Sociologist, local councillor, activist from Malta

Monday, May 18, 2015

Zonqor ODZ - An appeal for non-sectarian social movement activism



The Zonqor ODZ Development proposal has galvanised a wave of opposition within Maltese society.

Some supporters of the ODZ development are asking opponents where they were years ago, in what seems to be a case of selective amnesia.

On the other hand some opponenents of the ODZ development seem to be more keen on patronising others who are also opposing the ODZ development proposal. This non-strategic, sectarian approach sounds like a conspiracy theory which assumes that non-sectarian activists are mindless vulnerable idiots who can easily be co-opted by others.

The issue can be seen inversely, through a social movement bottom-up approach.

A grassroots civil society alliance can grow to such an extent - like a snowball - that it would be senseless for political parties (or elements within them) not to support it or to ignore it. This was the case with succesful campaigns in the past years. And I believe that this is where this issue is heading towards. Indeed, the claim to protect Zonqor from ODZ development is already being supported and legitimised by others. This has nothing to do with being co-opted. If 2 out of 3 political parties are opposing Zonqor ODZ, and if important elements within the other party are opposing it too, this should be celebrated.

Indeed, I know of no succesful environmental alliance which was co-opted by any of the political parties. Actually the opposite is taking place. The social movement demand is becoming so politically seductive that it becomes almost impossible to ignore it.

Converserly, sectarian approaches which are more busy offending others (who have the same position) than fighting the adversary, are very likely to have the same fate as kamikazees. Gone are the days of sermons from mountains by self-appointed messiahs.

As an activist, I am personally willing to work with all those opposed to the Zonqor ODZ development proposal.

Divide and rule won't succeed with a non-sectarian front with 1 demand: No development on ODZ

More links:

The Growing Opposition to Zonqor ODZ Development
http://mikes-beat.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-growing-opposition-to-construction.html

Effective green mobilization
http://mikes-beat.blogspot.com/2015/05/effective-green-mobilisation.html

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