How things change: what the research tells us, the duty to disobey and the need for strategy Example in progress: Rising Up! Story, Strategy and Structure (DNA) Q&A REALITY- where we are now DEADLY: earth is heading towards sixth mass species extinction, we have already lost half of all wildlife in last 40 yrs DANGEROUS: 14 characteristics of fascism are now alive and kicking MISERABLE: richest 1% have more wealth than rest of the world; deep inequality (eg in the UK) causes obesity, mental illness & depression, lower life expectancy CORRUPT: 13trillion offshore in secrecy jurisdictions which enable the
dodging of tax AND the law AND regulation AND transparency, political donations, electoral fraud.. IMMUTABLE: the fossil fuel infrastructure to take global temperatures to 3.5Deg warming already exist.. (Paris agreement says we need to stop at 1.5degC requiring a 10% cut in emissions and yet new fossil fuel explorations continue) We tend to know WHAT to do about these things but not HOW to see the change Complete theory of revolution (Micah White) spiritual subjecti ve Subjectivism the idea that we
need to change our inner reality (do inner work) to change our external reality, with enough of this a mass epiphany will change the world E.g. meditation, nature connection work, Charles Eisenstein New Story of the People Theurgism the idea that something outside of everyday reality could provoke change (divine intervention) and can be evoked through magic, ceremony and prayer. Eg. Starhawk, #DAPL, Warriors call- Pagans against fracking, Voluntarism- the idea that Structuralism the idea that change can come through the
forces outside our control, such assertion of our collective and as food prices can trigger a individual will. Change comes by revolutionary moment E.g. Marxist theory, Radical Think creating a model that can scale Tanks Cobra Committee up as others embrace / copy it. E.g. new ways of doing things which evolves our society, for material Rising Up! encapsulates all of example regenerative objectiv e Literature (voluntarism) Saul Alinsky (Rules for Radicals) vs. mass protest to -> HYBRID Model
Hannah Arendt: Power lies in the collective (not Westminster, corporations, etc) Erica Chenoworth: 3.5% needed for system change (UK = 2.2m) This is an Uprising / Ayni Institute training: tactical details Tim Gee: Consciousness, Coordination, CONFRONTATION, consolidation Gene Sharp (Dictatorship to Democracy) grand strategy, narrative (Occupy e.g.) Radical Think Tank: further details on tactics (e.g. pledging like on risingup.org.uk) Civil disobedience instrumental in
National parks and your right to roam - Kinder Scout mass trespasses (1932 + 1992) Your vote- chartists then suffragettes (eg 1838 and 1913) The prevention of GM in the UK (Genetix Snowball 1999) Indian independence- salt tax Satyagrha (1930) American Independence- Boston tea party (1773) Civil Rights in America (1955) CURRENT: Spreading information about injusticeDisabled People Against Cuts, Black Lives Matter, Heathrow 13 and M4 15, heathrow tunnel 5 anti-fracking, #DAPL Countless efforts to protect land, Trade unions Tolpuddle, Mary Barbour- rent laws, Luddite uprisings, Diggers, Spanish eviction resistance, Poll tax (Thatcher and peasants revolt) #occupy
(see risingup.org.uk examples of civil disobedience) What has caused things to fail? Struggle is supressed by attacks on Trade unions, NGO-isation, liberalisation, Media bias.. Problems of power + privilege who is really in charge and how do with make implicit power explicit, accountable and effective, need for diversity of voices. Control v autonomy
Recruitment getting more of the same people over bonded activism vs. isolation London centricity Burnout Consensus log jamming Prophetic v instrumental demands: system change and specific advances Understanding our differences (Lakoff Dont think of an Elephant - frame instead of being right) (#moreincommon) L Socioeconomic progressives think that everything is a matter of money and class and that all solutions are ultimately economic and social class solutions. 2. Identity politics progressives say it is time for their oppressed group to get its share now. 3. Environmentalists think in terms of sustainability of the earth, the sacredness of the earth, and the protection of native peoples. 4. Civil liberties progressives want to maintain freedoms, against threats to freedom.
