The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

American demonstrators!

-- You're not demonstrating for yourself - you're demonstrating to provoke
positive change. You want to change the way things are. You have goals you
want met. You're willing to act to meet those goals.
-- March in an orderly fashion. Indicate you're a soldier for peace.
Rioting releases energy, but does not advance the cause.
-- Dress somberly, even in black. Don't turn the march into a circus. You
don't want to be dismissed as crazy. Indicate you're part of a massive
upwelling of public opinion. Show you're part of the public. Indicate
you'd put your life on the line for the cause of peace. Show you're as
serious and brave as a soldier in war.
-- Carry out symbolic actions such as flag and effigy burning. Do these
with the sacredness of serious metaphor. Remember your symbolic targets at
all times.
-- Forget clever signs and costumes. They entertain but distract. Silence
itself can be a weapon. A straightforward sign gets a message across. You
must unnerve the enemy.
-- Realize that the world outside the US is watching. You must indicate
the resistance from within, as strongly as possible. You must make the
leaders of the US realize you are part of a force that must be contended
-- Be careful in your support of violence, but never assume that Gandhi's
era is our own.
-- Know your enemy. Become knowledgable. Read as much as you can on the
current crisis and its roots. Read the texts of your enemy as well.
-- Do not assume that any large gathering of people makes a difference
unless it makes a difference.
-- Choose your targets carefully. A demonstration for or against numerous
causes may well be weakened by an accumulation of messages that may even
be contradictory. Remove auxiliary issues or religious and other rhetoric.
-- Prepare for the long haul. Speak loud but clearly. Let there be no
-- Leave your armchair for the production of resistance. Involve others.
Spread the word. Contact others.
-- Never give up. Never give in to false pessimism or optimism. Remain a
realist at all times.
-- Provoke.

Helmut Paul, C.A.R., Anway

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