An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Greek Passion




"Beyond the pyrotechnics, however, there has been another kind of conflagration: what started as concentrated rage at the police has assumed the dimensions of a social rebellion, moving beyond the actions of a 'violent fringe' to involve large numbers of young people." - "Greek fire: from riot to social rebellion - Collective Reinventions", Dec. 20, 2008

What the corporate owned media portrays as a chaotic "youth rebellion", fueled by economic frustration is forming into a conscious social rebellion with a specific program. Though their action springs from the outrage of the moment, the growing movement is guided by intuitions of human commodification, as when they wore large bar codes to symbolize their rejection of being treated as commodities. The awareness of objectification is the first step to the renewal of humanity.

If what the mainstream media were saying about the rebellion were true, then it would have burned itself out after a few days. If it were only nihilistic youth and "criminals" as they portray it, then it would not have resonated with larger Greek society, as it clearly has.

First, the leaders of the rebellion have framed the murder of the 15 year old boy as an act of social repression, class warfare: "It was the choice of the state to violently impose submission and order to the milieus and movements that resist its decisions. A choice that meant to threaten everybody who wants to resist the new arrangements made by the bosses in work, social security, public health, education, etc" Indeed, one can see it in a more inclusive sense as the opening in the new wave of repression that the financial crisis has made necessary.

"The bullet that pierces Alexis’s heart was a bullet to the heart of exploitation and repression for an important part of this society who knows that it has nothing to lose apart from the illusion that things might get better."

War, poverty, crime, famine and environmental destruction - these are all signs that capitalism is working perfectly - because these are what the market needs to maximize profit. Let us cry out in our imperfect humanity to break that perfection.

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