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WILDFIRE SPREADING...UPDATE..

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In an interesting illustration to what I wrote in my previous article Grassroots, Wildfire, Snowballs and how to reach Critical Mass Movements, a coalition of peace activist groups and individuals put into practice measures I had named in that article as adding both to desired effects as well as the potential of reaching what I called Critical Mass for a movement for political change. I take no credit for inspiring the actions, but I do find both the actions noteworthy and also it will enhance the effects and potency of them the more national and international media spread (also named as one measure that would make it more likely to take on a self-perpetuating dynamic) they get. I am referring to the directly targeting political representatives locally - reminding them of their constituency and approaching them individually as residents and members as well as political representatives of a certain regional community. As such they are part of and share inter-relations and inter-personal ties of friendship and community. Reminding them of this can complement their political obligations. Here is an excerpt from the covering of these events on Democracy Now 6 February , and although the efforts of the independent and out of the mainstream media are vital not only to activism but to maintain democracy in its' true sense (not the "pseudo" form today labeled as such) it would be most beneficial if the reporting of it also reached outside the outlets that primarily "preach to the choir"

"As the Senate debated, a coalition of peace activists launched their own effort to oppose the war. Ten people were arrested occupying the offices of the staunchly pro-war and likely-presidential hopeful Senator John McCain. The activists sang the names of seventy-five service members from McCain's home-state of Arizona who died in Iraq and chanted "We remember you."

The action is part of a new campaign called The Occupation Project: A Campaign of Sustained Nonviolent Civil Disobedience to End the Iraq War. It's being led by the group Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Activists have promised to occupy offices of lawmakers who refuse to pledge to vote against additional war funding for the occupation of Iraq" Apart from the approaching of political representatives as individuals with personal ties and responsibilities to a constituency and a community - rightfully playing upon the feelings that involves - it is also important that the people involved are cooperating and coordinating members of various different groups finding a common cause and overlapping aims. This will further increase the number of different social groups and identities willing to provide human, financial and informative resources as the cause and the aims becomes theirs. On its' website, The Occupation Project expresses this in the following:
"...the campaign is growing exponentially as such national organizations as Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK, Declaration of Peace, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance and Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space join the campaign" Although it is a good start, there seems to be too little of cooperation and coordination with people targeting the other two main systems of power and with attempts to use them to amplify political change - finance and information. I will attempt here to offer some broad suggestions as to how groups and individuals involved in the growing coalition who feel willing and able, can work to undermine the players of the systems of finance and information that obstructs their efforts by preserving the status quo they profit from. In my other article I named only broad guidelines, but I will now give more practical suggestions.
Financial: In South Africa, people and groups of people, are coming together to increase the scope of a boycott of products and thereby the actions of certain commercial actors due to their perceived breaches of human rights and lack of social responsibility. Not just in South Africa, but also in other nations. Not highlighted in mainstream media - at least not that of Western Europe and USA - the people participating and propagating this boycott is using their power as consumers. A boycott should be launched, as there is no lack of information credible and accessible enough to specifically target companies and corporations that provides financial resources and incentives to actions and processes deprived of concerns for the natural, social, political, cultural and physical resources we call inalienable rights of all human beings. CorpWatch is a powerful ally, free of charge it provides extensive coverage and investigations of corporate violations of human rights, environmental crimes, fraud and corruptions around the world. By providing free of charge tools, education and information they are a powerful source for all ready to launch campaigns against financial actors. Their web site is a veritable tool box and library: "If you are looking for information on corporations for an activist campaign, investigative article, lawsuit, socially conscious investment, or a school paper, this interactive guide will take you step by step through researching corporations on the Internet"

Informational: All activities must be covered with quality and brought to as large and as diverse a public as possible - make use of the multimedia, launch a "lobby campaign" towards the mainstream media outlets as well as the independent media.

As in the case of political representatives - decision makers of media are also people with ties to communities. Especially in the case of media with primarily local and regional audience, local and regional campaigns like those of The Occupation Project described above can remind the people within the profit-oriented corporations of the media of that.

Just as the political and financial power players are able to hire almost any service for the right price, outsourcing almost all tasks of governments and subjecting more and more of people's social life to corporative influence, ideology is even more powerful than monetary profit when it comes to recruiting people with skills needed.

Unlike mercenaries and hired contractors, people providing their skills and abilities out of shared values and convictions are not going to turn away whenever someone else offers a better bargain. Nor will they cut quality or recruit sub-contractors to increase their own profit. Make use of the huge informational network - both that provided by technology as well as the good old personal one - to find people who can provide a multitude of skills.

Regarding Informational leverage in particular, it is very likely that so called hackers will be in higher demand than ever as the new "mercenaries" in the war waged for peoples hearts and minds. I would propose approaches towards the loosely defined "hacker community" to find people willing to provide much needed skills within the increase, consolidation and protection of informational resources.

But the greatest deficit of all for any movement for political change is the fragmentation - internal fragmentation as various groups and organizations overlap significantly and yet work separately and thus both loosing the opportunity to combine strength as well as coming off as shattered and confusing to the very public they need to affect, but also fragmentation in the sense that too many engaged fail to act out of awareness of the "bigger picture" of interrelating problems. It is possible to both focus the strengths and resources of many different groups into one force, and at the same time broaden the scope of the activities to target more than one head of the many-headed Hydra.

As fellow Op-Ed writer Ramon Puga correctly points out in his article A Call to Link Arms:

The need for a coalition of peace, human rights, and environmental causes requires that we look at the interrelation of the problems and how we can coordinate common solutions. Viewing problems as part of interlocking webs, seeing the connections, will give rise to solutions with wide ranging effects. A proposed solution to one invariably will reflect and affect the other two. Coordinating efforts can only strengthen outcomes.

 

I am a Political and Behavioral Scientist with Psychology as my main subject and people as my main interest. As thoughts are the source of all human accomplishment I hope to be part of the exchange of them Also (more...)
 
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