White do-gooders, let's get out of #Ferguson

A week ago I responded to a call for experienced street medics to come to Ferguson, Missouri to provide emergency first aid at the spectacular protests that have captured the imagination of the whole country and beyond. In addition to that mission of directly providing care, I’ve had two objectives: teach protesters how to stay safe and take care of each other in the streets when the cops get extra nasty, and to train locals to take over the provision of street first aid and health & safety trainings.

You’ll notice none of this has anything to do with actually participating in the protests. You’ll also note that all of the knowledge and leadership I’m here to provide is essentially technical in nature. This despite my 22 years of protest experience—20 as an organizer, 14 as a street medic closely studying protest tactics and police crowd control operations. I also have expertise on social movement strategy and history.

But I didn’t come here to give advice about strategy and tactics, objectives or structures, and when folks here ask my opinion on such matters, my only line is don’t listen to white people. I will tell stories that might be informative, because my “wisdom” is not proprietary. But I’m not a leader here, and I should not be, and no white person should be. Period.

This is not our struggle. I have been beaten and falsely arrested by police, but this is still not my struggle. I recognize and validate and am in awe of everything from the rage to the discipline expressed by the people of Ferguson and the black and brown activists who’ve come to support and participate. This place and the people rising up are beautiful, and hell yes I am fortunate that I had a very valid reason to come and contribute in one small way.

At the same time, I have been disgusted by the behavior of some white activists who have come from outside (including as nearby as St Louis) to join the protests. Many of these folks are intent on imposing their messages and their tactics on this local struggle, or pushing their way into otherwise black conversations and even meetings to contribute opinions they’re certain are vital (they’re wrong!).

Yes, the struggle has larger implications. Yes, it affects us all. But how are we going to affect it? When it comes to participation, that makes all the difference.

If you’re a white activist who has come to Ferguson to participate, or who is thinking about doing so, I urge you to consider what you have to offer.

If your answer is a warm body and loud voice on the streets, keep in mind that the ratio of of locals to outsiders has shifted tremendously over the last week. And it is likely not a coincidence that far fewer locals are coming out night after night. Consider the implications of outsiders coopting or deflating an empowering local/black struggle for justice. Then choose not to come, out of respect and humility.

If your answer is that you can offer ideology or politicization or radicalization or even just a different kind of voice, go home now. Go as fast and as far as you can. The people of Ferguson are amazing; they don’t need you. Not even a little bit.

If you do have a technical skill of some sort and have been invited by organizers on the ground, consider passing that skill on and going home. This is what medics are focused on now, and we hope other “specialists” will do likewise. As wonderful as it is to be part of an amazing, probably historic struggle, that’s not really the point.

This call isn’t just inspired by my own pre-existing views or observations. I’ve been talking to locals and organizers every day. Some organizations on the ground have explicitly asked that we discourage outsiders who lack specific needed skills sets from flocking to Ferguson.

For anyone who thinks I’m advocating white folks abandon Ferguson or the broader black community: think again. I’m arguing that we aren’t needed on the front lines or in the leadership or even on the streets of this specific movement manifestation in the first place. When folks most affected by the issues at hand want help, they can ask for it. When they ask for solidarity from the outside, as they have, make an effort to provide it as requested. But don’t come rushing in here to be part of the spectacle. Just. Don’t.

Making big mistakes is the occasional byproduct of making big strides. Big mistakes can only occur when you’ve planned and thought things through. If your carefully laid plan turns out to be a mistake, it may cost you. But it will also give you exactly the information you need to modify your strategy or change your course. You learn, you adjust, and you come back with a stronger, more impactful strategy that works. In the long run, big mistakes are the best feedback we ever get. The most successful people in life are those who make the best use of their mistakes.

