As a first-and-second wave-member of the Thirties and Sixties and today,
I want to endorse Starhawk's post whole-heartedly.
> Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001
> From: Starhawk <email@example.com>
> Subject: Self-Defense
> Self Defense
> Okay, so now theyre actually shooting people with real bullets. In Sweden,
> no less! I mean, we expect that kind of thing in the third world, but
> Sweden is where you used to go when you couldnt stomach the Vietnam war any
> more and deserted and they would take you in.
> So what does this mean? Im reading emails about how we have to fundraise
> for bulletproof vests for activists, or how noble it is to be willing to
> die on the streets. Dying on the barricades is one of those things that
> sounds a whole lot more romantic then it actually is in practice^if only
> because you only get to do it once, whereas living as an activist for a
> long, long time, learning from experience, growing, changing, and keeping at
> it has the potential for causing the powers that be a whole lot more
> The truth is, theres no vest, no armor, no plexiglass shield, thats going
> to protect you if they start shooting live ammunition at a demonstration.
> (On the other hand, your chances of dying are still higher in evening
> But there is a way to protect yourself from receiving a bullet in the heart
> at the next action^and it has nothing to do with what you wear on the
> street. Its about mobilizing your political support before the action ever
> happens^so that the political cost of such a response becomes unacceptable
> to the authorities.
> How do we do that in a world of corporate controlled media? Talk to people!
> Talk to people who arent already in the movement! Find the ones who are
> sympathetic, even vaguely, and ask them to support you.
> Theres a theory of social movements that says that the first ones involved,
> the ones who are out there on the barricades, tend to be risk takers and
> more generally radical types. Were what we could call the first wave. But
> to be successful, a movement needs a second wave, of people who are
> sympathetic or inclined to be, but not actually active, who might be more
> cautious or more limited in their involvement. The job of the first wave is
> to mobilize the second wave. Then the second wave can mobilize the third
> wave of general public opinion.
> What that means is that you with the dreadlocks, piercings, tattoos, or
> simply the mindset so radical you never make a right turn in traffic dont
> have to go out and convince the Young Republicans of the rightness of our
> cause, you simply have to convince those who dont really know about the IMF
> but are wondering why with their B.A. and their $50,000 worth of college
> debts the only job they can get is making lattes at Starbucks. Or the Union
> worker who sees all the jobs going south, or the inner-city mother who can
> no longer get welfare and cant find a decent school for her kids. Or the
> old sixties radical who is now working eighty hour weeks trying to send
> their kids through the same colleges they once tried to burn down. And you
> dont have to convince them to die on the barricades (which frankly for most
> people takes a lot of convincing!) You just have to convince them to do
> something^write a letter of support, call or write their Congresspeople,
> raise some money to support the action, somehow put themselves on record as
> being in support of what we do. So that the authorities sense the pressure
> of that incipient tsunami should they go too far in their repression.
> Who do you ask? Your family, assuming youre on speaking terms. The people
> you come into contact with at work or school. Your old friend youve know
> since you were eleven. Your neighbor that had the Nader/LaDuke sign in her
> window last November. You might even get real bold and go door to door in
> the area where youre going to have the action. "Hello, Im your friendly
> neighborhood anarchist, and I want to let you know why were going to be
> protesting here next month."
> Instead of fundraising for bullet proof vests, fundraise for beautiful flags
> people can hang out their windows, so on the morning of the action the whole
> city is full of colorful banners of support. Ask your supporters to write
> letters to the editor, to your local officials, to police officials and
> elected representatives before the action that affirm your right to protest
> and express your position on the issue. Put together an email list of your
> personal support team and send them your daily dispatches from the
> action^and encourage them to forward them on to others. Have one key
> supporter who will notify them should you be injured or arrested, and get
> them calling, writing, emailing, faxing, and turning up at the jail with hot
> soup for the vigil.
> Yeah, this is less glamorous than dying in the streets. But its the
> background work that makes the risks we take on the streets count. Without
> it, even the ultimate martyrdom which some of us may be called to offer will
> not be effective^and what could be sadder than that?
> I have no doubt that every single one of us in this movement is more
> valuable alive than dead. Ive put my body and my freedom on the line many,
> many times and will continue to do so, no matter what the risks. But I
> dont want to be a martyr, I want to win! And be alive to enjoy the
> incredible world were going to create. To do that, we have to build the
> broader movement. Its our best self defense, and our vital political
> strategy. Our lives depend on it.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Jul 11 2001 - 16:34:35 EDT