[sixties-l] Looking for substance behind the protest

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 10/13/00

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     >The Christian Science Monitor
     >September 28, 2000, Thursday
     >Looking for substance behind the protest
     >by Laurent Belsie
     >ASPEN, COLO.
     >After nearly a year of protests, the signs and chants are familiar:
     >"Dump the Debt." "Worker Rights, Not Corporate Rights." "World Bank,
     >what are you for? You feed the rich and starve the poor."
     >Never mind that this isn't Seattle, Philadelphia, or San Francisco.
     >The police here sport bicycles, not riot gear, and the biggest
     >business around these parts is tourism. Nevertheless, at the gravel
     >entrance to the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit ideas forum, some 75 men
     >and women have come to protest a conference on globalization.
     >Not since the Vietnam era has an issue so galvanized people. Old-line
     >hippies rub elbows with Gen-Xers. Women nearly outnumber the men. And
     >the movement is gaining momentum.
     >If protesters can organize an alternative conference and a credible
     >street protest in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, they can make
     >their presence felt in any major American city. Just like the antiwar
     >movement - except it's different.
     >"In the '60s, you still had a hierarchical structure," says Stan
     >Wilson, a Vietnam era protester who saw the war end before he got
     >drafted. "It was very male dominated. The women of the '60s never got
     >the ink that the men did."
     >"Now the movement is more honest," he adds. "It's really a leaderless
     >He is seated with some 30 other anarchists (the more extreme part of
     >the protest movement) in an apartment rented for the weekend. Over a
     >lunch of vegetarian soup from Styrofoam trays, the group gets down to
     >business. One woman serves as facilitator, handling the "stack" (the
     >order of people who want to speak). The mood is upbeat because the
     >Aspen Institute allowed the group to send four representatives to ask
     >questions of the conferees.
     >"We have learned a lot from the '60s," explains Mark Cohen after the
     >meeting. But "in a lot of ways, people are more sophisticated today.
     >Sixties people were still trying to work through the Democratic
     >The protest movement has its own internal divisions. Some want to
     >reform the capitalist system; others, including these anarchists, want
     >to replace it. But even these anarchists don't oppose globalization;
     >they merely want to guide it in a new direction.
     >And because of that, they have made a big impact on the elite whom
     >they criticize.
     >"When thousands of young Americans and people around the world gather
     >in the streets, it's an enormous mistake to dismiss them as a group of
     >overindulgent, dissatisfied technological Luddites who ought to be
     >disregarded," Bruce Babbitt, US Secretary of the Interior and a
     >civil-rights activist in his own day, warned conferees. "That cry is a
     >voice of skepticism about the hubris of modern technology, about
     >science, and other forms of globalization."

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