5. Spiritual progressives have a nurturant form of religion or spirituality, their spiritual experience has to do with their connection to other people and the world, and their spiritual practice has to do with service to other people 6. Antiauthoritarians say there are all sorts of illegitimate forms of authority out there and we have to fight them, whether they are big A brief history of Rising Up! Earth First! Radical Think Tank, Compassionate Revolution, Plane Stupid, Reclaim The Power, Occupy, Bristol group Recognised need to do something differently Started meeting April 2016..feedback, rewrites etc Think about strategy, tactics , story and structure Rising Up! the Strategy Our Grand Strategy is to enable a mass movement of movements, escalating a programme of ongoing disruptive actions, as part of a grand narrative that this system is fucked, building towards a nationwide disruption in a short space of time, as a means to effect
change. Our Goal: To create a movement big enough (3.5% of the population) to insist on change. To design a movement that, by virtue of how it operates, acts as a model for how society can run differently. To embed change, (through a much improved democracy) which supports our vision. (sub strategies and specific objectives- e.g focus on the pillars holding the system in place- Finance sector, media, fake democracy) TACTICS- as above Rising Up! Deeper into tactics #1 Draw upon state of the art knowledge and experience gleaned from successful global, mass, grass-roots movements MAKE CULTURE explicit- STORY, STRATEGY, STRUCTURE (DNA)
Non-violent discipline, combined with a proactive and inclusive DNA training, creates mass participation. Action -> absorption -> new participants = escalation Once trained, groups are autonomous and can organise their own actions within the movement DNA. Distributed organisation avoids the pitfalls of centralised models, releases the initiative and creativity of participants, whilst safeguarding what is at the heart of the movement. Tactics #2 For a mass movement to succeed it must polarise the public and win active public support for its aims. Mass sacrifice and disruption challenges public perception until many more agree that profound political change is needed. E.g. of Act Up / AIDS and gay marriage vs. peace scarf
(people may disagree with method not the message) A schedule of escalation, focuses around direct actions and mass disobediences. These create win-win scenarios for the movement through dilemma actions if the authorities choose to repress them this triggers further mobilisation by provoking solidarity. If no action is taken then political ground is lost and our success encourages more to join us. E.g. Serbian revolution, Dreamers movement Designing successful, inclusive actions Risk win line for a dilemma action arrest line Number
s involve Tactics #3 Conditional commitment enables people to give a provisional commitment to act if a certain number of other people will also act with them. Attrition Actions - undertaken by lots of people / over many iterations, gradually wear down the opponents resources. Medium sized organisations are especially vulnerable. E.g communications blockade Swarm Actions - small semi-autonomous activist groups doing similar actions without needing to be coordinated by any centralising organisation Open Spaces- create a safe space where people can talk freely with each other about what is bothering them politically. Helps involve people. The Olympic principle- 30 small improvements added to up to enough total improvement to beat the other teams- micro design The Sequencing Principle between action and organisation-do a bit of one then a bit of the other
The Investment Principle- actions can build up the resources for future success. Consider the return on investment for a given action So What is Rising Up! ? Rising Up! aims to be a social movement calling for a fundamental change of the political and economic system to one which maximises well being and minimises harm. We believe change needs to be rooted in reverence and gratitude and that confrontation through mass civil disobedience is necessary. We have learned from other successful social movements and new ways of organising to maximise our chance of success. Any individual or group can take their own actions in the spirit of Rising Up! without seeking permission, so long as it fits to our movements "DNA". Our DNA will remain open to some changes until we have had input from a greater diversity of voices. How is Rising Up! (meant to be) Naming the central issue - The system is f*cked (Our GRAND NARATIVE): different? climate change, inequality, health issues,
Many symptomatic problems: war, etc Arise because: democracy is broken, the economy is toxic, media propaganda (3 pillars) First and foremost we say: the political and economic system must change Ambitious change is necessary and possible Nothing will change till everything changes: an economy to maximise happiness and minimise harm, a functioning, improving democracy a free and fair media, Change requires: a non-violent uprising of 3.5% of the population (2.2m), confrontation Power lies in the collective: active disobedience, a vision of change, new ways of doing it Rising Up! Story more on the maximise profit for the few. The economy is geared toproblem
It is based on the spread of excessive debt. This needs constant economic growth to cover interest payments, which ravages a finite planet. The system is built on corruption. System wide abuses are supported by offshore finance (tax havens). Most people collude to protect their interests, out of either fear or greed. Our democracy has been decimated. Urgent issues are ignored or side lined. Some communities pay the heaviest price of the deep inequality and injustice (e.g. disabled people and refugees). As individuals, communities and nations, the system pushes us into competition over cooperation. It favours individualism over community.
