Disobedience Makes History

The Clown Army is surrounded, Gleneagles G8 protests, Scotland 2005 Photo: © Ian Teh

Led by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
Saturday 23 January 2010, 10.30–17.30
Saturday 30 January 2010, 10.30–17.30

In 1989 thousands of citizens defied the law and brought down the authoritarian regimes that were already crumbling under economic burdens across Eastern Europe.  Many of the seeds of these revolutions were planted by artists and subcultures who devised forms of civil disobedience and opened up a space for dissent.

Twenty years later we are in the midst of an unprecedented economic and ecological crisis not unlike that which swept across the east in 1989 and yet voices of dissent are being increasingly repressed. There has never been a more urgent time to develop new forms of creative disobedience and artists have the skills and imagination to do this. This workshop will explore the history and practice of creative disobedience and will culminate in a co-created intervention. No arts or activism experience necessary.

Tate Modern  Level 7 East Room
£50 (£35 concessions), booking recommended
Price includes refreshments
For tickets book online
or call 020 7887 8888.

Book tickets online

Source: http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/coursesworkshops/20641.htm

שטח סגור | Closed Zone | منطقة مغلقة

Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement calls on the State of Israel to fully open Gaza’s crossings and to allow the real victims of the closure – 1.5 million human beings – the freedom of movement necessary to realize their dreams and aspirations.

“Theres nothing Jewish about what Israel is doing in Palestine and nothing anti-Jewish about opposing it. Free #Gaza! Long live #Palestine!” – Twitter

See http://www.closedzone.com/

Hugo Chávez Writes on “The Battle of Copenhagen”

December 22nd 2009, by Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Copenhagen was the scene of a historic battle in the framework of the 15th Conference of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP15). Better said, in the beautiful, snowy capital of Denmark, a battle began that did not end on Friday, December 18, 2009. I reiterate: Copenhagen was only the beginning of a decisive battle for the salvation of the planet. It was a battle in the realm of ideas and in praxis.

Brazilian Leonardo Boff, a great liberation theologian and one of the most authoritative voices on environmental issues, in a key article, entitled What is at stake in Copenhagen?, wrote these words full of insight and courage: What can we expect from Copenhagen? At least this simple confession: We cannot continue like this. And a simple proposition: Let’s change course.

And for that reason, precisely, we went to Copenhagen to battle for a change of course on behalf of Venezuela, on behalf of the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA), and moreover, in defence of the cause of humanity and to speak, with President Evo Morales, in defence of the rights of Pachamama, of Mother Earth.

Evo, who together with yours truly, had the responsibility to be a spokesperson for the Bolivarian Alliance, wisely said: What this debate is about, is whether we are going to live or we are going to die.

All eyes of the world were concentrated on Copenhagen: the 15th Conference on Climate Change allowed us to gauge the fibre we are made of, where hope lies and what can we do to establish what the Liberator Simón Bolívar defined as the equilibrium of the universe, an equilibrium that can never be achieved within the capitalist world system. Continue reading

The Day The Music Was Resurrected

For four years in a row Simon Cowell’s X-Factor has dominated the Christmas number one slot in the charts. He’s certainly not the first person to send bland, manufactured porridge masquerading as music to the top of the charts but he is the first to insist year on year that there is no alternative.

Year after year he unleashes all the corporate power at his disposal, including a prime-time TV show which acts as a long-running, dedicated advertising campaign that puts QVC and the Shopping Channel to shame, all in the service of his ever-burgeoning fortunes.

Stacked against him were a married couple in Essex, Jon and Tracy Morter, who decided that enough was enough and launched a campaign from their living room to depose the dictator.

How were they going to do it? By backing Killing In The Name by rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine (RATM).

Leaping beyond all their expectations the campaign, based mainly through the internet as the song was no longer available in the shops, became a mini-movement with almost a million people joining the Facebook group and over half-a-million people buying the single in a week.

Joyously it topped the charts with no corporate backing nor even, initially, with the knowledge of the band itself. Continue reading

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on How to Tackle Climate Change: “We Must Go from Capitalism to Socialism”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on How to Tackle Climate Change: “We Must Go From Capitalism to Socialism”

Democracy Now speak with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez about climate change, the Copenhagen summit and President Obama. Chavez accuses calls the COP15 summit undemocratic and accuses world leaders of only seeking a face-saving agreement. We must reduce all the emissions that are destroying the planet, Chavez says. That requires a change in the economic model: we must go from capitalism to socialism.

See also:

Fidel Castro: The Truth of What Happened at the Summit

Venezuelan President’s Speech on Climate Change in Copenhagen

Fidel Castro: The Truth of What Happened at the Summit

The youth is more interested than anyone else in the future.

Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centers on whether human society will survive.

These are not dramatic phrases. We must get used to the true facts. Hope is the last thing human beings can relinquish. With truthful arguments, men and women of all ages, especially young people, have waged an exemplary battle at the Summit and taught the world a great lesson.

It is important now that Cuba and the world come to know as much as possible of what happened in Copenhagen. The truth can be stronger than the influenced and often misinformed minds of those holding in their hands the destiny of the world. Continue reading

Venezuelan President’s Speech on Climate Change in Copenhagen

December 17th 2009, by Hugo Chavez

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, Excellencies, friends, I promise that I will not talk more than most have spoken this afternoon. Allow me an initial comment which I would have liked to make as part of the previous point which was expressed by the delegations of Brazil, China, India, and Bolivia. We were there asking to speak but it was not possible. Bolivia’s representative said, my salute of course to Comrade President Evo Morales, who is there, President of the Republic of Bolivia.

[Audience applause]

She said among other things the following, I noted it here, she said the text presented is not democratic, it is not inclusive.

I had hardly arrived and we were just sitting down when we heard the president of the previous session, the minister, saying that a document came about, but nobody knows, I’ve asked for the document, but we still don’t have it, I think nobody knows of that top secret document.

Now certainly, as the Bolivian comrade said, that is not democratic, it is not inclusive. Now, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t that just the reality of the world?

Are we in a democratic world? Is the global system inclusive? Can we hope for something democratic, inclusive from the current global system?

What we are experiencing on this planet is an imperial dictatorship, and from here we continue denouncing it. Down with imperial dictatorship! And long live the people and democracy and equality on this planet!

[Audience applause]

And what we see here is a reflection of this: Exclusion.

There is a group of countries that consider themselves superior to us in the South, to us in the Third World, to us, the underdeveloped countries, or as a great friend Eduardo Galeano says, we, the crushed countries, as if a train ran over us in history.

In light of this, it’s no surprise that there is no democracy in the world and here we are again faced with powerful evidence of global imperial dictatorship. Then two youths got up here, fortunately the enforcement officials were decent, some push around, and they collaborated right? There are many people outside, you know? Of course, they do not fit in this room, they are too many people. I’ve read in the news that there were some arrests, some intense protests, there in the streets of Copenhagen, and I salute all those people out there, most of them youth.

[Audience applause]

Of course young people are concerned, I think rightly much more than we are, for the future of the world. We have – most of us here – the sun on our backs, and they have to face the sun and are very worried.

One could say, Mr. President, that a spectre is haunting Copenhagen, to paraphrase Karl Marx, the great Karl Marx, a spectre is haunting the streets of Copenhagen, and I think that spectre walks silently through this room, walking around among us, through the halls, out below, it rises, this spectre is a terrible spectre almost nobody wants to mention it: Capitalism is the spectre, almost nobody wants to mention it. Continue reading