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'We are the Uninvited': Occupation, Activism, and the Canadian Media

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The Canadian media, especially independent media, has played a pivotal role in counterculture insurgency in the last few years. Adbusters, the Canadian magazine, created the hashtag #occupywallstreet in 2011 and called on its network to implement the “Shift in Revolutionary Tactics” that had been seen in Spain with the Indignados and #15M Movement and in Egypt with the Arabian Spring. The call went viral after it was taken up as a cause by Anonymous and other protest groups. The origin of the revolution and the spirit that fired it, of course, was not from the Middle East or from Spain, but from Mexico, from the Zapatistas. The Zapatistas, who initially rose up to protest NAFTA, “envisioned an international activist communications network as an alternative to a corporate-dominated media landscape” (Stringer 5981). The philosophy and practice of Zapatismo has been tremendously admired, imitated and influential in Canada, the United States and elsewhere.

“[T]ransnational Zapatismo has generated new political imaginations and political subjectivities,” and a narrative framework for “radical expressions of political possibility” (Khasnabish 697). These narrative frameworks operate through the use and subversion of memes, easily reproduced ideas that seed the imagination. Memes are an analytical tool and a change agent for creating new narratives as alternative grassroots models come to the fore. The sincerest form of flattery in memetics is imitation and that is what the Zapatista “movement of movements” has generated. It has birthed the self-replication of occupation narratives, “collectives of collectives” (Stringer) and protests all over the world. The #occupy movement invites people to intervene through direct action as a means of telling their own stories. These new locally-situated, global networks are collaborative and leaderless, and put forward indigenous strategies to achieve their ends via media, as with the “Idle No More” movement and “Blue Dot” meme that have recently emerged out of Canada. Focusing on the protest campaigns originating in Canada and Mexico, I will explore how “The Uninvited” are using digital media to tell stories that seek to enable radical change.

Publicada em: Notícias e política
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'We are the Uninvited': Occupation, Activism, and the Canadian Media

  1. 1. 2/28/14 Zapatistas Revolution State of Chiapas, 1994 “The fire in the soul of Occupy burns from Oakland to Quebec, Barcelona to Chicago, Wall Street to Moscow and Frankfurt… now the Zuccotti model is morphing and Occupy is undergoing a period of sustained global tactical innovation. This is all just the beginning…” https://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/occupywallstreet 1
  2. 2. 2/28/14 2
  4. 4. 2/28/14 HACKTIVISM IS BORN OUT OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPER CARMIN KARASIC’S OUTRAGE AT THE ACTEAL MASSACRE http://www.thing.net/~rdom/ecd/floodnet.html Indymedia was a precursor to Web 2.0. It was social media that was driven by a desire for social justice rather than for profit or surveillance (1997) 4
  5. 5. 2/28/14 Pussy Riot Members of Anonymous Anonymous’s masks evoke Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s comic strip, V for Vendetta (1982-85), set in a post-apocalyptic British police state As the Zapatistas have explained, “We were invisible and forgotten in Chiapas, but when the Zapatistas put on masks, all of a sudden everyone could see us” (Stringer 6119-6120). (wearing Guy Fawkes masks) 5
  6. 6. 2/28/14 #yosoy132 A former government of Canada Fisheries Library RISE OF A NEW VOCABULARY FROM “INDIGNADOS” TO “THE 99%” TO “#OCCUPY” TO “GLOBAL NOISE” TO “#UPSETTLERS” Toronto Star, 12 Jan 2014: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/12/thats_no_way_to_treat_a_library_scientists_say.html 6
  7. 7. 2/28/14 Death of Evidence protests: scientists march on Ottawa CBC.ca 10 July 12: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/death-of-scientific-evidence-mourned-on-parliament-hill-1.1218019 CANADIAN/AMERICAN BORDER AT SARNIA, ONTARIO • JANUARY 5TH, 2013 GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION • ROUND DANCE, TORONTO CITY HALL • 28 JANUARY 2013 GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION PARLIAMENT, HALIFAX, CANADA JAN 28, 2013 7
  8. 8. 2/28/14 Carolyn Guertin, PhD Fine Arts, York University, Toronto, Canada & Transart Institute Berlin, Germany Contact: Email: carolyn.guertin@gmail.com Skype: carolyn_guertin Continuum International Publishers, 2012 8
  9. 9. 2/28/14 The Lapine, http://thelapine.ca/harper-worried-pussy-riots-could-break-out-across-canada/, 23 Feb 14 9