Saturday, March 12, 2016


In the Political Activist's Guide To St. Louis ( I say that violent revolution won't work in a world of 7 billion people and the kinds of weapons that police and the military have now.  We live in a world now where if we are going to survive and thrive, we need people to begin actively running their governments.  Mao once said "all power comes from the barrel of a gun".  That has to change.  Violence just changes the faces in power, not the power itself.

Protests and counter protests, in the past, served to bring large groups of like minded people together, to raise energy, and to spread messages through the media coverage.  That's the plus side, and those things are still effective.

But large protests and counter protests often end up as screaming matches, the arrests only benefit the police and courts, and the real work of educating the general public and making material changes still falls to a few dedicated people who do the solitary work of calls, petitions, education, etc, for weeks, months, years, after the protests are over and most of the people have returned to business as usual.

(The upcoming RNC counter protest in Cleveland bought the police a bunch of fancy riot gear and big budget for the summer: )

Instead of counter-protesting when Drumpf or the KKK is having their rally, do it the day or night before, and go to the people that aren't in the KKK.  You will reach more people about your concerns, and likely get the same or more media attention.  And little chance of getting arrested and creating revenue for the cops through arrest fees and fines.  (If you do get arrested PLEASE don't just take the plea and pay the fine, GO TO COURT and challenge everything you can.  Even if you lose you will do the First Amendment a great favour.)

Instead of clumping together and focusing on the idiots that aren't going to change their minds no matter what you say, not too mention making it easier for the police to arrest you, stretch out side by side on the sidewalks, single file.    You will still be protesting, but you will reach more people, and will have time to talk to them because you aren't shouting at the idiots.

I am NOT criticizing people that demonstrate, or shout at the cops or counter protesters (during Ferguson the police were the counter protesters).  It's just that it is not effective anymore. We saw very clearly in Ferguson that they just send in the tear gas and jack up all the fines.

To change things means we need to protest every day, or every week, or every month, to the people in power.  We have to educate the people that aren't paying attention to the issues on how the issues effect them.

For example, if all of the people that counter protested at the Drumpf rally yesterday had held the counter protest Thursday night at rush hour, on the sidewalk, single file, and then the next day during the rally called the Drumpf campaign headquarters here in St Louis, nationally, and also called local representatives and media, and told them why they think Drumpf is dangerous, it would have had greater impact.  It wouldn't have made the same thrilling headline news of bloodied protesters and Drumpf drones screaming "fuck you whore" at counter protesters, but it would have had greater impact on the people who are on the fence or who aren't involved in politics at all.

And in Drumpf's case, it would have been a bummer for him and his supporters.  They WANT a fight. We already know that.  That's all he talks about.  And they love being vilified.  Being met with "crickets" would have been a let-down for Drumpf and his drones.

 As someone who has worked for many years as a receptionist, switchboard operator, desk clerk, etc, I can tell you that the phone is one of the most effective tools of disruption to "business as usual".  And it is invisible to anyone outside of the office.  An overload of phone calls puts massive stress on any government or business entity.  There is no nightly show that is going to run footage of Drumpf's office staff answering angry calls (unless it shuts the phone lines down).

No heroism to bask in on the nightly news, no vilification to uphold, no cross for the martyr to bear publicly.

For example, 35 people were arrested yesterday.  A phone "demonstration" by 35 people for 6 hours, taking in to account breaks for the bathroom, etc, time waiting on hold, etc, could still have made approximately 20 calls each an hour, which totals 4200 phone calls.  This would have taken extra time to prepare 120 short "scripts"- one for each call, or compiling 120 places to call with one script.

So- a list of 120 - the Mayor, the Governor, state and national congress members, Republican party hq's, Drumpf's headquarters, the board members of Peabody Opera House, the local and national media, etc- with the same message "I oppose Donald Trump, do you stand with me? etc".  Which means 120 places getting 35 phone calls each. Or 120 places for each caller- Drumpf's business entities, elected officials, etc- with a tailored message for each place.  35 extra calls over a 6 hour period is a pain in the ass.  Even if you are paid employee, and a lot of the people at the Drumpf offices are volunteers.  Even the most hard-core believer would get worn out if this happened every time Drumpf spoke somewhere.  Especially if the calls asked a lot of questions and requested detailed answers in a calm way.

Getting Drumpf's staff to quit is more effective than yelling at his followers.  Convincing his fellow Republicans to come out publicly against him is almost too easy these days.  And making Peaody Opera House sorry they booked the event would be a cakewalk. And you don't end up in jail and paying out money to the courts.

"Hi I am a registered voter and I was wondering if you could detail for me what era in American History your candidate is referring to when he says 'again?'  When was America great in your candidate's opinion, and why was it great then?  What specifically does he have planned to return our land to -this time in the past considered great-?"

(I took at look at the Drumpf supporters in St. Louis and I assure you that during Reagan's presidency these people were saying the same things they say now- replace "Muslim" with "Iranian".  Remember the Moral Majority?  Phyllis Schlafley hasn't written a new speech in 40 years.  Even from a Drumpf drones' point of view there is no "great" to go back to.   And it is not that hard to manipulate a conversation to get them to admit it.  These people are the ultimate haters.  And most lack the critical thinking skills that their candidate lacks as well.  Try it sometime, it is fun.  Ask leading questions, but frame them in their rhetoric.)

"Can you explain how your candidate's First Amendment rights were violated? I would like to see the First Amendment get a more thorough discussion in his speeches.  What will he do to protect Freedom of Speech?"  (Yes, really. Drumpf said his First Amendment rights were violated in Chicago last night:

"What is your candidate's stance on the TPP? Can you explain the TPP to me and how it will effect our economy for the better?"

"Your candidate says he is millionaire, but his tax returns say differently. He isn't evading his taxes or lying about his income is he? Can you explain the discrepeacy?"

"What does your candidate have to say about the Monroe Doctrine?"

"Many African slaves were Muslims, is your candidate going to deport anyone who has a Muslim ancestor?"  
These people don't know shit about history or politics.  Make them research the answers. Make them think.

I decided not to go to the Drumpf protest, but I was very proud of St. Louis to see that many people did, even though I am sorry that many were arrested.  I am suggesting though, that courageous, motivated activists channel their energy differently.  MAKE HEADACHES FOR DRUMPF, NOT HEADLINES.

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