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Essay of the Day: The dramatic rise of p2p communications within the emancipatory movements

In the article I give a personal review on some of the important spaces of convergence and mobilisations which took place in 2011 and 2012 and currently being planned: like, 15O, Joint Social Conferences, Hub Meetings of Indignados, Global May, Agora 99 and Florence 10+10 among others. I also deliver my observations on the dramatic rise of peer to peer (P2P) communication as well as increasing involvement of new generation activists and spreading of P2P relational dynamics within in these spaces and mobilisations.

* The Dramatic Rise of Peer-to-Peer Communication within the emancipatory movements Reflections of an International Labour, Social Justice and Cyber Activist Posted on October 23, 2012 . Draft paper by Örsan Senalp

An important review of p2p organizing, mostly within the European movements, by Orsan Senalp.

We reproduce the abstract, the introduction, and the conclusions.

* Abstract

In the article I give a personal review on some of the important spaces of convergence and mobilisations some of which took place in 2011 and 2012 and others are currently being planned: like, 15O, Joint Social Conferences, Hub Meetings of Indignados, Global May, Agora 99 and Florence 10+10 among others. I also deliver my observations on the dramatic rise of peer to peer (P2P) communication as well as increasing involvement of new generation activists in these spaces and mobilisations. Such developments might allow radical reformist and revolutionary forces to invent an upgraded methodology for working together which might in return make it possible to form transnationally connected and strong alliances between horizontal and less vertical forms of agency, so called movement of movements.

* Introduction

In 2011 the world witnessed the beginning of the first truly transnational and global grass-roots uprising. Peer to peer self-organising, on-line connectivity, horizontality, and commitment to non-violence have become the common characteristics of the rising global movement. Progressive and revolutionary civil society organisations and trade unions have played a crucial role in the uprisings that took place in Tunisia, Egypt, Iceland, Greece, Spain, Israel, Chile, the UK, the US as well as many other places.

This constellation might explain why 2012 has begun as a year in which the transnational capital and ruling elite have gathered around a consensus on various types of authoritarian and neoliberal state capitalism. More and more divorce between capitalism and democracy followed the market failure deepening in the West. While imperial confrontations among the elite forces taking the form of military conflicts, the common offensive against the poor and working classes structurally and strategically increased. The violence has been hardened against the peaceful social opposition almost everywhere. Not only austerity, flex-slavery and proletarianisation have spread throughout the world; peaceful public space occupations were violently evicted, militarisation, surveillance and criminalisation captured all domains of social life, strikes were banned, and even as happened in Marikana tragedy in South Africa, tens of striking workers have been massacred by the police forces in cold blood.1

On the other hand, 15M and Occupy movements have reached a sustainable phase within 2012. After 15O, May 1 General Strike and Global May/Spring mobilisations a lot of experience has been gained.2 September 17, the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and current autumn mobilisations have proved the sustainability that the young movement has achieved.3 A week before these lines are written Global Noise mobilisation took place marking, this time, the first anniversary of the October 15 uprising. There have been many local and national mobilisations for various causes between October 12 and 20. October 13 was the global day of action. The Global Noise mobilisations were organised in more than 30 countries and 230 cities around the world making a huge meaningful noise against the ruling class brutality. There have been and will be many other initiatives and mobilisations taking place during this autumn and winter.

Meanwhile we have been observing the formation of larger alliances among more traditional progressive forces. Important spaces and convergence processes have been initiated, launched by radical democratic as well as revolutionary alter-forces especially in Europe. At the beginning of November there are two events taking place: Agora 99 in Madrid November 1-4 and 10+10 in Florence Italy, November 8-11.4 The objective in these gatherings is enabling constructive interaction between non-representational new movements and progressive NGO networks and unions, and defining the common ground and common mobilisations. Hopefully much larger than the ones set for so far. On top of all these unions from Greek, Spanish, and Portugal have declared that they will set forth simultaneous general strikes on November 14. There is a possibility that the unions from Malta and Cyprus will also join in and turn it into the first Mediterranean General Strike of the world history.

In the article I give a personal review on some of the important spaces of convergence and mobilisations which took place in 2011 and 2012 and currently being planned: like, 15O, Joint Social Conferences, Hub Meetings of Indignados, Global May, Agora 99 and Florence 10+10 among others. I also deliver my observations on the dramatic rise of peer to peer (P2P) communication as well as increasing involvement of new generation activists and spreading of P2P relational dynamics within in these spaces and mobilisations. Such developments might allow radical reformist and revolutionary forces to invent a methodology for working together which might in return make it possible to form transnationally connected and strong alliances between horizontal and less vertical forms of agency; so called movement of movements.

* Conclusion

The new methods and tools of communication and self-organising that have been experimented with and developed by the new-generation activists in creating a shared feeling and experience, strategy and tactics, public space and political impact. Information-gathering and exchanges before making proposals to the local General Assemblies about the mobilisations, action or alternative initiatives to be taken forward have been representing varying combinations of direct democracy powered by P2P relational dynamics and tools, which were developed and adopted by the previous and current generation activists, including those active in Anonymous and Pirate party movements. Activist from different movements need to reflected upon these new knowledge and experience in order to strengthen international level practices in order to contribute to most radical social change possible.

Following the summer 2012, political momentum is rising again. Upcoming elections in the US, Israel, and the power transition in China, make intra-class conflicts more and more difficult to handle for the ruling elite, in global term. The coming months are potentially full of tension. The increase in military confrontations between China and Japan, Turkey and Syria, Israel & US vs. Iran, reveal these fraternal conflicts. In most of the cases these hit hardest the innocent civilians, the poor, children and elderly. But the hope is always there. While I am making the last corrections on the text, an International Strike for November 14 has been set to take place in Greece, Spain and Portugal. There are important workshops planned for Agora 99 and Firenze 10+10 to interlink the work has been done, seek for collaboration and possibility of larger mobilizations, and start a discussion on building a transnational unionism. Another important unionist platforms New Unionism Network has launched a discussion on how to build global unionism. These might be the signals of the coming of stronger alliances between various types of actors. Who knows may be we can this time achieve to form a ‘Fellowship of the Ring‘, using Tolkien’s fictive image as a metaphor. A force that can attract the eye of the Mordor, murderous 1% in our case, to herself and expand from the Middle Earth (Europe) towards the Mediterranean, Middle East, the Americas and across the world. Charge a glorious battle against the common enemy who declared economic, social, political, cultural and military class war at the 99% and the planet itself.

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