is not going to close up shop and call it quits now. As you said, they may just skip the meetings and prepare treaty documents entirely in secret.

I don't see secrecy as such a problem, because treaties (in the US) have to be approved by Congress, and Congressional action is about the least secret process on the continent. A more pressing concern (again, in the US) is the fact that the Congress has been bought and paid for by the same corporate interests that influence the World Bank.

ObL

bought and paid for? (4.00 / 3) (#16)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 06:01:32 AM EST

Congress was voted for by the < 50% of Americans who were willing to get off their ass and get to a polling booth. If you don't like the people running your country you should blame the majority of Americans who could have made a difference if they gave a damn.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
It still doesn't matter! (2.66 / 3) (#20)
by Spatula on Thu May 24, 2001 at 07:32:13 AM EST

Elections here in the US are popularity contests, not 'elections'. Whichever one has the most corporate clout and monetary backing wins, except in very rare cases. If you need an example, look at Jesse "The Brain" Ventura. There were legions of people that voted for him *only* because he used to the "The Body" on television wrestling shows and such.

That, and your number ( <h 50% ) should be corrected to around 15%.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]

You underestimate Jesse Ventura (3.33 / 3) (#33)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:43:21 AM EST

As much as I disagree with much of his politics, Jesse Ventura has shown himself to be a very shrewd politician. Certainly his name recognition helped, but his election has more to do with his honesty and candor than his pro-wrestiling acting career.

[ Parent ]
huh? (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by eln on Thu May 24, 2001 at 01:09:46 PM EST

Surely you're not trying to say that taking a job as a commentator for the XFL was a shrewd political move.


[ Parent ]
What? (none / 0) (#43)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 01:11:53 PM EST

How does a moonlighting job as a sports commentator have any bearing on his politics?

[ Parent ]
Alright. (none / 0) (#79)
by Spatula on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:37:50 AM EST

I wasn't talking about Ventura's political positions. As a politician, he's actually quite savvy. I was talking (if you just happened to be reading the post) about the manner in which he was elected. It's not rocket fucking science here, man. It was a popularity contest, mildly mixed with voter apathy and what I like to refer to as Minnesota Weirdness. That's 'weird' in the good manner, not bad manner. (That's also why I'm probably moving across the river this summer.)
--
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]
Jesse Venture (none / 0) (#53)
by John Milton on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:04:16 PM EST

Actually, as I understand it, he was elected to spite the two party system. They were tired of both parties not listening to them so, they just elected a joke.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Re: Bought and paid for (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by Osama Bin Laden on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:33:40 AM EST

Surely you know what I mean? Don't take it so literally: nobody actually went to K-Mart and bought a senator with their Platinum American Express.

This probably isn't the right thread to get into an extended discussion of US campaign finance, but the general idea is that the electoral system we've created requires politicians to raise a significant amount of money to get elected and consequently they tend to be aligned idealistically with the sources of this money. Sure, I can "get off my ass and get to a polling booth", but I guarantee you that I'd have considerably more influence on who is elected if I opened my wallet and spread the wealth.

ObL

[ Parent ]

This past US election was a choice between. . . (3.80 / 5) (#34)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:48:11 AM EST

Tweedledum and Tweedledee. We had two major party candidates that shared more similiarities in policy than differences. Viable third-party candidates were systematically excluded from national debates by a bi-partisan (two party) commision on rather arbitrary reasoning.

While the US is a democracy in the sense that people got to choose names on a ballot, corporate interests decided which names were on those ballots, which candidates got free air time in the presidential and vice-presidential debates, and which candidates got what sort of press coverage leading up to the ellection.

Even then, it is interesting that the losing candidate (Albert Gore, Jr.) received more votes than the winner (George W. Bush).

[ Parent ]

point is.. (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:48:34 PM EST

Browne, Nader etc. were still on the ballot. If Americans didn't vote for them just because they didn't see them on TV enough then the US population is even more stupid than I previously thought.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Why is it stupid to not vote (none / 0) (#74)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:11:46 AM EST

for someone you know nothing about?

[ Parent ]
Why is it stupid to not vote (none / 0) (#78)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:37:23 AM EST

So you are saying that they day they turned up at the polling booth was the first day they realised that there were other candidates in this election? If they are that dissatisfied with Bush and Gore they should find out what the other choices are. Perhaps they are not stupid, just lazy.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
excellent news? (2.93 / 15) (#2)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 01:50:35 AM EST

The fact that terrorists are able to distrupt free speech is a good thing now?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
well, that's an interesting spin (4.00 / 5) (#4)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 02:34:17 AM EST

They are not terrorists, they are protesters exercising their own free speech. The sudden unwillingness of the World Bank to suffer their vociferous detractors in the media doesnt make a terrorist of anyone. Caroline Ansley, spokeswoman for the World Bank, refers to the protests as a form of intimidation against debate. This is PR; no one wishing to intimidate the conferees has ever received an invitation to debate anyone except policemen.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

not what the article says (3.00 / 5) (#7)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 03:01:33 AM EST

The Economist article states that they are the same groups that were involved in the Seattle protests. Presumably they are the same groups also involved with the recent S11 and M1 protests in Australia.

These people were not peaceful protestors. They were deliberately preventing people from accessing buildings. This is not an exercise in free speech. It is an exercise in anti-free speech terrorism.

Even Indymedia, who are extremely left biased, state that "Years ago people used to burn books to try and clamp down on academic freedom - now they try to prevent academics from reaching debating halls".



--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

political dissent is NOT terrorism (4.66 / 3) (#10)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:44:49 AM EST

(Nor did I see the word terrorist in any of the articles you mention.)

You dont hear the World Bank cancelling summits because they fear civil authorities will react overzealously and precipitate violence, do you? No, you hear that protest will become violent. Apparently, protest against the World Bank cannot be peaceful, not even if tear gas is lobbed at protesters instead of academics.

Why?

Academics for globalization did just fine in Quebec and in Australia. Maybe the World Bank should avoid Seattle and the USA in general? Of course not. The US govt is instituted by consent and opposed by dissent; that is the Constitutional bargain. The World Bank would not win many friends if Congress passed laws making it illegal to protest the World Bank whenever its fragile academics convened on US soil.

Even Indymedia, who are extremely left biased, state that "Years ago people used to burn books to try and clamp down on academic freedom - now they try to prevent academics from reaching debating halls".

Indymedia stated no such thing, Indymedia was quoting a PR flak for the World Bank. Indymedia said:

But activists note how it is organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that usually meet secretly and are not accountable to any electorate.

"These institutions are fundamentally undemocratic despite whatever PR effort they put on," said Warcry, a New York activist who planned to attend the Barcelona protests.

In a clear public relations effort the World Bank framed the summit merely as a meeting for academics to discuss methods to reduce poverty.

"But poverty alleviation is not or has ever been the World Bank's main agenda," said Warcry.

Given the World Bank's self aggrandizement, what you should be asking yourself is why are they compromising their lofty ideals for an exceedingly insignificant few hot heads and their police agents provocateurs? No civil rights movement would ever have gotten off the ground if it emulated this policy and I can only presume the World Bank is acting no less in our interest than Martin Luther King Jr. did.

Better to suffer public opposition of policies affecting the public than to falsely accuse the public of terrorism whenever it dissents politically.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

This is not dissent - it *is* terrorism (2.66 / 3) (#11)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:51:13 AM EST

Dissent is demonstrating a disagreement in opinion. This is not what these people are doing. They are not protesting, they are attempting, by force, to stop these meetings taking place. If they were peaceful protesters there would be no problem, but they are not.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
they can attempt to fly for all i care (3.50 / 2) (#13)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 05:11:16 AM EST

Anti-globalization protesters have never prevented the World Bank from burping, still less of talking between themselves, and much less from bending the ear of legislatures. Furthermore, the point of political dissent is not to sit demurely and suggest you should be heard out of all proportion to your power and popularity. It is completely legitimate to protest the law by breaking it as long as you are willing to suffer the consequences. Not a single anti-globalization protester has been tried for terrorism. Not one.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

willing to suffer the consequences (3.25 / 4) (#15)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 05:57:45 AM EST

terˇrorˇism (tr-rzm)
n.

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Which is exactly what they are doing. The fact that they have never been convicted says more about our laws than it does about their actions.

As for "willing to suffer the consequences". After everyone of these protests the protesters have complained that police unfairly used force to break up their barricades. I don't call that "willing to suffer the consequences".

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

good grief, attack of the dictionary (4.00 / 2) (#18)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 06:57:36 AM EST

As for "willing to suffer the consequences". After everyone of these protests the protesters have complained that police unfairly used force to break up their barricades. I don't call that "willing to suffer the consequences"

Me neither; I call it a complaint. What do *you* call it when someone invites police to their barricade - a party? No, you call it complaint.

[definition]

I'm supposed to accept your unconscionable categorization of anti-globalization protesters uncritically? I think I know a little better than to consign the lot according to your fantasy that the World Bank is a victim of systemic terror whenever someone braves a water canon and a snarling doberman. Furthermore, if you think the history and philosophy of civil disobedience can be reduced to a 2 line dictionary definition of terrorism, you have no business talking politics with anything that isnt smiling at you vertically from between your balls.

I have a new rule. Anyone who confuses a dictionary entry for understanding isnt worth talking to. Accoding to your dictionary, anti-globalization protesters are nazis. Whee.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

good grief (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 07:21:38 AM EST

Attack of the "you are dumb and not worth talking to" arguement.

You lose.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
How to remain stupid with a vengeance. (2.33 / 3) (#21)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:10:38 AM EST

You lose.

