Social Movements and Resistanceâ€”The Time has Come
By Peter Bohmer at Dec 12, 2008
I think there is a good possibility that we are about to enter a period of major uprisings, social movements and major protests focusing on but not limited to the global recession/depression we are entering into. I am talking both about the
One sign of this bubbling unrest is the massive national support for the occupation of the Republic Windows and Doors factory in
This sit-in at Republic Windows and Doors by its workers really resonated with people throughout the
In Europe, the riots, militant protests and strikes in
Obama’s pro corporate, pro capitalist globalization and neoliberal economic advisers are likely to underestimate how serious the economic problems are and misdiagnose the problem and the necessary policy changes. Poverty, in the next two years, will grow substantially as well as people losing their homes and jobs. The new foreign policy and military team are likely to carry out a foreign and military policy similar to Bill Clinton’s administration. The continued militarism will possibly awaken anti-war activities, particularly the huge and continued war and military spending during an economic depression when human needs are so great. Even with regards to the environment and climate change, the Obama administration reforms are likely to be wholly inadequate. Progressive economic and foreign policy will not come from the Obama administration unless there are huge and organized social movements demanding this.
So I think we need to be preparing for these possibilities of increased interest in activism and a spreading and growth of organized and unorganized uprisings. Let us think big!! We need to strengthen the infrastructure of existing movements, connect issues and organizations better, be bolder in our explanations of what is going on and in our demands. Capitalism is not working. It is particularly important that we build and strengthen institutions locally, regionally, nationally and even globally that can provide explanations of the economic and financial collapse, teach potential activists useful skills, and be a place for the discussion of causes, impact, and strategies for reformist and revolutionary change. Perhaps most importantly we need to talk and listen and connect more with those who are losing their jobs, their homes, their health care, cannot afford higher education and who are falling into poverty and near poverty.
In the Pacific Northwest, a few of us have begun talking about doing a major teach-in and strategy conference in spring, 2-009 explaining what is going on economically and building on current organizing and resistance. The response so far in a few informal conversations has been very enthusiastic.
Recession/depression does not necessarily mean more organized resistance and radicalization but I have a feeling that there are more possibilities today than there have been in a long time.