Home > Protest > DA presser on Occupy Eureka

DA presser on Occupy Eureka

  • Gallegos ordered ousting of courthouse camp — calls for patience
  • Right to protest protected, he said
  • Saggy long johns!

[Press releaseDecember 5, 2011] In early November, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office requested that the Eureka Police Department act to remove the tents erected on the Courthouse lawn located at 825 Fifth Street in Eureka. These tents appeared to have been erected by participants in the Occupy Wall Street protest being held in the same area.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said that public safety concerns prompted the action because the tents were essentially unauthorized and unmonitored structures in close proximity to the courthouse.

“The right to protest is guaranteed by the First Amendment and our action was in no way designed to interfere with that,” said Gallegos. “But we do have an obligation to protect the community. The safety of the approximately 300 employees and 300 jail inmates in the county jail had to be our priority.”

The Eureka Police Department has continued to respond to general public safety concerns and specific requests by county officials to ensure that protestors remain peaceful, do not set up or maintain tents, structures or other means of camping on courthouse property, or interfere with the public’s ability to enjoy public spaces.

“We ask for everyone’s patience and understanding both toward their fellow citizens and toward their elected officials who are trying to find the middle ground between protecting the public and protecting individual rights and freedoms.” Gallegos said. “The Eureka Police Department acts at the direction and under the authority of the City of Eureka and responds to community and citizen complaints. If officers observe what they believe to be violations of the law, they must respond with admonitions and/or arrests. If individuals refuse to comply with lawful orders or unnecessarily escalate a situation and put themselves, the officers and others at risk, those individuals will face arrest and prosecution.”

[Photo credit Mikal Jakubal from his new blog Civilized Disobedience. Check out his reports on west coast Occupy camps during “Occupy I-5.”]

  1. Richard
    December 6, 2011 at 12:42 am

    The statement sounds reasonable. The “requests” of the Board of Sup and the “direction” of City of Eureka to the EPD and the EPD’s actions do not seem so reasonable.
    No tents, (not sure I agree, but ok), but what about the non tents that have been confiscated like the pvc (skeleton) structure on Nov 30th.
    I hear they even took this information board today. Anyone know if that’s true? If so, why?

  2. December 6, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I support “Occupy”, but I think trying to erect structures is nothing more than provocation. Of course they’re not going to allow tents, popups and “PVC-Skeletons.” And honestly I don’t get why they feel the need to stay over night. What does that accomplish? It’s their presence during the day that people see. It seems to me that the movement gets sidetracked with these detours. And I realize they can’t prevent the homeless from attaching themselves to the movement, nor should they. But they shouldn’t allow them to be used by the media as propaganda supporting the notion that the protesters are all drug-addicts and losers.
    Show up at 6am, stay til dark. The Occupy movement needs to attract the middle-class wage earners such as: police, fire and county/state/city employees. How can they do that when they make the issue about setting up a tent, instead of focusing on the crimes of the elite junta.
    And when do we start with the strikes? This is another tried-n-true method of forcing change. I know it’s difficult, and I’m not sure how I could manage it; but we need to give those who can’t go down to certain locations an opportunity to participate. There are all kinds of ways to strike. Shopping? Working? Schools? Phone-calls?
    Occupy needs to expand. It needs to figure out a way to include everyone making less than a million a year. Or come up with your own cut-off point. All I know is the propaganda of the media is working overtime to divide and conquer the 99%. And so far it’s working.

  3. Anonymous
    December 6, 2011 at 7:13 am

    you wonder why the republicans get irritated with the social programs:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/seattle-welfare-recipient-lives-million-dollar-home-161252749.html

  4. Mitch
    December 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Anonymous 7:13,

    Congratulations! You’ve found President Reagan’s mythical “welfare queen.” The story may be true, but it is one in a million. Certainly people will try to game any system; the question is how much of the welfare funds go to people such as this. I’m pretty confident that there’s going to be more to this story.

    In Humboldt County, there are Dickensian income and asset requirements before the County will provide General Relief (which is a loan, not a gift). For example, you can have a car, but its blue book value must be below a certain point — I don’t remember the point, but it’s low. I suppose you could own a home as long as its value was less than five hundred dollars (not 500,000 — 500.)

    The thing that really amazed me when I saw the application forms was that you had to report any income from picking up cans for their redemption value, and the County would reduce your loan if you reported such income.

    This in a country where the banks get to keep $18 billion in interest on zero-rate loans from the government, and where bankers that have destroyed the economy are perfectly free to give themselves seven and eight figure bonuses.

