Civil disobedience in the Internet age

The people of America want to know: How can we stop this? What can we do? Photo: wikicommons

WASHINGTON, October 9, 2013 — Everywhere across America, the People wake to the injustices of a government grown so large, so powerful and so intimidating that it threatens the very rights it was constituted to protect. No longer asleep or apathetic, they turn to one another to ask: ‘How can we stop this? What should we do?’

Before exploring tactics for small group action, are you writing, calling and e-mailing your Representatives, imploring and demanding they vote your way, insisting on a written response? It does work. Constitutionalists have proven it several times this year, defeating the Toomey-Manchin gun-grab, the bloated Farm Bill, the aptly-named Law of the Sea (LOST) Treaty, and others. In politics, no idea is dead unless the other side gives up. Pestering politicians must become your regular habit.


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There are well-known organizations that provide information and direction, that put together nationwide rallies and campaigns. Signing up with one or more of these, such as Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity or the Tea Party is a good first step. You can learn from scholars and activists who have carefully considered the crises. If you have money or time to spare, you can lend a hand with big events.

Organizing neighbors to infiltrate and co-opt local party committees is also essential. It certainly worked for our Progressive foes. Mounting a Congressional or Senate campaign is expensive and all-consuming, but electing your own to School Board and other local offices is well within your reach.

But what else can regular folks with busy lives and little to spare do to effectchange? How can they connect in a meaningful, personal way with others like them in their local area? Let the lessons of history be a guide to effective action today. Mass movements opposing powerful government share certain themes. Huge rallies are crucial, but in the modern Internet age, activists can do much more than their rebellious forbears. Small acts of peaceful defiance to unreasonable authority can pressure corrupt politicians, change public perception and grow the American movement to restore Constitutional government, using cell-cams and social media.

This is how it works; it’s simple, inexpensive and effective. First, you need to find existing allies that live close to you. You already share detailed knowledge of your own community, so striking a chord should be easy. Social networking, whether on Facebook or down at the local volunteer fire company or church, is where your friends are. Reach out, they are there.

A word of caution: Do not allow crazy people into your new circle of activists, they tend to make everyone else crazy, at best. At worst, you could find yourselves in violent confrontation or legal difficulty. Be cautious of anyone with no personal connection who is eager to join up. They could be genuine, or a provocateur or spy. Let everyone prove their worth. Avoid others like the plague.

Next, define organizational structure. Some prefer traditional hierarchies, while some enjoy a loose knit cadre without defined leaders. Whatever works is what works best.

After you know how you will make decisions, do your homework. You will need to know what local issues have the most impact in your neighborhood or town; where the seat of government and its’ facilities are located. Find out which business are run by those who are with you, and which are cronies of the corruptocrats. Don’t be dissuaded by labels. Some who call themselves conservative are RINOs; some wild-eyed libertarians and anarchists may be your best friends. Actions speak louder than titles.

Plan a campaign, with defined goals. Make sure your first steps are small and easily achievable, build on successive successes. Make certain that any laws you intend to break are summary offenses, unless you have a very good lawyer and are willing to go to jail to prove a point. Never carry weapons or commit vandalism. That would play into the Progressive narrative that Americans who oppose them are terrorists.

Decide if you want to go public before or after action. Publicity generates bigger turnout, but can easily attract counter-demonstrators, infiltrators and saboteurs. And remember, if you use any electronic communication, the government is reading about it. It might be best to keep plans private, word of mouth only, and get your publicity after the fact, when it is uploaded to the Internet.

When you do take action, whether protesting at a government office or elsewhere, be courteous. You may not be the only folks there with a camera. Designate at least one tech-savvy person to stand away from the group and inconspicuously shoot video. Make sure they upload frequently, in case their camera is confiscated “for their own protection”.

Wear ordinary clothes, no uniforms, even if entitled to wear them, but have some props, signs or clothing that identifies you as a cohesive group. Ballcaps or T-shirts are cheap and easy to get. Do not allow any signs that use profanity. Be enthusiastic, but never get carried away, it can lead to embarrassing moments that the other side will be sure to drum into people’s awareness. They have the media high ground, for now.

Tens of thousands of small local acts of defiance can wake millions and cause a groundswell of popular support. Some may be dramatic enough to go viral, thrusting new leaders onto a national stage. Effective local organizing sets the stage for mass events, and forms the framework for taking back government at the grassroots.

This week holds an opportunity for already established organizations and small groups of friends to make a dent in the debate: National Break the Government Barrier Week, October 4-11.

 


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Daniel Martin Gray

Daniel Martin Gray is a former Progressive who saw the light, turning from the dark side over decades, to become a Constitutionalist. His family that remained in Europe was nearly wiped out by the Holocaust. They refused to believe that tyranny could happen there. He sees America marching “Forward” on that same road, exactly as our Founders warned us against.

 

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