ABSTRACT

Using the work of the British geographer Paul Routledge (for example 1996, 1998), this chapter explores the realm of anti-geopolitics, starting with an appraisal of anti-colonial movements and individuals and their methods of resistance against the political and geographical practices of European colonialism. Next, the Cold War is investigated to establish how dissident intellectuals and movements in Eastern Europe and the Third World strove to resist the superpowers and their attempts to impose their competing political visions on the world. Thereafter, recent expressions of resistance by anti-globalization movements are considered in order to demonstrate that they (and associated social movements) can and do operate across local, regional and global boundaries. Recent demonstrations against the World Trade Organization (WTO) and G8 summits in locations such as Seattle, Davos, London and Genoa illustrate how resistance is growing towards global institutions and large states and multinational

In focus 8.1: Global protests against the 2003 Iraq war

On the weekend of 15-16 February 2003, 10 million people took to the streets to protest against the possibility (at that stage) of a US-led assault against Iraq. Co-ordinating events through the Internet, protestors not only held rallies in the public spaces of major cities such as London and New York but also used a variety of tactics such as jamming the White House switchboard and overwhelming the White House official Internet site. Seven hundred theatre groups were involved in simultaneous performances of the anti-war play, Lysistrata. Children as well as adults were involved in co-ordinated protests. British children joined a huge protest rally in London, Italian children blocked trains carrying US military personnel and Irish children gathered around Shannon airport to condemn the presence of American military aircraft using the facilities for refuelling purposes. Other European and American protestors travelled to Iraq as so-called ‘human shields’ in an effort to prevent further military strikes against Iraq (Anglo-US military action had been fairly continuous since the ending of the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict).