KEY COMPONENTS OF SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

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"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

OWS effect -- escalation! education?

Those who sit by the sidelines and critique the occupiers can perhaps ponder the following:

OWS has created an opportunity for everyone to escalate their own organizing. People with issues (racism, colonization, imperialism, sexism) need to organizing their OWN NVR direct action to dramatize the injustices they experience.

Some people have figured this out:

e.g.
1.  occupy St. Paul's Cathedral has SPLIT the church of England and made even those who side with the lawsuit to get rid of the tents to ask themselves, "what would Jesus do?"  obviously, be on the side of the occupiers.  several prominent clerics have resigned in protest of their hierarchy siding with London financieers.

"One of the cathedral’s top officials, Canon Giles Fraser, had already resigned, saying he could not accept a forcible dismantling of the camp if the lawsuit is upheld. He was followed by a second cleric at the cathedral. (On Monday, a third official resigned as well.) Quickly, a wide rift opened within the church, with some, like Mr. Fraser, saying that the church’s mission to seek social justice should make it the protesters’ natural ally,"


2 .  PICO is getting behind a divest Bank of America movement


while others have been pushed to the left by the shift in public debate that OWS has effected:
 e.g.
3.  the REPUBLICAN goveror has called a special legislative session to respond to growing popular opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

lawmakers in Nebraska are being summoned on Tuesday to an unexpected legislative session over the issue, which has stirred up a level of rancor that few had predicted. “The public outcry has just continued to get louder and louder, stronger and stronger,” said Annette Dubas, a state senator who is among those who want to consider how Nebraska might regulate such projects, but who seemed as surprised as anyone last week when Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, called legislators in to a special session on the issue...
4.  Obama is issuing executive orders (exhibit A and exhibit B) to get around the legislative gridlock caused by Republicans.
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that said...I think that those of us who do believe in the absolute importance of the occupations being disciplined in maintaining nonviolence in the face of escalating police attacks, and attempts to provoke the occupiers into a violent reaction to discredit them, need to start thinking about setting up kiosks at occupation sites to offer education/trainings in nonviolent resistance.

Potential curriculum:
1. history of nonviolence (see: Force More Powerful)
2. the importance of the DISCIPLINE of nonviolence (those who cannot commit to not fighting back with violence, must agree not to participate..or participate in another way)  -- It behooves occupiers to demonstrate to the world that the real savages are the police (this kind of video is not helpful). The only way to do that is to be COMPLETELY nonviolent (not even shoving back!)
3. the movement needs SONG LEADERS (and song writers).  Chanting alienates people!!!!!