Thursday, October 14, 2004

Tempest in a teapot

Tempest, Matthew. "'Corporate' ESF sparks rival conference". The Guardian. 2004 October 12.

ESF - the third annual meeting of leftwing and environmental activists from across Europe - is expected to attract around 20,000 people from across Europe for three days of debate.
But internal splits, between grassroots activists on one side and key players and major sponsors on the other, have now broken into the open, with a hardcore of anarchists and direct action supporters organising a more freeform, rival conference.

While delegates, who pay a £30 registration fee, will spend Thursday and Friday at the main conference venues of Alexandra Palace and Bloomsbury to debate war, racism and corporate power, the fringe festival - dubbed "Beyond ESF" - will celebrate "self-organised cultures of resistance".
Organisers say the purpose of the alternative conference is because the ESF has been "hijacked by authoritarian organisations such as the SWP [Socialist Workers party] and racist, war-crazy corporate whores Neo Labour [who have] got in on the act through Ken Livingstone and the GLA".
Hijacking? Like how Seattle and Genoa got hijacked by, oh, who was it? A hardcore of anarchists and direct action supporters!

Not unlike the unelected, unaccountable organizations who hijack development projects and force their agendas on unconsenting developing countries by demanding that the World Bank meet their deliberately unattainable environmental criteria.

Hat tip: Harry's Place