Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Mic Check" & Other Merry Pranks

The Occupy movement needs good ideas & energies. Activists hoping to shake up the status quo and promote reform by culture jamming might try some of the below strategies:

1) Of course, illegal actions & pranks that threaten life, liberty or pursuit of happiness are best avoided.

2) Intimidation by authorities is very spooky. State Stormtroopers easily generate fear (each darkly wants to be Vader; serenade them with the Star Wars Imperial March). Try to insert levity. Smile, laugh & foster a sense of humanity as darkness surrounds you.
You'll be scared. Laugh at the cold! Prepare to get dragged & be violently clubbed. You may lose property, and may suffer stress & pain. It's fun!

3) It's a great idea to publicly confront deceitful businesspeople & corrupt government officials who've raped our national treasuries. But how to do it? Activists politely deferring to wealth & power are ignored. The "Mic Check" and human megaphone strategies of cascading disruptors have energized participants.

4) During "serious" meetings, hidden phones can laugh, or cry... From assorted concealed places, phones can amplify a message. Cellphones can be programmed to ring together.

5) It's important to encourage drop-in visitors to our Occupy venues at any hour. Motley tent cities & roped-off private territories frighten newcomers; it's easier to join assemblies gathering in places not allowing camping. Any Occupy assembly is a shifting assortment of people. Most can sleep elsewhere. Potential mobility is tactically superior to a rooted encampment Thanks Billy! (see below)

6) Build memes, motto, slogans, catchphrases, and battle cries. Hopefully we'll not see another "Boston Massacre" or "Remember Pearl Harbor" but imagery work is essential. For a start, recognize the unusual elegance of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg by dubbing him " Billy "
-- short for Billionaire --

7) The key contest is a battle for minds. Corporate media (so-called "News") regularly portrays unsavory actions & doubtful people, and seeks to thus emasculate the Occupy movement. But it's a small 1%, the rabid megarich, who are extreme. Stay on message:

-- Megawealthy banksters & corrupt politicians suckered us for $7 trillion dollars of public money (US$7,000,000,000,000).
Stop.   Indict.   They stole our future.   Claw back.

-- Public spaces are for public use, and are not the private domain of government or the police. Where possible, public spaces should always be open & accessible. Our societies run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; the public should be able to meet & play freely, and not be shutout of our own spaces by Puritanical operating hours or nanny-state cost-cutting.

-- Overseas US military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan (Vietnam, and elsewhere) are brutalizing & too expensive.
Unaffordable.   Stop.

8) Handout key web addresses to passers-by, who'll go home and lookup information. Many who might be sympathetic are as yet unprepared for confrontation. Start by recommending:

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com   [ speak up now ]

9) Record what happens. Archived records protect both demonstrators and law enforcement officials from unjust abuse. The bottom line remains: too little justice, too many cops.

... more later