Friday, March 15, 2013

Nonviolent Method #13: Deputations

Nonviolent Method Number 13 is Deputations.  Now, I read that, and I kind of think “Oh!  I’ve seen this in movies.  The sheriff goes to a guy and pins a badge on his shirt and says “Okay.  Here.  Now you’re a deputy.”

But that’s not how this method works.  With deputations a selected group of people take a grievance to somebody who is generally a big part of the problem

The best example they have in the book was in 1899 the Czar of Russia was ruling over Finland, and Finland was like “That sucks!”, and so he ordered all the men of Finland to fight for the Russian army, and they were like “We don’t even like you guys!”  So they got this petition signed by pretty much every man in Finland and got a deputation of 500 guys to take that petition to the Czar, and the Czar was like “I’m not gonna see them!”

So it didn’t really do any good, BUT that doesn’t mean it never does any good.  There was example from China where it worked.  Actually the second time it worked, the first time they all got 50 lashes from bamboo rods, but when they back AGAIN, even after all the lashes, that made an impression.  “Geez, these deputies are bad-ass!”

But if we were gonna do it, who would our deputation comprise of?  Well, we could send A) farmers and ranchers whose livelihood is being destroyed by the drought and heat that climate change has brought on; or, B) we could send a deputation of kids saying “Hey!  This is our futures, man!”, or C) a deputation of moms saying “Hey!  This is our kids’ futures!” 

But who do you send the deputation to? 

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious you don’t send it to the climate denier think tanks, ‘cuz they clearly wouldn’t give a crap about farmers or moms or kids.  Though they might be more than happy to dole out 50 lashes from bamboo rods.

It MIGHT work to send deputations of parents and kids to the fossil fuel companies, because they do supposedly have a public image to look after, but I’m not even sure that’s true.  Exxon-Mobil for years was the number one contributor to climate denier think tanks and politicians.  And yeah, people hated them, but they were still the richest company in the world.  

Now it MIGHT work if farmers from Oklahoma, and Texas, and Nebraska, and Kansas went to their national senators and representatives with a group of parents and kids and said “Enough!  We’ve got to stop climate change.”  It might work.

But I think what would work the best would be a deputation of parents and kids going to the big network news organizations and then saying “Hey!  You gotta cover this, this is serious.  You’re abrogating your duty.  People need to know how bad this could be.  They need to know about all the money that’s being spent to confuse the issue.  They need to know who’s behind that.  They need to know what the scientists are saying, and about the studies that show this is worse than everybody thought.  They need to know about how fast this could actually happen – a matter of decades and not a matter of a century.  They need to know how much the temperatures could go up here in the U.S. because everybody seems to think it would be that bad here, which is bullshit.  They need to know how the melting permafrost is gonna amplify this past the point we can do anything about it.  Just that.  Those minor points they’ve neglected to share with the American people!

THAT would be an effective deputation!  Tomorrow we’ll talk about Method Number 14: Mock Awards.


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