Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The struggle continues (lucky for me)

gmo march in eviaI am back!!!!

Last week there was a march in Psahna Evias, in front of a factory that
was processing animal feed by GMOs.

It was organized by the

Network, an autonomous network based on the ideas of radical and
deep ecology, organic farming, self-sufficiency an dignity of the
producers. Of course, a lot of the other groups of the ecologic
spectrum joined, like the Greek Ecological Rebirth, depicted on the

Taking a look from a distance, I am pleased that the struggle against
the introduction of gmos has sprung up again, and especially that
direct actions are organized.

Moreover, a live movement is the hope for such a struggle, rather the
parliamentary roote taken by the established environmental groups, like

The afore mentioned
organisation decided last month to propose a parliamentary
on all gmo releases, a state-sanctioned law, that is.

Don't they know about hegemony at all?
How can they expect that the
greek mps will favour an outright ban, besides every interest of all
the agro-chemical multinationals?

There are scholars studying
the actions and discourse of the multinational environmental gmos like
greenpeace, who argue that the purpose of such groups is to deconstruct
on moral grounds the discourse of states, corporations, to educate and
promote the public awareness.

To me though, this action of
the ngo seems like futile activism.
Futile, because while it is inscribed in its spectacular (in the Debordian sense)
politics of non-violent direct action, it chooses to coalesce with
power and assume a statist regulatory role, forgetting the role of
moral deconstruction, with no results, as there is no spectacle (nobody gives
a toss what happens in the parliament and very few citizens are
environmentally concerned) and the proposal is doomed to lethe, as
there is no chance to be voted (with a conservative/neoliberal
government? )

So, the question is, what the fuck
have you been doing mate, all this time?

well, mostly studying, trying to get a grasp of environmental
politics and discourse analysis.

Here is a treat: My abstract for a conference in
in sept 2005, I have been accepted to present my

Bath Conference: 2d-4th September 2005

Empowerment and anti-GM Rhetoric:
Lessons from an online discourse

This paper aims to discuss issues
stemming out
from my M.Res dissertation on the discourse and rhetoric of the Greek
anti-GM social movement, and its argumentation online. In the actual
research I have used the method of online or virtual ethnography,
mostly collecting documents and discussions from web-sites concerned
with the Greek struggle against G.M.Os. What is compelling in the
Greek case is the outright governmental ban on all G.M.O. releases
after a massive media outcry, in a country where, according to recent
Eurobarometers, the knowledge about the effects of biotechnology and
genetic engineering is very low and there is little or no debate
prior to the introduction of new technologies. In the discussion, I
plan to address issues of online rhetoric in parallel with
counter-expert knowledge construction. In specific, by presenting the
rhetoric of some significant tangents of the Greek anti-GM movement,
like the anti-capitalists, the environmental NGOs, the Green Parties
and the local public coalitions of rural areas, I will focus on the
issue of the construction of contesting knowledge in counter-experts’
discourse which aimed at the empowerment of the consuming public and
the activists. As Anthony Giddens (1992) proposed, people craft their
own expertise for themselves, in the face of contesting scientific
claims, in times of risk and uncertainty (Beck, 1992). In a country
like Greece, where the anti-GM struggle didn’t meet in public with
critical scientific voices, local non-scientific knowledge(s)
emerged, the ‘cultural rationality’ as Fischer (2000) suggested,
sometimes using an ignorant rhetoric of fear, unverified personal
claims or rumors. In this context I aim to discuss the idea of
citizens’ empowerment through local knowledge, debating whether it
lead to the success of the governmental ban or rather to learned
helplessness and indifference.

For more stuff on producing a research,
I hope on the weekend, unless I get lucky...



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