  5. Bolithio
    December 6, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Well said Moviedad.

  6. December 6, 2011 at 8:14 am

    It sounds to me like someone is not running for reelection. Maybe Paul is going to shoot for a statewide office?

  7. Fortunate
    December 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I have three problems with Gallegos at the moment.

    1) His apparent disregard for the 1st Amendment.

    2) His recent felony prosecution of trimmers in a case where the rich grower is already walking as a free man.

    3) His inability to investigate and root out the in your face corruption in the Eureka City government and EPD.

    Unless he corrects these flaws he I will not support him again for any office.

  8. Anonymous
    December 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Somebody please explain why the 300 inmates need protection from the occupiers. Before clearing out #Occupy sites across the country the feds decided that public safety would be the issue by which they could justify their actions. Our elected officials ate that one up.
    Moviedad – after giving all that advice, I assume you’re in front of the courthouse at the General Assemblies helping to plan all the actions you espouse. If you’re part of the 99% that’s where you belong. Stop waiting for the few to do all the heavy lifting. You’re right, we need to expand the movement but at this point most of the 99% believe honking their horns in solidarity is enough to bring change. It isn’t.

  9. December 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I second the Fortunate one at 8:55

  10. Silver sword
    December 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Just a reminder that Occupy your home day is today! Take back your life!!! Kill the vampire squid that is Bank of America.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/bank-america-sends-internal-email-exposing-where-occupy-movement-hurting-it-most

  11. Anonymous
    December 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

    “trying to find the middle ground”

    Allow me to point out the location of my middle finger.

  12. anonymous
    December 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

    So they’ve fenced off the lawn to enhance ” the public’s ability to enjoy public spaces”?

  13. December 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Mitch,

    I applaud your compassion for the poor amongst us and also you are very knowledgable about the way the so called welfare system really works. People like DTR are angry at what they perceive to be “handouts” when in fact these are in the form of loans that must be repaid through work in most cases.

    To your list of things that are done to the poor I would add the fact that GA recipients are charged for emergency housing (a la Serenity Inn) even when there is no emergency shelter available, or on a limited basis. (Serenity Inn stays are limited to a certain number of days per month) GA recipients have a housing charge deducted from their checks whether or not they are recieving “housing.”

    The poor will probably agree with DTR on one thing and that is serenity or the lack of it.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  14. Plain Jane
    December 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

    7:13, What does the value of the home someone on welfare is renting have to do anything? If the owner of a property sets the rent at a level that someone on welfare can afford to live there, why should anyone care? Would it make you happier if they were paying the same rent for a squalid shack in the ghetto?

  15. Plain Jane
    December 6, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Well said, Moviedad. If Occupy is now about tents / no tents then it doesn’t represent more than a few percent. People who don’t care about what the 1% has been doing to us with the help of our elected officials aren’t ever going to care and years of camping at the courthouse won’t change that. I’d like to see an Occupy the Voting Booth. The highest rate of registration and voting is by the rich and old, the lowest the poor and young. The real heavy lifting is getting people to the polls.

  16. December 6, 2011 at 10:49 am

    If being able to stand in front of the courthouse is the only “support” possible; then the whole program is doomed to fail.
    And just what is your contribution oh brave Anonymous?

  17. tra
    December 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Putting up tents and “occupying” a public space in order to draw attention to an issue is a tactic. The first thing to be said about tactics is that they only make sense when they are serving an overall strategy aimed at reaching certain goals. In the case of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the “occupations” in a number of major cities have drawn a lot of attention to issues like income inequality, corporate power, and political corruption. Increasing the amount of attention the media and the public is paying to those kinds of issues is obviously an important part of any strategy aimed at addressing those issues. So I don’t think there’s any question as to whether the “occupy” strategy has, at least up to this point, done the movement much more good than harm.

    But movements should not be overreliant on any one tactic, and movement supporters should always be re-examining whether or not the tactics the movement has been relying on are still propelling the movement forward. It’s not unusual for tactics that are effective in the earlier phases of a movement to become less effective, or even counterproductive, as time passes and the situation evolves. For example, with novel tactics, the novelty eventually wears off, and those tactics no longer draw the attention they did at first — and in some cases may eventually begin to draw more negative attention than positive attention. Tactical choices need to evolve as responses to those tactical choices evolve, and overall strategy and goals need to be kept in mind as these tactical choices are made.

  18. tra
    December 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    If Berg’s serious about getting into the race, I’m not sure why she hasn’t announced yet. Seems to me that if she really does intend to run, we should see an announcement soon.

  19. tra
    December 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Oops, wrong thread.

