Ok, so people see me on online, or hear me in person saying there’s non-violent methods of protest we can employ to get past all of this murder of unarmed black people by cops that’s been going on. I understand why people keep saying non-violent means don’t work. I hear people saying “they kill us anyway, so fuck peace”…”let’s take the fight to these pigs”, etc., but as I keep saying, violence is this “animal’s” (I’ll refer to police as the animal throughout this article, as in the beast) strongest point so attacking the animal there, is futile. You won’t win. You must attack the animal at it’s Achilles’ heel. Where it’s weakest. The question then is…where is THIS particular animal the weakest? Where are most humans weakest? In their pockets, and their minds.
Since the spotlight location-wise has been Ferguson, let’s take a look at it as a microcosm of the United States. As of 2010, 67.4% of the city’s 21,000 residents are black, and 29.3% are white. The state of Missouri, by comparison, is 83% white and 11% black. The police department has 53 officers, three of whom are black, according to the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. Put another way, Ferguson police officers are 94% white and 5.6% black.
“Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, who is also white, has addressed the lack of diversity in the police department. ‘We hire everyone that we can get. There’s also the problem that a lot of young African-American people don’t want to go into law enforcement. They already have this disconnect with law enforcement, so if we find people who want to go into law enforcement who are African-American we’re all over it because we want them to help us bridge the gap.'”
Already, there’s a problem, and I’m sure this is the case in most neighborhoods across America. I’m not an advocate of segregation in any way, but there’s something to be said about where we already are today, and where we might be today, if on a humanistic level, the citizens and police officers “looked” more like each other. On a deeper level, I’d hope that could connect everyone by means of empathy. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes goes a long way in life lesson learning. I’ve said before that I think a big problem behind all of this is how the animal perceives black people. They correlate black to being poor, and I think the police (certainly the racist police officers) have gotten sick and tired of protecting and serving poor people. So they kill them. I know the animal has been trained in non-lethal ways of subduing suspects. The animal is simply choosing to reach for the holstered gun first, before reaching for the pepper spray, stun gun or tazer. I’m sure they’ve been trained in shooting for legs, or simply wounding an attacker, too.
Also, what about the vetting process? This is where I think citizens need to step up, as far as being proactive about who the police officers are that are entering their local precincts from other precincts. What are these police officers’ backgrounds? Have they been suspended before? Problems with certain nationalities? If this information isn’t readily accessible to the community, why isn’t it? Protest for THAT.
Do you know how much area of land a police precinct is supposed to cover?! How many officers total there are in your local precinct? How long has each one been there, and did they grow up in the community? Do you know where a group could protest without being arrested, that’s nearest to a local police precinct? These are all important things to know because it empowers the community/protestors, and helps everyone know what they can and cannot do once protests are organized and planned. This is the next key, I feel. Information.
How large is your community, population-wise? Who represents your community to state and federal officials? Do you know where one community ends, and another begins? When and where is local legislation passed? Can you do more to have your local police officers wearing body cameras? Is there a website where any citizen can go to, and watch what any cop anywhere on duty is doing at any time? Do you attend council meetings and state your grievances?
Ever see this?
Perhaps you should.
Now, if it’s a matter of protesting, where exactly is the protest heading? What do the people do when they get to where they’re going? I’ve already outlined different things I’ve picked up from Gene Sharp here on my website. For example, there’s social, economical and political non-violent forms of protest. One could use 1 method out of the 3, or all 3 combined, depending on the situation. Here’s some social methods of protest:
THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION
Selective social boycott
NONCOOPERATION WITH SOCIAL EVENTS, CUSTOMS, AND INSTITUTIONS
Suspension of social and sports activities
Boycott of social affairs
Withdrawal from social institutions
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE SOCIAL SYSTEM
Total personal noncooperation
“Flight” of workers
SYMBOLIC PUBLIC ACTS
Displays of flags and symbolic colors
Wearing of symbols
Displays of portraits
Paint as protest
PRESSURES ON INDIVIDUALS
You can define a lot of these methods yourself, as far as what you think they mean, but they’re pretty self-explanatory. Then gather the group(s) locally, and employ the methods strategically. Now, aim them at the animal you’re attacking. Where does the animal live? Go there. Attack there! Haunt there! People can flood 911 phone lines until the switchboards are overwhelmed. There’s different ways to legally harass anyone in this day and age. Even cops.
ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS: ACTION BY CONSUMERS
Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
Refusal to rent
National consumers’ boycott
International consumers’ boycott
ACTION BY WORKERS AND PRODUCERS
ACTION BY MIDDLEMEN
Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott
ACTION BY OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT
Refusal to let or sell property
ACTION BY HOLDERS OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Withdrawal of bank deposits
Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
Refusal to pay debts or interest
Again, this is all subjective, so one could interpret any of it as they see fit. Boycott, to me, means don’t fuck with it. The actual definition is: withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest. This goes back to local, community power being re-captured. Fuck with your local precincts. Show lack of support by making sure your local businesses don’t feed cops, serve cops, call cops, don’t speak to cops, etc.. Ostracize them until they feel they HAVE to help change shit, or else. Hit the cops in their pockets. Fuck with their police unions. Harass their meetings. Find out where they are held, and show up in masses, loudly. People gotta be in on this shit together though. It’s more powerful whenever everybody is involved. Then it spreads everywhere.
THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION:
REJECTION OF AUTHORITY
Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
Refusal of public support
Literature and speeches advocating resistance
CITIZENS’ NONCOOPERATION WITH GOVERNMENT
Boycott of legislative bodies
Boycott of elections
Boycott of government employment and positions
Boycott of government departments, agencies, and other bodies
Withdrawal from governmental educational institutions
Boycott of government-supported institutions
Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
Refusal to accept appointed officials
CITIZENS’ ALTERNATIVES TO OBEDIENCE
Reluctant and slow compliance
Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
Hiding, escape, and giving false identities
Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws
At some point, it goes back to what I was saying about empathy. The protester has to, at some point, get the “animal” to see the protester as a human. You have to get through to the “animal” so it sees you as something not to kill, or hurt.
Self-exposure to the elements
A lot of people protesting don’t have to be violent to make a point or to start waves of change. A massive group occupying a small space, or many spaces, constantly can drive a point home. If there’s 12 groups of people protesting scattered throughout a city/town, figure out how they can all link by using the internet or mobile devices. Have mock trials in the streets convicting cops for their crimes, on public property, so we can’t be arrested. Doing things like this over and over brings light to the situation globally, and people overseas start to stand with the protestors here in solidarity, as we’ve already seen happening. We gotta turn up the volume, not turn it down. It has gotten out of hand out here. I will personally start doing what I can in organizing, sharing, and helping how I can, because I can’t stand to see this keep happening.
This is about black lives matter of course, but, let me also remind you of Martin Niemöller’s quote about the Nazis:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”