The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Confession of a Demonstrator

--of course this is mine; i'm so embarrassed. how can anyone control or
strategize demonstrations. in a democracy we are free to express
ourselves. i don't know where anway is or what c.a.r. is for that matter.
i'm always afraid to express myself. my rage comes out in other ways. this
is one of them. one dreams of attack/pursuit against the right. one dreams
of putting them out of our misery. but it's dreamwork and that's all. no
good comes of it.
--in life i'm a coward. i live in the dreamwork. i'm afraid of jail,
arrest, gestapo. i don't know how to play the system. i'm afraid of dying
constantly. i want to help but i can't even help myself. i publish under a
pseudonym. there is no helmut paul. at least there is no helmut paul that
sent me this.  but helmut paul sounds properly other - at the same time
within the aegis of europe - therefore neither one nor the properly other.
--i believe protests do little good. they show the rest of the world that
there is resistance in the u.s. but - at least under the present regime -
result in little practical results. we change nothing. we insist on our
communality. we march and discuss. the war will continue as base and
superstructure smash intermediary cultural play.
--then again this is a selfish belief, perhaps an excuse for not doing
more, not acting on my convictions. clearly ultra-violence will change
things, most likely for the worse. in any case, i'm not capable of that. i
understand the fury of those who are arrested. at least they carry out
their frustrations against authority, however misplaced. i'm not even
capable of that. if someone told me two plus two don't equal four, i'd
believe it. i'm ready to fall for anything.
--i'm a sick man... something is wrong with my mind. i can't carry on and
can't expect anyone else to. i'm horrified by the progress of the war.
what if it were me firing or being fired upon. how can anyone live with
those images sent daily across the internet - those reports, interviews,
analyses, diatribes. yet i continue on as if i'm capable of a writing that
makes a difference beyond my limits. i don't carry a gun for either side.
i can't even hunt. i went fishing one time and that was it. i couldn't
watch the animal suffocating in the air. now it's all of us who are
suffocating. i still don't carry a gun.
--i only clear the air. the text below is mine. i'm sorry if i misled
anyone. i take full responsibility. it was a bad thing to do. i can no
longer speak for myself. i don't know what is right or wrong. i hate the
evil in the world. i only hate it. i don't act. i don't act.--

"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 knowledgeable. 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"


Generated by Mnemosyne 0.12.