Loser: Someone defending a characterization of the anti-globalization protest as terrorism, 5 replies deep, beyond all reason and any reputable media description.

Attack of the "you are dumb and not worth talking to" arguement.

You'd learn a lot more if you stopped announcing victory long enough to learn from your defeat. Until then, there is no arguement.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

bah (2.00 / 2) (#27)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 09:29:17 AM EST

I claimed the anti-globalisation protesters were terrorists as per the dictionary definition. I was right. You claim anyone who uses a dictionary is not worth talking to. That's just a cop out from a loser.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
No, you are wrong. Desperately wrong. (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:15:42 AM EST

Not only have you NOT demonstrated that these protesters are guilty of satisfying your definition, you are using woefully inadequate definition of terrorism. Find a better dictionary. Furthermore, let me ask you something, if even as much as .1% of these people belong to a terrorist cell, will the definition of induction make you worth talking to?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I am right (2.00 / 2) (#36)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:50:46 AM EST

By my definition, uses unlawful force against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

These protesters use unlawful force against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, for ideological or political reasons.

I am right on that count.

You claim my definition (from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) is inadequate but have failed to define what you consider terrorism to be. That would be useful.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

dont waste any more of my time (2.00 / 1) (#39)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:35:38 PM EST

By my definition, uses unlawful force against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Dont tell me what you think, show me a record of convictions which supports your idea that property or persons were systematically violated in order to coerce anyone from doing anything they did not do. Show me a campaign of terror.

I am right on that count.

Find me one protester who was convicted of terrorism.

What are you going to do? Show me a picture of a riot? I'll show pictures of unlawfully injured protesters. Can you spot the difference between a drunken thug and a protester?

You are not right, you are confusing legal protest and civil disobedience with terrorism and mindless thuggery. Terrorism is against the law. If these people were terrorists, they wouldnt have been allowed to protest; their organizations are not a secret to civil authorities.

You claim my definition (from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) is inadequate but have failed to define what you consider terrorism to be. That would be useful.

Again with the dictionary. Terrorism is a campaign of terror. Terrorism is not a riot, its not civil disobedience and it is not protest.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

yes the dictionary (2.00 / 2) (#40)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:52:20 PM EST

I think the dictionary is a far better place to find definitions for words than out of your ass.

This article written before the M1 protests in sydney shows that the "protesters" planned to use force to obstruct entry to public buildings in order to stop capitalist activity taking place. Ie used force, against people and property, to coerce society for political purposes.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

The govt has "plans" too (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 01:48:52 PM EST

You're just repeating yourself.

Were these schemers against capitalism convicted of terrorism? Did the judge spend years studying law or did he just look up the New Heritage definition of law?

Again, civil disobedience is not terrorism. How is obstruction in the presence of civil authority an act of terrorism instead of an act of civil disobedience? Why dont you explain to me how the World Bank was coerced into rescinding their policies. Why dont you look up civil disobedience?

And even if a few hot heads do make for interesting copy, it is not representative of the anti-globalization protest movement at all. Not at all. Do you remember how unimpressed I was with your powers of induction? That hasnt changed. You dont see me running half cocked accusing all policemen of gratuitous violence against peaceful protesters, do you?

If you are so eager to malign a group based on the journalistic integrity of sound bites for blow hards, you will surely rush to malign your govt for drawing up considerably more nefarious and numerous plans against political groups, left, right and center.

Listen carefully. The anti-globalization protest is not a terrorist initiative. If you cannot see that, all the dictionary, especially the word 'freedom', is wasted on you.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

The govt has "definitions" too (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:01:18 PM EST

So it isn't terrorism because the courts say so. I guess we should say that abortion obviously isn't murder because the courts say so too. And why stop there, we could say that globalisation is good because the government thinks it is. Case closed.

Or we can go back to the book that tells us how words are used in the real world.

civil disobedience (svl ds-bd-ns)
n.

Refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy or legislation, characterized by the use of passive resistance or other nonviolent means.

As opposed to
terˇrorˇism (tr-rzm)
n.

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

And just to save you looking it up.

passive resistance (psv r-zstns)
n.

Resistance by nonviolent methods to a government, an occupying power, or specific laws, as refusing to comply, demonstrating in protest, or fasting.

What these protesters are doing has nothing in common with the definition of civil dissobediance. It has everything in common with the definition of terrorism.

As for your "few hotheads", these few hotheads were the people who orgainised the protests. The posters still litter Sydney telling the terrorists to join in the shutting down of the stock exchange.

freeˇdom (frdm)
n.

The condition of being free of restraints.

Such as being able to walk into a World Bank conference or Stock Exchange without being accosted by anti-freedom terrorists.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
you are the pearl of kuro5hin (none / 0) (#55)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:15:37 PM EST

So it isn't terrorism because the courts say so.

No, it is terrorism because enterforone's reading incomprehension suggests a carpet indictment on unsubstantiated charges according to enterforone's political convictions.

Such as being able to walk into a World Bank conference or Stock Exchange

Or literacy classes, for that matter.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

so I win? (none / 0) (#56)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:35:46 PM EST

Or do you have anything to back your claims other than personal attacks?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
you are the pearl of kuro5hin (none / 0) (#59)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:55:28 PM EST

So it isn't terrorism because the courts say so.

What an outrageous suggestion. It *is* terrorism because enterforone's politics and reading incomprehension suggests a carpet indictment on unsubstantiated, spurious charges.

Such as being able to walk into a World Bank conference

Or an adult literacy class, for that matter.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

one more time, with feeling! (none / 0) (#60)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 12:01:18 AM EST

this one does have a bit more gusto than the other version, but it still has no evidence for your claims.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
the last time with disgust (none / 0) (#62)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 01:51:27 AM EST

How does an inability to judge fairly according to your own definitions constitute winning? My claim is simple: you cannot read. Your persistence in calling the anti-globalization protest terrorism isnt supported by your own evidence, much less anyone else's. It's as simple as that.

Or do you have anything to back your claims

I can back up my claim by pointing out how you are not a judge and that no judge has characterized these protests as terrorism. I can do a lot more but you dont merit anything further than the 5 seconds it takes to call you a moron for not being able to distinguish between your mean political myopia and and an intellectually honest understanding of the evidence, of protest and of terrorism. This is the basis for your idiocy; you have no understanding.

other than personal attacks?

You merit nothing less. I dont know how I can make it any clearer -- wait, let me try this: you have accused my sister, a bona fide lawyer who placed 2nd in an international moot court competition, of terrorism. She protested and was gassed in Quebec City. She is not a terrorist. You are an idiot.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

You killed my mother! (none / 0) (#63)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 01:59:13 AM EST

I don't know what your sister was doing there so I can't say that she was a terrorist. However the organisers of these protests clearly did not intent for them to be peaceful dissent. They meant for them to terrorist acts.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
ok, this really will be my last word (none / 0) (#64)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 03:05:58 AM EST

I don't know what your sister was doing there so I can't say that she was a terrorist.

She was lighting fuses. Doctors were planting bombs. There was talk of providing legal and medical aid but all that rot was spurned as soon as the sweet smell of cordite wafted into the air.

However the organisers of these protests clearly did not intent for them to be peaceful dissent.

(1) Prove that the anti-globalization protest is organized by a clandestine terrorist cell. (2) Prove that anti-globalization protesters give a shit for your organizers. (3) Demonstrate how the expectation for resistance to be met with force constitutes terrorism. (4) Demonstrate coercion according to your defintion.

This is *a* legal definition of terrorism: The sustained clandestine use of violence for a political purpose.

In July 1998, 160 nations convened in Rome and agreed to establish an International Criminal Court. Even though the Statute of the Court was approved with 120 favorable votes, the ICC were unable to agree upon a definition of terrorism.

UN General Assembly Resolution 46/51 "unequivocally condemns as criminal and unjustifiable, all acts, methods and practices of terrorism wherever and by whoever committed" without attempting to define terrorism.

Enterforone, the UN and ICC needs your dictionary skills.

This is the legal definition of coercion: the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will.

Please show how the IMF of the World Bank or any global trade body was coerced into so much as farting. In what universe is spirited protest coercion? Please explain the following judgement on the US Anti-Terrorist Law:

The statute does not prohibit being a member of one of the designated groups or vigorously promoting and supporting the political goals of the group. Plaintiffs are even free to praise the groups for using terrorism as a means of achieving their ends.
- Judge Kozinski, California Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Why did the US Supreme Court decline to hear an appeal of this judgement? You should know, you're a judge.

Please explain why the anti-globalization protest is not civil disobedience according to your definition. Show me a pattern of arming protesters with weapons or advice to commit injury instead of merely to resist arrest.

It goes on and on and on. The simple fact of the matter is that *you* are the one making extraordinary accusations without any understanding or substantiation. I dont care who put up what posters, I've seen worse posters announcing local rock bands. I care that someone confuses protest -- even protest that gets out of hand and becomes riotous -- with terrorism. As bad as a riot is, it is not also cause for you to scream "you started it!" and conclude for terrorism.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

clandestine? (none / 0) (#65)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 03:30:32 AM EST

(1) Someone who organises terrorist activities is a terrorist. A group who organises terrorist activities would be a terrorist cell. I don't see why clandestine needs to be part of the definition. If I'm planning to bomb the whitehouse it doesn't matter if I plan to do it in secret or openly, it's still terrorism.

(2) I suppose all those people turning up to the protest was a coincidence?

(3) Not sure WTF you are getting at there. They planned to use force from the outset. Even if no one resists them, barricading a building is still using force.

