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May 20 - Reclaim the Streets against the G8!
by Reclaim the Streets! Palo Alto (rts-pa(at)riseup(dot)net)
Tuesday May 10th, 2005 2:10 PM

Resist the G8!   -     Destroy Boredom!    -    Reclaim the Streets!
Streetparty/Protest Against the G8, Global Capitalism, and Boredom!

Meet 8pm, Friday, May 20th
Lytton Plaza in Palo Alto
University Ave. at Emerson

>Commute, work, commute, sleep...
Our everyday lives are fucking boring. From where we work to when we sleep, when we go to school and where we play, every aspect of our lives is beyond our control. We are given false choices about everything - Coke or Pepsi, Republican or Democrat, waiter or janitor - either way we're choking down chemicals, living by someone else’s laws, and selling ourselves into slavery to make someone else rich. The real decisions which affect our lives have been made for us - only collective resistance can take back control of our lives and bring us back to life!

Work sucks. We don’t work because we want to. Our time at work is time that we are forced to sell to our bosses so that we can survive; we allow them to control our activities and profit off of our energy in exchange for our wages. Our jobs are horrible; confined in small areas, we repeat the same boring and useless task over and over again. We are constantly told to work faster, harder, and more efficiently. Our bosses act and make decisions according to their interests, which answer only to the global economy. At work everything we do is controlled on every level by the market; the only exceptions are the few remaining victories won by the militant labor movement of the early 20th century.

School sucks. No one goes to school to learn. We go to school to earn credits and a GPA, meaningless numbers which future admissions officers and employers will use to sum up the entirety of our existence. The time we spend in school is preparation for our entrance into the job market, so that we can graduate with the skills that we need to work. Compulsory education was Adam Smith's compliment to the alienation of a lifetime of boring, repetitive, and exploitative work; he argued that workers would be less likely to revolt against a system which exploits them if they were forced to study and accept an ideological framework which justifies their exploitation. Schools, colleges, and universities - along with police stations, courts, and prisons - are established by this government to perform this function alone, to keep workers working - to keep the market functioning.

Shopping is our consolation for a lifetime of boring and repetitive labor. We go to school so that we can work, we work so that we can shop. Just as the global economy creates more and more useless work to keep us busy, it also relies on us to consume more and more useless garbage we don't need. Most of what we purchase was not created because we need it to survive, or because it actually makes our lives more exciting, more pleasurable, more enjoyable. Most of what is produced in the world today is produced because its production creates profits for the corporation which produces it; people around the world who are struggling just to survive suffer through dystopian working conditions, slaving away in sweatshops for fifty nine cents an hour to produce products which make our lives more boring, make us more isolated and alienated. They are forced to work because free trade agreements allowed the same corporations to drive them off of the land off of which they've lived for centuries and steal everything else they possessed from which a profit could be extracted. We shop because advertising - one of the largest industries in the world - was successfully developed to bring us up desiring things we know we don't really want and to convince us to buy their shit we don't need.

But advertising and compulsory education aren't the only social institutions developed to keep us pacified, working and consuming. Every aspect of this society has been specifically designed to give the illusion of freedom, stability, and content that keeps it alive. Everything that you see in the course of your day which is not a product of or someone's rebellious creativity (graffiti, free food programs, street protests, etc.) serves a function in maintaining the current social order. From television to austere public parks, government elections to police patrols, boring nightclubs to that cute little "fair trade" sticker which keeps you consuming even though you have a conscience, to your history textbook and every billboard you pass each day, everything serves to stifle creativity, enforce content, and prevent us from truly living.

Modern cities as a whole are designed to serve the market and the government which keeps it functioning, at the expense of everyone who lives in them. Composed of sites of wage-labor exploitation, empty consumption and escapism, compulsory education, government oppression, and a graveyard of billboards and ideological spectacle, cities are planned for and dominated by the personal automobile, the fundamental commodity of industrial society. We spend hours each day sitting in traffic, alienated and isolated from everyone around us, choking on smog, and dying of boredom. Our neighborhoods and districts are divided by a network of identically austere roads; everything else is built around them, lacking any united ambiance, always focused elsewhere, isolated and atomized. Foot, bicycle, and recreational traffic is marginalized, contact with strangers is discouraged, and public space is devoted to institutions whose interests run contrary to ours. The whole experience of modern urbanism is nothingness; we feel nothing, we see the same thing everywhere, everyday, and we experience nothing exciting, nothing new. Against the dominance of functionalism, our hearts scream for something real, something exciting, something new.

This system is called capitalism. From your shitty job to sweatshops in the third world, from the police who beat the shit out of you for skateboarding in your city to the soldiers fighting a fucked up war in Iraq, from the administrator who writes you up for arguing with your right-wing teacher to the judge who sends you to jail for doing what you need to survive, and from electoral campaigns to advertising campaigns, this system serves one purpose: to make the rich richer, to make the powerful more powerful, and to fuck all of the rest of us over to do it.

