Thursday, October 28, 2010

Frank de Bakker's Blog: Dangerous research…

Dangerous research…

Posted: 2010/10/14 by frankdebakker in Activism, Research, Social Movements
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Studying activism can be fairly dangerous and not just in rogue states but also in a country such as Belgium. Marianne Maeckelbergh, an assistant professor from Leyden University in the Netherlands focuses on the anthropology of globalization, democracy and social movements. She published a book on the Alterglobalisation movement and aimed to conduct fieldwork in Brussels, studying the last days of the No Borders Camp, a bi-annual meeting of the No Borders Network. As she writes at Mondiaal Nieuws:

My research explores how these international networks are developing highly complex and effective models of democracy. So it is very ironic that when I began to take pictures on a public street, the police responded by unjustly arresting me and robbing me of my most fundamental democratic rights.  For fourteen unforgettable hours I was held in custody and subjected to their violence, their authority, their every whim. I was beaten, spat upon, repeatedly called a ‘dirty whore’ and chained to a radiator until 4am right outside the open door to the office of the chief of police, who observed it all and reacted only with silence.”

It is shocking to see such things taking place, especially in a country where you would not expect it. Maeckelberg’s publisher Pluto Press provides some addresses to write to demand a change in policy.

UPDATE: for an overview of a follow-up demonstration click here.

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