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Forum Post: Guidelines for Non-violent Civil Disobedient Traffic Blocking.

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 19, 2011, 3:31 p.m. EST by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

  1. Never plan where and at what time you will do an action. Create groups of ten to twenty or more activists and have each group elect a coordinator who will pick a time and location for an action and only announce the action moments before it occurs. While waiting for the coordinator to declare an action the group can choose a flash mob approach and receive a text of the time and location allowing the group to disperse locally before the action or the group can just picket on the side walk with the coordinator before the action is called. This approach prevents undercover police from knowing exactly where and when the action will take place. Once the action begins it will also take time for the police to arrive and get organized for the arrests allowing for the greatest impact on the traffic. The more time your are sitting on the pavement the more the traffic will be snarled.

  2. Do not lock arms or go limp when the police begin the arrests. When police reach down to make the physical arrest give them your arms and let them help you up and walk with them to the paddy wagon. This approach allows less injuries to occur to the activists and the police. It is also important that the coordinator does not participate in the action so that he or she can let the police commander on the scene of the action know how the activists are physically prepared to be arrested. This will put the police at ease knowing they will not have risk injury in the arrests.

  3. When doing an action do not step out into speeding traffic. Wait for a lull in the flow of traffic in the street and then walkout remaining in a standing position until the most immediate cars are halted by your action. Once the traffic has clearly stopped because of your blockage then and only then will the coordinator give the ok to sit down. Safety is of the utmost importance in all these type of actions.

  4. Only activists that know and understand that they may be brought up on actual charges and may have to spend some time in jail should take part in these actions. Always give your name to the police so the legal team that will represent you can find you in the system after the arrest

  5. When doing these actions always keep a smile on your face and good cheer in your heart so the police can see your not angry at them. Your traffic blocking is the general symbol of our collective anger but that does not have to translate to anger between you and the police.

Written by Lloyd Hart 508-687-9153

18 Comments

18 Comments


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[-] 2 points by BrainC (400) from Austin, TX 3 years ago

I am ready for this to go down.

Make it happen!

[-] 1 points by Misfit138 (172) 2 years ago

Great way to turn the public off even more to OWS. OWS will be the cause of its own downfall with actions like this, not the government or the police.

[-] 0 points by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA 2 years ago

OWS is finished now because none of the participants were willing to do something real to force the oligarchs to deal with the mess they have made. So get a grip! OWS has no leverage with the public because OWS was and is just a vanity protest, not a real confrontation of the corruption that put the nation in the poor house.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 2 years ago

Can you elaborate on what traffic-blocking protesters are usually charged with specifically (if they do not resist arrest as you stated), how much the fine for that is and how long they can expect to be imprisoned and whether or not there is a trial.
I'm new to this but I know if I try to get a group started those will be the first questions asked. Also, some of us cannot afford to miss our jobs for too many days in a row, so if it's usually a same-day release then it's still something we can do. Sounds kind of... un-cool, but hey, a job is a job.

[-] 1 points by johnavitable (1) 2 years ago

I received Disorderly Conduct and use of a prohibited roadway for blocking the brooklyn bridge. Spent about 8 and a half hours in jail and had to go to court. Took the ACD (plead) and if I don't get arrested in 6 months everything goes away.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 2 years ago

That's very helpful, thanks.

[-] 1 points by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA 2 years ago

Most municipalities can't afford those they have locked up now and thanks to the drug war there are a lot of non-violent drug sentences that have over crowded the jails. So the most likely thing they will do is a small fine and a same day release.

However, once it grows nation wide they will do something out of the control like mass incarcerations but when they do, that will provoke the majority of people in this nation to stand in solidarity with the protest. At that point they have to choose between total violence against their own people or negotiate an end to the protests.

If they choose violence then we are in a civil war but if they choose to negotiate we had better have some demands that people can get behind.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 2 years ago

Okay thank you! I think it would be cool to have a page on this website devoted simply to traffic-blocking videos so others can see how it worked in different situations and then post their own.

[-] 1 points by proudofOKC (361) 2 years ago

I like this. I would like to see a video of the real thing so other GAs can see how it's done.

[-] 1 points by byanymeans (2) 2 years ago

An easy way to snarl traffic. When traffic is stopped at a light dump a couple thousand roofing nails in front of the oncoming traffic. Draw the attention of the drivers in the first row, once they are aware then it becomes nail pickup time.

[-] 1 points by byanymeans (2) 2 years ago

An easy way to snarl traffic. When traffic is stopped at a light dump a couple thousand roofing nails in front of the oncoming traffic. Draw the attention of the drivers in the first row, once they are aware then it becomes nail pickup time.

[-] 0 points by sojucider (2) 3 years ago

I see this starting more than one altercation between protesters and drivers.

[-] 1 points by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA 3 years ago

Follow the arrest rules and the cops will arrest unruly drivers

[-] -1 points by NonParticipant (151) 3 years ago

And are you going to pay the $10 a minute fine at my daycare when I can't get there in time? Because you are sitting in front of my car. Making a statement that I'm certainly not going to listen to because the meter is ticking. I guess you can use part of that $300,000 that's been donated.

[-] 3 points by proudofOKC (361) 2 years ago

That must be a really nice daycare. My parents didn't have the money for daycare when I was growing up. Your child is blessed!

[Removed]

[-] 3 points by LloydJHart (190) from Vineyard Haven, MA 3 years ago

Over thirty six million children go to bed hungry every night in America. This is a crisis.

Over 50 million people in America are living below the poverty line. This is a crisis.

46 million Americans are collecting food stamps. There is no way you can survive on food stamps. This is a crisis

Should the unions not fought for and won the living wage in the first half of the twentieth century by blocking business as usual?

[-] -3 points by NonParticipant (151) 3 years ago

Do you honestly, HONESTLY think I'm going to listen to one. thing. you. say. if you are the cause of a traffic jam and cause me to pay fines?

And bringing unions into the discussion does not help your argument.

[-] 1 points by HarryCrew07 (433) 3 years ago

Sorry you are affected! The OWS movement requires peaceful disruption. I hope you make it to work on time more often! It can be hard trying to work within the system when others are attempting to change it....