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I know we're not supposed to do call-out diaries here -- actually, come to think of it, I don't know that, now that we're without a "nanny," but I presume it's still true -- but I have to do one here.

I'm calling out G2geek.

Yes, G2, if I may call you that, I know that you probably enjoy going to your profile page and seeing that fantastic last diary you did in January still as the top one on your list.

But come on.

You were talking all kinds of sense in madmsf's diary on the reoccupation of the Wisconsin Capitol Building.  You wrote enough for it to be a diary.

Yet it was not a diary.

Do I have to do everything myself here?

Read on, my friends, for a collected compendium of the recent wisdom of G2Geek on non-violent protest.  Read on and learn.

Lesson One:

how to prevent violence: (28+ / 0-)
Compile information from the nonviolence training manuals that were widely used in various movements in the past.  

Quaker-affiliated peace groups in New England would be an excellent place to start.  

Turn this stuff into leaflets and hand them out and make sure they get circulated and widely read at the protests.  (Also assume they'll find their way back to Walker and the other Koch-sniffers.)

Try to keep it light on theory and heavy on practice: what to do if this happens, what to do if that happens, how to avoid getting provoked by provocateurs, how to convey peaceful intentions quickly & clearly to others, etc. etc.  

There is an enormous amount of information available, it just needs to be compiled and then turned into one-page handouts that can be read quickly and stick in peoples' memory.  

Also conduct nonviolence trainings every single day, and encourage everyone to participate at least once.  This involves group discussions of theory and practice, it involves role-plays & rehearsals, and the goal is to make sure that people internalize the values and the behaviors that make for peaceful and effective action.  

Organize "teach-ins" on labor history and on the history of nonviolent protest movements.  These become interesting activities for folks to participate in, and help spread useful information, and also keep people busy doing something constructive and in the right frame of mind.  Signs can be posted so people can find these group sessions and participate.  

Logistical activities such as supplying food and cleaning up, can also be tied in with the overall philosophical current, as expressions of the spirit of nonviolent direct action.  

The goal of all of this is to create a complete culture and atmosphere of constructive participation, and channel anger into vital activities such as voter registration and the recall petitions.

Saturday's protest by farmers that involves a tractor parade, ought to be very interesting as well.  

All of these things taken together, strengthen the movement and at the same time prevent it being digressed into violence or vandalism.

Lesson Two:

However: gotta keep it peaceful. (19+ / 0-)
It's vitally important that relations between protesters and police stay calm and cool.  

The cops can see the writing on the wall: they know they're next in line for having their rights stripped.  

So if they give the order to clear the building, there are two ways to respond:

One, go along and take the protest outside.  

Two, peaceful civil disobedience where you ask to be cited for trespassing and then cooperate with the arrest or citation procedure, and take it to court en masse.  

See also my posting on preventing violence: people need to know how to respond if things heat up a bit, as things almost surely will.

Lesson Three:

[Responding to: "Passive non-compliance techniques (8+ / 0-)
Make them carry you out, one by one.  Hundreds of you."]

no no no, not yet. (2+ / 0-)
That's an escalation, and it has to be saved for later.

In the early stages, get up and walk and go along peacefully.

If Walker escalates, make sure we have solidarity with the police unions, and then next time, do the "go limp" thing.  

Slow gradual escalation is the key to keeping the pressure on.  Premature escalation wastes tactics that could have been used more strategically.

Lesson Four:

[Responding to: "but Walker already escalated!"]

sure he did, but.... (1+ / 0-)
.... our counter-move to that should be the form of sit-in where the protesters get up and walk with the officers, since we haven't done that one yet as far as I know.

That's one notch of escalation.

Now if Walker goes up another notch, our side goes up another notch: the "go limp" maneuver.  However, before we do that, we need liaison with the police union so they know what to expect.  

But in fact the escalation we should really be doing is in the form of new voter registrations and money collected for campaign ads for the April election to decide whether a nasty fascist stays on the state Supreme Court or leaves and is replaced.  

The way to hit these bastards hard is in the voting booth, and victories there cannot be taken away from us (other than by hacking the voting machines and so on, but we need to have election protection volunteers at every single polling place, with lawyers waiting by their office phones to respond to anything).  

And one threat that has serious potential to work is:  get people signed up with financial pledges and volunteer time pledges that kick in if/when Walker does outrageous things.   Then make sure he and his cronies know it.  "If you do X, we will do Y."  Tit for tat, the surest strategy in game theory, and highly applicable here.

Come on, dude!  If you're going to give people a kick-ass primer in theory and practice of non-violent protest, don't make them dig for it!  This needed to be a diary!  Sheesh!

(And thanks.  This material is wonderful.)

Updated by Seneca Doane at Thu Mar 10, 2011, 03:33:21 PM

And now Wee Mama horns in with additional dollops of linked wisdom.

Updated by Seneca Doane at Thu Mar 10, 2011, 04:04:03 PM

G2geek has stopped by in comments!  I say that we treat this as his tip jar!

Updated by Seneca Doane at Fri Mar 11, 2011, 03:51:31 AM

kurious has some interesting info for you here, and cotterperson would like you to take a look at this!

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