Citizen Action Monitor

“We want a different European Union and we will fight for it in many ways,” says a defiant Tariq Ali

Video of Tariq Ali’s sparkling presentation at this weekend’s Democracy Rising Conference in Athens, Greece

No 1403 Posted by fw, July 19, 2015

Tariq Ali picks up right where he left off in his June 26 counterpunch article, reposted on these pages two days later under the title Tariq Ali deconstructs what’s going on in this Modern Greek Tragedy, with unkind words for all the players. This time he does it from his seat at the Democracy Rising Conference in Athens, Greece, which is being broadcast live-stream by Real News. The Conference, running from July 16, ends today. Fortunately, videos of all Conference sessions remain available on the Real News website. Hopefully, The Real News may make these videos available soon on You Tube (with transcripts please).

In the meantime, we must make do with video replays at Real News, sans transcripts.

Turning to Tariq Ali’s address to the attendees, which was greeted with such enthusiastic applause in places that he shushed the audience because they were cutting into his allocated time, it is accessible for viewing by clicking on the linked title below.

IMPORTANT NOTEThe linked title below will NOT take you directly to Tariq Ali’s session. It takes you to another video. But if you look just below the video that is shown you will find a horizontal display of screen images of all the Conference presentations. Go to the far right of that array until you find the image “Democracy Conf Pt 1 01:56:53”. That’s the one you want. Click on it.

Ali’s presentation starts at about 53:54 minutes in and ends at about 1:19:40 (about 25 minutes long). Immediately below the video link is my transcript of an excerpt from Ali’s talk.


Tariq Ali speaking at the Democracy Rising World Conference 2015 broadcast by The Real News, July 16, 2015

(Here’s the URL —

Transcribed passage from Tariq Ali’s address —

This was the Europe that people were now encountering – a machine for financialized capital and defending the interests of this capital against all-comers, whoever wanted to break off. That is what many other parts of Europe and Greece today are suffering from. And I’ll tell you something. Normally what happens in the European Union is of little interest because they hide most of the bad decisions they’ve made. They’re not discussed, they’re not talked about, Maastricht [Treaty] was covered up very quickly, and all that.

What they have done to Greece is unusual because it has been done in public. And the reason it’s been done in public is to show the other Europeans, you misbehave and step out of line, see what we did to Syriza, we crucified Tsipras – as two finance ministers said to each other as they were coming out, laughing and joking at their triumph. So in this particular situation, one has to ask – What does it mean to be a member of the European Union? It’s not an equal union. It’s not a family. Well, it is a family if you look at it like this – that you have a German patriarch, schooled in the old disciplinary ways of Prussia, you have his French wife, but she’s already having an affair with an American. And you have children, and, as we know in many families of this sort, there’s a lot of abuse. And some of the children end up being abused. And Varoufakis went and said, you can’t humiliate me, insisted on being treated as an equal, and they couldn’t abuse him so they got rid of him.

That’s the sort of family that the EU has become today. So even those of us who are internationalists, Europeans, have to ask is this the sort of European Union that we want? And I say no. We want a different European Union and we will fight for it in many ways. And the people from below will fight for it too and make changes because they’re the ones who are suffering much more than most of us.

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