Occupy the 1%!

  17. The War of the Flea and mass actions

-- April 15 2012 --

The War of the Flea and mass actions. 

The War of the Flea differs fundamentally from mass actions as demonstrations, strikes, petitions, etc. It are offensive acts of resistance carried out by small, temporary and more or less homogeneous groups of creative individuals that disturb the life of people with power. The initiative lies by individuals who are thus front-runners.
Mass actions are centrally organised and participants want to air their dissatisfaction without showing much individuality. In such defensive acts of protest the initiative lies mostly by leaders of organisations.
Activists are only followers.

Both action methods have their function in a Movement, protest actions increase the enthusiasm for change, resistance actions show the power of the 99%.
Mass actions are fairly difficult to organise, a continuous stream of mass actions is nearly impossible. In the last 20 years there were in
Washington only six demonstrations with more than 500,000 participants. When results are disappointing they undermine the hope of protesters for a better world.
Resistance actions can be carried out anytime. They start as a small stream that can grow out to a river that wipes away the 1%.

Protest actions need a certain consensus about the tactics during the action. Small autonomous groups can use their own creativity and individuality that increase the self-esteem of the members of the groups.
Protest actions have to get attendance in the media and organisers distribute the message as wide as possible. Media are in the War of the Flea less important. When the pressure on the 1% increases, the 1% will use the media to alleviate the pressure on their living situation. Then activists see their actions have impact.
It is also more fun to carry out original small actions. When participating once in a while in a big protest you have to hope for a favourable echo of the action in the media.
The reflection of the results of offensive guerrilla actions in the media increase sympathy of the masses for the struggle by showing that the 1% is under pressure. That is not the case with the one-time media reports after a big demonstration.
The Movement should strive to develop the modern electronic means of communication.
What others say about us is relatively unimportant. 

Joost van Steenis (downwithelite@gmail.com)

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