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For many years now I've been pointing out that unless the Left becomes extremely cohesive and strategic in confronting the rising corporate state we will end up living in a dystopian corporate-controlled fascistic country (and world).

Thus far, from my observation of liberal/progressive activists and groups I've come to the conclusion that there is a lack of understanding of the real threat we're under, right now.  Also, I think that there is a lack of understanding about the real situation when it comes to our system of government: it has already been taken over by nefarious corporative forces.  It's a done deal.

And it has very little to do with the good qualities of president Obama, and the handful of decent and honest politicians in the Democratic party.  They can do little to address this reality.

The takeover has happened town by town, city by city, state by state.  I'm not going to get into that here.  Just research how ALEC set out to do this city hall by city hall.  There is plenty of research on that...

I've been following today's events in Washington, D.C., where 35,000+ people (including celebrities) rallied to petition the president to not approve the Keystone XL pipeline.  There were also smaller rallies around the country; websites were built; petitions signatures where submitted.  There has been a lot of effort behind it all.  First of all, I support and applaud all the good people that supported this effort, but I believe that it is unlikely to have any effect in the outcome.

Before I continue to share the main point of this diary, I'd like to say that, of course, I would be very happy if the president does the right thing and does not approve the pipeline, but regardless, I'll still stand by main proposition, which is for the Left to unite forces across the entire country and engage in a highly disciplined, strategic, cohesive, focused, relentless, and coordinated resistance campaign...

Psychological Operations

The politicians at city hall are on the take; the politicians at state legislatures are on the take; the politicians (political establishment) at the national level are on the take.  The mainstream media is under the control of a nefarious corporate conglomerate and is being used to "mind-control" the population by exposing it to fallacious narratives, misinformation, manipulation, and outright propaganda.

All of this together can be interpreted as some sort of psychological operation being waged against the public.

Among many other things that need to be done, the left needs to engage at this level.

I've been "pushing" a protest/resistance tactic I call "Murmurations."  I've gotten lots of great questions, the most important of which is "how is this going to help bring about any change?"  Also, people ask, "How is this going to put any pressure on the system?"

I'll try to answer those questions (one more time) with the description of the following scenario...

I've been picking on San Francisco, which is awash with cronyism, back-room deals, and allegations of outright corruption, despite its reputation as a Liberal mecca.

Media Component

The mainstream media in the City (as in almost every city and state) is a tool of the corporatists.  We all know the drill; conglomeration into a few corporate hands with nationwide interests; journalists neutered, timid, toeing the line, not rocking the boat; they have their own bills to pay.

Hence, when it comes down to social justice protests, the media acts as a shield to protect the powers that be, as we saw with Occupy San Francisco, and Occupy Oakland, which were mercilessly demonized by the San Francisco Chronicle...  I'm pretty sure it was the same in Seattle, New York, Portland, et al.

Media Team: Collect the emails of all the local high profile journalist of mainstream media organizations, bot print, TV and radio.  Also make a list of all the HQs, the owners, top executives.

Put together very well-written, and well-researched communiques pointing out the damage that the collusion between corporate/business interests and city hall does to the citizens.  Include critiques about the damage of corporate media conglomeration and the negative effect it has for a true free press.

Be very specific, and stick to the facts.  Be very professional; no hyperbole; no threats; just the facts and intelligent analysis of the situation.

Then send a series of emails, letters, and faxes (following proper procedure), timed, and in intervals, bringing the media to task.

Don't worry about the impact in the beginning.  They will ignore you; they will think it's funny.  But remember, who say something about "first they ignore you..."

That's not the point.  Once they see these communiques coming in day after day, week after week, month after month, they will get spooked.

That's because while this is being done, there is also a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign to reach the general public with the same message [I don't see the term propaganda with negative connotation; I think it's the way to communicate with the population at large].]

Let them know that because of the level of corruption, there will be an ongoing series of protests in the City, and that people will also be rallying in front of their HQs.

Make sure to have a Public Relations teams ready to answer (in a very disciplined manner) questions about why are people protesting.  The answers must be very straightforward, understandable, and should be aimed to resonate with the public.

First Amendment Component

So here we're going to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  During the last several month there have been some reporting on apparent corruption, conflict of interests, questionable relationships between lobbyists, certain business interests, and city officials.

