Takes about 15 days for me to burn out it seems this time, but I
slept a bunch and got over it so in this precious brief moment
of clarity, focus, and free time I want to lay out what I think
is MOST important for LA activists to get from R2K.
Just so you know I did Monday, T,W,Th,F,Sat,Sunday trainings, 4
hour action basics sometimes twice a day, nonviolence and direct
action, legal and jail solidarity, and 3 hour strategy=power
Unity 2000 March Sunday and McCain disruption
KWRU march Monday in the hot sun - we were wilting
Tuesday action witness
Then I did overnights and phones at Legal Jail Support office
Sunday night, Monday, Wednesday, Th, Friday - plus lots of
meetings, some facilitation, some media and some driving around,
basically bonked Saturday night and spent Sunday and Monday
sleeping. I've facilitated the PDAG meeting a couple of nights
and we're heading into a strategy 1/2 day or all day this week.
BIG PICTURE STUFF - below this is tactical successes and
1. Strategy Informs Tactics!: movement strategy loosely
consensed (we are doing more of this later this week so this
will be clarified) is in no particular order, with of course the
over-arch of nonviolence:
(this was a pdag meeting Phila Direct Action Group)
build the movement
end corporate rule
end violent criminal (in)justice institutions
social change is proceeded by cultural change (end of slavery,
women's right to own property and to vote, blacks voting,
religious tolerance, bill of rights stuff, etc.). this is why
puppets are dangerous. (change the culture, develop alternative
ways, draw attention, get the masses to see it, do it, parallel
back to my own stuff:
the 'movement'? my peers:
anti-apartheid, anti-gulf war, urban activism (needle exchange,
homes not jails, schools not jails, take back the streets, empty
the shelters), forest activism (earth first, rain forest action
network), anti-nuke (nuke test site, hansford, rocky flats,
prairie island, seabrook, tmi, etc), native support by whites
(shoshone, dine, traditional hopi, chumash, lakota), prison
work, white people working against racism and challenging white
other folks above my radar: circle A (more later), people of
color communities, labor (I'm just starting with the teachers
union in SF), anti-sweatshop (primarily students), SEAC,
possible allies not yet reached: Religious Communities!
(Quakers are on board at least in Phila., which is a great start
but WE NEED TO DIALOG AND HEAR THESE PEOPLE! Black church
leaders are helping was a little hear, lots of support from
black community anti-police-brutality folks cause we're feeling
what they feel a lot more often)
- the 'olders' and the 'elders' - we are getting more folks with
direct action experience from the 60s, 70s, 80s and we need to
HEAR and DIALOG about what they like about us and what scares
them about us. We need these folks (mom for instance).
- labor for real, not this Sweeney jump on your bandwagon for a
day bullshit but real working class support, especially white
working class - we have HUGE culture clash issues coming our way
- but WE'VE ALREADY had those and we've dealt so let's deal some
more. This is where strong strong facilitation skills and
conflict resolution and community building skills are necessary
necessary so we should teach them and learn them now.
- who else? what is an ally?
the 'anti-globalization mobalization' really comprises a lot of
different issues but I believe we're onto something with the
bigger strategy presented.
first, I'm feeling like the 'white vibe' is mellowing and that
is demonstrable in Phila - and was worked on very hard in DC,
and in fact there was massive community of color support in
Seattle. We as white folk need to ALWAYS be thinking of how to
make room for people of color - not as tokens but as decision
makers. This is working and it is scaring the shit out of the
man. When we get tired and stressed we lapse into old habits
and 'assuming the dominance paradigm' is one of them - be
careful and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - YOU NEED TO EAT (WELL) AND
second, eco-activism has come around to attacking corporate rule
and corporate $ in politics - we need regulatory agencies that
disallow environmental destruction (whether they are our own -
or the states)- so it's covered. We are so far past getting
people to recycle - we won that (almost- but it's in the culture
so we've made lots of progress).
try it and see - are these sufficient strategic goals - where
are you at? what sounds good? what's scaring off our allies? is
this the eye-on-the-prize or unrealistic - feedback - talk about
this stuff - DON'T RELEGATE STRATEGY TO 'IMPORTANT BUT NOT
URGENT' - schedule it, do it. it's NOT all about making puppets
and jail solidarity.
2. Try to see the world as complex rather than simple - the
media is not all bad, the police are not all bad, politics is
not all bad, etc. etc. extinguish dualistic fixations.
That Said, tactically....
3. KEEP YOUR PUPPETS IN DIFFERENT PLACES! Huge huge bullshit
in the media about 'what was their message' without saying the
cops took the puppets. The puppets must have some immense power
or they would not be such targets - it's about changing culture
and waging a war of ideas. Status Quo knows what's up - they
smart - they put out all their jingoism and patriotism to prop
up some real myths (columbus discovered america, race difference
should scare you, etc.) and we're about knowing what the
brainwashing IS (thank you chomsky) and challenging it. Don't
let them get the puppets.
