Awareness | Debate | Action
Watching the videos below, and exploring the additional materials and links, is a primer for understanding how seemingly powerless activists organize and affect widespread change. One caveat is understanding elitism and the irony of democracy; that changing status quo from one ruling class to another does not necessarily improve all conditions or eliminate oppression and corruption [expounded here]. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, regardless of the benevolence in its humble beginnings.
"Activism = self-expression; organizing = movement-building." -Mark Rudd
Want to get a point across in a very big way? Organize a smart mob—a group of people who mobilize on short notice to perform a collective action. For more information on social movements, go to http://youthmovements.howcast.com
"A Conversation with Gene Sharp"
Dr. Sharp, who has been called "the Clausewitz of nonviolent warfare," founded the Albert Einstein Institution in 1983 to promote research, policy studies, and education on the strategic uses of nonviolent struggle. He maintains that the major unsolved political problems of our time — dictatorship, genocide, war, social oppression, and popular powerlessness — require us to rethink politics in order to develop fresh strategies and programs for their resolution. He is convinced that pragmatic, strategically planned, nonviolent struggle can be made highly effective for application in conflicts to lift oppression and as a substitute for violence. NEW Film 2011 How To Start a Revolution! MORE INFO ON DR. SHARP: www.peace.ca/genesharp.htm
A Force More Powerful: a feature-length documentary film written and directed by Steve York about non-violent resistance movements around the world. It reveals the successful methods activists used to affect sweeping change. Below are a few excerpts from the film.
A Force More Powerful: Gandhi
Movements.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping grassroots activists to build their capacity and make a greater impact on the world. We match members of our global network with necessary resources from the technology, media, private and public sectors as well as with each other in order to foster peer to peer capacity building. Movements.org hosts annual summits, regional training events, and on online hub for best practices, lessons learned, discussion and news about the use of new technologies in social movements.
You've decided to protest an unjust political system or organization. Make the most impact with these tips. For more information on social movements, go to http://youthmovements.howcast.com
"If there is no external civil society in which dissidence can exist, then public debate is locked in a paradigm that assumes value of dogma." -Philippe Nemo
Democracy 101 - Effective Protest
by Naomi Wolfe
Author and activist Naomi Wolf discusses the elements of effective protest.
:: produced by Danielle Holke ::
Topics cover; going up against municipal restrictive permits; constitutional 1st amendment rights to freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble; peaceful disruption; effective non-violent protest; agent provocateurs (known-unknowns);
Ten Point Guide
**** And here is a video demonstrating how NOT to organize or protest ***
This film documents how violence is not an effective form of protest.
"Hello. I'm going to read a declaration of a state of war... Within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice." -- Bernardine Dohrn
Thirty years ago, with these words, a group of young American radicals called The Weathermen announced their intention to overthrow the U.S. government. Fueled by outrage over the Vietnam War and racism in America, they went underground during the 1970s, bombing targets across the country that they felt symbolized "the real violence" that the U.S. government and capitalist power were wreaking throughout the world. From pitched battles with police on Chicago's city streets, to bombing the U.S. Capitol building, to breaking acid-guru Timothy Leary out of prison, this carefully organized clandestine network attempted to incite a national revolution, while successfully evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history. One of the top documentaries of the year, this award-winning film interweaves extensive archival material with modern-day interviews to explore the incredible story of "The Weather Underground." As former members reflect candidly about the idealistic passion that drove them to "bring the war home," they paint a compelling portrait of troubled and revolutionary times, with unexpected and often striking connections to the current world situation.