text of image: Activism is my rent for living on the planet – Alice Walker
VALA: animal liberation = earth liberation = people liberation
text of image: Activism is my rent for living on the planet – Alice Walker
“We who in engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
Martin Luther King Jr
A Civilian’s Guide To Direct Action by CrimethInc
What it is, What it’s good for, How it works
For Animal Rights Activists, sometimes the rate of progress using just education seems like it is going too slow, and so activists might decide it is time to take Direct Action.
direct action . . . is intended to inspire and thus motivate others by demonstrating the power people have to accomplish goals themselves
If an activist does want to do an Action, this document sets out ideas from “Choose a project and devise a plan” and “Establish and prioritize the goals of the action” thought to building a coalition, what to do before, during and after an Action, up to “Consider the way the action will affect others” and “Quit while you’re ahead”.
for this full article, FREE… and many more free to download, or buy printed versions CrimethIinc
What is direct action?
Direct action is going outside usual means to achieve a goal. It has been used by movements as diverse as anti-slavery groups during the US civil war, Gandhi fight for independence of India, Suffragettes struggle for the vote, the US Boston Tea Party (the original Tea Party) and the UK’s Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.
It is not inherently violent, it depends on how the participants decide to take action.
Direct action could be violent, depending on your definition of violence. The use of threats, graffiti, petty vandalism, or larger actions such as those from groups like ELF (Earth Liberation Front) and ALF (Animal Liberation Front) or Sea Sherperd.
Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals (1971)
|What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.|
The first step in community organization is community disorganization.
|The organizer… must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act. . . . An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations… you must agitate to the point of conflict.|
RULE 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.
RULE 2: Never go outside the experience of your people… the result is confusion, fear, and retreat… [and] the collapse of communication.
RULE 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
RULE 4: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity
RULE 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counter attack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.
RULE 6: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy. If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
RULE 7: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues
RULE 8: Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose*.
RULE 9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
RULE 10: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
RULE 11: If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside. This is based on the principle that every positive has its negative*.
RULE 12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
RULE 13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame. The real action is in the enemy’s reaction. The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.
|Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.
— Saul Alinsky — Rules for Radicals, prologue
The end is what you want and the means is how you get it
– In war the end justifies almost any means
– Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical
Tactics, like life, require that you move with the action
– Tactics means doing what you can with what you have
– Tactics is the art of how to take and how to give
For an elementary illustration of tactics, take parts of your face as the point of reference; your eyes, your ears, and your nose.
First the eyes; if you have organized a vast, mass-based people’s organization, you can parade it visibly before the enemy and openly show your power.
Second the ears; if your organization is small in numbers, then do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a din and clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more than it does.
Third, the nose; if your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place
Next post in this series: I Am Vegan – there is power in a word
*NOTE*: Rules For Radicals is long out of print, along with Reveille for Radicals (1946) and many of the sources I used have different versions of the rules, some have had comments added, without saying that they are not from the Alinsky original, these have then been copies and pasted. As far as I can tell, these are the rules — in Alinksy’s own words.
Post 2011 ‘Vegan Animal Liberation Alliance’. Copying and distribution of this entire article, text and / or graphic, is permitted in any medium, but please include the credit:
Written by RedGlitter of VALA http://redglitterx.wordpress.com/
or at least a link to this page, that would be nice
You are either an activist or an inactivist.
~ The Cove (2009) Documentary about Japan’s secret slaughter of dolphins
In solidarity with Russian protesters and in honour of Strategy 31 activists, I will be participating in the local version – Activism 31.
This just means, every day for the month of October, I will joining others in my area participating in actions that supports their causes. Not every action will be my causes, but I will join with others to support them, for social justice and human rights, not just animal rights, and in return they have committed to support me.
By supporting each other, we can be stronger, grow our network, weave the web of activism amongst local communities, we can all get stronger.
Strategy 31 is a growing movement in Russia, and now spreading to other world cities – London, New York, Toronto and Tel Aviv. It is a series of protests to support the Article 31 of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right to peaceful assembly.
The protesters have attracted many Russians who have never before dared speak out against their government, showing a bravery of defiance of their government that some activists in western countries are yet to emulate.
One act of civil disobedience among protesters is to write “31″ on the palm of their hand while attending protests, in defiance of the government crackdown on support of Strategy 31.
Beginning on 31 July 2009, and held on the 31st of every month with 31 days, protesters have gather in Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow and is supported by a number of human rights organisations.
Every one of the Stategy-31 actions since it commenced has been refused permission by the authorities on the grounds that other activities were planned to take place… These “counter-actions” included the “Choose Health, Be Like Us!” festival (July 31, 2009), a youth sports festival (August 31, 2009), the “Division” military-sports festivity (October 31, 2009), an action of the pro-Kremlin “Young Russia” movement (December 31, 2009), and the “Winter Amusements” festivity (January 31, 2010). Each of the Strategy-31 actions was dispersed by regular and riot police and accompanied by large-scale detentions of participants and passers-by.
… The strategy 31 action on 31 May 2010… was dispersed with “exceptional cruelty”, with over 100 arrests.
This “exceptional cruelty” included hitting an 82 year old woman, Lyudmila Alexeeva on the head shouting “Still alive, you old bitch?” at the 31 March protests.
So, If anyone has any actions they want participants for, if its local I will hold a sign and hand out leaflets, if it on the other side of the world, I will sign your petition and email politicians.
For more about Strategy 31: What is Strategy 31? by Maryana Torocheshnikova