Mayhem 2012: gearing up for a global spring of discontent

  • April 29, 2012

People & Protest

In May, the 99 percent will open up new avenues of resistance as activists around the world gear up for the intensification of popular protest and direct action.

And we’re back! After months of relative quiet, interspersed with a handful of mass protests and radical events — like the general strike in Spain and the re-occupation of Wall Street — our movement is on course to escalate into a massive social orgasm of non-violent popular resistance against the diktat of finance capital and the military-industrial complex.

Long left for ‘dead‘ by the mainstream media and political institutions, we once again finds ourselves in the luxury position of the underdog — capable once more of harnessing the element of surprise to grab the system by its proverbial balls when it least expects it; twisting, twirling and turning right where it hurts.

Who knows what this spring will bring! Perhaps May 2012 will forever be remembered as the month in which the worldwide resistance against a defunct global capitalist system spiraled out into orbit? In its latest tactical briefing, Adbusters alluded to that legendary spring 44 years ago, urging us to be inspired by the revolutionary legacy of May ’68, while avoiding the failures and pitfalls that beset the social movements of the past.

With thousands of actions planned in cities all around the world, whatever may happen is bound to become massive and legendary. On May 1, International Workers Day, the Occupy movement in the US will kick off the global spring of discontent with a countrywide general strike. The event is remarkable because, in an attempt to dissociate the event from the international workers’ movement, the US traditionally celebrates Labor Day on September 3.

As Occupy Wall St. writes:

While American corporate media has focused on yet another stale election between Wall Street-financed candidates, Occupy has been organizing something extraordinary: the first truly nationwide General Strike in U.S. history. Building on the international celebration of May Day, past General Strikes in U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland, the recent May 1st Day Without An Immigrant demonstrations, the national general strikes in Spain this year, and the on-going student strike in Quebec, the Occupy Movement has called for A Day Without the 99% on May 1st, 2012. This in and of itself is a tremendous victory. For the first time, workers, students, immigrants, and the unemployed from over 125 U.S. cities will stand together for economic justice.

Adbusters elaborates:

For thirty-one magical days beginning this Tuesday, May 1, we take the plunge and Strike! We block the Golden Gate Bridge; occupy a Manhattan-bound tunnel; seize the ports. In 115 cities, we march into banks, erect tents and refuse to leave. We disrupt financial institutions forcing thousands to preemptively close. Five thousand of us pray, dance, sleep on Wall Street and in front of the Fed and if the Bloombergs of the world bring out paramilitary police to intimidate us, we use our social media fire to call out 50,000 more occupiers and intimidate them right back.

On May 3, the governing council of the European Central Bank is due to meet in Barcelona. With Spain now the focal point in Europe’s protracted and deepening debt crisis, the Spanish and Catalan authorities have grown so paranoid of popular protest that they have decided to temporarily suspend the Schengen Treaty in order to be able to re-institute border controls in an attempt to block international activists from descending upon Barcelona.

Then, on May 12, the resistance will culminate into another global day of action, called for by the international wing of the Spanish 15-M movement (Real Democracy NOW! and Take the Square). With protests scheduled from Athens to Sao Paulo and from New York to Moscow, #12M will be the much anticipated follow-up to last year’s immensely successful transnational mobilization of October 15, which saw people taking to the streets of over 1,000 cities in 82 countries.

After this epic day of global protest, May 15 will mark the first anniversary of the Spanish real democracy movement. Exactly a year after the occupation of Puerta del Sol in Madrid, the indignados are now planning to re-occupy squares across the country, including the Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona. With the conservative government of Prime Minister Rajoy threatening not to tolerate the occupations, we might be up for some massive confrontations with police.

While the indignados defend their tents in Spain, our American brothers and sisters will descend upon Chicago for a massive mobilization against the G8 on May 18-19 and against NATO on May 20-21. Out of sheer fear for the movement, President Obama already decided to move the G8 meeting from Chicago to the heavily-guarded presidential compound at Camp David, but activists have pledged to bring downtown Chicago to a standstill regardless.

At the same time, on May 16-19, thousands will descend upon the eurozone’s financial headquarters in Frankfurt for what is set to become one of the largest and most radical street protests in Europe since the 2001 G8 protests in Genoa. Organizers have pledged to ‘blockupy‘ the city and bring all business activity to a complete halt. With activists bused in from Spain, Italy, France and even Greece, the European activist community is buzzing in anticipation.

This Spring, we will sweep through the streets and storm the squares, block, squat and occupy the public sphere, reclaim the commons, and reassert our resistance against the corruption of our democracy by the forces of finance capital. We will continue to envision a radically different society, and let it be born and grow in our assemblies and occupations. This Spring, we will unite, once more, to unleash our peaceful mayhem upon the world.

For the realization is slowly beginning to dawn upon the people that nothing less will do than a revolutionary break with the status quo. Don’t believe what the media say. We are stronger than ever before. And in this global spring of discontent, we will prove it once and for all.

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