In very harsh dictatorships, concentrating people in marches, rallies or protests is dangerous; your people will get arrested or shot. It’s risky for other reasons. A sparsely attended march is a disaster. Or the protest can go perfectly, but someone — perhaps hired by the enemy — decides to throw rocks at the police. And that’s what will lead the evening news. One failed protest can destroy a movement. So what do you do instead? You can start with tactics of dispersal, such as coordinated pot-banging, or traffic slowdowns in which everyone drives at half speed. These tactics show that you have widespread support, they grow people’s confidence, and they’re safe. Otpor, which went from 11 people to 70,000 in two years, initially grew like this: three or four activists staged a humorous piece of anti-Milosevic street theater. People watched, smiled — and then joined. Nonviolence is not just the moral choice; it is almost always the strategic choice. “My biggest objection to violence is the fact that it simply doesn’t work,” Popovic writes. Violence is what every dictator does best.
Resistance Report #14: Mandela, activist working with Stratfor, fast food workers walks out and update on Iran Reflecting on the death of Nelson Mandela, Jerome Roos, writing at Roar magazine states: “The only appropriate way to honor the legacy of the iconic freedom fighter is not to beatify the man but to take his struggle to its logical conclusion.” The finality of death, combined with the human need for a neat linear narrative, will work against placing Mandela’s impact on a continuum. For, while it may be true that the arc of the moral universe is long, but bends towards justice – that bending is still not happening for too many in South Africa, and the world over. Additional Stories covered in Resistance Report #14: Does A Globally Renowned Activist Have Ties To Global Intel Firm STRATFOR? The Fight For 15 and What is Up With Iran?
Serbia’s Srdja Popovic is known by many as a leading architect of regime changes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere since the late-1990s, and as one of the co-founders of Otpor!, the U.S.-funded Serbian activist group which overthrew Slobodan Milošević in 2000. Lesser known, an exclusive Occupy.com investigation reveals that Popovic and the Otpor! offshoot CANVAS (Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) have also maintained close ties with a Goldman Sachs executive and the private intelligence firmStratfor (Strategic Forecasting, Inc.), as well as the U.S. government. Popovic’s wife also worked at Stratfor for a year. These revelations come in the aftermath of thousands of new emails released by Wikileaks' “Global Intelligence Files.” The emails reveal Popovic worked closely with Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based private firm that gathers intelligence on geopolitical events and activists forclients ranging from the American Petroleum Institute and Archer Daniels Midland to Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, Northrop Grumman, Intel and Coca-Cola.