(4) Read the article this thread started in. The threat of violence coerced the world bank to cancel their conference.


--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
clandestine, as in hiding from the law (none / 0) (#66)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 04:12:48 AM EST

(1) I gave you a LEGAL definition without any expectation for your understanding. Hint: terrorists hide from the law, protesters count the nostril hairs of the policeman in front of them. Anti-globalization organizations are in the book, enterforone, call them up and arrest them.

(2) Hello? They showed up to protest the policies and authorities of globalization. I guess you didnt get your tickets and Handbook for Proper Terrorist Comportment in the mail. Everyone else did.

(3) Big fat sigh. Please explain how resistance or even a barricade is terrorism.

(4) That would not be an example of coercion unless the conferees had reason to fear for their safety. If *you* read the article, you would not have found any statement from the World Bank making any such claim. Coercion isnt the same as suffering your unpopularity. Even if it were an example of coercion, DEMONSTRATE it. I also killed your mother, remember?

Here's the thing, enterforone. If you plead your case for terrorism before a court, the judge would dismiss your claim as frivolous. That is the biggest judicial insult possible.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

clandestine (none / 0) (#67)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 05:06:00 AM EST

(1) Many terrorist organisations have a public face. We don't just call up and arrest them because a free society doesn't beleive in thought crime. Nor do we punish groups for acts of individuals. That does not change the fact that groups are co-ordinating these actions.

(2) They showed up to a protest despite never knowing that it was organised? That is what you claimed.

(3) I already have. You chose not to accept my definition of terrorism.

(4) They cancelled because they had fears that the conference would be forcibly distrupted.

According to you, the courts can't even decide on how to define terrorism, so why should the courts definition be superior to the dictionary definition?

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[ Parent ]
bye (none / 0) (#68)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 05:53:54 AM EST

That does not change the fact that groups are co-ordinating these actions.

Dont be an idiot. If those groups were terrorist organizations they would be arrested. You call them terrorist organizations, arrest them.

You will not give up, will you? Is it because you are right or is it because you are afflicted with frivolous, instransigient stupidity? Clue: no anti-globalization protester was ever tried or convicted for terrorism.

They showed up to a protest despite never knowing that it was organised? That is what you claimed.

Many people show up for many reasons. Please arrest these terrorists or shut the fuck up, once and for all. At the very least, identify the mythical, lone, terrorist organization that organizes anti-globalization protest.

You will not give up, will you? Is it because you are right or is it because you are afflicted with frivolous, instransigent stupidity? Clue: no anti-globalization protester was ever tried or convicted for terrorism.

I already have. You chose not to accept my definition of terrorism.

You also provided a defintion of civil disobedience and passive resistance. Prove that the anti-globalization protest satisfies the definition of terrorism above the other two. Why arent you a supreme court judge instead of just a bad writer without clue? You seem to have an unparalleled grasp of legal nuance and a solomonesque ability to judge right from wrong.

You will not give up, will you? Is it because you are right or is it because you are afflicted with frivolous, instransigent stupidity? Clue: no anti-globalization protester was ever tried or convicted for terrorism.

They cancelled because they had fears that the conference would be forcibly distrupted.

Disrupted how? Bad press? Protest? Bombs? Dead academics? Overzealous police? What a tangled web of coercion, all of it frivolous, none of it identifiable or substantive. Was the Austrialian conference disrupted? Quebec City? Seattle? Was anyone coerced into not speaking or saying something they did not mean to say? I never go to farms because I fear flying pigs. No pig has fallen from the sky so I'll leave you to prove that pigs are coercive terrorists.

You will not give up, will you? Is it because you are right or is it because you are afflicted with frivolous, instransigent stupidity? Clue: no anti-globalization protester was ever tried or convicted for terrorism.

According to you, the courts can't even decide on how to define terrorism, so why should the courts definition be superior to the dictionary definition?

Why should courts be guided by jurisprudence instead of etymology?

You will not give up, will you? Is it because you are right or is it because you are afflicted with frivolous, instransigent stupidity? Clue: no anti-globalization protester was ever tried or convicted for terrorism.

You know what's really scary? If you were in a position to exercise the power of your ignorance, you would have convicted anti-globalization protesters of terrorism.

All of them, the ones barricading roads, particularly. You've never identified any, you'd have to convict all of them. According to your new heritage definition, they are all terrorists.

Did I mention frivolous, intransigent stupidity? Why would I do something like that? Could it be because the anti-globalization protest is not a form of terrorism?

Duh.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

cya (none / 0) (#69)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 06:19:29 AM EST

I have shown that these protests fit the dictionary definition of terrorism. I have shown that they do not meet the definition of civil disobedience and passive resistance since both of these involve a lack of force.
Why arent you a supreme court judge instead of just a bad writer without clue?
I posted my original post as a writer not as a supreme court judge. Therefore it makes sense to use a dictionary and not a law book. According to common word usage I was right to call them terrorists. Since I was never in a position to judge these people the law is irrelevant.

No grammar nazi has been convicted of war crimes. Goodbye

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[ Parent ]

i'm back (none / 0) (#72)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:04:48 AM EST

since both of these involve a lack of force

The anti-globalization protests lacked force as well. If you stand in front of an entrance, that is passive resistance. If police react with force to remove you from the entrance -- and it is hard to imagine how they could do otherwise -- that will still be passive resistance. If you occupy the lobby of World Bank headquarters in DC refusing to budge until forcibly removed by police, yep, passive resistance.

Where's your terrorism? Planning for a confrontation is not terrorism. So what is terrorism?

A riot? A vandal? A drunken opportunist? A policeman? A protester? Is there some reason to hold protesters above normal people when judging the moral purity of their actions?

Every time my home town wins the Stanley Cup for hockey, a riot breaks out. It starts out peacefully enough, as parades go, but it invariably ends in a riot with passionate fans forcefully blocking roads and lighting police cruisers on fire. Hockey fans must be arrested for terrorism, dont you think?

I posted my original post as a writer not as a supreme court judge. Therefore it makes sense to use a dictionary and not a law book. According to common word usage I was right to call them terrorists.

No, you confused protest with terrorism because you understood neither and because terrorism suited your politics better. You then proceeded to defend your position beyond reason, as you are continuing to do.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I thought you were leaving? (none / 0) (#75)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:18:58 AM EST

If you sit outside a building waving banners and refuse to leave when asked that is passive resistance. If you barricade the entrance and refuse to allow anyone entry and respond violently when people try to push their way past that is not passive resistance.

A hockey riot is not terrorism because it is not politically motivated. Please get a clue.

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[ Parent ]
enterforclue (none / 0) (#85)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:13:24 AM EST

If you barricade the entrance and refuse to allow anyone entry and respond violently when people try to push their way past that is not passive resistance.

That is bad but just the same, show me evidence that it actually happened as you say. Happened or not, what reason do you have for categorizing all protesters according to this evidence? Do all policemen patrol their beat armed with tear gas canisters? Can all Australians trace their ancestry to British criminals? Are you suggesting that the anti-globalization protest physically prevents conferees from exercising their right to assemble?

Dont tell me some guy missed his meeting because a riot was happening. Dont tell me a few people got arrested before reaching Quebec City because they were carrying arms. Gun toting, fatigue wearing, combat booted Libertarians training for revolution in the woods scare me but you dont see me cowering in the shadow cast by your clue, do you? Then why do you leap to the conclusion that protesters are terrorists just because some nut had a plan to do something bad?

Because you have clue.

A hockey riot is not terrorism because it is not politically motivated.

Where is there a requirement for political motivation in YOUR definition of terrorism? "Often" is not a requirement. And how do you know that a hockey riot in my town isnt politically motivated?

Please get a clue.

That's why I'm talking to you, enterforone, to get clue.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

games of chicken (none / 0) (#89)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:57:33 AM EST

That is bad but just the same,

Bad as in not according to a strict interpretation of civil disobedience, not bad as in necessarily evil. If the police can physically clear barricades, protesters can physically keep them blocked. Both instances are a game of chicken. I dont have to endorse a game of chicken in order to find justification for it when it does happen.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

clue (none / 0) (#93)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 09:28:04 AM EST

Are you suggesting that the anti-globalization protest physically prevents conferees from exercising their right to assemble?
Yes I am. It is the intention of protest organisers to shut down these conferences. Of course you claim that the protesters have nothing in common with the protest organisers.

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[ Parent ]
stick to the question (none / 0) (#94)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 10:06:15 AM EST

It is the intention of protest organisers to shut down these conferences.

Oh, much better than that. Regardless, my question was do you have any evidence that conferees are being denied their right to assemble? Personally, I dont care if they're prevented from exercising that right on their terms in my city, I just want to take you to task according to your definition of terrorism. I have many rights which I cannot exercise whenever and wherever I want. Similiarly, what rights do the conferees have to assemble into a psuedo governmental body instituted without consent? Less rights (none, actually) than the rights of protesters to assemble into a festival of resistence against them, surely.

you claim that the protesters have nothing in common with the protest organisers.

I claimed that they are not terrorists and I asked you for evidence of terrorism committed in the personification of your most nightmarish interpretation of these protesters.

By the way, your house is not a seat of economic or political power. Economic and political powers affect everyone, your house affects only you. If you were a very bad person, there would be moral justification to barricade you out of your home, just as there would be justification to barricade you in prison.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

right to assemble (none / 0) (#96)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 10:28:57 AM EST

I have many rights which I cannot exercise whenever and wherever I want. Similiarly, what rights do the conferees have to assemble into a psuedo governmental body instituted without consent? Less rights (none, actually) than the rights of protesters to assemble into a festival of resistence against them, surely.
As long as the owner of the building consents, a group of people have a right to assemble whereever they please. The protesters have no right to attempt to deny them that.