Few feel truly good and well in this system. Future generations are deeply insecure. We forget our inter-dependence as people and our utter reliance on nature for our lives. On a deep level, no one is really to blame (corrupted power must How is Rising Up! (meant to be) different? We are mindful of the need for inner change and to address power The system wont change if we stay stuck: we all matter, no one is to blame, love and gratitude, reverence for nature, group-care, interpersonal care, self-care Set up the network of networks: so power is as distributed as possible (and where not mitigate through rotation and sortation, focus on diversity & inclusion)
Practice new forms of democracy: holocracy, sociocracy; gaining confidence We support a spiritual backdrop to the work (no one has to believe though!) and We watch UK/ world events for opportunities (alternative Cobra Committee) Rising Up! Story solutions Draft manifesto covering many issues (but not exhaustive) Our draft manifesto suggests many policies for enabling key, urgent changes. We need a genuine democracy, where people have real power, over decisions that affect them. We need relevant and accurate information to guide decisions (rather than the biased propaganda of our media). We must design our economy to maximise well-being and minimise harm.
This needs a rapid change in wealth distribution and power structures (which some would call revolution). Change is an ongoing process, shaped by how well we can work together, trust each other and enable everyones voice. Rising Up! Story solutions Draft vision say how it should be without defining a specific economic / political system An inclusive world, where individuals are supported to express their unique gifts and where we work together to support our community, to create beautiful things and to tackle the major problems of our age. Our lives will have the meaning we long for; we will uphold the best in our humanity for the greater purpose. Things dont need to be nailed down and fully agreed on- thats the role of a functioning informed democracywhich we need to practice and its an evolving process for human beings
Rising Up! the Structure The network is based on small group decision-making, where people take advice / feedback then make their own decisions and are accountable for them. Continual review improves practice (this is distributed organising, rather than the old, slow consensus model). A strategy group takes feedback and makes a call on the dates of mass actions, the type of actions which will happen on that date and the broad frame and demands of these events. Has control of a database, has biggest risk (necessity defense)! Other working groups will take overall responsibility for specific areas such as training and process, outreach and promotion, media and communications, logistics, movement care. Rising Up! Structure Principles and We work to put intersectionality Values (diversity) at the
heart of our movement Everyone is welcome; we make our spaces safe We are a non-violent movement. You matter, We matter, the Earth matters taking care of each other and nature EVERYONE is crew, the need for inner and outer activism- self-care and deal with your negative streaks! Proceed as Needed you dont need permission to take part, but be mindful of self-selection for power where some push themselves forwards and others hold back
We dont dance with politicians and bureaucrats no negotiation unless through sortation We can meet our own needs we wont be diverted by chasing big money Cooperation and messaging we welcome partners who adhere to our values Actions No new runway at Heathrow Oct 1st Reclaim The Power, Nov 19th 15 arrests, protest, comms blockade Feb 18th Flashmob Feb 21st tunnel blockade March 8th- court Cuadrilla comms blockade Feb 23
Potential media action #ToxicBankers: rd / 24th Barclays / Fracking, #DAPL, shadow banking Rising Up! example actions Many of our actions will have an element of confrontation - a loud and strong NO to a system that is destroying life on earth. (Confrontation is needed for change, including confronting ourselves). Actions can also give a big YES to a new way of doing things, to be fun and playful, to spread love and embrace our humanity Aspect Environment / climate justice Social and economic justice Democracy
The finance sector The media Actions Sabotage product linked to environmental destruction (hide in supermarkets) Aviation action, City shutdown, Digital blockade, Ecocide mass prayer / meditation, Community meal post flood Mass trespass linked to land reforms, Rent strikes, Labour strikes, NHS graffiti Wake for our democracy, Occupation of Key lobbyist orgs, General assembly #taxdisobey- tax disobedience Occupation of Big 4, Specific debt refusal eg students, Mass debt refusal Deliberate debt taking without payment Occupation of Ofcom, Flashmob BBC, Sabotage of media by moving newpapers, shredding arrestable action We are the people we have been waiting for!
!Thank you! Potential media action We need to create actions that can: Animate the whole curve of participants Work through autonomous and local swarns E.g. tackling divisiveness of our media (80% owned by 5 billionaires plus right wing BBC (Cardiff uni research))
No risk Media info stall as part of wider vigil Next to no risk / peaceful mischief swarm action moving newspapers / stickering free newspapers Dilemma action: Act of deliberate disobedience as dilemma action 4 people take 3 copies of one billionaire owned newspaper and cut it up to make papier mache hearts, songs video taken, lock on Blockade of distribution networks
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