Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nonviolent Method Number 16: Picketing

Alright, Nonviolent Method Number 16 is Picketing. 

Now, this is another method that’s kind of been done to death and people really don’t think it’s effective.  If you see a bunch of hotel employees picketing in front of a hotel, you generally kind of think “Well that’s a waste of time”. 

When the BLM is doing an auction for oil and gas leases and environmentalists are outside holding up signs saying “This is wrong!”, nobody inside the auction is gonna give a crap.  All you’re doing is standing outside freezin’ your nuts off!  (Or boiling, as the case may be.) Cuz the only people who see it are the people who are driving by right then and there and they may honk in approval but SO WHAT?!  It’s not effective.  

So how do you make it effective?

You make it interesting, you make it go viral.  You wear a funny costume or do something funny or clever or creative or interesting.  The Internet is the new public square, and if something goes viral, that’s gonna reach a lot more people than a protest outside the federal building.  But in order for it to go viral it needs to be particularly creative AND it needs a push from the rest of the movement.

For instance, your pickets could be the size of fortune cookies, that no one will see up close, but you could enlarge it on video and post it on YouTube and that could, in the right hands, be funny! 

Or you could do something huge, like, you know how at football games sometimes they have thousands of placards that everyone in the section of the stadium holds up and it says something like “Go Terps”, or “Go Bears!”  (I like that one, “Go Bears!”) 

As long as someone caught that on video that would be impressive, like if you did it in front of the fossil fuel headquarters or the climate denier “think tanks” or the big media organizations, and it was really big and coordinated and impressive – that would be cool!  (So long as you got someone to videotape it from above). 

Another thing you could do with pickets is you could psychologically work the opposition.  Stand outside the “think-tanks” holding up signs with the names of the “think-tank” staff inside who’s job it is to stop climate solutions from happening.  Let them know you know who they are.  Let the world know who they are!  These people make a good living helping destroy the world.  These people deserve a slice of infamy for that, right?  Their neighbors should know who they are.  Their neighbor’s kids should know who they are.  Everyone in their towns should know who they are.

I mean, this is removal of consent, we’re not gonna sit here and keep making nice while you’re in there destroying everybody’s futures! 

During the Indian independence movement they did pickets outside of every establishment that cooperated with the British, so people would know. 

We could do that with restaurants and bars and sports clubs that are subjecting its clients to Fox News, ‘cuz Fox New is horrible about the climate.  They do more stories about climate change than any other network but almost all the stories are like “Climate change is bullshit!”

So these people need to be shamed, it’s not cool – ‘course it’s not cool to picket either, so you gotta make it cool.

Schools and universities they’re doing divestment campaigns right now to help the climate movement – you could definitely picket outside of administration buildings “If You Care So Much About My Future – Please Take Your $ Away From People Who Are Destroying It!”

You could even picket gas stations, or, indirectly power companies.  When you send your bill back, write on the outside of the envelope “____ Energy supports climate destruction!”, so the mail carriers and their billing department is clued in to that company’s greedy, rapacious nature!

A lot of people are poor and can’t afford solar panels and wind turbines so they’re stuck with the grid that’s killing us, but I don’t think of these people as hypocrites, they’re no-alterna-crites!  The fossil fuel companies have used their power and influence to crush the development of sustainable energy and transportation for decades, so a lot of people can’t realistically go off the grid, but we still need ‘em in our movement, so don’t belittle them because they’re not as “pure” as you, welcome them to the fold!  We need everybody in America and the world on our side here, all lined up against the climate deniers who are forcing us all to stick with dirty energy even though it’s now obvious it’s KILLING THE WORLD!

So, anything you can do to spread the message of noncooperation, you need to do!

So that’s Method Number 16: Picketing. 

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