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[ Parent ]
libertarian platitutes are not a basis for rights (none / 0) (#98)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 11:26:39 AM EST

what rights do the conferees have to assemble into a psuedo governmental body instituted without consent?
As long as the owner of the building consents, a group of people have a right to assemble whereever they please.

Then gangsters have the *right* to assemble into a local government whose basis of power is extortion. Individual rights are confined to the individual bearing them, they are not necessarily inherited by any corporate body this individual may belong to. Strictly speaking, we are not referring to a right of assembly here, we are referring to a freedom of association. What is the basis for your belief that citizens have a right to form associations freely without regard to how those associations may affect individual rights?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

libertarian platitudes prematurely posted (none / 0) (#99)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 12:08:22 PM EST

What is the basis for your belief that citizens have a right to form associations freely without regard to how those associations may affect individual rights?

For example, private militias, nuclear power plants or the World Bank. Where does such a right exist? Realize that rights cannot be legislated, they can only be protected by legislation. In other words, what is the basis for your belief in the existence of any rights not borne by moral individuals? If no such rights exist, what reason do you have for telling me the World Bank has a *right* to exist, much less a right to exist without opposition?

As long as the owner of the building consents, a group of people have a right to assemble whereever they please.

Are you are telling me that the basis for these rights lie in property? I didnt even know private property was a right. Private property is guaranteed by laws which determine the manner by which it's acquired, enjoyed and limited, in order to ensure its social function. If it were first come, first serve, the earth is owned and its fate is entirely in its owners' hands. I dont think so. Just because you piss on it first doesnt mean you own it.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

goodbye (none / 0) (#101)
by enterfornone on Sat May 26, 2001 at 09:29:28 AM EST

I didnt even know private property was a right. Typical commie bullshit. Have it your own way, I'm bored with this discussion. I just hope you are as willing to protect the terrorists' free speech when they come to take away your freedom.

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[ Parent ]
bon viaggio! (none / 0) (#104)
by eLuddite on Sat May 26, 2001 at 07:28:01 PM EST

Typical commie bullshit.

Sorry, enterforone, you are confusing rights -- which have always been understood as moral principles -- with the exercise of economic privileges *given* to you. It doesnt take a communist to point out that you have no moral claim to any part of the earth.

I just hope you are as willing to protect the terrorists' free speech when they come to take away your freedom.

Although I will defend your right to utter platitudes, that defense shouldnt be confused with my opposition to their exercise.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

ok, i said I wouldn't... (none / 0) (#105)
by enterfornone on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:19:49 AM EST

I guess it comes down to whether you accept morality as absolute in which case you have to refer to your diety (thou shalt not steal for christians certainly grants property rights) or relative in which case you have no god given rights - so you can just as easily throw out free speech as well.

moral principle n 1: the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group

It's generally accepted that people have a right to own property.

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[ Parent ]
you can have the last word (none / 0) (#106)
by eLuddite on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:20:42 PM EST

I guess it comes down to whether you accept morality as absolute in which case you have to refer to your diety

There is no requirement for God in ethics and whether you're a moral relativist or not, the countries that *you* want to live in certainly disagree with your interpretation. Simply put, your moral rights are those things that govt cannot confer. Private property is conferred -- and therefore not a moral right -- in order for you to exploit it on the understanding that this exploitation will serve society. That is what capitalism is and capitalism is neither ethics nor a political theory of rights.

in which case you have no god given rights - so you can just as easily throw out free speech as well.

Many modern constitutions guarantee such rights without invoking the mention of God.

It's generally accepted that people have a right to own property.

They are certainly entitled to personal effects but land (including the resources under it, the flora and fauna growing on its surface and the water running through it) and capital are another matter. It is generally accepted that people do not have a *right* to own the means of production and there's no shortage of laws regulating or even forbidding various forms of its ownership.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

what are you on about? (none / 0) (#107)
by enterfornone on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:53:38 PM EST

You claim that private property is not a right because it is conferred by government, yet you claim that free speech is a right because it is conferred in the constitution?

I have even less of a clue as to what you mean by people having no right to own capital.

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[ Parent ]
guarantee != confer (none / 0) (#108)
by eLuddite on Mon May 28, 2001 at 02:44:36 AM EST

You are just thinking out loud and the onus upon me to explain things overshadows any value I can possibly derive from this conversation. You are born with a right of speech, enterfornone.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

You are born with a right of speech? (none / 0) (#109)
by enterfornone on Mon May 28, 2001 at 03:37:04 AM EST

Please supply this definitive list of exactly what rights people are born with. I'm sure the worlds moral philosopers are very disapointed that you are keeping this information to yourself.

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[ Parent ]
you're incorrigible (none / 0) (#110)
by eLuddite on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:54:12 AM EST

Please supply

Please fuck off and stop confusing your ignorance with my secret knowledge of Constitutionalism, which I hoard in the stacks of your local public library. Moral rights are those rights which allow you to exercise moral judgement. Do people speak for you? They should; it would be an improvement.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

ignorance? (none / 0) (#111)
by enterfornone on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:40:29 AM EST

OK let me rephrase that. If it is so obvious that people are born with certain rights (such as free speech) and not born with other rights (such as property ownership) why is it that moral philosophers do not agree on what rights people are born with or whether they are born with rights at all. Are they all just as ignorant as me?

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[ Parent ]
carefully read the comments in your own article (none / 0) (#112)
by eLuddite on Mon May 28, 2001 at 06:38:19 AM EST

OK let me rephrase that. If it is so obvious that people are born with certain rights (such as free speech) and not born with other rights (such as property ownership)

You're born with a moral right to own property?! Property is relations between people and property "rights" are legal formalities intended to simplify the complexity of these relations. In other words, property, like war, like business, is the consequence of individuals persuing their moral rights. Call it the "pursuit of happiness", for all I care. Property is not, itself, a moral right any more than is capitalism. Communal societies dont recognize private property and yet they manage to have property relations, dont they? Amerindian societies represent your practical refutation, neatly illustrating how property is a gift whose form of ownership depends upon society instead of a pissing contest in nature.

why is it that moral philosophers do not agree on what rights people are born with or whether they are born with rights at all.

There is a difference between making ethical arguements justifying circumstantial ownership and postulating ownership as a moral right. I do not claim that private property is necessarily unethical. As for people who declaim all moral rights, govts arent based on nihilism so you're out of luck on that score.

Finally, think about what you just wrote. If moral rights didnt exist, whither your claim for a so called right to ownership? If moral rights were relative, then the socities you disagree with, societies without private property ownership, are moral equals of Libertopia. Again, whither your claim for a so called right to ownership?

It would probably helpful if you thought of rights as civil rights instead of as statutory rights.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

forget i said that (none / 0) (#113)
by eLuddite on Mon May 28, 2001 at 06:49:48 AM EST

It would probably helpful if you thought of rights as civil rights instead of as statutory rights.

No it wouldnt.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

the problem (none / 0) (#70)
by samth on Fri May 25, 2001 at 06:36:17 AM EST

I think the real problem you're having here is that enterfornone, being a good libertarian, believes in the following equation:

interference with capitalism [1] == 'initiation of force' [2] == terrorism [3]

Given this likely belief (which is a surprisingly good summary of libertarianism, for being only one line), good luck.

[1] Meaning, not bending over for the corporations.
[2] Meaning, people we don't like doing things to us that we previously did to them.
[3] Loaded word meaning [2]

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

bah (none / 0) (#71)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 06:54:50 AM EST

How about I come over to your place, set up barricades and refuse to let you in. I'll only be exercising my right of free speech according to you.

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[ Parent ]
uh, no (none / 0) (#77)
by samth on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:30:55 AM EST

How about I come over to your place, set up barricades and refuse to let you in. I'll only be exercising my right of free speech according to you.

Actually, not only did I very much not say that, but I also don't think that. I couldn't even find a place where eLuddite said that, although he may think that. Blocking entrance to a building is an act of civil disobedience, not one of free speech. It's also not an act of terrorism, the position you seem to hold.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

sorry (none / 0) (#81)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:40:44 AM EST

Eluddite did say that. You didn't, but you appear to be of the opinion that it is acceptable behavior. If you are not then I appologise.

Again, my dictionary says that civil disobedience is peaceful. Barricading a building is not.

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[ Parent ]

peace and barricades (none / 0) (#83)
by samth on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:09:34 AM EST

Well, eLuddite's comment could be interpreted to refer to the protests in general, which consisted mostly of people excercising their free speech. It's just the ones that barricade things that get on the news.

you appear to be of the opinion that it is acceptable behavior.

That I am. I think much more significant violations of the law would also be acceptable. But that is neither here nor there.

Again, my dictionary says that civil disobedience is peaceful. Barricading a building is not.

Actually, your dictionary said:

civil disobedience (svl ds-bd-ns)
n.

Refusal to obey civil laws in an effort to induce change in governmental policy or legislation, characterized by the use of passive resistance or other nonviolent means.

That says non-violent, not peaceful. What the protesters did in blocking the stock exchanges and intersections was certainly non-violent.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
playing with words (none / 0) (#84)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:12:17 AM EST

Sorry, I don't see how a barricade can be non violent. Even if they don't try to hit me, if someone barricades my house they are committing a violent act.