Again, here we'll stick to the facts.  Do some very careful research, and get the right narrative as to how this apparent cronyism and corruption affects the citizens.  Draw a very straight line between the corruption (which is endemic) and the effects it has on the citizens.

Then make a list of all the important business leaders, from the mayor's office, to the city council, to the board of directors of certain businesses, to the offices of certain lobbyists.

Then draft very powerful, poignant, letters and communiques and send them to each of these politicians and public officials and businesses.  

Let them know that because of the level of corruption, there will be an ongoing series of protests in the City, including at City Hall and other government buildings.

Make sure to have a Public Relations teams ready to answer (in a very disciplined manner) questions about why are people protesting.  The answers must be very straightforward, understandable, and should be aimed to resonate with the public.

This has to be done very long term, days, weeks, months, and it has to be relentless; never stop.  Investigations into shady deals should continue non-stop, and they should immediately become part of the narrative of the protests.

The idea is to keep hammering at it until the powers that be feel under siege, and unable to hide the corrupt relationships.  It's a psychological operation.

Protest Tactic: Murmurations

The two previous components are an essential part of this process, if one is going to try to make a dent at putting pressure on the system.  They would have to had started way before this stage of the process (taking it to the streets).

Here again, the approach needs to be different from before.  First, like with the Occupy Wall Street movement, it needs to be ongoing, relentless, non-stop, day after day, week after week, month after month.  And hopefully it will grow larger and larger.

There would have to be a very well-coordinated outreach campaign by social justice activists to encourage the public to join the effort.

In order to help in that regard, the recruitment messaging will include the fact that nobody will be asked to do anything remotely illegal in any way.  No civil disobedience.  No yelling at or provoking the cops.  Just lawfully and peacefully exercising your First Amendment rights.

Scenario: It's 12 noon.  All of the sudden, thousands of people appear in the SF Financial District from multiple directions; many have flyers and posters, professionally-designs, with very clear, poignant and relevant messages, and with recruitment appeals to people to join in the movement.

You put so many thousands of people at one place, and everything stops; the police is called in.  When they ask individuals to comply with a request, they do so immediately, whether it is to get off the street, or move along, etc.  There would be people with cameras tasked with recording any abuse by the police.

If instigators and provocateurs join in to try to screw things up, ignore them; just move along; don't engage them in any way.  As long as "you" are not doing anything illegal.

Once the police presence becomes large, everybody disperses, peacefully, in different directions; people can then take break; meet at local coffee houses, parks; talk, share ideas, etc.  Everybody is monitoring their twitter and facebook feeds.

Somehow the next location is agreed on... Let's say that two hours later, a huge crowd appears over there by the Metreon, and follows the same procedures; distribute flyers; maybe some speakers talk to the crowd.  When the police arrives and asks individual people to comply with a request, they do so immediately; no provocation against the police; no threats, or yelling or throwing stuff at them.

Once the police presence increases, everybody disperses.  Two hours later, when the sun starts going down, the huge crowd appears at another location; the procedure.

The next day, the same thing.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, on again, second week, third week, fourth week, on and on.  

Make it a fixture of everyday live in the City... Pound on he corruption; on what ALEC is doing; on the militarization of the police, on drones.  On the effects of money in politics; on media conglomeration and the effect on free press.

Break down the criminal Wall Street banks; break down the corporate media conglomerates; rescind laws restricting our constitutional rights; extra-judicial assassinations of American citizens not allowed, etc.  There are plenty of grievances.  But when the thing starts, be very specific about the city you're targeting (as per my suggestions above).

All this must be done in multiple cities, and once it starts it should continue indefinitely until all the grievances have been properly addressed.

I've come to the conclusion that doing something like this will be the only way to put enough pressure on the system to get results.  But I welcome input, both in support, and especially any reservations people may have about the effectiveness of what I've described here.

I can be reached at,

Some energy driving us... Murmurations
The current state of affairs.  Let's change it!


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Comment Preferences

  •  This seems way too abstract to get anyone... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...motivated to do anything.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:17:52 PM PST

  •  Not unlike some of the OWS tactics, really. (8+ / 0-)

    But as with OWS, as has always been the case with peaceful populist movements, one of the problems is that the "authorities" (police, FBI, etc.) have infiltrated such groups and/or acted as agents provocateurs, stirring trouble. So the idea of "spontaneous" gatherings in which the authorities would not have been tipped off is unworkable.

