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Radical Direct Action

by PS-RAAN Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 7:22 AM

Our protest tactics do not work. The demonstrations against the war did nothing to dissuade the Bush administration from carrying it out. Mass rallies to demonstrate that the people oppose government policy play on the assumption that the government could give a damn what the people think. It does not, and it will not. The government is motivated exclusively by their interests in capital and power. We know this to be the case by their own admission, by the governments insistence that it will not be influenced by protests.

Major protests against the Iraqi occupation in the United States are scheduled for
the end of the month, and the end of October. The problem is that these as they
stand now are irrelevant.

Our protest tactics do not work. The demonstrations against the war did nothing
to dissuade the Bush administration from carrying it out. Mass rallies to
demonstrate that the people oppose government policy play on the assumption
that the government could give a damn what the people think. It does not, and it
will not. The government is motivated exclusively by their interests in capital and
power. We know this to be the case by their own admission, by the governments
insistence that it will not be influenced by protests.

There is no usefulness in participating in political activity that has only been able
to serve our own self-gratification. Those who are serious about fighting the
reactionary policies of the US government ought to shift from tactics that have
proven themselves ineffective to those which by their nature frustrate and
undermine imperialism and capitalism.

If the measure of success is political change, or even the scaling back of the
most reactionary tendencies in the government, we, anti-imperialist activists
(anti-war and anti-globilization) are failing. Lets try something new.

We are calling for the development of a new more effective form of non-violent
dissent and an anonymous network to facilitate that aim. We would like to
consider the following points:

1. Measures of success are not the amount of people who show up to a
demonstration, the amount of money raised, the amount of people
wearing black at a protest, the creativity of puppets or street theater or the
vulgarity of our slogans. If we are a movement committed to stopping
reactionary policies of all kinds, then the only measure of success is the
degree to which we can frustrate, undermine and derail the imperialist

2. Since the institutions and individuals directing, motivating, and profiting
from reactionary policies are capitalists who measure their success in
terms of profit and power, our ability to undermine their agenda is tied into
our ability to reduce their profit and limit their power. We are not strong
enough to overthrow capitalism, to start a revolution, or to establish a total
transformation of society at this time or in the foreseeable future.
However, we are strong enough to compel individual capitalists and
capitalist institutions that the pursuit of their most reactionary aims will
result their net loss of either profit or power, and thus dissuade them from
those courses of action. If for instance the hawks in the government can
be persuaded that the cost of remaining in Iraq outweighs the value of
retaining it as a conquered territory, they will be compelled to leave out of
a desire to protect their investment.

This is not about reforming the system, reform works inside of and with
regard to the system. This is revolutionary action against the most harmful
portions of the system.

3. It should be made as easy as possible to participate in effective political
activism so that it represents a real alternative to the current form of
ineffective political activism. This is not a call for anyone to become a
guerrilla or to go underground, or engage in non-defensive violence. Most
people do not have the luxury to become full time activists so it is not
expected. It is important to be able to achieve the maximum results with
the most minimum risk and cost to the participants. No direct action which
is likely to result in the arrest and conviction of a participant for a felony
should be attempted; it is simply not the type of thing that is reasonable at
this time.

Given these factors we would like to accomplish the following in the short term:

1. The development of new, more aggressive, more disruptive tactics for use
in demonstrations. The Black Bloc tactic has served up to a point, but it
now amounts to little more than street theater. While we can appreciate
street theater, if our intent is to have a real political effect, we will have to
do more than that.

2. Develop a network of semi-autonomous cells for direct action along
existing models. It is useful to be autonomous for purposes of security. It
is also useful to be mutually co-ordinated for purposes of effectiveness.
Cells should be able to carry out protests and make useful gestures of
propaganda independently, but they should also be able to come together
to accomplish larger projects. To this end, we will develop a system of
anonymous communication to coordinate actions without compromising

If you are interested in participating in this project, please start a new email
account from a public computer or a computer that cannot be readily associated
with yourself (a public wireless network, internet cafŽ, library, university computer
labs, or even computers in stores). Send an email to ________________ stating
your intention to participate in the project, your general location (nothing specific),
your basic political motivation (again nothing specific), concerns, questions,
request for additional information, and anything else you can think of. Do not
include your name, address, phone number, associations, or otherwise mention
anything by which you could possibly be identified from. You can think of a cute
pen name if you like, but don't use one you've ever used before online. Please
allow several days for a reply to your first email.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Bring it, meat Da Killa Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 7:35 AM
Take it to the next level... nonanarchist Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 2:20 PM
oh, ideas for irritation joker Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 2:53 PM
"marbles on the freeway" nonanarchist Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 3:54 PM
But then you could whine about... nonanarchist Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2003 at 3:56 PM
Mumia Ignatius Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003 at 3:53 AM
PS-RAAN 1 Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003 at 4:31 AM
More Cheap Labor Conservative Hypocrisy krankyman Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003 at 2:39 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003 at 2:50 PM

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