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Thursday, July 05, 2012

On Protest Movements

Much has been made about President Obama's Pacific pivot -- one of the signature foreign policy moves of his administration -- but little has been made of his embrace of the 99 percent message. How we would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Axelrod and Obama decided to embrace, albeit loosely, some of the messages of the protesters, many of whom are his base -- young voters (18-35) and die hard progressives around October last year. Previously -- up until last Autumn -- President Obama talked out of the side of his mouth, attacking Wall Street and big money and bankers publicly, while cozying up to them behind-the-scenes. Less so now as the big money flies hand-over-fist to the Romney camp.

STRATFOR talks mainly about the protest movements of the Arab Spring, but there is more than a little general truth in this post about the protest movements -- from tea party to 99 percenters -- in these United States:
"Recent protests throughout Sudan are the latest in an ongoing trend of protest movements around the world, from Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt to oil workers in Norway and opposition parties in Thailand. Protests have proved an effective strategy against autocratic regimes, political repression and austerity measures. As with insurgency strategy, protests rely on underlying support from the population rather than on superior weapons. Both insurgency and protests are forms of asymmetric opposition in which the insurgents or protesters cannot succeed by using force to overwhelm the state but must find (or create) and exploit specific weaknesses of the state.
"However, protest movements are not as aggressive as insurgencies. Violence is integral to insurgent strategy, but protest movements may be simply a negotiation tactic to extract concessions from a state or a corporation."

More here.

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