|New Civilization News: We're not in Kansas|
21 comments24 Feb 2004 @ 21:57 by Jon Husband @126.96.36.199 : Living in Dialogue
Mais c'est cool ! Les branchees et l'etablissement, en dialogue, tous les deux, avec la communaute. What a civilized way to conduct things. Oh, how I wish I lived there, sometimes.
BTW, I am planning a trip to western Europe in May/June, ostensibly to visit bloggers I have gotten to know. Remember that verre de vin rouge que tu m'as offert ?
25 Feb 2004 @ 01:51 by ming : Dialogue
Oui, c'est magnifique avec une culture qui valorise le dialogue public et qu'il est simplement "comme il faut".
I will start stocking up on the red vine. You will be very welcome here, and it would be great to hang out. Or, if somehow Toulouse turned out to be too out of the way, be sure to keep me posted on where you'll be. But Toulouse is quite easy to get to, particularly from London or Paris.
25 Feb 2004 @ 07:32 by jmarc : tanks and tear gas for squatting
Don't you think that's a bit of a misrepresentation of my country? Please provide specific examples of tanks and tear gas for squatting that don't go back to Hoover's time?
25 Feb 2004 @ 09:25 by ming : Tear gas
Oh, I'm not trying to put down your country, which to a large degree is mine too. Maybe its current government, but not the place itself, or the people. I'm mostly giving my subjective experience of differences in different places, and of patterns in thinking and behaving. Which is certainly not black and white.
I don't think squatting by activist groups is even much of a routine practice in the U.S. In part because I expect that it will just be considered law breaking and a police matter, and cut short very quickly. As opposed to here, or in Denmark, where squatters might actually be allowed to stay for years in a place they illegally take over. Witness the Christiania community in prime real estate in central Copenhagen, which has been there for around 30 years. I just consider that unfathomable to happen in the U.S.
I don't have any squatter stories from the U.S. But I can think of a number of situations where an individual, a family, or a community of people had some kind of alternative approach to how they wanted to live, and it was treated as just a normal matter of breaking the law, rather than as something to have a dialogue about. Up to the magnitude of the Waco incident. The U.S. approach seems to be to try to bring in enough people and firepower to handle the matter conclusively and unilaterally in the government's favor, and if some people get killed along the way, that's just what happens, and it is considered their own fault.
It seems to me that the general strategy in the U.S. is to not negotiate in any way with law breakers, but to escalate the amount of force used to the level deemed necessary, however far that goes. So, if you move voluntarily, nothing much happens. If you don't, sooner or later we're talking the National Guard and tanks. Whereas, in most European countries, government authorities are quite likely to back off before it gets to violence, at least if we're talking about some kind of social or activist group and not just a simple crime. I'm not even saying that one is better or worse than the other, as it depends on the exact situation. Although, in general, I do tend to prefer open dialogue over swat teams.
25 Feb 2004 @ 12:44 by Chris Hagglund @188.8.131.52 : government stepping on people
Also, dont forget the killing of Tom Crosslin, marijuana activist, by the feds at the rainbow farm in Michigan. It happened right before Sept 11, so most people dont know about it. May he rest in peace. (some more info here: [link])
25 Feb 2004 @ 13:09 by jmarc : thanks for the clarification
certain acts by the government are horrendous, no doubt. Just felt your statement was a little to much of a broad brush. I can think of a few, ruby ridge, waco, elian gonzlez, where things were taken way to far. I'd also wager that similar things may happen in europe,no?
25 Feb 2004 @ 19:25 by Jon Husband @184.108.40.206 : Eastward ho ! ... to Europe
Well, actually I would really like to visit Toulouse again - that area of France is one of my favourites. But I am wanting to be a little bit planful .. I want to visit Euan Semple and Andy Borrows in the UK, and spend a few days in Amsterdam, and visit Berlin, and also it would be great to visit George Dafermos in Greece, and, and, and....
Screw it - maybe I'll just stay in Europe - tho' my gal is very tolerant, she may not dig that so much.
26 Feb 2004 @ 08:23 by ming : Go East young man
Yeah, so many good people to see. Anyway, great you're coming to these parts. If it won't be Toulouse, let me know your plan, and I might well join you in one of these other nice places.
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