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Interview with "che" who organized the MTV real world protest

On July 14th, over 400 folks gathered to protest MTV filming the "Real World" series in Chicago. This protest was organized by "Che". Read an interview with him.
Exclusive interview with "Che" from the Department of Space and Land Reclamation.

How did the idea of this protest come to you?

"The Real World" has managed to position itself in the intersection of
some, until recently, unconnected concerns of the people in Chicago:
gentrification of our neighborhoods, the commodification of
counter-culture, corporate surveillance of public space and the growing
disparity between the rich and poor. All these seeds of dissent have
been floating in the air for as long as I've lived in Chicago.

So, in April, when the Department of Space and Land Reclamation came
together, the time was right. The first DSLR event brought together a
group of 50 artists to address these concerns of people who want to
repossess our society from corporate power. They shared their strategies
of resistance and visions of utopia through their public artworks, and
it was really inspiring for the artists and the community. So after
that, you could say that the pump was primed for further action.

How did you organize the protest, and how the heck did you mobilize
over 400 folks?

This particular action came together in less than a week. We decided to
create a situation that was out of the ordinary and let things unfold.
All it took was to hand out a bunch of flyers announcing a party.

What were people's reactions to the flyers?

Everyone had a different reaction, which was the best thing about it. I
think if we were inviting people to a protest, we would have had far
less show up. Ambiguous messages can pique one's curiosity....
Yeah, I agree with you. A lot of folks won't
come out to a protest, but they may show up
for something that seems original.

What was the MTV's cast/crews reactions?

At first they tried to play it cool, but after a while you could see the
fear in their eyes.

What's your philosophy of pop culture?

I think pop culture is a misnomer. What we're usually talking about is
corporate culture, and we need to differentiate that from the culture
that people are making in their communities. Corporate culture consists
nothing more than the means to an end--whatever reinforces their
corporate power. The culture that human beings make have a million
different concerns. The only reason that corporate culture is popular is
because the corporations own the systems of distribution, the media. We
human beings are only just waking up to the fact that we do have the
resources to disseminate our culture to each other.

What do you think of MTV in general. Elaborate...

Well, most people I know don't even have cable. But why do we need
Viacom to tell us what's cool?

Good point. Why do we need ANYONE in corporate
culture/advertising to tell us what's cool.



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