  20. High Finance
    December 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Whatever the original “Occupy” protests were about there is nothing remotely resembling a real protest at the courthouse any longer.

    It is all about a handful of trouble makers and mal contents who are having fun causing trouble. The ones I have to walk through to get to the courthouse wouldn’t take a job if one was offered to them.

  21. Harold Knight
    December 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Babbling Nonsense 11:40.

    Successful social movements with neat strategies and organizational expertise are rare exceptions to the rule: a growing throng of desperation reaching a critical mass with every imaginable action taking place.

    This history must repeat itself because we remain a nation of highly uninformed citizens, victims of thorough propaganda and effective self-censorship at all levels.

    It appears, yet again, that many people must face blatant injustice, prison, injury and death before uncomfortable truths begin to invade EVERY walk of life…ONLY THEN will a sympathetic politician or philanthropist weigh-in to tip the balance to enact historic changes.

    I wish it were different.

    Taking-over defunct, money-losing “community” newspapers would be a good start.

  22. tra
    December 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Harold,

    I think we agree that movements are, by their very nature, fluid and dynamic. So I agree that it’s not about adopting some “neat” cookie-cutter strategy with all the tactics “neatly” determined ahead of time — that’s not what I was trying to get across at all.

    What I’m saying is that given this fluidity, movement supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow. Sometimes the answer is yes, but not always.

  23. Harold Knight
    December 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    “…given this fluidity, movement supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow…”

    No, supporters do not need to be “mindful”!

    They merely need to show up, attend a court case, write a letter, file a complaint….and the plethora of other haphazard, improvised, unorganized, non-strategic, non-tactical actions that have been part of every critical mass that ever led to significant social change.

    No one can predict which action might explode into something larger. There were thousands of activists just like Rosa Parks being arrested, but she was the one that did it at the “right” time and place. Parks herself had no idea of the impact she would have.

    The “movement” has been evolving for centuries….same corporate/government beast, different names, new victims.

    You really need to study your history.

  24. December 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I can hardly wait for Anonymous 7:13 to respond to Mitch.
    I won’t hold my breath.

  25. tra
    December 7, 2011 at 12:33 am

    No, supporters do not have to be “mindful”!

    Well, only if they want to be effective.

    Otherwise, sure, just go with the opposite of midfulness — “mindlessness.” Do whatever you feel like doing, and don’t waste even a moment considering whether your actions are counterproductive to the movement or not. As long as you’re committed to a policy of mindlessness action, that’s not really your concern.

    But if you can get beyond this strange hostility you seem to have toward the very idea of thoughtfulness, you might come to understand that being mindful of strategic considerations does not at all preclude innovation, improvisation and the like. Being thoughtful about the kind of efforts you make doesn’t make those efforts any less authentic or any less creative, it just make those efforts a lot more likely to pay off.

    Rosa Parks, who at the time of her arrest was the Secretary of the local NAACP as well as a recent graduate of the Highlander Folk School (a training program for social justice activists) is actually a great example of this — she took the initiative and improvised, but she did so in a way that was certainly informed by thoughtful consideration.

    The history of modern social justice movements is filled with examples of people who were willing to think things through, AND to take action. Thinking without acting doesn’t move us forward, and acting without thinking can actually move us backward.

  26. 713
  27. Mitch
    December 7, 2011 at 7:31 am

    7:13,

    The article you link to points out that about $70 million of the welfare money California issues is spent out of state, with over $10 million withdrawn in Las Vegas.

    1) An official should be fired if this has been known and not acted on for more than a week. (Your article is from October, and I doubt effective action has been taken. That’s a flaw of civil service government. We put up with that flaw to prevent the far greater potential problem of government employees losing their jobs every election, because they didn’t support their incoming bosses enough.)

    2) California spends $45 billion on welfare in its various forms. $70 million is 0.15% of that sum. It’s a scandal that some of our investment in keeping poor children well fed appears to be used fraudulently, and I’m sure there’s more fraud than 0.15%.

    Do you think the fraud rate in military budgets is greater or less than that in the welfare budget?

    If greater or the same, why focus on welfare, whose aim is primarily to help poor children and only incidentally to aid destitute adults.

    If you’ll recall, my comments pertained to General Relief, which is the program for childless adults. Your article deals with much larger welfare programs for people with children. My facts on General Relief can be confirmed simply by calling the county.

    If you don’t believe county officials you can confirm it for yourself just by going down to the county welfare offices and going through the application process for General Relief. I guarantee it will be an eye-opener. You might remain rightfully angry over a $70 million leak in a $45 billion program, but you’ll understand that General Relief is not just handing your hard-earned money out to people who are employable, as much right wing propaganda suggests.

