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protests 

(White) US/UK protesters: "Please listen to us, after all, there are quite many of us here and also we have this cool gimmick and some rather clever chants"

Protesters elsewhere: "do what we say or we'll burn this country down, including you"

And then people are like "look at Lebanon! It's your fault we don't win anything for saying that protests don't work."

protests 

Every protest I've been to in the US was 100% a performative appeal to state power. Those protests we're hearing about in Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Spain, Sudan, Lebanon, etc., are a deployment of people power against the state. It's not just the size.

Oh, and when effective protests do happen in places like Ferguson and Baltimore, they are denounced as "riots" and sabotaged by cop-loving liberals.

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re: protests 

@derpayatz Thank you for saying this. I've been saying it for decades around lefty circles and gotten shouted down for it every time.

The most effective protest I've ever seen in my lifetime was the immigrant protest in the mid 2000's. The Republicans were trying to pass some egregious anti-immigrant bill. Latin Americans organized in part by a Los Angeles DJ named "El Cucuy" staged an enormous protest one Saturday simultaneously in several cities. They all wore *identical white golf shirts*. They all had *identical* signs and messaging. They were peaceful and polite but they looked like a fucking army coming to seriously fuck you up. That uniformity, that solidarity, is POWER. It was a message of might, visually and viscerally impressive. And the Republicans in power pissed their pants, which was the desired effect.

Every lefty protest I've been to has been either a fucking circus, a block party, a wake, or a fucking mob scene. That doesn't scare power. Power responds only to power. Look like an army. Have discipline and cohesion and solidarity. It terrifies people in power. Which is what needs to be done.

To be fair, it might be possible to have the same effect in a more anarchist way, but the only other time I've seen cops look like they were going to piss their pants was during the Occupy protests, when the "People's Mic" would fire up. Cops standing and looking very alone and scared, lost in an enormous crowd of people *all saying the same thing at the same time*. It's like the crowd was the voice of god talking to them. And it put the fear of god into 'em. Again: unity and solidarity, but on a temporary scale (during a People's Mic announcement).

protests 

@derpayatz Are they though? I have the impression they just want a different kind of state.

protests 

@qcat what they want is a different question, I was only talking about what they're doing

protests 

@derpayatz Burning a country down may be cathartic, but it's hardly constructive. It is my experience that under such conditions violent totalitarianism thrives. My personal preference goes out to the idea of building a different society and pulling out the rug from under the existing one.

protests 

@qcat yes, but at some point you gotta grab the rug and pull. Besides, in places outside the industrialized West the challenges are different. For example, traditional mutual aid and affinity networks that have been annihilated in the US still thrive in the Middle East.

protests 

@derpayatz I agree that the US could need something on that level. There is too much delusion going on that "it's a great system"

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