From Direct Action Station:
Tom Griffin writes:
In 1971 a counter-insurgency manual set out an operational response to non-violent direct action protest movements as well as military insurgencies like the Provision IRA in Northern Ireland, drawing on the UK’s colonial experience. Today, it holds a surprise for a new reader.
General Frank Kitson’s 1971 counter-insurgency manual Low Intensity Operations  has long been of interest to students of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Within months of its publication, its author was commanding 39 Brigade in Belfast where he pioneered the use of the Parachute Regiment  as shock troops, and of plain-clothes ‘counter-gangs’  to combat paramilitary groups.
However, what struck me most when I obtained a copy recently was not the book’s obvious significance for such controversial episodes, but its striking relevance to events in Britain in recent weeks.
That’s because Kitson gives considerable attention to the question of how a government can combat a campaign of non-violent direct action. He devotes a whole chapter to the subject, despite showing considerable scepticism about the value of direct action as a tactic:
“It is rare to find large numbers of people who are so interested in a political cause that they are prepared to abandon their work and sacrifice their recreational time merely to stand around in a group being troublesome to the government on the off chance that it will make concessions in some direction which will probably bring them little personal benefit or satisfaction. In fact only the hard core organizers are likely to be sufficiently dedicated to behave in this way, and such people are normally viewed with suspicion by the normal working man or housewife and even by the majority of the student population.”Kitson argued that to overcome this problem, the hard core organizers need to mobilise an intermediate group of ‘politically conscious idealists’ in sufficient numbers to goad the authorities into discrediting themselves by some violent action.
Kitson wrote primarily on the basis of his experiences in Malaya, Kenya and Cyprus, dealing with highly centralised communist or nationalist movements, in situations where direct action was ultimately replaced by outright insurgency.
He did recognise that the students involved in the then recent events of May 1968 in France were resistant to centralised control, but he regarded this as illustrating a general weakness of direct action, its dependence on mobilising large numbers of ordinary people.
For Kitson, the workers and students of 1968 had been bought off with concessions on wages and universities, frustrating the larger socialist ambitions of the organisers. His practical recommendations are a generalisation of this model:
“In practical terms the most promising line of approach lies in separating the mass of those engaged in the campaign from the leadership by the judicious promise of concessions, at the same time imposing a period of calm by the use of government forces backed up by statements to the effect that most of the concessions can only be implemented once the life of the country returns to normal. Although with an eye to world opinion, and to the need to retain the allegiance of the people, no more force than is necessary for containing the situation should be used, conditions can be made reasonably uncomfortable for the population as a whole, in order to provide an incentive for a return to normal life and to act as a deterrent towards a resumption of the campaign.
Having once succeeded in providing a breathing space by these means, it is most important to do three further things quickly. The first is to implement the promised concessions quickly so as to avoid allegations of bad faith which may enable the subversive element to regain control over certain sections of the people. The second is to discover and neutralise the subversive element. The third is to associate as many prominent members of the population, especially those who have been engaged in non-violent action, with the government. This last technique is known in America as co-optation..”~ more... ~
Time to stop counterinsurgency, and cut the troops that do it, says Obama’s favorite military think tank
Obama’s Favorite Think Tank: Cut The Army, Forget Counterinsurgency
Al Qaeda: The End of a Legend? Wherever there is Counterinsurgency, there are “Al Qaeda Affiliated Organizations”…
Throughout the post 9/11 era, Al Qaeda and the “threat of Islamic terrorism” have played a central role in defining Washington’s diplomatic agenda, shaping its rhetoric at World summits as well as establishing the contours of US military doctrine.
Will False Flag Terror Discredit Protests?
A survey of state-sponsored terrorism in Europe
(U//FOUO) FBI Anonymous’ Participation in “Day of Rage” Protest May Coincide with Cyber Attack
(U//FOUO) The FBI assesses that the hacktivist group Anonymous is likely to participate in the “Day of Rage” protest scheduled for 17 September 2011 in New York City‟s financial district. While the extent of group members‟ participation in the event is unknown, in late August 2011 Anonymous endorsed the event through propaganda consisting of a video posted on YouTube and a campaign poster, as well as references in their Twitter accounts.