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[ Parent ]
you started the dictionary game (5.00 / 1) (#86)
by samth on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:21:35 AM EST

now you get to lose it
viˇoˇlence
n.

1. Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing [1]

Sorry, but that doesn't qualify as violent. And even if it did, civil disobedience is merely "characterized by" nonviolence.

[1] http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=violence


Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

physical force, abuse... (none / 0) (#88)
by enterfornone on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:42:30 AM EST

sounds like a barricade to me...

you might want to look up characterized too...

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[ Parent ]
glutton for punishment (none / 0) (#92)
by samth on Fri May 25, 2001 at 09:27:00 AM EST

Well dictionary.com didn't have physical force, but the OED says:
physical force: in politics, the use of armed power, to effect or repress political changes
As for abuse, I think the definition (from dictionary.com) that we're looking for here is
To hurt or injure by maltreatment
something that decidely didn't happen.

As for characterization, we have

1. To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
2. To be a distinctive trait or mark of; distinguish: the rash and high fever that characterize this disease; a region that is characterized by its dikes and canals.
The second definition is the correct one, and the second example is particularily instructive, since the region is not entirely covered with dikes and canals, it just has lots of them.

Finally, I'd like to point out that words are actually defined by how they are used, and violence is not used to describe blockading entrances. That's described as non-violent.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

you are dumb (none / 0) (#102)
by enterfornone on Sat May 26, 2001 at 09:47:29 AM EST

Sorry, there is no other explaination. Clearly, by that definition, if the distinctive trait or mark of something is non-violence, then it cannot be violent.

I don't need a dictionary to tell me that a barricade uses physical force (in physics, not politics). I don't need a dictionary to tell me that preventing me entering a building that I have a right to enter is an abuse of my rights. I don't need a dictionary to tell me that a barricade is clearly not non-violent.

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[ Parent ]
i can't believe this (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by samth on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:24:46 PM EST

Well, actually I can.

You started the dictionary e, lost it convincingly, and then claimed that the dictionaryJ was irrelevant and that *I* was dumb for relying J on it.

And if a "distinctive mark" of something is non-violence, then it is certainly possible for it to be occasionally violent. A distinctive mark of motorcycle gangs is wearing lots of leather. Does that mean that every motorcycle gang in history has worn lots of leather? No.

Clearly a barricade does involve physical force, in the physics sense. So does walking into a meeting of the World Bank. That's why I chose a different defintion of physicl force - the physics one made no sense in this context.

Finally, as I said earlier, the meaning of words is determined by how they are used, And the protests in Melbourne were described as peaceful by the BBC, the only online news site with archives back that far.

Face it. You don't like the protestors. But according to conventional definitions, they aren't terrorists.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

I agree with the dictionary, not with you (2.00 / 1) (#115)
by enterfornone on Wed May 30, 2001 at 05:59:42 AM EST

If the distinctive mark of something is to be non-violent then it is not possible for it to always be violent. A barricade cannot be non-violent. If the BBC is anything like Australia's ABC (government owned media) then I would expect it to be extremely left biased.

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[ Parent ]
sorry, that doesn't cut it (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by samth on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:11:39 AM EST

You still haven't shown that a barricade constitutes physical force (in the appropriate sense, not in the sense that typing this post requires physical force) or abuse (again in the appropriate sense).

Furthermore, if the property y is a distinctive mark of x, that does not mean that there are no instances of x that do not have the property y. Do you dispute this? Do you claim there are no places in the Netherlands with no dikes?

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

distinctive mark (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by enterfornone on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:26:50 AM EST

OK, do you consider an armed robbery (where no shots are fired) to be non violent? A barricade is violent in much the same way.

Furthermore, if the property y is a distinctive mark of x, that does not mean that there are no instances of x that do not have the property y. Do you dispute this? Do you claim there are no places in the Netherlands with no dikes?

I'm not saying that some barricades are violent, I'm saying that all barricades are violent. So non-violence cannot be a distinctive mark of a barricade.

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[ Parent ]

don't be silly (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by streetlawyer on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:48:59 AM EST

Hurting people is one thing; threatening to hurt people is another, and merely standing in their way is not the same as either. Since it is entirely possible to block an entrance while asleep, paralysed or dead, it cannot be a violent act merely to block an entrance. There are violent and non-violent ways to block an entrance; from all I could tell, the stock exchange protestors did so in a non-violent way.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
so.. (3.00 / 1) (#121)
by enterfornone on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:40:10 AM EST

People were able to push past their limp bodies then? Or were they forcibly stopped when they tried to get past?

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[ Parent ]
I don't think they tried (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by samth on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:56:51 AM EST

I think the protestors locked arms and didn't move, at least until the police forcibly moved them. That people can be pushed around easier than concrete is irrelevant.

You need to come up with a good reason why these protestors standing there is more violent than the protestors making brick models of themselves and putting the up around the entrance. Or else you need to claim violence on the part of the bricks.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

I dunno (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by streetlawyer on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:57:38 AM EST

Forcibly but not violently. If, for example, the police form a cordon to stop me from reaching Henry Kissinger, then they forcibly prevent me from doing so. If they then draw their truncheons and bash my head in, they have _become_ violent.

If I drag you away from a sweet shop window and you punch me on the nose, then you have been violent; I have not, unless I dragged you in an unusual manner. "Violence" as an English word does not match up to your libertarian concept of "initiation of force", no matter how much you would like to help yourself to people's distaste for the former to enhance the political popularity of the latter.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

distinctive (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by samth on Wed May 30, 2001 at 07:12:41 AM EST

streetlawyer has addressed the other issue correctly (thanks) so I'll take up this one.

The original context in which the term distinctive mark came up was this post where it was part of the definition of characterize, a word used in the definition of civil disobedience. So, my claim was that non-violence was merely a distinctive mark, and not a neccessary condition, of civil disobedience. Nothing whatsoever was said about non-violence being a distinctive mark of barricades, although that barricade was non-violent, as streetlawyer points out.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

distinctive (2.00 / 1) (#120)
by enterfornone on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:34:09 AM EST

If non-violence is a distinctive mark of civil disobedience and you claim that a barricade is a form of civil disobedience (which is what the discussion was about) then non-violence must be a distinctive mark of a barricade.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
i can't believe you actually said that (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by samth on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:53:06 AM EST

That's the most ludicrous statement I've heard in a while.

If property x is a distinctive characteristic of set A, that means that most members of A have x. That means that there can be members of A that do not have the property x.

More generally, because something is a property of a set does not mean that it is a property of every element in that set. For example, the set of natural numbers is infitnite. 6 is finite. QED.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

so you call traffic jams violence against you? (none / 0) (#114)
by sayke on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:04:35 PM EST

all kinds of things can make it more difficult for you to enter a building, like, say, massive crowds of people wanting to get into the same building. that doesn't mean the other people trying to get into the building are violently preventing you from getting in there.

i refuse to call getting in your way a violent act. i see too many counterexamples; too many things can non-violently get in your way for me to equate violence with getting in your way.

and as the notion of "rights" smells quite incomperhensible to me (where is a drowning man's right to life, etc), i don't think you have any meaningful right to enter a building. that's another mess, though...


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

he's a libertarian!? (none / 0) (#80)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:38:39 AM EST

I did not know that.

I thought the original post was an unthinking, reactionary stab in the dark that he's been stubbornly defending in order to avoid an admission of error. I mean, terrorists arent protesters, terrorists are bad people -- worse than libertarians, even :-)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

yup (none / 0) (#82)
by samth on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:58:01 AM EST

See here.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
Keep in mind WHO writes the dictionary (3.00 / 1) (#32)
by DontTreadOnMe on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:39:14 AM EST

It is also worth mentioning that the dictionary in question is written and published by a large, entrenched organization ... namely a publishing company. Just as the mainstream audio-visual media (with the possible exception of NPR) fail to report any information on the DeCSS and Napster trials contrary to their corporate interests, so to can we expect definitions in the dictionary to be tailored to the political and social ends of those who publish them.

The effect is generally subtle and non-obvious, but it is IMHO nonetheless very real. Adding copyright violation as a definition of "piracy" and defining virtually any spirited dissent as terrorism are only two small, if very insidious, examples.


--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]

dictionary (none / 0) (#57)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 11:45:26 PM EST

The effect is generally subtle and non-obvious, but it is IMHO nonetheless very real. Adding copyright violation as a definition of "piracy" and defining virtually any spirited dissent as terrorism are only two small, if very insidious, examples.
Dictionaries are written by academics who study word usage. Piracy didn't come to mean copyright violations after someone put it in the dictionary. It already had that meaning, and for that reason the definition was added.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I should have pointed out... (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:58:03 AM EST

The reason why its political dissent and not even remotely terrorism is because protesters are willing to get themselves arrested, despite the World Bank's efforts not to give them the satisfaction of such conviction. It is complete bullshit and highly unethical for the World Bank to cower in the face of opposition.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Uh... (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by ScuzzMonkey on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:03:39 PM EST

...because protesters are willing to get themselves arrested...

If this were actually true, then I would be far more comfortable with their actions, but from what I have seen, it is not. I have a great deal of respect for anyone who believes in anything (whether I agree with them or not) enough to do something non-violent, but disobedient, in the full knowledge and acceptance that they will be hauled off to jail for it. But (speaking as a Seattleite and WTO protests witness) the vast majority of the protestors here were whiny kids who thought that they should be allowed to trash corporate properties, throw rocks at civil servants, and generally muck up my city without having to suffer any consequences, all in the name of 'political dissent.'

