Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pete the Pissed-Off Polar Bear Chimes in on Nonviolent Openness vs. Secrecy

So I wanted to talk about Openness and Secrecy in Nonviolent Struggle. 

It basically boils down to this: Openness is smart, secrecy is dumb.  

Let me elaborate.

First of all, anything you write in an email, or say on the telephone, might be read by
government agents.  George W. Bush made sure of this with his so-called Patriot Act. 
 “Oh look at me I’m a patriot!  You now have no privacy, just like the founders intended!” 
That naked picture you sent to your boyfriend?  It’s made the rounds at Langley.

Also, if you really were to become a concern to anyone really powerful, like, say, the
richest companies in the history of the world, they would soon have people joining your
organization.  “Hello!  I want to help!  I have money, what would you do to the richest
company on earth if you could get away with it?  Shoot for the moon, dude!  Let’s do
something illegal.  Hee hee hee!  You can trust me, honest!”

So, you should expect spies.  If you’ve got secrets, then everyone would get all paranoid! 
“Is it you?  Are you the mole?”  “I think it’s him!”  “I think it’s you!”  “I trusted you, ratfink!” 
This is no way to run a popular uprising!  Just be open and honest, “Here’s what we’re
 doing?  Ya hear me, Koch Brothers?”  “Hey Glenn Beck, guess what we’re gonna do!”

Now of course if you lived in, say, Kas-beck-i-stan, you’d need to be secret or your
opponents would kill you!  But the U.S. and Canada, are free!  If you’re a human
anyway.  There are some places polar bears can’t go or they’d shoot us with
tranquilizer darts, which is worse than it sounds.  You don’t just fall asleep, when you’re
out they do anal probes and stuff like that, or put big collars on you.  Try sneaking up on
a seal with a big black collar around your neck! 

Anyway, here no one’s gonna kill you unless some crazy Tea Party dude with an arsenal
decides to take matters into his own hands, but that would really make their side look bad
so they’ll try and discourage that, prob’ly anyway.  It’s hard to figure out that kind of

Another thing that’s dumb about secrecy is only the inner circle knows what’s going on
next.  We Pissed-off Polar Bears wanted to help the climate movement with their protests
during the elections last year.  Turned out they had no protests planned.  They’re very
opaque, they don’t do a good job of laying out their strategy, so you don’t know if they
have it handled or not.  These are important things to know!
If you want a lot of people to help you demonstrate, you should be really visible!

The point is, Nonviolent struggle is based on bravery and discipline.  When you’re open
about what you’re doing, you become free from the fear of arrest.

In the Indian Independence Jawaharlal Nehru or whatever his name was, I actually
know a walrus named Jawalrus Nehru, anyway this guy Nehru said that once they got rid
of secrecy their feelings of oppression and frustration melted away.  They actually felt
sorry for the guys who were spying on them because they had no secrets to discover.

This movement needs to get rid of it’s feelings of frustration and start having fun!  Ya 
hear that ExxonMobil!  The party’s over!  Gruuumph!  More tomorrow.

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