young activism, alter globalization movements

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This extract from the article The Politics of Assembly: Building an Urban Ecology from A16 is talking about the eve of the April 16th (A16) protests in Washington DC against the IMF and World Bank meetings in 2000. On A16 a large number of people, which included artists, environmentalists, feminists, anti-neoliberalists, gay activists, dancers, etc. assembled at the Capitol “(…) as part of a polyphonic refusal of globalization without representation” (Doan, R. et.al). The protest was filled with music, art, scenery, and dancing. A large number of people were arrested for protesting, but that didn´t stop the protest to continue. This specific protest helps as an example of the new trend of activism that use as a model the 1999 Seattle protests against the WTO –which was the turning point of the emergence of a new actor in the political and societal arenas, both locally and internationally-. These movements –A16 in DC, the Seattle protests, Occupy Wall Street, etc.- have not the aim of gathering in a straightforward and violent form, but in a pacific and `fun’ way, and to protest against the ongoing disbelief of the current free-market and democratic world system. As some may misinterpret, these movements are not a rise against globalization, but a rise against the economic effects of capitalism. We can observe the goals, visions and targets of the new alter-activist movements in a small extract of Randal Doane´s A Postmodern Lorax Manifesto for the A16 Warriors (2000) –which was printed and distributed throughout the streets in the A16 protest-: But enough on these lords, and their Gluppity-Glup, Made by their machines that muck the rivers all up Let´s think of a way, not just to stop all these jerks But to make life a pleasure, ... ... middle of paper ... ...of such activism is reflected in the massiveness of movements such as Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados, etc. By maintaining their distance from the bureaucratic underpinnings of politics and living their day-to-day in forms which they consider to be the right alternative to the current neoliberal social, ecological, economical, and political structures, and by broadcasting them and creating networks of like-minded people, young activists are increasing their political power by affecting the public opinion and challenging neoliberal practices. Though these movements still have to face the fact that even if a truly functional alternative to neoliberalism is presented, there´s no assurance that it will be adopted and that things will truly change. But the path is still being constructed, and these movements have continued to achieve a lot in terms of social justice.

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