That's not dissent--it's just vandalism. When they got arrested, a lot of them started screaming their heads off about their civil rights--freedom of speech, assembly, etc. It was as if they had no idea what they were doing was illegal (despite the big bullhorns regularly announcing otherwise). No one who got arrested down there had to--I was down there and didn't get maced, beaten, or otherwise violated, simply because I left when asked. If I would have stuck around, I would have expected to be arrested, and if that was my goal, I wouldn't have whined about it--I just got publicity for my cause and a day in court. I think it's telling that we also had the same cast of characters (minus the imported anarchists) at the riots on Mardi Gras. To me, that just reinforces the point that for a lot of the crowd, WTO was just an excuse to get wild and break things.

Incidentally, I don't think it's a good thing for the protestors that the World Bank has canceled this meeting, and I think it's a sign of amateurism of any of them who think so. All they've done is drive the policy making further underground and out of the light. If exposure was what they were really interested in, they've just blown it--WTO was similar in that the protestors substantially weakened the appearance of the US delegation to the conference, which was in most respects, working for the same things the protestors wanted.
No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
[ Parent ]

Standing Vandalism (none / 0) (#51)
by pavlos on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:58:27 PM EST

On the subject of Vandalism, I agree that it is illegal to break things. However, you say that in order not to get maced, beaten, or violated you left when asked, and if you had stuck around you would have expected to be arrested.

Why? Were you intending to break things?

On the subject of whether or not it is good that the meeting was cancelled. I am coming to agree with you. It would be better for the left if the meeting takes place and there is some protest, than if the process is taken underground.

Pavlos

[ Parent ]

No; obstruction (none / 0) (#95)
by ScuzzMonkey on Fri May 25, 2001 at 10:12:37 AM EST

:) Nope, wasn't planning on breaking anything. But it's also illegal to stand in the middle of the street and impede traffic. But that wasn't really my point; my point was that toward the end, the police made it pretty clear that they were getting ready to clear the intersections and take some people into custody. It was not a surprise move. Now, whether or not you agree that that they were enforcing a legitimate law, if you chose to stay down there, you pretty much had to expect to get busted. And I'm not saying that's not a legitimate means of protest. But for christ's sake, if you're intentionally getting arrested to protest a law, then protest the law, not the fact that you got arrested. Use the day in court, don't whine about how your knees got scuffed because you wouldn't stand up when they were putting the cuffs on. Individual acts of brutality should be investigated, to be sure; but on the whole, from my observations most of the police exercised incredible restraint as human beings, putting up with things all day long that would have had me pissed off and beating on people after about five minutes. Going through an arrest procedure is a little bit brutal, yeah; deal with it. Guess I'm just tired with people in general putting themselves into bad positions and then blaming the world for it; see also SUV owners and gas prices.
No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
[ Parent ]
The same tactics were used (4.60 / 5) (#22)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:23:30 AM EST

By freedom loving "patriots" around the world. Consider the American Revolution. Retailers of British goods were routinely tortured, lynched, had their shops broken into and all there wares destroyed or stolen. People that wanted to remain loyal to the crown had their houses burned. The rioting masses, in more than one case, prevented assembly of the lawful governing institutions in the colonies.

I know less about the French Revolution, but IIRC, much the same pattern of behavior emerged. I won't even start on Vietnam, Cuba, Russia, etc. . .

Am I trying to justify terrorism? By no means. However to create a distinction between political dissent and acts of terrorism is to ignore the history of political dissidence. Terrorist acts have been used by dissidents throughout history and in many cases posterity has decided that these "terrorists" were in the right.

[ Parent ]

no agency for globalization is a victim of terror (3.50 / 4) (#24)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:55:53 AM EST

Terrorist acts have been used by dissidents throughout history and in many cases posterity has decided that these "terrorists" were in the right.

Terrorism is never right and has never won anyone anything worth keeping. The American Revolution was won in spite of random acts of terrorism if for no other reason than the fact that a revolution is not an act of systematic terror:

... governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it ..."
Popular dissent, which is what the overwhelming majority of the anti-globalization forces are practicing in spirit as in action, may involve acts of civil disobedience by persons who disobey the law and willingly accept the punishment assigned for its violation in order to call attention to injustice. If their cause is neither popular nor just, they rot in jail.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

history states otherwise (4.25 / 4) (#26)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 09:18:55 AM EST

Terrorism is never right and has never won anyone anything worth keeping. The American Revolution was won in spite of random acts of terrorism if for no other reason than the fact that a revolution is not an act of systematic terror
I think that perhaps you are unaquainted with the history of the American Revolution. The armed conflict between the continental army and the British army were but a small (yet very significant) portion of the US struggle for freedom. The US Revolution was essentially a long and prolonged riot on the part of a significant number of the colonists. I would refer you to to Ray Raphael's A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independance for excellent coverage on the events of the American Revolutionary War.
Popular dissent, which is what the overwhelming majority of the anti-globalization forces are practicing in spirit as in action, may involve acts of civil disobedience by persons who disobey the law and willingly accept the punishment assigned for its violation in order to call attention to injustice. If their cause is neither popular nor just, they rot in jail.
I would contend that justice has precious little to do with whether revolutionaries rot in jail or not. Consider the Bolshevik revolution.

Objectively, the only difference between "terrorists" and "revolutionaries" is that of popularity. If enough of a populace supports the "terrorists" in achieving their goals, a "revolution" is born.

[ Parent ]

no, i am sorry, revolution is not terrorism (3.33 / 3) (#28)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:08:14 AM EST

Objectively, the only difference between "terrorists" and "revolutionaries" is that of popularity. If enough of a populace supports the "terrorists" in achieving their goals, a "revolution" is born.

Terrorism is perpetrated against a government which has instrumental authority. Such a govt is an instrument for, by and of -- as in belonging to -- the people. Acts of terror strike at the heart of such government, the people. Revolution is perpetrated against despotic governments which have neither consent nor moral authority to govern. All of this is made clear in the Declaration of Independence, including the quotation cited in the post you are replying to. You will not find any justification for terrorism from Locke to Jefferson and beyond.

Popularity has nothing to do with it. A majority of citizens may oppose a government policy without withdrawing their consent and terminating their social contract. I have no idea why you think riots and other forms of popular revolt have anything to do with terrorism. Terrorism is quite simply a campaign of systematic terror, the use of fear to rupture a legitimate social contract.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

I'm inclined to disagree (4.00 / 3) (#31)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:22:52 AM EST

Given that the Declaration of Independance was written only after decades of patriot terrorism against both loyalists and neutral parties (such as Quakers, Moravians and other religious groups that were adamantly pacifist), I think that your point about whether Jefferson and Locke supported terrorism or not is almost inconsequential.
Terrorism is quite simply a campaign of systematic terror, the use of fear to rupture a legitimate social contract.
Again, study the actual events of eighteenth century America leading up to the revolution. The American Revolution was a campaign of systematic terror. I don't think that rioting and breaking the shops of sellers of British wares simply because they are imports from Britain fits under any other category. Nor do I think that tarring and feathering (and sometimes hangin) a pacifist simply because they refuse to join your army fits any other description. I fail to see how Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Men fit any other description.

I would again refer you to A People's History of the American Revolution. Ray Raphael did a tremendous job of detailing the prolonged riot that was the US Revolutionary War.

[ Parent ]

you are disagreeing for reasons i never stated (none / 0) (#61)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 01:26:53 AM EST

Again, study the actual events of eighteenth century America leading up to the revolution.

Why would acts of terrorism cause me to confuse the distinction between terrorism and rebellion? Would you confuse a post colonial revolt of blacks with terrorism? Is the KKK a revolutionary organization? Terrorism is a crime, rebellion is an obligation. Your disagreement with that statement will have to be supported by an understanding of ethics and politics, not a recitation of historical data demonstrating that acts of terrorism happen. For the purposes of this discussion, I neither care nor deny that terrorism happens. Why would I?

You also claim the American Revolution succeeded for its systematic reign of terror, an extrordinary claim that you cannot and will not support except to cite occasions of violence which happen to be peculiar to all of history instead of merely Colonial America. If Raphael has an index in that book, look up terrorism and quote the passage substantiating your claim. If you cannot do that, then you are simply identifying rebellion as terrorism without an understanding of either.

Just to demonstrate the dissonance between our approaches, let me quote what you wrote in another thread:

Freedoms are sometimes exclusive. The freedom of global companies to do as they will often steps on the freedoms of the local industries or citizens. Given that economic resources are scarce, someone is going to get shafted sooner or later and lose their freedoms.

Companies have neither rights nor freedoms, Lee, and economics raises no questions about either. Covenants of government protect the rights of moral individuals, not companies. If you dont understand why this would be so, you will not be in a position to understand the difference between rebellion and terrorism.

Another example:

I would contend that justice has precious little to do with whether revolutionaries rot in jail or not.

Neither would Joseph McCarthy. What does rotting in jail have to do with if not justice?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

pro freedom terrorism (1.50 / 2) (#38)
by enterfornone on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:08:21 PM EST

I would say terrorism is a legitimate tool when fighting against oppression. However these terrorists are not pro-freedom, they are anti-freedom and they are fighting for oppression.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Freedom is relative (5.00 / 6) (#41)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu May 24, 2001 at 01:05:51 PM EST

I would say terrorism is a legitimate tool when fighting against oppression. However these terrorists are not pro-freedom, they are anti-freedom and they are fighting for oppression.
I would argue that the WTO protesters are fighting for the exact same freedoms as the American patriots. Most of the terrorism inflicted during the American Revolution was directed not at armies or governments (although governments especially received a good deal of the wrong end of the stick) but at private individuals. As mentioned before, shop owners that sold British good had their shops vandalized and goods stolen or destroyed. In many cases the shop owners were physically abused and in some cases threatened with death. How are these acts of terrorism to be construed as being done in the name of freedom?

