Monday, November 7, 2011

ADVICE - 11 Ways to Avoid Making Occupy Wall Street Look Bad

Movements gain steam by passion, and end from stupidity. With that in mind, here are 11 ways the Occupy Wall Street protesters can avoid ruining it for everyone.

1) Don't leave your location worse than you found it. 

That goes all the way from not leaving a cigarette butt on the ground, to not breaking windows or shitting on a police car. People will remember what you DID far more than what you SAID.

2) Don't wear masks. 

Words coming from someone hiding behind a mask bounce right off people, because they know you don't believe in what you stand for enough to say it on the record. At best, they suspect you're hiding your identity because you're about to do something shady. (If you are the Batman, you are allowed to skirt this.)

3) Don't raise your voice unless it's an organized chant. 

I don't care how nasty someone is to you, if you respond to a raised voice by raising your voice, you are now BOTH wasting your time. If they can't keep it civil, don't talk to them. Volume is not an argument. Nobody was ever convinced by an adjustment in decibels.

4) Consider why gays can marry, but pot is still illegal most places. 

If I had to guess, it would be that I see gay men and women marching in suits with their families, and I see stoners marching in Che Guevara tee-shirts with their ferrets. People don't just judge YOU by your appearance, they judge all of us by it by it. Dress like you could go to a job, if one theoretically existed. You can do your counter-culture stuff at home.

5) UNEQUIVOCALLY denounce violence.

If you see an Occupyer vandalize or commit an act of violence, YOU should call the police. Remember that the Hippies were winning before the Chicago Democratic Convention, Altamont, and Manson. One act of violence drowns out one million peaceful voices every single time.

6) Inform yourself, not just with YOUR media, but your enemy's. 

If you don't browse Fox News, you should. If you never listen to Rush, you should. If you never watch Bill O'Reilly, you should. If you don't believe this, tell me which historical army won by purposefully avoiding any scouting or intelligence. If you're not reading the things you denounce, you will be made a fool of. So don't just read backpatty me-too stuff. Sun Tzu said those who know themselves but don't know their enemy never win.

7) Don't argue morality, argue math and fact. 

You need to be able to convey information that is passionless and factual after you have someone's ear. Saying "It's not right how corporations behave" is not as useful as "CEO's make 350 times on average what their workers make, so it's not fair to say there's no money for job creation." If you have a feeling, and not a fact, save it. It's not going to change anyone's mind.

8) When in doubt, don't do it. 

There are going to be people who are going to agitate, for a number of different reasons. Some want to end the movement, some don't understand how nonviolence works and can't tell the difference between a riot and an occupation, and some just want to see a car on fire. If you have ANY doubt about what you plan to do, remember that your action could very well be applied to all of us in tomorrow's news. One person can help a little and hurt a lot.

9) Begin to separate the offenders from solid corporate citizens.

The same way you don't want to be lumped in with people who commit violent acts or shit on police cars, it's not fair to just say "corporations" and leave it at that. Educate yourself, and be specific. "Corporations are bad" is as useful as one of those stupid Coexist bumper-stickers. "Bank of America got our help when times were hard, then when times were hard for us, it tried to stick us for 60$." It goes back to specifics. You can be vague on goals and leaders, but you CANNOT be vague on the offenses. Remember the Declaration of Independence starts with SPECIFIC issues of redress to King George.

10) Be patient. 

If you're expecting this to all shake out in a few weeks or months, you're kidding yourself. You've got the machinery in motion, but it takes time. Movements get violent and anarchistic when they have unrealistic ideas of how long it takes to get their issues fixed.


Remember those 3 billion pics on your Facebook of Tea Party participants with misspelled signs, miss-attributed quotes and things that are just stupid, racist or out of line? Do you want to be famous for that? If not, don't just whip a marker out and go. There WILL be cameras.

Beyond that, you got this.

This could take years, so dig in, and keep kicking ass!

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