  28. Mitch
    December 7, 2011 at 7:41 am

    While I’m about it, here’s an article on the sort of individual action that I believe will bring about change. Nothing more than withdrawal of consent, to one’s personal financial loss and the accompanying moral uplift:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/06/alice-oswald-withdraws-ts-eliot-prize

    I think Occupy is absolutely necessary, but I think true change will not happen by changing chairs in government, but by changing what each of us finds acceptable. Whether we see ourselves as having the power to change government or not, we each have the power to say “no” to behavior like that which we’ve all observed from the banks, corporate execs, high government officials, and even high non-profit officials. It’s like religion without the myths.

    Ultimately, that will change government and the other institutions as well, but that’s just a side-effect, not the real change. It’s going to take a long time, and Occupy is the start of the road.

  29. tra
    December 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Time magazine names the Occupy Wall Street movement the #1 news story of the year:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/updates/2524

  30. High Finance
    December 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Over the Japanese Tsunami ? I don’t think so.

  31. F. Resnel
    December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Coast Guard pulls a Goliath on Ferndale, ordering confiscation of lighthouse lens bit.ly/upPbWh Government claims Ferndale in illegal possession of federal property; Sheriff on the CC list… what’s next Black Helis, & guns blazing for a big piece of Humboldt Glass?

  32. Harold Knight
    December 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    tra at 12:33 am, you are almost as bad as Heraldo’s “High Finance” who relies almost entirely on sophistry to make dubious points.

    You made the ridiculous claim that movement supporters NEED to be mindful of the historic relevance of their tactics.

    I countered that supporters merely need to show up, attend a court case, write a letter, file a complaint….and the plethora of other timeless and effective haphazard, improvised, unorganized, non-strategic, non-tactical actions that have been essential to every critical mass that ever led to significant social change.

    It’s the ACTIVISTS that do their part developing tactics and strategies at the great risk of what MLK described as, “the paralysis of analysis”.

    Your churlish conclusion is to accuse me of advocating for “mindlessness”, then to expand upon your own fallacy to include my “hostility” for mindfulness!

    This kind of “debate” is utterly childish.

    My take on Rosa Parks is from an interview where she stated her amazement of the unanticipated impact her action had, considering how hundreds had taken identical actions before her.

    Such is the haphazard nature of a movement. One never knows who or what will have significant impacts, supporters merely need to show up and be counted.

    They do not NEED to be mindful of tactics and strategies.

  33. Ponder z
    December 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    the occupiers are the other 1%. The rest of us real citizens are fed up with your stupid bullshit. You are a bunch of assclowns, who have no idea what you are talking about. And, the EL presidente give his full support of you. Need I say more?

  34. tra
    December 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    “…supporters merely need to show up and be counted. They do not NEED to be mindful of tactics and strategies.”

    I very much doubt that Rosa Parks, or MLK, JR, would have agreed with that statement. I think they would have told you that a big part of the reason the Civil Rights movement was so successful was because so many of the people who took part in the movement were indeed “mindful of tactics and strategies.”

    Again, thought without action is obviously ineffectual, while action without thought can sometimes be quite counterproductive. Thoughtful action beats either one of those options by a mile.

  35. Dan
    December 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Maybe Tra, what is being suggested is that from your couch,
    you have no right to direct. I kinda agree. Use of the word
    ‘churlish’ by HK, extra points.

  36. 713
    December 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Mitch,
    It is true that 50% of our budget goes to welfare? That is amazing to think about. Half. I don’t know about fraud rates for different agencies but what I learned in school is that two wrongs don’t make a right, so your point about the military is irrelevant to me. I posted a link to an article that showed a welfare recipient living in a million dollar home and stated this is why republicans get irritated with welfare. You said I found the one in a million. So I googled welfare fraud and linked the article about welfare recipients spending money in Vegas, Hawaii and on cruises. It’s irritating, regardless of the rate.

  37. Dan
    December 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    F. Resnel says:
    December 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm
    Coast Guard pulls a Goliath on Ferndale, ordering confiscation of lighthouse lens bit.ly/upPbWh Government claims Ferndale in illegal possession of federal property; Sheriff on the CC list… what’s next Black Helis, & guns blazing for a big piece of Humboldt Glass?

    If they are indeed Fresnel lenses, then bravo to the Coast Guard
    to alert us that we have the equivalent of the Queens gems and we had best account for them and take good care of them. Do you have any idea what it would take to replace a section of that lens?