Freedoms are sometimes exclusive. The freedom of global companies to do as they will often steps on the freedoms of the local industries or citizens. Given that economic resources are scarce, someone is going to get shafted sooner or later and lose their freedoms. It also seems to me that the needs of the many, in this case, really ought to outweigh the needs of the few. I hesitate to admit that corporations ought to be allowed their freedoms simply because they have the money to buy those freedoms, which is what the whole issue boils down to.

Lastly, how do we determine which fights against opression are legitimate? Was the American Revolution legitimate? The Cuban Revolution? The Bolshevick Revolution? The succession of states that led to the Confederacy in the US? The Communist Revolution in China? It seems that all of these share in common the aspect that whether they were fighting for or against opression all depends on what side of the line one was standing on when the Revolution came to one's town.

Personally, I would contend that any act of terror qualifies as terrorism no matter in what name the atrocity is committed. The ends are emphatically unable to justify the means.

[ Parent ]

Why should thye be invited? (4.00 / 2) (#14)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu May 24, 2001 at 05:35:51 AM EST

By who and when were these people elected to represent the interests of others?

The only thing they could have is moral authority based on facts, but all that is diluted when they decide to behave like drunken thughs (sorry, drunken thughs usually don't do as much damage to private property as some of these "protesters" do).

THe way to change things is through the democratic process.

There you have a former activist in the German Goverment and he is trying to influence things from there. That is the way people.


Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
i can say the same for the world bank (4.50 / 2) (#17)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 06:06:29 AM EST

By who and when were these people elected to represent the interests of others?

Protesters dont have any power of representation, govt does. Any govt which has the power to invite or deny protest is unjustly constituted and should be opposed at will. How can it give or take away something that doesnt belong to it?

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

What is protest? (none / 0) (#76)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:22:38 AM EST

In free societies the freedom to protest finishes when you destroy other's property or cause unrest during the protest. A goverment that takes steps to contain such kind of "protesters" (respecting all the laws while doing this) deserves to be commended, not opossed. That is why goverments exist: to gurantee to the best of their ability *pacific* coexistence between the members of a given comunity.

The protesters don't live in isolation: the disruption to the normal life of other people has to be taken into account, most protesters that are willing to cooperate to minimize disruption are usualy received with sympaty by the authorities in democratic places.

If you are an anarchist and think goverments actualy should not exist, that is fine, in that moment no further rational discussion can take place because an anarchist feels opressed no matter what under any kind of goverment.

Anarchists should disclose their leanings at the begining of any discussion regarding the role of goverment in our lives, thus a lot of ink (or keystrokes) could be spared.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
what is liberty? (none / 0) (#100)
by eLuddite on Fri May 25, 2001 at 02:37:42 PM EST

In free societies the freedom to protest finishes when you destroy other's property or cause unrest during the protest.

That isnt true at all. First of all, civil disobedience can land you in jail quicker than you can harm a toothpick. Secondly, the freedom to protest ends when you contravene the law, any law. Finally, the freedom to protest *never* actually ends at all because jail is merely continuation of protest.

Protest, like speech, is a gift of liberty, not a gift of government. Government can restrict the full exercise of your liberty but, short of killing you, it can never make you a slave. Even in jail, the warden has no right to put words in your mouth or use you for his personal sex slave.

Inalienable rights cannot be taken away by the state, nor forfeited by individual misconduct. It is one thing to forfeit the exercise of a right and quite another to divest one's self of it entirely. What cannot be taken away by another cannot be divested by one's self.

In other words, the freedom to protest never ends.

(If you wish to argue against the existence of inalienable rights, dont mention democratic or free government in your post because inalienable rights are the basis for such government.)

Anarchists should disclose their leanings at the begining of any discussion regarding the role of goverment in our lives,

People who believe in free societies should be forced to find one on a map. Incidentally, the role of government is not to protect property, it is to protect the rights that ensure freedom for moral individuals, also known as humans, never known as property or corporations.

most protesters that are willing to cooperate to minimize disruption are usualy received with sympaty by the authorities in democratic places

And if they do not cooperate they are prosecuted for their lack of cooperation. I dont have a problem with that, I insist upon it for protection against frivolous or unfounded opposition. However, if enough citizens do not cooperate with their government, you will presumably have no problem revising your description of that government as a "democratic place." Furthermore, even if 99% of citizens agree to revoke rights from the remaining 1%, you will presumably have no problem revising your definition of "democratic places" to include concepts of equality beyond a democratic plurality of heads.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Rethorical freedom. (none / 0) (#122)
by Tezcatlipoca on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:52:01 AM EST

Yes I know, we are born free, we die free and nobody can do anything about it.

Now back to the real world, you can't go and scratch my car or paint graffitti in my house in order to protest against something.

You do that then the goverment should jail you as fast as possible.

Goverments have to protect property, property does not exist in isolation, it belongs to somebody that worked and payed for the property. Property is not a thing, is a right which should be protected.

It is lame to claim that any rights are or even could be taken away. In the countries where violent demostrations have taken place countless of other organizations have protested against all kind of stuff and they are usually protected and escorted by police and get due media attention. Violent protesters have no excuse , the pacific means to protest without breaking the law exist, I would like to see the protesters doing the same in one of the countries some of them claim to defend. Then they would now what a free society is.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
couple of things (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by ODiV on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:57:36 AM EST

By who and when were these people elected to represent the interests of others?

No one has elected the protesters, you're right. No one has elected organizations such as the WTO (not sure about the World Bank, but I'll bet it's somewhat similar democracy-wise) either.

The only thing they could have is moral authority based on facts, but all that is diluted when they decide to behave like drunken thughs (sorry, drunken thughs usually don't do as much damage to private property as some of these "protesters" do).

It was my observation that the majority of damage caused during the FTAA protest in Quebec was caused by drunken thugs.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
About World Bank and WTO accountability (none / 0) (#73)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri May 25, 2001 at 07:10:49 AM EST

Organizations like thw World Bank and the WTO are set up by goverments, most (or can I say all?) democraticaly elected goverments agree and promote this kind of organizations, their legitimacy come from that base.

The WTO gives poor and small countries one of the few tools to challenge big countries about commercial matters. Binding agreements and not brute force would become the norm.

If protesters feel these organizations should not exist then they should go and get elected and pull your own country out from these organizations. But that is far too dificult, it requires lots of work, inteligent argumentation and mature debate. Nothing the pseudo-eco-yuppies (and I don't use this term lightly, some of these people are professional protesters, I wonder what they do for a living) are willing to do.

Regarding the drunken thugs, it is a real coincidence that every time the protesters assemble, drunken thugs sprout out of nowhere.

There is a lot to be done about international bodies, globalization and the like, but if these people believe that smashing the windows of a McDonalds joint solves anything, they are truly naive.



Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
re: drunken thugs (none / 0) (#97)
by ODiV on Fri May 25, 2001 at 11:23:47 AM EST

Regarding the drunken thugs, it is a real coincidence that every time the protesters assemble, drunken thugs sprout out of nowhere.

Of course it isn't. When else do you get to walk around with a beer in full view of the cops and get away with it? When else are the cops so busy that you can really let your drunken thuggishness shine? I'm sure some people who were protesting acted like thugs, but from what I saw that wasn't the norm. (I saw windows broken on exactly 3 buildings.)

The WTO gives poor and small countries one of the few tools to challenge big countries about commercial matters.

Not from what I've heard. I could be misinformed, but hasn't the WTO consistently ruled in favour of large corporations over smaller countries? Overturning such and such a decision of a country because it's a "barrier to trade"? That's one of the major complaints against the WTO that I've heard from protesters.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Which People? (none / 0) (#87)
by priestess on Fri May 25, 2001 at 08:40:52 AM EST

By who and when were these people elected to represent the interests of others?
Which people? The leaders of the world bank? I dunno, I never had a chance to vote in electing them anyway, that's whay the protestors protest isn't it?

Pre........

----
My Mobile Phone Comic-books business
Robots!
[ Parent ]
Remark: (2.00 / 1) (#49)
by rajivvarma on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:58:49 PM EST

Hello:

Quote from eLuddite:"They are not terrorists, they are protesters exercising their own free speech."

Is there a law or constitution in Italy granting free speech to its citizens?
Rajiv Varma
Mirror of DeCSS.

[ Parent ]
govt isnt a ventriloquist (none / 0) (#54)
by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:37:42 PM EST

Speech cannot be granted by government, it can only be protected or taken away. But yes, Italy isnt despotic, it explicitly guarantees inviolable rights in its Constitution. (Inviolable rights are rights which cannot be conferred by govt.)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

speech? (3.00 / 4) (#5)
by streetlawyer on Thu May 24, 2001 at 02:54:39 AM EST

In what way can holding a private meeting to which outsiders are not invited be considered "speech"? Or are you actually claiming that the World Bank and IMF have difficulties in publicising their message?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
assembly then (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by delmoi on Thu May 24, 2001 at 03:04:30 AM EST

What about 'freedom to assemble'? Not that this is in the US or anything.

btw, did you forget to log on using your non-streatlawyer account?
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Absolutely (4.09 / 11) (#25)
by wiredog on Thu May 24, 2001 at 09:10:43 AM EST

"Free Speech" and "free assembly" are bourgeois tools used to keep the people down. In order to stop globalisation and save the people from the corporations, and bring about the True Socialist Paradise in our time, we must jettison these outmoded concepts. Those concepts, and the idea that there should be some sort of "rule of law" and "respect for others" are outmoded concepts. It is certain that anyone who supports freedom of speech for those who are opposed to the Right Way of Thinking is a tool of the corporate running dog lackeys of the corrupt West. These ideas are dangerous. Remember, all men are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Well, it's good and bad news (none / 0) (#50)
by pavlos on Thu May 24, 2001 at 08:31:54 PM EST

I guess the situation is mixed, and so I agree it's not all good news. It's a mixture of good and bad news.

