Sunday, October 7, 2018

now that we know our government is officially corrupt, how do we act?

So let's talk about Mass DIsobedience for a moment.
What does this look like? What does this mean?

A proposal:
-- use social media to and to reach out to like-minded folks and to BEGIN conversations.
-- once connections are established, continue these conversations OFF social media, face to face, on the local level. This is important, because we need to get to know and trust each other and we need to be able to talk and plan away from the prying eyes of five zillion social media consumers (and the government).
-- once local groups are organized, decide what your brand of civil disobedience will look like: protests at City Hall? Helping build bigger and safer homeless encampments? Driving to the state capitol and having a die-in? Chaining yourselves to the doors of a government building?
-- consider the likelihood of mass arrests for these actions.
-- how will those arrested deal with going to jail? The legal entanglements that come after that? Child care while incarcerated?
-- parents of young children may want to consider providing additional childcare for others; or, if they feel called to be on the front lines, they might want to arrange for a safe place (relative/community/etc) to send their kids to, ideally far from the government's reach if possible.
-- Does anyone envision a general strike? It's no longer enough to simply stop coming to work, as there are many, many very poor people who will gladly take your low-wage service job in order to stay housed. A general strike at this point will likely need to include blocking access to the means of production, whether it's an Amazon warehouse, a hotel, an airport baggage facility or an Amtrak depot. Consider what kind of numbers your effort will require and recruit for that.
-- Be willing to acknowledge your white privilege in the presence of black and brown people. Since you cannot deny it, USE it to subvert the dominant paradigm wherever and whenever possible. For some that will mean speaking up when you see a person of color being attacked/harassed. For others it may mean finding more underground ways (both legal and illegal) to use your privilege to benefit others without that privilege (you're smart, figure it out).

Finally, recognize that if you're serious about civil disobedience in 2018, it will mean that your actions can be interpreted as being illegal and punishable by a corrupt government. The law will not necessarily be on your side. So perhaps be prepared to be treated like a criminal even when you know you're not one. And lay the groundwork to protect your loved ones in the event that this happens.
I'm not advocating any particular action over another, or over a lack of action. I'm just laying out some of the many possibilities of what disobedient actors may be up against. Use common sense and consider your options. And then, act in whatever way makes the most sense.
Be careful out there, and look out for each other.

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