We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

strret actions-and strategies

by George Sempepos Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 2:26 PM
epsilonprods@yahoo.com North Brooklyn Greens, P.O. Box 220250, Brooklyn, NY 11222

While many may be angered at Edson's comments,
(especially at this moment when brave people
have put themselves on the line
in prison)
the point regarding the effectiveness of street
actions and their inevitable price should be
Crucially, although the police
actions were indiscriminate and illegal, --
and as usual, innocent people have
been brutalized,--- and we now
have the appalling and unconstitutional
million-dollar-bail gimmick--
---despite all that,
the cops & DAs can claim the arrests were a response to
someone's civil disobedience-
That is, someone (allegedly) broke a law-- (maybe just an "order to disperse")-- after, they will claim,
someone announced a willingness to break laws
(i.e. commit civil disobedience if necessary)
--and so the police get to define the terms of
engagement, in the courts of Opinion- as well as the
actual Courts.
Let's recall the varieties of Civil
Disobedience: There is Civil disobedience directed specifically against an unjust law --
burning your draft card during
the Vietnam war being a famous example,
or African-Americans sitting at a restricted lunch counter.
In those cases, activists deliberately broke a law
that was in itself unjust, or part of an unjust
legal policy, and did so specifically to
call attention to it, both as a personal statement
of conscience, and as a public expression.

I think (and some clarification here would help)
the form of civil disobedience that is called
for by some activists in the events under
discussion is somewhat different, in that
the "laws" being [potentially--in the police/D.A.
rhetoric]"broken"-- are more generic,
and not specific to the (primary) cause of the activists.
Civil disobedience in these cases may be seen
as a response to an unjust limitation
being placed on freedoms of speech & assembly-
(e.g. a call to march without a "permit" and thus
face arrest). It may be an attention-getting,
solidarity-building tactic. And it just may be
determination to persevere in the
face of an arrogant, unresponsive authority.

But too often, confusion arises--
because the activists' primary cause has
been obfuscated by the issue of the
inevitable arrests, and now activists have to
try to prove that everyone who was arrested was specifically not guilty-- or else instantly
educate their audience on the free-speech rights
that were trampled by the official excuse for arrest.
Either way, we are now, as the politicians say,

But shouldn't the goal be to stay "on-message"??
The public at-large is still largely unaware
of the substance of much of the anti-corporate,
anti-prison-industrial-complex message-- although
they are ready to hear it. Even after
these topics become so ingrained in the
public consciousness-- that they can be told
in shorthand, (like by 1970 "Stop the War!" or
"Black Power!" had become household terms),
the first priority must continue to be
to communicate,
to teach, to spread the knowledge.

So does that mean the movement should
avoid any arrest-potential actions?
Probably there's no single rule- every action should be reviewed on a case-by-case
situational basis.

Of course, no one could have predicted that
the cops would start picking out & arresting people
as they walked around at scattered locations. Nor can
we know exactly how the arrogant rulers of society might try to squash any social movement.
But the existence
of a sensation-obsessed commercial
media offers opportunities- and dangers- for
building a movement.

I think you can't afford to squander
the tiny amount of media coverage that street
events generate on the media's twisted perception.
Street events must somehow be "spin-proof"
in terms of how they will "play" to the public at-large-
the audience.
Like it or not, you are a part of
the Society Of The Spectacle.
The real story of this movement might be:
How To Succeed In(People's) Show Business.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy