A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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A brief history of activism

This is a DRAFT

#Occupy has become bureaucratised and continues as e-mail lists and side projects, not very active.

#ukuncut has become institutionalised. Still active - presser protests in conjunction with NGO's

#climatecamp The anarcho' s left and most of the rest got jobs in NGO's a few continue in other campaigns. It has run its course, the influx of liberals had watered it down till its DNA failed. The healthy ones went onto Ukuncut. Fuckup, not conspiracy sadly. A spattering of global projects remain.

(google trends not accurate)

#submedia still banging the radical drum

#Indymedia failed from the opposite resion the activists excluded other groups in till the weren't a healthy mix left. Then the group dwindled by exclusion and inbreeding till its DNA was two narrow to evolve when it needed to change with the growth of personal publishing. It was replaced by blogs then corporate social networks. Still exists.

The are still some active IMC's would be intresting to look at why some are still working?

#undercurrents burned out of funding then failed to re-new with the fund-raising charity side not feeding into the active political production side. The charity/NGO side then shrank and dispersed. Still exists

(google trends not accurate)

#schnews had some lean times but seem to have survived in the radical project Though clearly fading on this graph of web searches

 

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The first thing to say is that, as a director of visionOntv, I can reassure people who work with us that these are NOT in any sense the views of visionOntv collectively, and that I personally have serious issues with them.

Let's go through the article. The fact that is called a draft is irrelevant for taking it seriously, as it is in the public domain, and already has several people riled up.

1. "#Occupy has become bureaucratised" - Evidence? You simply cannot make a judgement like that without evidence. "not very active"?. There's a limit to the amount of time you can camp in a public square, The "side projects" dismissed by this author were a positive move after the big occupations, to take the struggle home, into the community and workplace. The BBC feature the London squatted social centre movement last week, much more positively than here. For my part, I featured a programme by the Occupy News Network o our globalviews channel only last week.

2. "#UKUncut has become institutionalised". Laughably, the "evidence" referenced here is to another article by Hamish Campbell, with a similar lack of evidence inside it. Really, these are serious accusations, and need backing up to be made at all.

3. "#climatecamp The anarcho' s left and most of the rest got jobs in NGO's a few continue in other campaigns. It has run its course, the influx of liberals had watered it down till its DNA failed. The healthy ones went onto Ukuncut. Fuckup, not conspiracy sadly." Again this is a highly subjective opiion, with a lot of pure conjecture ("the rest got jobs in NGOs"?) and no evidence. By a more reasonable assessment, the specific mode of protest of climate camp had run its course after 5 years, but similar types of direct action and squatter camps continue to have a big impact today.

4. #indymedia "dwindled by exclusion and inbreeding" - an unnecessarily abusive and very one-sided description. As a founder of oxford imc I can testify to the very wide range of politics within the group. Imcs such as Nottingham were very postiive in their outreach to non-activist parts of the community. My personal preference was for more of an aggregator site (the Open Media Network anyone?), and in fact members of uk imc set up bethemedia.org to be precisely that. The environmental change wrought by corporate social media has negatively impacted on many parts of the open web, not just indymedia. But in its day, indymedia was a beacon project for open media, and should not be described as a "fuck up".

5. Re Undercurrents, Paul from there has aswered this "critique" in detail, and I agree with everything he says. According to the author of this absurd blogpost, Undercurrents has failed to do the "political production side" - successfully and uniquely filming inside an Israeli prison anyone?

6. #Schnews - fortunately for Hamish the Schnews guys are some of the loveliest people you could ever meet. If I were them I would clock him for describing them as "clearly fading".

Projects and people transfrom and move on, often in positive and creative ways. Let's hope that the exciting and ever-changing history of these movements is written by someone with more understanding and accuracy.
Posted on 02/04/13 16:44.
Some clarifications:

#Occupy
Just to keep you in the loop - I was on the first demo that created the UK occupy movement and made 3 video reports about it. I am and have been reading the organising e-mail list for occupy - very insightful of the health and scale of the UK occupy movement. I originally joined and engaged with the occupy mumble (talk network) though I ended up wished I hadn't - think you might have been in on that meeting with the lynching?

We did some good work inside the movement but that was all by personal connection - the needs to be a good right up on activist "process". Yes the are some spin off and legacy - but I think the google trends is a pretty good view of the health of this ones all powerful movement.

