Activists Yes but not at War with the Establishment

Somalilandsun: We are not at war with the establishment. That’s a negative way of looking at any situation, as evidenced by the state’s war on everything from drugs to poverty. None of which are even remotely close to winnable. It’s all stupid, and the majority of us are not stupid. Which is why we should try to learn from their mistakes.
Mobility is what makes warfare modern. That and a complete lack of respect for mankind. For the moment, we’re only going to concern ourselves with the mobility part. The way we organize protests now, lots of people come together for direct action, generally in heavily populated areas. Personally, I’ve always questioned whether obstructing traffic is such a good idea since most commuters are in a hurry to get somewhere, meaning the inconvenience we present is what people notice more than anything else, and that probably doesn’t help our cause when the delays are more likely to anger them rather than portray the purposes we’re trying to serve in a positive light. That’s neither here nor there, however. The real reason I’m a proponent of mobility is that I do not trust the mob mentality. People get to thinking they can get away with throwing rocks or starting fires when they’re part of a faceless crowd, and that always makes us look bad. Especially when we plainly state we’re non-violent. This gives the corporate media sensational images to accuse us if being ignorant even though they’re far more inconsiderate than we are. So it’s in our best interests to disperse the crowds ourselves to limit the damage the mob mentality might do if left without direction. Think of it as a way to minimize agents provocateur or anarchists who would try to subvert our activities by directing the crowd towards unproductive purposes.
So, mobility. Most of our protests happen in cities, where there usually isn’t a shortage of public transportation. Why not take advantage of that? All it takes is bus fare or a subway token. Instead of leaving large numbers of people to their own devices as they merely walk away from demonstrations, we could organize secondary actions outside of the city centers to draw many of them away for specific purposes. It would obviously lessen the chances of rioting that could be used to make us look like the aggressors. It’s a way of anticipating the chaotic and avoiding it.
Secondary actions wouldn’t always need to be protests either. We could go to a cemetery and put flowers on the graves of veterans. Or monuments to pay respect to the honorable efforts of previous generations. Or plaques commemorating the achievements of union organizers who used strikes to get better wages, or the suffragettes who won the right for women to vote a century ago. The possibilities for showing proper appreciation for our previous accomplishments are exponential. At the same time, we could also visit some of the usual suspects and go to the offices or residences of government officials, or to sites where we know corporations are dumping pollution into the environment. We might even coordinate the actions to make a point by visiting beekeepers in one place while calling attention to Monsanto’s destructive pesticides at another.
Also, while we’re en route between the main protest and the secondary ones, we could make the most of our time in transit.  Buses and trains tend to be eerily quiet most of the time. Small pods who travel together are usually the only ones who talk. Everyone else is generally reading or looking out a window or playing on their phones. That’s a perfect opportunity for us to engage each other in normal-volume conversations about what we’re doing and why so eaves droppers can gain a better understanding of our rational motivations.
The second measure I’d have you consider has two purposes, to protect ourselves as well as build a database for our achievements, and that can be accomplished very easily by encouraging everyone to live-stream the events they attend. It protects the individual, much like a body-cam on a police officer, and it also protects the group because one of the valuable lessons we’ve learned from the security state is that people seem much less likely to act-the-fool when they know there are cameras everywhere. Also, in establishing our own database, we’ll have all kinds of footage to share online through independent sources, records to refute false claims by the tools in power and their media, and a certain potential for creating viral videos before we ‘earn’ the right to have fair media coverage by the mainstream that has minimized our efforts  In addition, every live-streamer will have a personal record of what they were doing when we wrested control of our future from the corporate lackeys who think money is the most important thing in life. It’s a method of making memories while contributing to everything else.
Combining these two initiatives, we might even have live-streamers converge on whatever strategic point is the focus of our secondary actions, surround the cemetery or the monument or the building or the sewage pipe, and use the collection of videos to make a 3-D image. Almost a hologram, using techniques like the camera work made popular in the Matrix movie series. But that’s just me dreaming out loud.