Let’s talk about the word “peaceful” because I’m getting fuckin tired of hearing about “peaceful protest.” | D. Firestein

Protest, by its very nature cannot be peaceful. It is an attempt to upset the order of things (sometimes a weak attempt, sometimes a masturbatory symbolic attempt with no actual potential to change anything, but always an attempt). To upset the order of things is violence. To change the status quo is violence. Redistribution of power and assaults on the systems of domination is violence. 

What certain organizers and the media and the politicians mean when they say “peaceful protest” or “nonviolent protesters” is people who aren’t destroying property or defending themselves against the police or in some cases, using strong language.

So why don’t they just say that?

1) Well, for one reason, that would take up too much space on a poster.

2) Peaceful sounds nice. It makes a good soundbite. When later, someone is playing for the press and trying to win the meaningless approval of readers of the NY Times, it sounds great to say “Police attacked peaceful protesters.” Those readers nod their heads along and think “I bet their pants aren’t even sagging.”

3) It does a great job of eschewing discussions about property damage or defending oneself or one’s community from the police or the use of strong language. Much like the word “terrorist” shut down opposition to nationalist propaganda because people were afraid to be associated with that word, the word “peaceful” is hard to argue against. After all, most people think of themselves as peaceful, and most people generally like the idea of a peaceful life, unmolested by strangers or enemies. 

And I want to be really clear. I think there absolutely are reasons to have actions that are explicitly not about property damage or mixing it up with the pigs or cursing. People have probation statuses and immigration statuses to think of, people have small children to worry about (in a scene that, let’s face it, could be better about childcare), people have other liabilities ranging from PTSD or physical disabilities or social anxiety or whatever. Diversity of tactics doesn’t mean breaking windows, it means a diversity of tactics. Time and place.

But that word “peaceful” (or sometimes “nonviolent”) has real implications. 

1) Using “peaceful” as shorthand on a poster may save space but it also leaves a vacuum of meaning. Everyone has some idea what it means, but that doesn’t mean they know what it means to everyone else. Maybe it means we’re going to all sit around silently and pray. Maybe it means we’re not going to talk about systems of oppression or systemic violence or even specific violence. Maybe it just means we won’t break any windows. I’m not saying tactics should be clear on a poster because obviously that would be silly and counterproductive, but most often, the discussion of what peaceful means never goes any further than that. Even when it does, it’s usually presented as a top down decision (This is our action, we make the rules) without discussion.

2) It sets up an immediate good protester/bad protester dichotomy. Looking specifically at the protests this evening about Ferguson, to insist that these protests should be peaceful is to basically wag a finger at anyone in Ferguson who is defending their lives and their homes. More than just the symbolic shittiness of that finger wag, that dichotomy has material impact. It empowers politicians and pigs to crack down harder on “bad protesters” and use images of the “good protesters” to show what should be done. When the President and the Governor and the Mayor and the pigs and the MSM and the church leaders and the nonprofits are all agreeing with how you’re doing things, you’re probably not doing much good. You’re certainly not attacking all those institutions that are agreeing with you. So while it might make a good soundbite for when you’re talking about yourself, it also makes powerful ammunition for the people you’re theoretically in solidarity with. While it might be nice to have Rachel Maddow commend you, understand that that commendation either tacitly or explicitly condemns the “bad element” that is using any other tactics than yours. It is further endangering the lives of people using tactics other than yours. 

3) We SHOULD be having conversations about property damage and self-defense and tone policing. I’m not saying smashing windows is right for every situation or even for any situation. It’s not my fuckin place to say whether it’s right for your neighborhood and your community and your action. I have an opinion about it, but my opinion on it is far less important than yours. But when you slap that word peaceful on an action, you silence those discussions. Frankly, I don’t give a fuck about windows. In the grand scheme of things, they’re neither the thing that will topple capitalism nor the thing that will make the movement lose legitimacy (blegh, gross). I do give a fuck about defending ourselves against the police, though. And if you’ve said “this a peaceful protest” or “this is a nonviolent action” and the pigs are firing tear gas or hitting people with batons or arresting people, I’d say that you’re a liar. I’d further suggest that if you haven’t prepared people involved for those possibilities (inevitabilities), that you’ve neglected your responsibilities as an organizer. I don’t want to ever again have to watch comrades get dragged down Broadway by their hair or get piled on by five pigs while everyone around them is being peaceful. That’s not peaceful. That’s betrayal. Fuck your moral high ground, there are material injuries.