Did you not see UK occupy rip itself apart?

#ukcuncut am being a bit sharp on them, but read my original post from 5/31/11 http://hamishcampbell.com/home/-/blogs/the-ecology-of-hash-tag-organising-draft I stand by this as a prediction of what happened after this was posted. They are one of the few groups that are still relevant - am curious to see how they change and mutate. I think, my statement presser groups for NGO's will likely be seen to be true - but open for good surprises as they are a creative lot.

#climatecamp NGO side I could name names on this one but I don't think that would be helpful (: Anarchist side... many burned out at Heathrow and the role declined - the is some write ups about this but no idea where to find it - could name names here too but not helpful. I think the is a very useful thing to learn about the balancing of liberals and anarchist here - so will write more on this.

#indymedia - rich I think you forget that I was at the meetings so I think this isn't an abusive view because it was like that at the time. The 5 year too late bethemedia aggregate was ripped apart by the taking of the indymedia domain? Am sorry but indymedia outcome was well abusive and needs to be written up warts and all. The public email list archives should still be available if you want to check this. Fuckup bit is answer to a question on infiltrators and agent provocateurs - conspiracy or fuckup - I came down on the fuckup side though would be interesting to have a proper history here. Am still on the global, UK and Oxford organising lists – have a look at the archives to judge the health of the project.

#undercurrents http://hamishcampbell.com/home/-/blogs/undercurrents-and-the-birth-of-%E2%80%9Cv­ideo-activism

#Schnews I changed that a bit to clarified what I mean that this is what the graph shows as it clearly dose. It was a surprise for me to see this but after going over in my head my communication with some of the schnews crew over the last 5 years I feel the graph is probably accurate. If you don’t think this is so you could ask them?

On the subject see this post http://hamishcampbell.com/home/-/blogs/is-the-value-in-stirring-up-the-past-
Posted on 02/04/13 19:27 in reply to Richard Hering.
On #Occupy, my point was that its activists have disappeared into other related, often local, struggles, which would not necessarily appear on the #Occupy mailing list, which was specific to the Occupation time and place. My point was that you have nowhere proved, or even introduced any evidence of, "bureaucratisation". This term has a very specific meaning, and is a heavy charge to levy. If it used loosely to generally abuse people, then one person's bureaucracy might well be another person's "being organised" or "administering". Yes, I was in the meeting you refer to, as an active participant, and it was i no sensee evidence of bureaucracy. I enjoyed the meeting, which was about the crediting of Occupy events, ad how Occupy relates to other groups, an issue for which both sides have fair points. I liked very much the way it was held in the open, not at all as bureaucrats like to behave.

"Did you not see UK occupy rip itself apart?" No, nor did anyone else I know. Remarkable, bearig in mind how much that kind of activism puts people under strain.

#UKUncut "They are one of the few groups that are still relevant - am curious to see how they change and mutate. I think, my statement presser groups for NGO's will likely be seen to be true - but open for good surprises as they are a creative lot."

This really is the most extraordinary arrogance. Well, Hamish, I will advise all my activist friends to earnestly seek your lofty advice on whether they are relevant or not!

#climatecamp did not stop because of the balance of anarchists and liberals, but because you can't go pouring resources into the same national event every year without it growing smaller and stultifying. There are other contextual reasons like a double dip recession. Nor was it a failure, but did a huge amount to put global warming issues up front, and prove that non-hierarchical structures can work on a larger scale, and made people feel that direct action could be done by them.

#indymedia I have a very thorough knowledge of the history of indymedia, and no one is happy about the way that UK indymedia fell apart, But when I say I would have preferred an aggregated site of partnerships, I'm also aware that indymedia was maybe what it was, had its very glorious time, and by the time people were fighting, had had its day. So it may have been time to build something else. Facebook would still have existed.

#Schnews "I feel the graph is probably accurate. If you don’t think this is so you could ask them?" No, I won't, and I don't dispute the graph (in this case). The reason I won't ask them is that I have no interest in dissing other peoples' projects. I would say that, after twenty years, it's remarkable they still exist at all, and I take my hat off to them (I really have one!) for being so active for so long, and so funny with it.

In general, what is it exactly that you hope to gain from these highly partial and dubious histories? On second thoughts, maybe I don't want to know the answer to that!
Posted on 03/04/13 00:48.