Global Revolution (IV). Challenges, problems and innovations in the phase of evolution of the network movements cycle 2011-2013 (II)

Notes from the Three years of interconnected riots. Emergence, evolution and challenges of the network movements in the context of the #GlobalRevolution, organized by the Communication and Civil Society programme of the IN3 in Barcelona, Spain, in October 23, 2013. More notes on this event: globalrev.

Rodrigo Nunes (PUC-Rio. Riots in Brazil)

The increase of corruption and the fall in the quality of public services converge in generating a general unrest in the citizenry. It is acknowledged that the general status of the majority of the population has improved, but people disapprove the way this has happened, many times based on commoditization of services, access to financial credit, and regardless of the social and environmental costs of increased access to consumption. “Changing the country” (the motto of the Workers’ Party) is not about higher consumption levels, but about another thing. The agenda of the movement thus globalizes, and focuses on a constituent/destituent power.

When social movements perceive that the opposition in the Parliament is using the destituent approach to undermine the power of the government, they step back and shift away from the destituent approach.

Now we are witnessing a full reshaping of the movement, following a re-specification of the identities, and going back to the local arena somewhat setting aside the national-wide issues. The shift is also back towards the left, back to emergency issues.

Indeed, we have to take into account that media usually rebrand the message(s) of the movements, thus causing even more confusion.

Marcelo D’Elia Branco (Free-software activist. Current project: Conexoes Globais)

#VemPraRua was organized in a decentralized way, and using the images from police violence to fuel the protests.

We have witnessed a shift in Brazil politics from following the politics from the “West” to having its own politics and leading its own development. This has increased the self-steem of Brazilians and, at the same time, the awareness that the future of Brazil is in the Brazilians’ hands. Thus the unrests and demonstrations: Brazilians feel the main actors of their own development and thus they step forward. Unrests and demonstrations in Brazil are about showing out empowerment, commitment, and not mere criticism.

But since June 17, the protests begin to be populated with all kinds of people, especially people from the right that aim at weakening the government by appropriating the movement.

Now the trademark of the protests in Brazil are the Black Blocs, which is bad, because the forms are more violent (despite whether they are legitimate or not) and are kicking citizens out of the streets.

Ali Ergin ( Occupy Gezi)

(his intervention, taped on video, will be uploaded to the Net soon)


Q: What are the main challenges? Nunes: Black Blocs have been useful to keep the movement alive and to avoid that the movement was captured by extreme-right parties or organizations. But it is true that their behaviour has also caused some harm in the image of the movement. What is needed now is diversifying the ways to exert activism, as Black Blocs have a very specific type of activism and of activist. There is an urgent need for a tactic diversification of the movement at the same time that there is a global interconnection of the world movements.

D’Elia Branco: we cannot analyse the current social movements, so very much brand new, in the typical classifications of the industrial society. Most of these movements scape the definitions of many post-modernist thinkers and philosophers.

More information


Global Revolution. Three years of interconnected riots (2013)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2013) “Global Revolution (IV). Challenges, problems and innovations in the phase of evolution of the network movements cycle 2011-2013 (II)” In ICTlogy, #121, October 2013. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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