Two final notes.

First, moments of silence are really powerful. I’ve been in a few where all of us were sobbing. I’ve been in a few where all of us were seething. I’ve been in a lot more where most of us were bored. The assumption that a moment of silence is always what’s called for is a poor assumption. If you want to call this a day of rage, let people rage. Don’t try to control what emotions they have, let em turn that shit loose. If what they need is a moment of silence, let them have it. If what they need is a moment of screaming, let them have it.

And if what they need is to march down the street setting pigmobiles on fire, well, you know how that shit goes.

When conducting retail competitive analysis, we have to try very hard not to buy anything. #miniature #adagency #shopping #marketingresearch

When a company can have everyone working together in the same office, collaborations are stronger and communication is better. Gone are the days when you walk past a phone sitting off the hook and then panic because you know that you accidentally forgot to tell your coworker on the other end that the meeting was over. And when was the meeting over? Days ago! You race over to your coworker’s home only to find them slumped over, phone in hand, dead.

3

Culina by Moustashio Studios

Culina is a visual novel/strategy game where you step into the shoes of a culinary school graduate who dreams of opening up his own restaurant. Due to his family’s trust in him, he gets to embark on that endeavor. However, he will have to prove that he can create a successful business and pay his parents back in time so he doesn’t have to move back home.

Cody has somehow not realized that Derrick has had everyone close to cody (or who derrick perceives as close) evicted…. 

Cody was kind of obsessed with Brittany and then shes gone

Then Cody and Amber became close..then shes gone

Actually that one also counts for Caleb since he was obsessed with her

Plus Jocasta was close to Donny so he wanted her gone

Then Frankie and  Zach have been close and Derrick has gone back ad fourth with evicting both of them

Now Cody defends Nicole as not being manipulative and Derrick wants her gone

Plus Christine and Nicole were obviously close earlier in the game

Everyone hated Victoria so it was easy for him to become her best friend

Derrick is literally removing everyones best friends in the house. To the point that be is everyones best friend ensuring his position in the final two

image

Am i overthinking this or what

Watch on gl-hf-coubs.tumblr.com

Dota 2 Nether Ward Light Show

Strategy and score – Snapped on the island of one of the Navy’s giant aircraft carriers, four top-ranking officers discuss strategy and tactics… while the partial results of past huddles is portrayed on the scoreboard below. Captain C. W. Litch, USN, skipper of the vessel, and Commander J. M. Lane, USN (left to right, top ) are in one tet-a-tete, Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN, and Vice Admiral John S. McCain, USN are in the other, and below them the tiny Rising Sun insignia indicated that at the time the photograph was taken the ship’s planes and guns had downed 143 Japanese planes.

3

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of Star Wars™: Armada, a two-player miniatures game of epic fleet battles in the Star Wars galaxy!

Massive Star Destroyers fly to battle against Rebel corvettes and frigates. Banks of turbolasers unleash torrential volleys of fire against squadrons of X-wings and TIEs. Engineering teams race to route additional power to failing shields. Laser blasts and explosions flare across the battlefield. Even a single ship can change the tide of battle.

In Star Wars: Armada, you assume the role of fleet admiral, serving with either the Imperial Navy or Rebel Alliance. You assemble your fleet and engage the enemy. Using the game’s unique maneuver tool, you steer your capital ships across the battlefield, even while squadrons of starfighters buzz around them. Then, as these ships exchange fire, it’s your job to issue the tactical commands that will decide the course of battle and, perhaps, the fate of the galaxy.

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video