Discussion → To do list for protesters

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    James Lloyd Davis
    Nov 12, 11:05pm

    Many young people will be getting into the Occupy movement before it's over, I think. I do believe it will last, that it's only begun. I could be wrong. Congress could convene next week and Republicans, Democrats will break the standoff, chase the lobbyists out of Washington, embrace the task of seeing to the good of all American people and turn everything around.

    Or something. If not, here's something to think about:

    I remember people used to believe that the anti-war protests against the Vietnam War were dismissed at first as the work of bored students, old lefties and aging folk singers.

    But, to everyone's surprise, the war kept on going with lists of casualties that were shocking and daily film at eleven.

    So the protests got larger and included many more people than students and lefties, such that when Mayor Dailey turned the police loose on protesters at the '68 Democratic Convention, they figured that evryone was fair game. Even delegates to the convention were in danger of billy clubs and out of control policemen.

    Who knows? It could end tomorrow, but I doubt it. I do remember that magazines back then in the sixties, like Ramparts and Evergreen Review, counterculture rags of all shape and kind, often contained relevant information for protesters. Even those little one-sheet handouts advertising a sit-in or a march would often contain lists of relevant information, like how to prepare for arrests, how to plan an escape route, what to wear to minimize the effects of a police baton, and how to protect yourself against tear gas.

    For those of you who ever plan to attend a 'peaceful' demonstration of the Occupy nature, you should never assume that you will be treated with respect by any of the policemen who might be there, and you should always, always be prepared for a sudden, unexpected roundup, a flurry of arrests, or the turning of police tactics from defense to offense.

    Have someone to call. Pre-arrange bail. Never assume that if the demonstration is permitted and the demonstrators are peaceful, things will go smoothly and you can go home when you please. Things go south very quickly. That's the nature of demonstrations, even peaceful ones.

    Here's a couple of web sites you might want to check out if you're planning to indulge in civil unrest and/or disobedience:

    http://thestrictmachine.com/2011/01/26/how-to-deal-with-tear-gas/

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Protective-Riot-Gear

    The internet is a great tool and demonstrators today have marvelous communication equipment for coordination and rapid deployment and other things that protesters can use, tactics, so to speak, and everyone with a cell phone is a journalist and a camera.

    But take a lesson from the old school protestors from the sixties... be prepared.

    Also, count the cost. Be sure of who you are and of your stake in all this. These things can either go well or badly and it only takes a moment to go from cumbaya and candles to Kent State.


  • Frankie Saxx
    Nov 14, 07:46pm

    "Have someone to call. Pre-arrange bail. Never assume that if the demonstration is permitted and the demonstrators are peaceful, things will go smoothly and you can go home when you please. Things go south very quickly. That's the nature of demonstrations, even peaceful ones."

    The National Lawyers Guild is providing legal support to protesters. A list of their hotline numbers is on their website:

    http://www.nlg.org/occupy/


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    James Lloyd Davis
    Nov 14, 09:08pm

    Knowledge is power... or is that statement just too, too radical-retro chic?

    But seriously, Frankie, thanks for the link.



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