for links to videos visit G20 Negotiations Offset by Black Bloc Violence (412 arrests)



Leveraging off John Paul Hoggan’s video, which I view as representative data for qualitative research, here is a record of the turn of wind from Sat afternoon, toward a night of a discomforting handful of violent excesses:

Peaceful protests, police and volunteers direct the public and demonstrators away from the cordoned off zone – at first “it seems to be working”. Damands to be let in becomes increasingly insistent/militant, police “applies force” (??? video mentions no details).

With Black Bloc activists seeping through the crowd, temperaments heat up, protesters break through the ring of police and volunteer citizens, into the cordoned off financial district, vandalize and torch 2 cruisers, then stay on site for hours.

NB!, according to the journalist, no more violence or anything confrontational/untoward/”newsworthy” erupts during those “hours”. (perhaps in the area under his observation?) BUT, things turn ugly overnight.

Several other videos referenced above witness a change toward explicit violence, tracked until 412+ arrests are reported by midday Sunday June 27, 2nd & last day of G20.

HOW PRECARIOUS THE BALANCE was/is!!!

Note that the CLASHES at the recent Copenhagen COP15 Summit had No Excesses to this degree, nor was security preparedness of this proportions reported or made evident. There were (NGO and youth) demonstrators protesting police’s forcefully blocking them from entering the building of the summit. There were a few hundred arrests.

From my point of view, BIG DIFFERENCE between the public’s involvement in the two events.

Principled, and obvious, questions:
== Would Foucauldian “disciplinary power” curtail potential violence, OR provoke it, even push it to the extreme?!
== What public demands should be recognized as legit, and satisfied? and by contrast
== Who should be “disciplined”?
== Can peacefully-minded demonstrators prevail and get “what they want” (= be allowed in, not even into the building, but close to it)
== Is it up to them, more importantly within their power, and/or the police to deflate the rising/simmering violence?!
IMPORTANTLY,
== Shouldn’t the police/gov’t have given the electorate advance notice of intelligence they must have received about plans by certain groups to apply drastic tactics? Wouldn’t that have won public trust, instead of garnering resentment about the unprecedented security measures taken, which made a number of people feel needlessly, and unjustifiably, “dispossessed of their city”? This kind of affect surely lubricated the Black Bloc’s intentions, instead helping to dissolve them!!!

My comment re the (largely rhetorical) queries above: we’re witnessing the predictable, and certainly NOT UNprecedented, Freedom and Authority tensions of Democracy.

After all, democracy is predicated of a hierarchical societal system. Its job is to keep in view ethical principles of freedom, equality, equal opportunity…, so that (esp. excesses of) power imbalances are (optimally) reined in, if not resolved. Bringing in the visual metaphors of equailty vs power structure, is a straightforward illustration of latent/overt tensions. The “flat” representation of equality cannot possibly comfortably fit the existing “hierarchical” configuration of societal structures. A hierarchy, which is replicated from the family unit up through the school/university system, and all the way to the level of national corporations and government as well as transnational structures cannot possibly comfortably, and readily, fill out a (“judgemental”) round hole, which pushes it to change its square shape fittingly, i.e., stretch beyond its limits!

For a critical mass of agents (individuals, institutional, corporate, legal) to ensure that ethics would more likely than not ameliorate the contravening implications of a power hierarchy, the human species cannot rely on structural givens, or expedite suitable modifications thereof. There just ARE NOT enough supports that way, structural or systemic and, short of flattening the hierarchical structure, thereby smoothing out systemic wrinkles, there cannot be. At least, not at this point in history, and at the state level. Admittedly, historically, there have been partial flattenings, but complete horizontality, at this point, is a category of analysis at best, for some not worth retaining even in theory.

Indeed, the place of honour that epistemologist Lorraine Code (2006) gives to Democracy in her Ecological Thinking theory belongs with a democratic belief system that does not, and cannot, equal current practices, even if these are categorized as “democratic”, one could say, by a society’s/a nation’s consensus.

Be that as it may, ECOSONANCE is a search for consciousness raising tao, premised on a contrast with (and to the extent that structural predetermination can be/is ruled out, independently of) asymmetric (even downright hegemonic, authoritarian) asymmetric arrangements and corresponding systemic connections at the level of Human Relatedness to Self, Other, biotic and abiotic Nature.

It reserves the right to retain the concept of functioning horizontality, since brought to its completion, its logic not only allows but entails actual equality, “harmony” in ecosonic terms, both locational and relational.