Reflections on June 18 – global day of action in financial centres 1999


This project arose during the run-up to June 18th, as a result of the need felt by people with varying degrees of ¬†involvement with J18 to stimulate critical debate around the politics behind the international day of action in financial centres. Contributions were invited. The point was made that this was not intended to be a discussion of the minutiae of the organisation of the day or the effectiveness of particular tactics, although the line between these questions and the “politics” of J18 is of course blurred. Originally the idea was to produce the discussion booklet before the event. It soon became apparent that this would not be feasible, nor necessarily desirable. Many potential contributors wanted to see what happened on the day and asked for more time to be able to reflect properly and chew over how such a ‘day of action’ could relate to capitalism and the movement to overthrow it, the significance of the ‘globalization’-buzzword and other issues raised by the whole process. Deadlines passed and were extended, the e-mail system crashed and some days’ messages were lost forever – we just hope that no contributions were sucked into that particular black hole in cyberspace! An open editorial meeting was announced to decide the editorial policy and to coordinate layout etc. Unfortunately because of space limitations we had to leave out one lengthy contribution (the author made it clear that he did not want his piece “Nine Meditations On a Summer’s Day”, by Over The Water Charlie, to be edited; however he agreed that if anyone’s curiosity is aroused they should write to Reclaim The Streets who will forward the letter to him). So apart from that it only remains for us to thank everybody who contributed and say “let the debate continue!”

Editorial Collective, October 1999

Here are the 18 articles + appendices divided into six parts.

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  • Reflections Part One: 1. Give Up Activism, 2. June 18th – If I can dance it’s not my revolution.
  • Reflections Part Two: 3. Mustn’t Grumble, 4. The ideology of “Globalisation”, 5. WTO – Why Totemise Oppression, 6. Beware of bad bed fellows.
  • Reflections Part Three: 7. Keep it up, don’t let violence divide us, 8. Why theory?, 9. The challenge of June 18.
  • Reflections Part Four: 10. Dancing in the ruins, 11. Don’t mention the (class-) war, 12. June ’99 – a critical analysis, 13. Critiques and caricatures: a response to uniundercurrents, 14. Caricatures of capital.
  • Reflections Part Five: 15. Not just capitalism or globalisation, 16. Our resistance is as transnational as capitalism.
  • Reflections Part Six: 17. Poor substitute, 18. June 18th – a personal view, Appendix.

See also: resistance bulletin issue 5 & Organise! magazine issues 52, 53 & 54.