Nonviolent struggle is a way to mobilize our power potential and sever our opponent’s sources of power.
Now, it would be easy to sever our opponents’ sources of power if we mobilize our own potential.
Potential is a Greek word (actually I don’t know if it’s Greek or not, but it is a word), and it means “capable of being, but not yet in existence”.
Well then, let’s look at the climate movement’s potential. Which segments of society will be directly hurt by global warming, so it’s in their best interests to get involved?
First, there’s the people who need WATER. They will be completely screwed, because the snowpack that accumulates on mountain peaks is diminishing year by year. That’s not just bad for skiers, it’s terrible for drinkers of WATER, because the snowpack’s meltwater turns into the streams, lakes, and rivers that provide our water.
Another group who will be completely screwed are those who eat FOOD. You see, America’s crops depend on those rivers too. They also need rain, but as the temperatures go up every year, there’s less and less rain to nourish the crops, which in turn means less food and water for whatever animals those humans devour.
A third group that will completely, entirely fucked are those people who breathe OXYGEN. You see, half the oxygen produced in the world is made by phytoplankton, tiny organisms who live in massive numbers in the world’s oceans. But, since 1950, there’s forty percent less phytoplankton! That means 20 percent less oxygen is being produced. That’s with ocean surface temperatures going up just one degree, it’s gonna go up more! Also, the other half of our oxygen is produced by forests and grasslands, and climate change is helping kill off those too!
So, anyone in our society who depends upon water, food, and oxygen, are POTENTIAL climate activists.
Of course we’re a long way from that cuz only 16 percent of Americans are really concerned right now about climate change, and barely any of them are actually DOING anything to stop it!
But let’s consider their POTENTIAL. Chances are, they’re well aware that this could mean the collapse of civilization and that, depending on how fast the permafrost melts, it could actually happen within DECADES. So, I’d think, that 16% should be willing to do just about anything to stop climate change. Especially if they’re young!
So, here we’ve got 40 million people who could be called upon to join a nonviolent movement immediately. THAT’S potential!
If we could get 40 million people to start doing nonviolent action to stop climate change, we could force the government to act upon it.
But we gotta be smart! We have to know how systematic nonviolent struggle works, Everyone who cares about the future of civilization and life on earth needs to know it. This movement will be stronger if ALL the activists, not just the leaders, know exactly how to use nonviolent action for maximum effect. The leaders we’ve got don’t have that much for us to do. But the climate’s unravelling at breakneck speed, so we can’t just keep sitting around and waiting for their next call to action! We need to come up with our own actions to help the movement grow in numbers and in strength. Like the Freedom Riders did! Martin Luther King did not want the Freedom Rides to happen, but it ended up galvanizing the Civil Rights movement. In fact the original Freedom Rider leaders gave up, but others stepped in and took it to another level.
But to accomplish similar things climate activists need to know everything about Nonviolent Struggle and how it works.
For one thing, we need to be fearless and bold, we’re taking on powerful forces here and a lot of stone-cold crazies. But, hell, we’re saving the planet, so it’s time to nut-up!
We need to be fluid and fast, so we can react to unforeseen events, like extreme weather or our opponent’s mistakes.
And we have to be FUN, because if you’re not having fun you burn out and you’re not cool.
Okay, great. Now, for openers, repeat after me: Groouumph! Okay, that was pretty good. It’s more in the back of the throat, though. We’ll work on it.