Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn worries about Occupy Wall Street movement but remains optimistic despite "loony left elements"; suggests winter break

Occupy Vancouver - Cassandra photo/graphic 
"Kalle Lasn - who founded and is editor of Adbusters magazine, which originated the idea of Occupy Wall Street and spinoffs like Occupy Vancouver - is worried about "loony left elements" taking over the protest and suggesting it may want to take the winter off. 

In a fascinating interview with CBC Radio's Carol Off on As It Happens on November 1, Lasn talks at length about his views on the movement.

As someone who supports the principles behind Occupy Wall Street but is concerned that the protest is in danger of collapsing into a parody of itself, I found Lasn's comments very useful and worth considering.

“Now that winter is approaching, I can see this first wild, messy, crazy occupation phase kind of slowly winding down and the second phase will begin. The interesting times are ahead,” Lasn told Off.
“Some people will continue to sleep in the snow and inspire all of us, but in the meantime many of us will go home and we will resurface next spring.”
Lasn also said he worries that: "I think that there are what I call these loony left elements to this movement. The political left has been bedeviled by this kind of a loony side of us. There is a danger that some of these occupations will turn into rat-infested places where people deal drugs and get drunk and so on.”

"But at the same time.... every movement has its fringe element but by and large this movement is driven by a savvy bunch of young people who know what they are doing and who have their eyes on the ball and have the power of the social media going for them and above all they have this feeling in the pit of their stomachs that they have to stand up and fight for a different kind of future - otherwise they're not going to have a future.”

"So I have a feeling that the loony left will be kept in check."

Lasn predicts a new third political party may arise in the United States.

“Basically, we will try to get the money out of our political systems and start creating a new model of democracy.”

“Permit me to be grandiose for a moment, but I can feel it - I can feel this movement is the beginning of a deep transformation of capitalism. It’s a game changer.”
Adbusters' website's "Tactical Briefing #18" also suggests that perhaps it's time to shut down for the winter - although it offers an alternative strategy to continue occupations and "sleep in the snow" and resist police eviction.
But Adbusters also worries about significant problems.
"But as winter approaches an ominous mood could set in … hope thwarted is in danger of turning sour, patience exhausted becoming anger, militant nonviolence losing its allure. It isn't just the mainstream media that says things could get ugly. What shall we do to keep the magic alive?"

Good questions.



Jackson Wong said...


I've never gotten it before.

Anyways, today when I was in school, I came across some people handing out pamphlets in support of the movement. I was shocked and ashamed to discover that my cousin was involved.

So yeah, thanks for this update Bill.

Anonymous said...

"Mind Games"
What's the sub-title?

Peter Ritchie said...

As someone who has been a keen reader/subscriber of Adbusters since I read the first issue I ever saw (at a hostel in MTL in 1999). It was easy to get caught up in the sense of being a part of something even just reading the magazine, or some of Lasns other literary outputs back then, and it has been a bit unsettling seeing that same movement hit the mainstream bringing with it all the political fallout, violence, and wingnut-ism. The most positive thing I think we can all take out of the movement is that it has given everyone the permission (although it was never needed) to openly discuss and debate politics with each other. There will always be negatives to every movement, lets just hope we can keep the positives evident for the history books...

Anonymous said...

Looney left...

The brilliant cutting criticism straight from Fox news. Think harder Bill.

Anonymous said...

Just like in early 1980's Britain, the Labour Party's ultra-left-loonies . . . so outraged the political center of the nation with their irrational behavior and demands that the middle-class ended up parking it's vote with Margaret Thatcher and her Conservatives for another ten years.


Anonymous said...

The loss of our Democracy and Freedom, has been noted by other country's media. However, not by our own media. Our Civil Rights and Liberties have been taken away from us. Our voices mean absolutely nothing in this country.

We are living in a fascist dictatorship regime. Harper even sent henchmen to Guelph University, to stop the students from voting. They even tried to steal the ballot boxes, for God's sake.

Harper is controlling absolutely everything, right down to the Canadian Wheat Board, the media, our environment studies, completely chopped for him to peddle the dirty tar sands oil, much easier. Scientist weren't even permitted to publish their results, everything had to go through Harper first.

Harper controls the judicial system. So much for his tough on crime b.s. His members are permitted to steal our tax dollars, at their will. Seems to be no law against that, is there?

I am happy to hear, ICC Chief Prosecutor is going to investigate Harper for, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We all remember Harper prorogued Parliament, so he wouldn't have to admit his guilt.

Canada is rotten to the core with corruption. Who other than Harper, would send the low down scum of Gordon Campbell to England as High Commissioner? How embarrassing is that?

The evil in this country, starts with Harper. Canada needs to be purged right from Harper, and down to the very bottom of the food chain.

Bill Tieleman said...

I've posted Anon 4:29 p.m. because of my free speech position but I have to say your comments are ridiculous and offensive. My father lived through fascist occupation of Holland by the Nazis in World War II - give your head a shake.

You can make valid criticism of Stephen Harper without such extreme analogies.

Anonymous said...

I had six members of my family in WW11 Bill. I had a brother and a brother-in-law in the Liberation of Holland. We are still in touch with the Dutch people my family met while in Holland.

My one brother went to war at seventeen. Down the road, he got the duty of burying Concentration camp victims with a bulldozer. Before he could cry, he felt rage.
Don't even try to tell me about WW11.

Another brother was in the battle of Ortona. My family fought all over Europe. Believe you me, other countries civilians suffered very badly too. Blown to hell and were starved to death.

How in the hell do you think Hitler got control, in the first place? By control that's how, lies, deceit, and his minister of propaganda, dishing out pure unadulterated, lying crap.

The German citizens, didn't wake up until it was far too late. It was a German veteran that told our family this. He was a P.O.W. in Canada. He made up his mind to immigrate to Canada, the minute he could. There were many, German citizens and soldiers, very angry at Hitler, when they knew the truth. However, no-one dared to protest the great dictator. That German veteran, couldn't wait to get out of Germany. He hated his own country, for many, many years.

Other country's media, has said how badly Harper is eroding Democracy in Canada. But, if Harper's your man, so be it. He sure in the hell isn't mine. And, neither is Gordon Campbell.

Go ahead and ban this post if you like. I really don't give a damn. Our country's good name, is in utter ruin, and I don't like that, one damned bit.

Anonymous said...

I think Harper has done a great job so far. Our economy is the envy of the world. Freedom of speech has never been more evident, and the world looks to us as an example of how to do it right.

The occupiers are pampered youth, trying to emulate the hippies of two generations ago, in hopes of getting high, or getting laid. All they are getting is scabies, ring worm and overdosed. They have no message, no goal, no ideals and no point. A sad testament to their liberal education.

God bless the Queen, and her Prime Minister in Canada.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to hear, ICC Chief Prosecutor is going to investigate Harper for, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We all remember Harper prorogued Parliament, so he wouldn't have to admit his guilt.

So where were you when the NDP needed enough votes to unseat the Conservatives?

Anonymous said...

Other country's media, has said how badly Harper is eroding Democracy in Canada. But, if Harper's your man, so be it. He sure in the hell isn't mine. And, neither is Gordon Campbell.

Mine sure as hell wasn't Jean Cretien, Paul Martin or even Alex McDoughnut or Svend Robinson, Bob Skelly, or hell even Glen Clark.

Harcourt was at best of times barely tolerable.