A third deviation from the norm I’d have people consider employing is the introduction of creativity and fun whenever possible. I’m an artist so I admit that I’m biased, and I’m also a realist so I understand some subjects are so serious or dire that they don’t really allow for jubilation. But you have to admit that it will be harder for the corporate media to make us look like jerks if we’re usually smiling and laughing and having a good time. How could we do that? Simple techniques like snowball fights, squirt-gun battles, and water balloon attacks. We could concentrate on hitting each other most of the time, but we could also have oil drums or large cigarette packs or massive pills as targets. The debut of each should be kept secret as long as possible just so the watchers see us doing new things and think, What the Hell? But after that they’d all take on a life of their own. If some people decided to show up at a governor’s mansion and bomb the crap out of it with snowballs, I have to admit I wouldn’t consider that violent at all. We may even be able to get the general public to embrace the idea that the G is full of idiots, especially if they try to prosecute us for something as innocent as a snowball barrage.
As an aside, snowballs in summertime would be absolutely precious, although that would take careful planning since every snowball I put in the freezer as a kid turned into a hard chunk of ice by the time I went to use it.
Hilarity can only help our public image. If it makes us seem a bit unorthodox, good, just so we don’t let it become childish or unprofessional. The message being that we might be pissed off at certain people, but we’re having fun expressing our displeasure, and that’s much more mature than trying to kill them, as we have in all of our previous revolutions.
I’ve approached police nationwide to tell them to expect millions of people in the streets this summer, and asked them to simply do their jobs correctly so we can avoid injuries and loss of life. In addition, I’ve contacted National Guard units in every state to remind them that we’re all in this together even though their duty might put them in a position to oppose us. Plus I promised to keep them in the loop for any major protests we plan to organize so there aren’t any misunderstandings. It would require the endorsement and cooperation of many to keep this promise. The troops have jobs to do when they’re called out for crowd control, and we need to make their jobs as easy as possible to ensure everyone’s safety.
In closing, I think it would be poor form on our part to overlook everyone who cannot participate in our rallies. Some people work nights, or live too far away, or can’t attend because they might get fired, or aren’t as spry as they’d prefer. A lot of them are disenchanted and disgruntled too. So we should probably try to include measures that will allow people to get involved from their own homes. It’s safer that way anyhow. So, just as I proposed when I sold my house to promote these selective strikes more than a decade ago, I’m suggesting that we get certain industry’s attention by avoiding them on certain days of the week. If anyone knows why any of these strikes should happen on particular days of the week to increase their effect, or if there are better targets, please don’t keep that information to yourself. As far as I’m concerned, the floor is completely open regarding everything you’ve read here today. Only we need to set our priorities straight from the beginning since changing things around could only lead to confusion, and I think focused disruption is in all of our best interests.
Mondays. Don’t buy gasoline. Get it every other day, just do your best to avoid gas stations on Mondays. That includes their overpriced convenience stores.
Tuesdays. Ignore the mainstream media entirely. Don’t buy their newspapers or magazines, don’t make any online purchases, and don’t watch their programming on television.
Wednesdays. Show the utility companies we don’t need them as much as they think we do. Eat out, have meals delivered, or order take out. Change the thermostat by ten degrees and put on an extra layer of clothes. Or take a layer off and celebrate Naked Day! Turn your lights out as early as you can. Take the family out to the movies. Spend time with neighbors of friends. Have a sleep over!
Thursdays. Shun entertainment. Don’t buy music or movies, and try not to watch or listen to them either. Avoid theaters and stadiums. Leave the television off. Don’t play video games, not even on your phone. Let those who make all of the substandard crap that passes for entertainment know that you’re not all that impressed with them.
Fridays. Relax, you’ve done a good job. If you want, think about how 60% of retail sales revolve around the sham that Christmas has become, and talk about whether you intend to pay your income taxes next year to make the government really nervous.
That’s about it. Please start conversations with the other activists around you concerning what you think about all of this. I hope this helps us take our game to the next level.

Sean Bechtold