  38. Anonymous
    December 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Beware of right-wing idealogues who equate Social Security to “welfare.”

  39. tra
    December 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Dan,

    (1) I’m not on my couch, and

    (2) I’m not “directing” anyone.

    As to the substance of your comment…oh wait, that’s right, there wasn’t any. Nevermind.

  40. Anonymous
    December 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    There is no excuse for not caring for the fresnel lens, which is a masterpiece by any standard of science or art.

  41. Harold Knight
    December 7, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    tra says: December 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    “Again, thought without action is obviously ineffectual, while action without thought can sometimes be quite counterproductive. Thoughtful action beats either one of those options by a mile”.

    “Action without thought”? Seriously?

    I’m reminded of sleepwalking or psychosis, yes, I’m against it!

    Continuing to rebut your own self-concocted fallacy is fascinating. I guess you could say I’m also against debating a lie!

    I doubt that even one of America’s successful movements would have survived long if supporters “needed to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow”.

    What baloney!

    Tactics and strategies have remained largely unchanged for 150 years!

    When enough supporters show up long enough, the issue invades every walk of life, circumventing media censorship.

    When Congress becomes mindful of We The People, reforms can be enacted.

  42. tra
    December 8, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I’m not sure why you’re so vehemently opposed to people thinking through their strategy and tactics. You seem to believe that doing so somehow prevents people from “showing up.” I don’t see it that way.

  43. tra
    December 8, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Harold,

    If you can put aside your fear of becoming paralyzed and unable to “show up” due to engaging in too much strategic thought, you might want to take a few minutes to read this article:

    Beyond Elections: Dr. King’s Teachings on Strategy and Tactics by Paul Rockwell

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0111-20.htm

    Here are a few highlights relevant to this discussion:

    According to Arundhati Roy, “There is no discussion taking place in the world today that is more crucial than the debate about strategies of resistance.”

    There is no greater strategist in American history, no teacher more relevant to our post-election malaise, than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King was more than a moral visionary; he was a creative tactician. All of us-especially leaders of the peace movement-have much to learn from King’s teachings on strategy and tactics…

    In his autobiography (replete with insights on tactics and strategy) King describes his debt to Gandhi and his strategic revelations about applied ethics and social movements…

    King always recognized the significance of spontaneous actions, but he also realized that, without organization and long-range strategy, spontaneous energy easily dissipates…

    Planned, well-organized boycotts played a major role throughout all phases of the civil rights movement…

  44. Walt
    December 8, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I think Harold has a point: when you look at People Power in the Phillipines, the overthrow of tyrants in Egypt, Iran, Algeria, Tunsia, Libya and, coming soon, Syria, revolutions happened not because the protesters were organized but because they were hungry (and, in the case of Libya, well-armed). Revolution WILL happen here, but not until the people are hungry and dying. Folks like Hi-Fi will make sure of that. Revolution, when it comes, will look more like the rioting in England than a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

  45. Plain Jane
    December 8, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Some of us are hopeful that change can be accomplished at the ballot box before it gets that bad, Walt. The right is clinging to the fantasy that Obama’s low approval numbers mean everyone who is unhappy with Obama because he’s too far left when a significant number think he’s too far right. They aren’t going to vote for anyone to the right of Obama. It looks like Obama is moving to the left as a result of polls which appear to show the majority has decidedly “socialistic” ideas about income inequality, corporate owned government and the government’s responsibility to create and foster equal opportunity. I’m hopeful that this mood will translate to a liberal majority in congress who will work with him to repair the disaster that trickle down, crony capitalism has created. The right wing clowns aren’t even pretending they think its a problem.

  46. December 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Those also serve who only occupy the couch. Especially when they advocate for the cause by calling, writing and otherwise making their voices heard.
    In many ways the internet is changing the game. At least what’s left of the internet. One person with a laptop can make a difference. Or even one person with a pen.
    Look at how much Jane, tra, and Mitch (just to mention a few) are able to advocate for more honesty in the media and government just by blogging. Maybe some think that’s not enough. But it shows others of like mind that they are not alone.
    Every bit helps. One drop at a time creates the flood.

  47. Harold Knight
    December 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    tra says: at 12:27 am

    “I’m not sure why you’re so vehemently opposed to people thinking through their strategy and tactics….if you can put aside your fear of becoming paralyzed and unable to “show up” due to engaging in too much strategic thought, you might want to take a few minutes to read (MLK).”

    ???????????????????????????????????????????

    I’m not sure why you’re so vehemently desperate to prove me wrong that you must lie a third time about my comments?