Wave of protests, strikes hammer Greece as European debt crisis enters crucial week
Strikes halted ferries to the Greek islands Monday and left rotting trash piling up in Athens for the 16th straight day, as unions fought back against more austerity measures at the start of a crucial week for both Greece and the 17-nation eurozone.
Greece braced for all-out strike
Greek ships were harboured and trains halted today as angry workers built momentum for "the mother of all strikes" expected to bring the entire country to a halt in protest against a new package of tax hikes and wage cuts.
Occupations of Cities Continue, Growing Income Gap, Worst Financial Crisis Ever
Revealing News Articles
October 18, 2011
Occupy Wall Street-Global Photos, 15 October 2011, Day 29
Groups hold emergency action to protest killing of Italian rural missionary
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan together with Karapatan and the Promotion of Church Peoples Response (PCPR) today held an emergency action in front of the Department of Justice to condemn the killing of Italian rural missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio in Kidapwan province yesterday.
The Primate Diaries - Freedom to Riot: On the Evolution of Collective Violence
From London to the Middle East riots have shaken political stability. Are the answers to be found in human nature?
Animal Rights: The Brown Dog Riots of 1907
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Fluid, constrained leadership is an important part of open source protest. Fluid in that there are no fixed positions. Contrained in that it is limited to managing a single function. There isn't any overarching leadership.
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Occupy Wall Street is an open source protest.
This type of protest has been very effective over the last year in toppling regimes in north Africa. It's proving relatively successful in the US too.
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How do you manufacture a strong community that protects, defends and advances the interests of its members? You build a tribe. Tribal organization is the most survivable of all organizational types and it was the dominant form for 99.99% of human history. The most important aspect of tribal organization is that it is the organizational cockroach of human history. It has proved it can withstand the onslaught of the harshest of environments. Global depression? No problem.
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Decentralized Demonstrations require a Decentralized Sound System.
THIS is a Decentralized Sound System:
The DSS is extremely resilient and extremely effective and 20 boomboxes can easily transmit music or voice to a crowd of 500. It is infinitely scaleable, and can also be rigged to broadcast silently to portable radios with headphones when noise regulations are an issue. All the equipment required is portable, cheap and readily available.
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The peaks and contours you see represent the intensity of the communication and conversations that was taking place from the start of the protest (at 3pm local time) up until its approximate end (at 8pm local time).
The animation shows the geo-referenced intensity of messages for each 30 minute time slot from the beginning to the end of the protest.
Olympic Gold Medalist John Carlos Joins Occupy Wall Street Movement
October 11, 2011 CURRENT TV Keith Olbermann
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This mass torturer/murderer is coming to Surrey, BC this October 20th 2011, lets give him and Bill Clinton a huge welcome. (P.S. Bring an extra pair of handcuffs for Mayor Watts for collaborating with self confessed war criminals.)
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How to riot [funnyjunk.com]
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New study encourages broadcasters to work together to battle censorship
The Canada Center for Global Security Studies, a University of Toronto organization that focuses on Internet security, as well as Citizen Lab and the Munk School of Global Affairs, have joint-released a report titled Casting a Wider Net: Lessons Learned in Delivering BBC Content on the Censored Internet.
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Internet censorship circumvention
Internet censorship circumvention is the process used by technologically savvy Internet users to bypass the technical aspects of Internet filtering and gain access to otherwise censored material.
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A Force More Powerful explores one of the 20th century's most important but least understood stories: how nonviolent power has overcome oppression and authoritarian rule all over the world. Narrated by Ben Kingsley, and nominated for an Emmy, A Force More Powerful premiered on ©PBS in September 2000.
News to Me
Project Censored picks old media's most ignored news stories
600 Mysteries in the Night Sky
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