    But your idea of persistence is the key takeaway, and I agree completely that that's what has to happen to counter the authoritarian instincts of many agencies and government entities. Keep at it.

    "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Kombema on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:40:31 PM PST

  •  Imho, the diary would get a lot more (6+ / 0-)

    feedback if you put the murmurations part near the top.

    It's an idea I proposed contra confrontation in the early days of OWS.  

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:50:28 PM PST

  •  Flash protests...interesting idea. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, DRo, FG, Words In Action, Lujane

    Any similar methods for the virtual world?  Everybody call in to Rush with the same message?

    The media is likely to ignore it, but flash protests could get on you tube.

  •  Newsperson Question 1: Can you vote in [City]? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  Because voting has (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      been so effective against the ever-growing power of the plutocracy?

      Voting is a downpayment on your entrance fee. Getting real change takes superhuman effort beyond that, the likes of which traditional Party organizers have never even bothered to contemplate.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 09:13:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not bad ideas (5+ / 0-)

    However, I think you are still missing the emotional "pop" to get people involved.  Corruption is terrible but the American people have come to accept it and see it as normal.  What is your emotional hook to get people involved?  The last big thing I've seen like that was Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911.  Look at how strongly he was attacked and made irrelevant as a result.  Whatever you think you can do, you need to completely destroy the public's trust in the media.  This has to result in the public being so emotionally turned off by the media that they ignore them.  You need something on the level of Anderson Cooper and Bill O'Reilly snorting cocaine mixed with the ground up bones of dead children while raping horses.  More realistically, perhaps demonstrate how wealthy the reporters on TV are.  Portray them as out of touch wealthy celebrities.  It is subtle, but they need to be viewed as something other than "real Americans" if you want to eliminate trust of the media.

    •  A 'teach-in' sort of educational series is needed (4+ / 0-)

      to provide the information, analysis, and logical responses of the organized group to already organized power which has a lot of control over what the media runs with as the truth.

      Social media like YouTube! or Twitter can help quickly disseminate videos of these events, along with mixing in whatever other sources you'd want people to have at their fingertips.  Connections between education institutions and the corporate ones need to be peeled back and evaluated.  Same for regulatory and licensing groups.  This ends up an info war and control of the social media narratives becomes key and the object of many resources.  They indeed saw how far Occupy was able to get before.  Whatever comes next will have to be as good if not an order of magnitude better just to maintain similar impact.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:43:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some inroads have been made. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'll admit that as I never watch TV (really -- I threw mine away last year after not using it for five before that) I'm a bit out of touch.  But from the people I TALK to, I would say that the media's reputation has already suffered substantially from its obvious cheapening, coarsening, and lack of substantive reporting.  There ARE no authoritative news anchors left whose words carry "weight" with the public, just pretty faces and engaging personalities who they "like".  The highest credibility in television news goes to Jon Stewart and Charles Colbert, the COMEDIANS.  That demonstrates cogently what Americans think of their news media as well as their politicians.

      As a highly-educated person, I had a unique opportunity over the last decade of working in two jobs where my only conversational opportunities were with much less-educated members of the working class.  Distrust of both government and media is rife; it is the bedrock on which the Tea Party was built.  Everyone making less than $50K/annual knows that both parties are thoroughly corrupt and the media merely says what serves the corrupters.  It's a given.  It's one reason why both viewership and the ratings-driven TV reporting has swerved towards human-interest and true-crime stories rather than politics.  Everybody knows that anything said about politics is either a smokescreen or an outright lie, so there's no point in wasting time saying it except for making jokes.

      The public is uninformed and knows that it is uninformed.  It knows that the official sources of information are corrupt and self-serving, therefore it is highly cynical of ANY information on the political process.  The task remaining is to repoint the members of this highly cynical public towards an alternate source of information that they feel they can trust.  Currently, the ONLY sources they trust are those that they know personally.  Therefore, rumor and a person-based gossip-network based in text and Facebook is likely to be more effective than any play for the mass media.

  •  Ray, I do like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    your ideas about collecting good, solid information about the information and power-web in individual cities and counties.  No revolution, soft or hard, can come to fruition without good intelligence.  The Resistance must have BETTER intelligence than the Empire, or it will go nowhere.

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