    If you can put aside your (willful?) ignorance in confusing the distinctive roles historically played by organizers and supporters, you would not persist in weaving your fallacies, the same kind of trash High Finance peddles before evaporating into the next string.

    According to Arundhati Roy, “There is no discussion taking place in the world today that is more crucial than the debate about strategies of resistance.”

    If what is true for the organizers were also true for the supporters nothing would get done!

    Organizers decide strategies and tactics, they will be mostly the same strategies and tactics of the last 150 years that are familiar to every American, despite on-going censorship.

    When enough supporters, (who’s most crucial discussion is retaining what little their family has left), decide they are angry and desperate enough, they will start to show up en-mass.

    Some of those supporters will naturally evolve into organizers, ie, those with the time, determination, and sacrifice required to hammer-out strategies, tactics and logistics.

    No successful movement in history has ever depended upon “supporter’s NEEDING to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow”.

    Baloney!

    You need to study your history of activism and change in America. In the classic: “Labor’s Untold Story” the same old effective and successful tactics were repeated throughout the nation, few of the organizer’s names or the watershed events are remembered, the Civil Rights Movement came later, joining labor and its tactics…later-still with the anti-war movement…same strategy, same tactics.

    Unemployment, poverty, racism, ageism, sexism, class-ism, and illegal wars are still here…we’re one catalyst away from desperation.

    Unless Time Warner decides to begin educating listeners, viewers, and readers about America’s working families that are being systematically screwed under unprecedented corporate-government corruption….it will take old-fashioned desperation to motivate the necessary mass of supporters to write a letter, or show up to events that they know damn-well are taking place.

  48. tra
    December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    So I guess your contention then is that it’s O.K. for “organizers” to think through their strategies and tactics, but somehow it’s harmful if “supporters” do likewise? Interesting theory. Perhaps you could explain how it is harmful for the supporters to be mindful of strategy and tactics, too?

  49. December 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I just heard a federal judge has declared that bloggers are not journalists and have no protections under the law.
    Now here’s a thread idea that hits home…
    So the Ruling-Elites have decided there shall be no such thing as citizen journalism…..

  50. Harold Knight
    December 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    There’s really no need for you to “guess” my contention, I’ve repeated it 4 times nitwit!

    Your need to rework my contention with your own outrageous inferences is bizarre, if not pathetic.

    Once again, no successful movement in history was ever dependent upon…… “supporter’s NEEDING to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow.”

    Tactics and strategies have generally remained unchanged and effective for 150 years in the U.S., longer elsewhere.

    Your premise is not only false, it is ridiculous, as is your outrageous responses and groundless accusations about my “contentions”.

    Successful movements NEED talented organizers with supporters who show up.

    No one thinks mindful people are harmful, fool!

    The only thing I can infer from your failure to grasp my simple critique of your dumb premise, is an ego that could clearly be harmful to any social movement.

  51. Anonymous
    December 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    “Liberal” Arcata is coming down on these people too.

  52. tra
    December 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Judging by your capitalization choices, you’re particularly upset by the word “need” in the phrase “need to be mindful of strategy and tactics.”

    Would you at least agree that movements are better off if both organizers and supporters are “mindful of strategy and tactics?” Or do you believe that movements are better off if supporters are not mindful of strategy and tactics?

  53. Harold Knight
    December 8, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Idiot.

  54. tra
    December 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Okay, so we’ve established that you think I’m an “idiot,” a “fool,” a “nitwit” and all the rest. Now, perhaps you could supply this poor, slow-witted simpleton with a straightforward answer to these questions:

    Would you agree that social movements are better off if both “organizers” and “supporters” are “mindful of strategy and tactics?” Or do you believe that social movements are better off if the “supporters” just leave the strategic and tactic thinking to the “organizers?”

  55. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Harold, twirp that he is, throws his disrespect at tra, but it doesn’t stick.

    tra, keep up your contributions to our local blogs, you are a priceless voice.

  56. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Too bad everyone got so upset when they were told how bad off they were. They were happy before all of this.

  57. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

    You should all go watch the Kim Starr trial. It is clear that she was wrongly arrested. No press though?

  58. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

    No press, 10:46. Verbena’s vicious attacks against virtually the entire local media have made sure that she has no friends amongst us. She’ll have to cover her own crap from now on.

  59. Dan
    December 9, 2011 at 11:53 am

    “Verbena’s vicious attacks…” 11:19

    Conniving little shit, so much going on
    and you attack the messenger.
    I do not know Verbena but have been around enough to know which end of the ‘club’ you’ll find her. She is not wielding it.