Why did the world bank cancel the summit? There are three possible reasons:

  • For fear of serious violence against delegates or Bank personnel. This is in fact very unlikely, though perhaps more likely than elsewhere.

  • For fear of widespread disorder, petty violence, and disruption that actually prevents the smooth running of the conference, for example by blocking transport.

  • To avoid the public relation damage that would be caused by several thousand vociferous protesters, clearly motivated and occasionally articulate, and possibly the support of the local population.

    In my opinion, if the Bank was dissuaded by fears of terrorism that would indeed be bad news, as this is not a moral, or even effective, way to change the political landscape. When I said it was good the protests are working I didn't include this possibility.

    For the case where the protest prevents the smooth running of the meeting, I think there is a lot of room for debate. One should decide whether this action is appropriate, not on the face-value legality of it but on political and social grounds. For example:

  • Are the protesters or the law enforcement authorities the ones who use excessive violence? The answer might be different in Spain, the USA, China, Korea.

  • Can the protesters claim that this is the only available course of action or are there other, more democratic channels available? The answer may be different when protesting against the World Bank, FTAA, the French government, or the Iranian government.

  • In balance, is the harm done by the disruption greater or less than the social harm (or good) that would result if there was no protest? The answer may be different when protesting against the FTAA, a nuclear weapons base, or a slaughterhouse.

    If you evaluate any form of direct protest on the basis of its legality, it will always lose. This would be OK if you believe that the prevailing government is truly democratic and citizens can in practice assert their wishes through it. The reason that people are protesting, even in western countries, is that they think the system is not democratic in practice and so direct action is the only way to make a difference. I also think our governments fail to be democratic in practice and so I'm happy when people protest directly over important issues.

    Finally, there is the public relations issue. Protests against the MAI, World Bank, IMF, FTAA and Capitalism in general have increased very visibly in mass over the last five years. Irrespective of whether you think the protesters are right or wrong (ie. if Capitalism is good or bad), the fact that people are protesting is news. There used to be no such strong voice of dissent five or ten years ago. I think that these institutions are bad, so I'm pleased to see opinion against them gaining ground.

    The visibility of the protests might cause people to think "Hang on, why are all these people shouting? Are they paid goons? Unlikely. Are they shiftless and looking for handouts? Also unlikely. Are they mad? Well maybe, maybe not. I should think about this matter". The protesters could be accused of many things (naivety, violence, incoherence) but it is difficult to deny their motivation and sincerety. That should not in itself be convincing, but it should be thought provoking.

    Now, in Barcelona there is a strong Anarchist tradition, a strong labour movement, and possibly separatist sentiment (I don't know what Catalan politics are like or whether there is in fact any sympathy for the Basque separatists). I predict that, had the summit taken place there, the protest would be even more populous, intense, and possibly condoned by the general public than in other cities. It would be difficult to portray such a large protest as a "looney fringe" and, in my personal opinion, this may be the strongest reason that dissuaded the Bank.

    Pavlos

    [ Parent ]

  • Your last paragraph is spot on (none / 0) (#90)
    by keyeto on Fri May 25, 2001 at 09:02:28 AM EST

    Except for the remark about ETA, which has already been dealt with, I think you've got it right in you last paragraph. Radge protestors, they can handle, using chemical weapons if necessary. It's much harder to get away with gassing "ordinary" (for want of a better word) members of the public. There is indeed a fair chance that the protestors would have the support of a significant proportion of the local population.

    The last thing wanted by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the unaccountable corporate interests they represent, is anti-globalisation protestors organising alongside the general public.


    --
    "This is the Space Age, and we are Here To Go"
    William S. Burroughs
    [ Parent ]
    Cataluña (4.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Burrito Supreme Dictator on Thu May 24, 2001 at 02:14:55 AM EST

    Barcelona has a strong Anarchist tradition dating back to the Spanish civil war, has a strong labor movement, and is close to the area of operation of ETA, the Basque armed separatist group.

    Take a look at this map and this one. Notice that Barcelona is in the Cataluña (Catalonia) region, and Barcelona itself is further from País Vasco (Basque Country) than Spain's capital, Madrid.

    Of course, if the ETA wanted to rely on local operatives (hmm... wonder if they've set up regional offices? ;), or didn't care about the extra few miles (likely), then the difference wouldn't matter.

    That said, an "incident" in the capital city would garner much more attention than one in Barcelona.

    Also to take into consideration is the fact that Catalonians, to an extent, consider their region to be a separate "country" from Spain proper. Basque separatists attacking a Catalonian city would make about as much sense as, say, an enraged Puerto Rico attacking Guam to scare the folks in D.C. Probably not the most efficient way to run a campaign of senseless terror.

    -- This space devoted to wasting your bandwidth. (A token gesture, to be sure, in these days of high-speed connections. But it's the thought that counts, right?) --

    ETA has nothing to do with this. (4.00 / 3) (#6)
    by eLuddite on Thu May 24, 2001 at 02:58:34 AM EST

    The World Bank is not cancelling their summit because someone reminded them of the decades old existence of ETA. Nor is there any mention of ETA in the El Pais links.

    Basque separatists attacking a Catalonian city would make about as much sense as, say, an enraged

    Basque separatists attack Spanish authority wherever it exists in Spain, regardless of province. Catalan authorities do not differ from Spanish authorities in their condemnation of ETA and ETA bombs go boom in Barcelona with biannual regularity, at least.

    ---
    God hates human rights.
    [ Parent ]

    Interesting. (4.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Burrito Supreme Dictator on Thu May 24, 2001 at 03:59:00 AM EST

    "ETA has nothing to do with this."

    Exactly the point I was trying to make.

    "Basque separatists attack Spanish authority wherever it exists in Spain, regardless of province. Catalan authorities do not differ from Spanish authorities in their condemnation of ETA and ETA bombs go boom in Barcelona with biannual regularity, at least."

    Never said it was impossible. Just idiotic on the ETA's part. Then again, terrorists tend not to be the most reasonable of people.

    -- This space devoted to wasting your bandwidth. (A token gesture, to be sure, in these days of high-speed connections. But it's the thought that counts, right?) --
    [ Parent ]

    I'm not really sure... (4.50 / 2) (#30)
    by jazzido on Thu May 24, 2001 at 10:17:18 AM EST

    ...but separatist groups from Catalunya (as catalanes like to write it) don't exist since late 70s.

    And ETA has little to do with Antiglobalization movements. (they're nationalists, and that has to do with globalization, but well..)

    --- "Patriotism is the last resource of scoundrels" -- Dr. Johnson

    [ Parent ]

    Seperatist groups (4.00 / 1) (#48)
    by aphrael on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:56:11 PM EST

    There are still some seperatist groups, they just have a low profile. When I was there last May there were fliers all over the place protesting a parade by the Spanish military as an act of an enemy power which insisted on maintaining the tight grip of an occupying oppressor, for example.

    [ Parent ]
    Random thoughts (4.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Simon Kinahan on Thu May 24, 2001 at 12:00:00 PM EST

    Firstly, the Economist is a weekly publication, and new copies appear on the web on Friday morning UK time. They won't have had a chance to report this yet, if it happened on May 19th. The relevant edition comes out tomorrow.

    Secondly, I doubt the WB really needs to hold these meetings. As far as I know, they're a get together for the member countries governments and the bureaucrats. Indeed, since not having a meeting means the World Bank money shufflers don't have to meet the only conceivable source of democratic pressure on their activities, it might conceivably make them more ignorant and self righteous than usual.

    Regarding treaties: they're pretty much prepared in secret anyway. The meeting at the start or end of the treaty process is purely for the news media. OTOH, the IMF and WB have nothing to do with trade treaty negotiations.



    Simon

    If you disagree, post, don't moderate
    Yes indeed (none / 0) (#91)
    by pavlos on Fri May 25, 2001 at 09:19:38 AM EST

    I am coming to agree with the view, expressed also in other comments, that if the WB, IMF, etc do have meetings there will be at least some semi-public debate whereas if there is too much opposition to the meetings they'll just take decisions in private.

    I checked this week's Economist, they didn't seem to report anything about Barcelona. One could say that reporting on a non-event is no news...

    Pavlos

    [ Parent ]

    Minor nitpick (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by aphrael on Thu May 24, 2001 at 04:53:46 PM EST

    the ETA is not active in Barcelona or elsewhere in Catalonia. it would make no sense for it to be; there are no basques there.

    However, Catalonia has its own anarchist activist seperatist movement, and its politics are controlled by a nativist (but not seperatist) movement which demanded significant autonomy from the Spanish government after the fall of Franco. The people of the province speak a Romance language which is distinct from Spanish (Catalan), and have an independant political tradition going back to the time of Charlemagne; they never quite accepted their incorporation into Spain in the 15th century, and revolted in the 18th century and again during the Spanish Civil War.

    World Bank cancels Barcelona summit | 125 comments (124 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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