Contemporary capitalism, as it exists today, is an extremely complex system consisting of millions of interrelated institutions and functions working in unison to insure the dominance and stability of the market, a global economic construct and engine behind this system. By mismanaging resources and production, and through artificial industries such as advertising, it creates scarcity - a false shortage of goods and services which we need to survive. This requires us to work for the things we need to survive and our work generates profits - the benefits of our labor which are taken from us. An elite ruling class of CEO's, politicians, bureaucrats, and stockholders invest the profits they steal from us, creating more profits for them and more boring, useless work and unnessecary environmental destruction for us. Scarcity also creates competition, which means that we compete with each other to work shittier and shittier jobs and pay more and more for worse products, while the ruling class competes with itself to fuck us over more efficiently. No matter what happens, they win and we lose.

>The G8
In 1975, amidst a global oil crisis and a general upsurge in struggle, the G8 was born. Its intended role was as a crisis manager for capitalism, a forum in which consensus could be constructed on issues of importance to capital such as world trade, migration, oil supplies and security. It was designed as a tool for the creation and maintenance of stability: a stability of exploitation. All around us we see the impacts and effects of a system to which the G8 attempts to bring longevity: mindless work, war, famine and destroyed ecologies. A system whose very survival means that none of us can live our lives to their true potential. A system that is resisted daily, everywhere.

This resistance often takes place away from the spotlight of the world’s media. It manifests itself in individual acts of refusal, in sporadic collective withdrawals of consent and, occasionally, in spectacular moments of mass rebellion. The 2005 G8 Summit provides the opportunity for exactly such a moment. The neo-liberal project – ‘capitalism with its gloves off’ – has been fiercely contested across the world, with struggles taking on almost as many different forms as they are numerous. The social and material conditions from which they have arisen, the demands made, and alternatives demonstrated, have been similarly varied. Yet they have been united in reclaiming a sense of humanity to our existences from the many-sided social and ecological crisis within which we find ourselves today. These struggles, and the hopes they express, will certainly continue – and likely multiply – in their diversity, as we fight ‘for a world in which many worlds are possible’.

>Reclaim the Streets!
Reclaim the Streets! is a global movement which grew out of this struggle against capital. It began in the 1990's as a tactic used to combat the construction of capitalist infrastructure roads through working class neighborhoods and undeveloped green-spaces in England. In the late 1990's it became a part of the more general global anti-capitalist movement, as it evolved into a world-wide phenomenon which blurs the line between streetparty and militant protest. On June 18th, 1999 in response to a call-out by Peoples' Global Action, protests were held in 40 countries around the world against the G8 summit taking place in Germany - the London RTS turned from streetparty to anti-capitalist riot, as protesters fought police and destroyed over a million pounds worth of capitalist property in the financial district.

From July 6th-8th, 2005, the G8, the rulers of eight of the world’s most powerful economies and countries, return to Europe for their major annual summit, taking place at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland. Groups and movements across Europe, from the Assembly of Social Movements at the European Social Forum, to those involved in the global grassroots network Peoples’ Global Action, have called for the summit to be ‘massively disrupted’. There are calls for people to converge in Scotland, and on the 6th of July, for action to be taken simultaneously in villages, towns and cities worldwide. In the UK dozens of grassroots autonomous groups have created the Dissent! anti-capitalist network which is organizing radical resistance to the G8 Summit and building alternatives to the current social order. A major Bay Area mobilization against the G8 is being organized as well, running through the end of this years G8 Summit. The first action is planned for Friday May 20th and will take place in downtown Palo Alto.

Our everyday lives are fucking boring. From where we work to when we sleep, when we go to school and where we play, every aspect of our lives is beyond our control. We have to work, to shop, and to go to school to survive, but these repetitive activities deprive us of what make us really alive: freedom, creativity, spontaneity, adventure, excitement, and love. Our cities are planned to keep us content, isolated, and passified - we want excitement, community, and revolt! When was the last time you danced like no one was watching - when was the last time you ran like it really mattered?

Resist the G8!   -     Destroy Boredom!    -    Reclaim the Streets!
Streetparty/Protest Against the G8, Global Capitalism, and Boredom!

Meet 8pm, Friday, May 20th
Lytton Plaza in Palo Alto
University Ave. at Emerson

Critical Mass/Bike Bloc leaves White Plaza at Stanford at 7pm.

Reclaim the Streets! Palo Alto rts-pa(at)riseup(dot)net
                      Anarchist Action anarchistaction(at)riseup(dot)net
Bay Area Anti-G8 Mobilization anti-g8sf(at)riseup(dot)net

    (coming soon)

Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
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transforming boredom into design intelligenceSandy SandersSunday Sep 11th, 2005 10:40 AM
to Dallas rooferto Dallas rooferThursday Jun 9th, 2005 7:02 AM
silly and out of touchDallas RooferWednesday Jun 8th, 2005 9:09 PM
to Dallas rooferto dallas roofer--I can cut and paste, tooWednesday Jun 8th, 2005 8:48 PM
Wounded and in needDallas rooferWednesday Jun 8th, 2005 8:39 PM
to Dallas rooferto Dallas rooferThursday May 26th, 2005 7:01 AM
I Won! now all losers can.....Dallas RooferWednesday May 25th, 2005 7:44 PM
The Gallic WarsJuliusWednesday May 25th, 2005 8:21 AM
to Dallas Rooferto Dallas RooferWednesday May 25th, 2005 6:32 AM
Review Thomas KarlmannTuesday May 24th, 2005 11:30 PM

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