4. HAVE A UNIQUE MESSAGE EACH DAY! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK
YOU D2K for doing this. You are going to be so great and do so
great and blow away the media with this great tactic. love it!
we tried but we didn't quite get it (although almost all arrests
were on 'criminal injustice' day.
5. COUNTERSPIN! nonviolence, nonviolence, nonviolence,
nonviolence, nonviolence, nonviolence, nonviolence, nonviolence,
nonviolence, nonviolence, nonviolence, get it? use demo marshals
if you have to. short story: MLK needed disciplined
nonviolence and a particular Rev. Orange got beat up (hear me)
like 18 times or something by this one group of angry men just
to prove where he was coming from, and to convince them to not
molest the opposition during King's time in Chicago - feel me?
you can obviously see what one 'fracas' has done to the media
spin by the corporate state - avoid it. Unfortunately the more
I hear about the 'violence' the less I believe there was any
except cop attacks - Timoney rode his bike into a crowd. The
women charged with felonies were puppy-piling to keep one woman
from getting her head smashed by a !@# cop.
6. LISTEN AND DIALOG! not just with each other and with cops but
with bystanders and people that would support us if we'd be more
clear or not use one tactics or use another tactic or whatever.
We need to stop assuming that just because someone isn't for us
they're against us - it ain't like that. We got to be open and
we got to be nice about it. The vibe I get from lots of Circle
A is closed and isolated.
(vent) I am not going to blame circle A for nothing - but I do
want to say that IF YOU WANT JAIL SUPPORT - GIVE YOUR
INFORMATION. We've got about 30 people in jail and no info
'cause they never came to a meeting, they never came to a
training, and they DEMAND the support of this movement even when
some part of some of their actions of some of them jeopardize a
lot of really really hard work on the part of hundreds of
enough about that - you know what to do.
7. JAIL SOLIDARITY IS CONFUSING AND MISUNDERSTOOD by the
'allies', which is OK we're getting to it. explain it, explain
it early, explain it often. We are getting painted as
'difficult' and 'stubborn' or worse for 'not giving names'
people DONT GET THIS. That does NOT mean I suggest giving names
in LA - I have no idea what to do and I'd love to hear what
happens. There are lots of other social change movements that
have tried this tactic and left it. We are doing it in a new
way (possibly). What's new? Well it's lots of people, lots of
white middle class people, and I don't know what else.
R2K! WE ARE SOLID! (341 today, 9 cited out today 16 tomorrow,
the trickle is happening)... One thing that is awesome and
powerful is that the 'general population' of the county jail is
now creating lists of demands for their own selves!!! (better
food, working phone system, end of guard abuse, end to lock
There is little to fear from the inmates - who in ACTUALITY
run the jails (I learned this over time in San Quentin and
Folsom and I would expect very few people to get this without
lots of background so that's tough). Having radicalized
prisoners doesn't exactly make our movement look 'safe' in the
eyes of many, but communities of color under police siege
understand and let's be clear who we are down for.
8. DO NOT 'REASSEMBLE' IN ONE PLACE at the end of the day of
action. Get off the streets. If you are going to 'clump'
anywhere plan to get attacked and arrested. There is no 'non
arrest able' category anymore - if you are on the street you are
a target especially if you a) wear all black b) carry a cell
phone c)have long hair d)any hair coloring e)any facial
piercings f)person of color etc etc etc Get the picture? We
are under attack for real.
9. DO compassionate listening and trauma counseling all the
time. Before actions, during actions, especially after actions.
Read TRAUMA AND RECOVERY by JUDITH HERMAN, everyone in the
movement should know this stuff - we were walking around like
zombies after the gas in Seattle and we CAN DO SOMETHING about
it - get the skills!
10. Be nice. If you can't deal with anger get out. It's way
to hot for a bunch of crap. Communicate, affirm, BUILD
community. Build bridges and speak to your boundaries. If you
don't want to work with someone find some other way to plug in -
there's plenty to do.
11. PARANOIA is working against us. Consider organizing
openly. Be proud that you have a name and you can give it to
show solidarity. Maybe there's another way to do the
noncompliance thing without withholding names I'm not sure.
whatever. Keep the masks down, be aware that you can be beaten
and murdered for standing with poor and people of color and get
over it - what are we hiding from anyway? They are excellent at
surveillance and all that stuff, we can't fight them with
12. AFFIRM AFFIRM AFFIRM- we are doing something right and
scaring the status quo - labor, eco, student, and anti-police
brutality folks in solidarity is potent - we have real people
power - the new 'out' attack on activists needs to be countered
IMMEDIATELY - anyone with juice out there PLEASE contact your
elders or congress people and demand a congressional hearing
into the federal gommints COINTELPRO style attack on John
Sellers, RUCKUS, etc.
Listen people. I do what Sellers did. We train people. He's
us and we're him and what happened to him could happen to us and
remember the Nazis - help us now or who's gonna help you later?
that's it for now - good luck in Los Angeles. Jodi Dodd and
some others of us that are California bound are going to meet
and carry more info forward. You rock!
in defense of mother earth