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Forum Post: Tips for Street Protests from Veteran Protesters

Posted 3 years ago on Sept. 28, 2011, 10:52 a.m. EST by roz (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Tips for Wall Street Protesters from Veteran Street Protesters

  1. If your protest becomes a protest against the police you have lost your cause. You are not protesting the police, you are protesting the financial industry's abuse of the American economy.
  2. Few cops are interested in violating your civil rights. They might even feel like you do. Try to cooperate with them.
  3. Restrain protesters who are abusing cops.
  4. If police split the crowd with barricades or horses MOVE but reassemble again nearby. If they try to move you completely away from your place of protest, sit down and get arrested peacefully and without resistance. Don't sit down in front of horses.
  5. Sometimes provocateurs are hired by the people you are protesting or even by law enforcement to incite the crowd to violence so you look bad. Keep an eye out for anyone trying to rile the crowd and call them out on what they are doing.
  6. Keep the focus on the Wall Street crooks, not on your own sense of outrage.
  7. You have a right to freedom of assembly and free speech, not an invitation to act like an ass in public. Keep your clothes on and your language clean.
  8. Slow and steady wins the race.

5 Comments

5 Comments


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[-] 1 points by ClassWarrior (11) 3 years ago

Also, remember that not everyone talking violence is an agent provocateur. People are angry and frustrated, and violent outbursts come as a natural result of that. Calling an honestly angry person an agent is a sure way to divide your movement into opposing camps.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

If all farmers unite and start only small scale, organic farming. Big agri business will soon be out of business.

[-] 1 points by littleg (452) 3 years ago

Hunger strike in Round robin fashion.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 3 years ago

All very good advice. Again do not sit down or stand directly in front of a horse

[-] 1 points by GandhiKingMindset (124) 3 years ago

Below is a GENERAL OVERVIEW OF TACTICS and a numbered list of demands we would make in DC. These would not be empty demands. They would be made in the context of engaging in non-violent direct action / peaceful non-resistance, proven tactics that produce real results. Clearly the language would need to be edited and certainly grow more specific (hoping you'll help with that), but you get the idea. Below the brief introduction with proposed tactics is the numbered list of proposed demands.

TACTICS: WHY DIRECT NON-VIOLENT ACTION?

It's pretty simple. It works. It's worked for MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. Non-violent direct action is what made the civil rights movement and Indian independence from the British possilble. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: "The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation." We should make the demands below very publicly at a press conference a few days after arriving in DC. When doing so, we should give a clear deadline of 3 days for a firm written commitment from at least 60% of members of House and 60% of the members of the Senate to pass these bills by the end of the year. If this commitment on the full slate of demands is not met by midnight on the 3rd day (which it won't be) we should be prepared to non-violently block access to all or part of the Capitol complex the next morning by traditional proven non-violent tactics. The purpose is to bring the leaders of the House and Senate to the negotiating table.

NOTE: There are always entrances because there is always a point where people who work there have to leave the public street and enter secure space. We should focus our non-violent direct action and civil disobedience on those entrances no matter where they move them because these are, by definition, always accessible.

LIST OF PROPOSED DEMANDS:

  1. CONGRESS PASS HR 1489 REINSTATING GLASS-STEAGALL ACT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act --- Wiki entry summary: The repeal of provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking which issued securities and commercial banks which accepted deposits. The deregulation also removed conflict of interest prohibitions between investment bankers serving as officers of commercial banks. Most economists believe this repeal directly contributed to the severity of the Financial crisis of 2007–2011 by allowing Wall Street investment banking firms to gamble with their depositors' money that was held in commercial banks owned or created by the investment firms. Here's detail on repeal in 1999 and how it happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass–Steagall_Act#Repeal .

If we wanted to have a BIG IMPACT and we were able to have only one slogan that we could paint on signs and chant during marches within earshot of press, it would be "PASS HR 1489. REINSTATE GLASS-STEAGALL" or "RE-IN-STATE the ACT GLASS-STEAGALL. IT MAKES THE WALL STREET GAMES ILLEGAL"

  1. USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS who clearly broke the law and helped cause the 2008 financial crisis in the following notable cases: (insert list of the most clear cut criminal actions). There is a pretty broad consensus that there is a clear group of people who got away with millions / billions illegally and haven't been brought to justice. Boy would this be long overdue and cathartic for millions of Americans. It would also be a shot across the bow for the financial industry. If you watch the solidly researched and awared winning documentary film "Inside Job" that was narrated by Matt Damon (pretty brave Matt!) and do other research, it wouldn't take long to develop the list.

  2. CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. The Supreme Court decision is really weird. Read it when you have a chance. The justices who argued for unlimited corporate contributions thought that wouldn't have an adverse effect on democracy and wouldn't undermine the citizen's view of legitimacy of elections. I'm not sure there's a word for that it's so strange.

  3. CONGRESS PASS THE BUFFETT RULE ON FAIR TAXATION SO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE & CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOP HOLES AND ENACT A PROHIBITION ON HIDING FUNDS OFF SHORE. No more GE paying zero or negative taxes. Pass the Buffet Rule on fair taxation so the rich pay their fair share. (If we have a really had a good negotiating position and have the place surrounded, we could actually dial up taxes on millionaires, billionaires and corporations even higher...back to what they once were in the 50's and 60's.

  4. CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected. This agency needs a large staff and needs to be well-funded. It's currently has a joke of a budget and is run by Wall St. insiders who often leave for high ticket cushy jobs with the corporations they were just regulating. Hmmm.

  5. CONGRESS PASS SPECIFIC AND EFFECTIVE LAWS LIMITING THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS AND ELIMINATING THE PRACTICE OF LOBBYISTS WRITING LEGISLATION THAT ENDS UP ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS.

  6. CONGRESS PASSING LEGISLATION ELIMINATING THE ABILITY OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GOING TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS THAT THEY ONCE REGULATED. So, you don't get to work at the FDA for five years playing softball with Pfizer and then go to work for Pfizer making $195,000 a year.

  7. ELIMINATE "PERSONHOOD" STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS (Sorry Mitt Romney)

  8. CONGRESS PASS LEGISLATION REGULATING AND SECURING VOTING PROCESSES INCLUDING ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES TO ENSURE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. Many are familiar with the huge statistical irregularities that have occurred in districts around the country where electronic voting machines have been used. We need safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of the process so voters are confident that count accurately reflects will of the people and is not vulnerable to tampering.

  9. Congress pass specific and effective laws to enforce strict judicial standards of conduct in matters concerning conflicts of interest. So long as judges are culled from the ranks of corporate attorneys the 1% will retain control.

  10. RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media. CONGRESS ENACT SPECIFIC LAWS THAT EFFECTIVELY BUILD A WALL BETWEEN THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY AND THE U.S. MILITARY. If we're going after corruption and also trying to reduce all the unnecessary wars that are costly in so many ways (most importantly costly in terms of human life on both sides), then this is the GRANDDADDY OF ALL REFORMS. Any of you who have seen the award winning widely popular documentary "Why We Fight" will realize the HUGE impact of this. Here's a snippet of Eisenhower's speech. It'll give you shivers. He was so brave: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUXtyIQjubU

But be sure to see "Why We Fight" and "Inside Job" if you haven't already.

And keep one thing in mind. This is from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation."

Here's the entire "Letter from the Birmingham Jail": http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html . It's a treasure and is as timely as ever.

Also, here's a short video from BBC to inspire you. It gets pretty extraordinary about halfway through: http://youtu.be/lqN3amj6AcE