    I hope you are wrong about the lack of press.

  60. Harold Knight
    December 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Harold Knight says: 7:55 pm

    “No one thinks mindful people are harmful, fool”!

    tra says: at 9:17 pm

    “….do you believe that movements are better off if supporters are not mindful of strategy and tactics”?

    Clearly, “nitwit, fool, and idiot” are all apt here.

    If you wish to apologize for hours of dodging and deconstructing your original premise via outrageous inferences (lies) then I will apologize as well.

    Do you agree that your original premise: “supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow”, is bogus?

    Do you honestly believe that yesterday’s successful strategies and tactics cannot be effective today if supporters showed up?

    Do you honestly believe OWS supporters in Eureka are not mindful of them?

    How many times have you visited Eureka’s Occupy protest?

    “God gave us the freedom of speech and conscience and the prudence to use neither”. (Mark Twain).

  61. December 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “made sure that she has no friends amongst us” 11:19

    Anonymous, may I get a list of ‘us?’
    And when did ‘us’ make that unanimous decision?
    What school of journalism does ‘us’ present?

  62. Anonymous
    December 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Wow 11:19. I hope you are not a member of the media. Isn’t the bigger issue of the police response and the freedom to assemble and speech and all that constitutional stuff more important the individual you may disagree with? I for one am offended when the police/government overreach, lie, or act unethically notwithstanding the identity of the victim.

  63. tra
    December 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Harold,

    I’d still like to know if you agree that social movements are better off if both “organizers” and “supporters” are mindful of strategy and tactics or whether you believe that social movements are better off if the “supporters” just leave the strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers?”

    If it’s the former, then we’re fundamentally on the same page. If the latter, then we do have a meaningful disagreement.

  64. Harold Knight
    December 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    In other words tra….your original premise no longer exists?

    How convenient for you!

    Exposing your huge ego in a modest environment is astounding, even Hi-Fi isn’t as bloated and merely disappears after refusing to answer any questions, (see 12:09).

  65. High Finance
    December 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Let me guess Harold, you don’t have many friends.

  66. tra
    December 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Harold,

    I stand by my original statement (made on 12/6 at 11:40)that “Tactical choices need to evolve as responses to those tactical choices evolve, and overall strategy and goals need to be kept in mind as these tactical choices are made.”

    I also stand by my statement that “movement supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow. Sometimes the answer is yes, but not always.”

    You seem to be disagreeing with moe than one aspect of these statements, and I’m just trying to sort out where we agree and where we disagree. One thing that has arisen is that we may disagree on whether or not it is helpful for not just organizers, but also other “supporters,” to be mindful of strategy and tactics, and the question I’ve been trying to get you to answer would clear that up.

    So, I understand that you disagree with those the original statements, so now I’m asking a narrower question, to see if you may at least agree with this narrower construction:

    Do you agree that social movements are better off if both “organizers” and “supporters” are mindful of strategy and tactics or do you believe that social movements are better off if the “supporters” just leave the strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers?”

    A straight answer would be appreciated.

  67. December 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Anonymous says:
    December 9, 2011 at 11:19 am
    No press, 10:46. Verbena’s vicious attacks against virtually the entire local media have made sure that she has no friends amongst us. She’ll have to cover her own crap from now on.

    Tra, while you exercise pedantics, the above slides right by you.

  68. tra
    December 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Newsgaming,

    I am skeptical of the claim that Verbena has made “vicious attacks against virtually the entire local media.” I gather that she had some kind of run-in with Charles Douglas, but beyond that I’m not sure what 11:19 is referring to.

    In any case, reporters are supposed to cover newsworthy events, and to cover them objectively, regardless of whether participants in those events are “friends” with the reporters or not.

  69. December 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Any report on Verbena’s court appearance?
    We have wonderful journalists, but there is something sick about the press in Humboldt. It does not have to be this way.

  70. December 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    We have a press so that there are no secrets-
    or at least to keep secrecy at a minimum.
    Democracy requires transparency, thus the
    press is recognized in the constitution and we
    give ‘journalists’ constitutional recognition in exchange Verbena
    does not have to kneel to the press- and when the press decides
    that Verbena’s so-called ” viciousness” warrants -press non gratis- the press has in essence made the story about them.
    It is not. Or is it?

  71. janelle
  72. Harold Knight
    December 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I also wonder why the press isn’t covering the trials of our local citizens forcibly denied their Constitutional right to protest.

    By attending the court hearings myself I was amazed at the number of Humboldt County residents who need a car to get to work, but cannot afford to do so legally.

