Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Bring forth the Guillotine

November 27, 2011

As we engage in another festive season of unwanted gifts and frivolous spending under economically hard times, I thought it would be wise to put down some words on the current fire that is sweeping the nation and remind Christmas shoppers just why there are clusters of tents and communities staining the gothic skyline of Edinburgh and other cities around the world.

The occupation of public spaces, plazas and squares around the world was primarily associated with the homeless and generally accepted as an unwanted but unfortunate byproduct of modern capitalism. Todays occupations also consist of disillusioned, desperate and unemployed people but now include a broad spectrum of students, teachers, families, activists, poets and painters.

At the beginning of the year in Tahrir Square, Cairo, the world watched as over a million protesters demanded political change and successfully removed the Egyptian President. The previous winter seen the initial seed of revolution in Tunisia sparked by the death of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor who set himself on fire in protest of the coercive arm of the authorities.  I witnessed the start of the occupations in Spain as the numbers grew from 300 people to 30,000 in Madrid and Barcelona. Within months another 30  cities were occupied. Riot police battled with angry demonstrators in Athens, Tottenham and Hackney saw widespread looting and riots, Syria exposed genocide and oppression whilst  Libya dragged their former dictator through the streets of his home town. The British media finally took notice of the viral plea for freedom and an end to economic enslavery when the people of New York  occupied Wall Street and the Brookyln bridge. Contrary to the Obama administrations support for human rights and justice under the current political unrest , the New York police department arrested the protesters and used pepper spray  to disperse the crowds.

Why such a disturbance amongst civilized human beings? Could it be that civilization and the capitalist enterprises that promised everyone the world only cater for the elite and wealthy? It took a while for the penny to drop but the government bailout of corrupt financial institutions made it clear that Goldman Sachs and Phillip Morris pull the strings in this puppet show, not Tony Blair or Barack Obama.  In 2008 we woke up from our consumerist slumber and realized the money we were spending didn’t belong to us, the houses we slept in would never be paid off and the fast cars we used to pull with didn´t get us laid. The carpet has been swiftly pulled from underneath our feet whilst the big boys reveled in ´investment opportunities´ and the ´free market´. What was previously a community of strength is now a wall for corporate advertising. What was once free and abundant is now bottled and sold.

So far I have mapped out a historically common colonial manifesto that uses the corporate line and law to acquire land and resources for economic gain. The unethical issues of this practice are clear but when the common man can barely feed his family due to the level of exploitation and austerity measures what can he do? In the past, very little could be done and the feudal system continued happily exploiting the workers at the bottom of the superstructure. A new age has emerged and with it forms of communication beyond government control. Digital communication has become the most important agent of social change. Knowledge and information control revolutionary movements. What we are witnessing is a massive media defense force rising up against the corrupt, back scratching, ethical hoover we call the conglomerates or simply The Machine. The Indignados of Spain used modern technology to rally thousands of people together and successfully uproot the filtered mainstream rulebook by forcing the state propaganda machine to listen to the subaltern voice. Independent media collectives are offering revolutionary groups laptops, cameras and broadcasting equipment to build efficient communication skills that will end the isolation adherent to capitalism. The beauty of the current system is that it works through separation; television, incarceration, education, whatever means are necessary in order to avoid the collective consciousness. We have almost forgotten how to participate and empower ourselves through a collective force. Described by Cox as a ´free space – where all individuals are able to realize their own potential and develop the self-awareness that can arise from understanding one´s position´. The community can allow us access to ´sources of alternative action … similar values … similar interest in helping people learn how to defend themselves against the external power, and taking control of their lives.´ 

Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Greece, Spain, New York, Oakland, Alaska, Tokyo, London, Mexico are all rising up against the capitalist enterprises and crude materialism that is poisoning and controlling this planet. Through horizontal global organization, small groups are chosing to fight and defend the land that our forefathers died for. With a demand for a space without politicians, without political parties and without a police presence the people have started a revolution without borders. The street fighting man is back to occupy the machine. Now more than 90 cities have had enough of neo-liberal bullshit and will continue to challenge the authority that is responsible for a basic decline in human rights and resources. The result will needlessly bring more bloodshed, virginity tests, police brutality and imprisonment but when put into perspective this is nothing compared to the wars that our taxes fund and the inevitable festering and swollen beast of a planet we plan to let our children inherit.

For more information on a revolution near you check these sites out: