You can argue that anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist demonstrators are part of the spectacle because for people that have seen videos of them on the news or online, they’ll be watching it passively as they won’t be taking part in them. By watching them, it declares their interest regardless of whether they agree with it or not.
A spectacle can be used to make people or objects seem to have a much greater power and significance. In this case, the fact that groups of people come together to form an angry mob of protestors creates the spectacle. When the group starts to react violently towards the police, it gives them that element of power especially since large mobs always outnumber the police. Spectacle is a way that the powerful can control the mob.
A spectacle is supposed to be something big, impressive and overpowering. You can argue that anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist demonstrators fall into all three of these categories. It is something that usually grabs the attention of the public as it has the ability to make an impact on their lives in one way or another.
However, there are arguments against anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist demonstrators being part of the spectacle. For instance, a spectacle is supposed to serve to keep people quiet but demonstrations like these tend to cause uproar, controversy and debates. It eliminates this aspect of it becoming a spectacle as people usually feel the need to voice their opinions on arising topics such as these.
Another point is that a spectacle is supposed to be a way of distracting the mass audience from the realities of power. However, you can argue that demonstrations like these fail to do this because it exhibits the balance of power between the government, the police and the protestors. All three of these parties have somewhat an element of power and by watching anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements we are just reminded of the balance of power that is contained between these groups.
There are also balanced arguments where you can conclude that some points are a little bit of both. For instance, a spectacle is supposed to be something that you don’t take part in. So in the manner that after watching certain demonstrations on TV, you can argue that it is a spectacle because you are watching an event that you were not involved in. However, there are many people who do like to get involved in these types of arrangements to get their point across so can you say it’s not a spectacle if these people were to watch it back after they’ve played their part in it? Since they got involved you can argue that it isn’t a spectacle.
To sum up, it is arguable that anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist demonstrators contain aspects to categorise them as either part of a spectacle or in opposition to it, so it is relatively difficult to decide whether it is for or against it. Consequently, in conclusion to this, it is fair to say that they contain elements of both, as the argument for and against will always remain.