Over the next two weeks there will be three days of protest that are notable in a number of ways:
- They’re not your mother’s standard rally or march. The old 1960s form of protest is tried and true and bland and overdone and so regularized that it is essentially useless and mostly ignored. These three protests try something else.
- They’re not restricted to a particular location. They aren’t even this decade’s hybrid activism — a series of local discrete protest events that hope to add up to something bigger. These protests are to be carried out where you decide to carry them out.
- The targets are not politicians. Rather, the target are vulnerable parts of target institutions that require human obedience to carry out their functions.
- The tactic is not to issue demands. Rather, the tactic is to directly interfere with the normal working of an offensive process.
- The protests appeal across the liberal-conservative divide. Both liberals and conservatives can be outraged when government agents take nude photos and feel up citizens at security checkpoints. Both liberals and conservatives can be upset at rampant consumerism that asks us to buy things we don’t need. Both liberals and conservatives can be fed up with banking bailouts and financial institutions that treat people like dirt.
Are you tired of institutions controlling people rather than the other way around? Have you been waiting for Americans to decide they’ve had it and they aren’t going to take it any more? Have you had it with rhetorical marches and rallies that issue empty demands without actually doing anything? Are you ready to take direct action to yank the leash that’s been attached to your collar? Are you ready to take control of your life?
Well, then. Here’s your chance.
On November 24, if you are stopped at a security checkpoint and told to submit to a human X-Ray scan that takes pictures of your naked body, SAY NO. Refuse to file through the scanner like a sheep. Demand that the security officials carry out the longer, more labor intensive pat-down procedure, and before that demand that all of your rights be explicitly read to you. When you and others insist on drawing the process out to its full extent, the system will collapse and your government will finally understand that WE WANT THE NAKED SCANS AND WARRANTLESS SEX GROPES TO STOP.
On November 26, when retail corporations insist it is your duty to head to the mall and buy things you don’t need, SAY NO. Refuse to buy one more piece of cheap, useless junk. Stay home, take a walk with your kids to the park, visit your library, volunteer. But don’t buy a single thing. When you and others stop buying junk because an advertisement tells you to, the corporations will realize that YOU WON’T BE FOOLED ANY LONGER.
On December 7, tell your bank to heel. Hedge funds, speculative traders and usurious moneylenders — all connected to your bank — make money off of your money, often at high risk, then ask you to pay for their safety net. They use their power to demand politicians craft policies to increase their interest-based income at the expense of people. You don’t realize it, but in effect every day your bank asks you to use your money to make itself more money, often at the expense of human decency and always to increase its own power. For one day, SAY NO. Withdraw a significant portion of your money from your bank for one day. When you and others demonstrate to the big moneyhandling corporations that you are the ones who make the financial system possible, they will finally understand that BANKS ARE HERE TO SERVE PEOPLE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
Word’s spreading fast on these three protests, organized by three wholly unconnected groups but driven by the same defiantly free spirit. Spread the word faster. Go ahead and steal the banner graphic attached to this post. Send a note to your friends. It’s time to make the powers that be understand that the people in charge and the people have had enough.