Soenke Zehle on Fri, 1 Feb 2002 09:57:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] WEF Message from Starhawk

Come to New York! World Economic Forum Protests 1/30-2/4

The World Economic Forum, the club of the representatives of the worldıs
richest corporations meeting with the worldıs most powerful politicians,
meets this weekend in New York City. Major protests are planned, in
particular a march organized by Another World is Possible (AWIP) on Saturday
February 2. You need to be here.

If you didnıt like the State of the Union speech, if you donıt like the war
on terrorism or the war on civil liberties, if you consider yourself
progressive, left, radical, or you just donıt like seeing more wealth and
power concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, you need to be here. Come. If
youıre in subway/train/bus/driving distance from New York, come. If you had
other plans for the weekend, if youıre too busy, if you have too many other
commitments, if you havenıt been to a march in years, if youıre burned out
and sick of marching, come. If it rains, if the kids have a soccer game, if
youıre tired, if youıre afraid, come anyway.

There are certain crucial moments when the tide of history turns one way or
another. This is one of them. Itıs more than just one more protest against
one more alphabet soup global corporate institution. Itıs an assertion of
our right to contest the current system at all. As the police mass their
forces, as they mount a campaign to discredit and intimidate us, itıs
becoming clear that this protest is vitally important. If we let them
succeed, the space for dissent in this country will close even further. The
right wing post-9-22 strategy of criminalizing dissent will be confirmed.

If we donıt let them succeed, we can reclaim a momentum and a political
space at a crucial moment, when Enron has challenged the credibility of the
system and Bushıs policies, when questions are beginning to surface about
what really happened on 9-11, when slowly the stories and seeping out about
the Afghaniıs reduced to eating grass.

You might think this is the wrong time for a protest. You might not like the
politics or the style or the smell of your fellow activists. People might
take stands you donıt agree with or do things you wouldnıt approve of.

Come anyway. Itıs happening, wisely or unwisely. There are times to be
cautious and careful. But there are other times when caution simply feeds
the power of the authorities, and only a leap of courage can keep us free.
The AWIP march is permitted, legal, and nonviolent. Everyone involved in the
organizing, from the pacifists to the militants, has agreed to respect those

The police have shown every indication that they will not. Thatıs a strong
reason for you to come. The organizers are doing everything in their power
to assure a safe, creative, and inspiring event. Yet no one can guarantee
that the march will be safe. Come anyway. We need to act now, to overcome
fear, to take the risks that lie before us. If we donıt, if we let ourselves
be intimidated into silence, we will become far, far more unsafe.

What weıre contesting on the streets this weekend is, quite simply, the
course of the future. We cannot be safe in a world in which more and more
wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and where the consolidation
of power is backed by the police and military might of the state. The more
that hegemony goes uncontested, the more seamless it becomes. If we want to
maintain our freedom and assert our power to shape a different future, a
free and just and sustainable future, we need to be a strong presence now.
We need all of you.

If you canıt get to New York, support us. Demand fair news coverage, write
the letters, make the calls. But if you possibly can, come. Call your
friends, get them to come with you. Tell them it's important. Come to New

Starhawk New York City January 31, 2002

The AWIP march assembles on Saturday, Feb. 2 at noon at 59th St. and 5th
Ave. in Manhattan. At 11 AM, we will do a short Street Safety and Tactics
training. After the march, nonviolent direct action may take place through
Monday. Check the AWIP website for complete
information and late breaking updates on the many events throughout this

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