    It’s little wonder there’s so many DUI’s in a culture that grinds the face of poor. Poverty often causes PTSD and the petty crime, drug abuse, divorce, suicide, and homelessness plaguing our communities.

    American businesses would have far more customers if we bailed out the bottom, instead of the top.

    (TRA, if you will briefly answer my extremely simple questions @ 12.09, I will briefly answer yours. Hint: your answer to my 3rd question might answer yours).

  73. tra
    December 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Harold,

    You asked for brief answers to your questions. Please note that I had already asked my question first, which you didn’t bother to provide a straight answer to, instead only offering insults and evasions. Nonetheless, I’ll tolerate your demand to answer your questions first. Here goes:

    Do you agree that your original premise: “supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow”, is bogus?

    No.

    Do you honestly believe that yesterday’s successful strategies and tactics cannot be effective today if supporters showed up?

    Yes, sometimes.

    Do you honestly believe OWS supporters in Eureka are not mindful of them?”

    Some of them are.

    Okay, your turn. Again, the question is:

    Do you agree that social movements are better off if both “organizers” and “supporters” are mindful of strategy and tactics or do you believe that social movements are better off if the “supporters” just leave the strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers?”

  74. Anonymous
    December 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    “We’ve got to be more inclusive…or we’re dead in the water.”

    – Jack Nounnan, interviewed by John Matthews on KSLG

    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2011/dec/9/epd-chief-murl-harpham-and-occupier-jack-nounnan-g/

  75. Harold Knight
    December 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    “Do you agree that social movements are better off if both “organizers” and “supporters” are mindful of strategy and tactics or do you believe that social movements are better off if the “supporters” just leave the strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers?”

    If you honestly believed that your original premise is valid, why discard it now??

    Answer: because your original premise, that supporters “need” to be mindful of strategies is ridiculous, they merely need to show up for a movement to be successful, as history has proven.

    Every aspect of human existence is “better off” with mindful people, unless they’re wrong.

  76. Anonymous
    December 11, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Harold,

    So apparently you’re still unwilling to provide a straight answer to these questions:

    (a) Do you agree that social movements are better off if both “organizers” and “supporters” are mindful of strategy and tactics?

    or

    (b) Do you believe that social movements are better off if the “supporters” just leave the strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers?”

    I think you ought to ask yourself why you feel the need to avoid giving a straight answer to this question.

    Here are my answers to those questions.

    (a) Yes.

    (b) No.

    And your answers are….?

  77. tra
    December 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    That was me at 9:11.

  78. Harold Knight
    December 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    No “tra” I think you ought to look deep into your compulsion to repeatedly dodge your original premise, since you will not refute it.

    If you stand by it, then there’s no need alter it.

    Right?

    You altered it because it was foolishly incorrect.

    Get over it already!

    I’ve provided you with my answer (again) and I’m sorry it was so similar to your “straight answer” at 5:06: (“Sometimes”).

    Pretty funny, huh?

    I’ve had to repeat my “contentions” to you so many times, you have me worried.

    Oh well, here it is again:

    “Every aspect of human existence is “better off” with mindful people, unless they’re wrong”.

  79. tra
    December 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Meanwhile you have once again failed to provide a straight answer. Very telling. Oh well, your loss.

    My answer is (a), while (b) is for people who believe that supporters don’t need to think for themselves, they just need to “show up” and be good followers.

  80. Harold Knight
    December 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    tra says:
    December 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    “I’ll tolerate your demand to answer your questions…”

    “Yes, sometimes”.

    “Some of them are”.

    ?????????????????????????????????

    Please, Oh Tolerant One, enlighten us….what makes your answers less vague, and more acceptable than mine?

    “Every aspect of human existence is “better off” with mindful people, unless they’re wrong”.

    For God’s sakes take it as a “sometimes” and get over it!

    Except for one unbelievable, week-long exchange I read once between Joel Meilke and someone, I have never read a more blinding display of ego on Heraldo.

    Is that why you don’t show up at Occupy Eureka, because you’re not one of the organizers?

  81. tra
    December 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Again, I understand that you believe that supporters don’t need to be mindful of strategy, that they “merely need to show up.” I’m not persuaded by your “arguments” (consisting of your claim, which I do not agree with, that “history proves” your point) so yes, I stand by my original statement. So, we’re at an impasse there.

    Given that impasse, for sake of trying to understand where you’re coming from, I moved on to asking a slightly different question — even assuming that you’re right that movement supporters don’t “need” to be mindful of strategy, isn’t it true that the movement is “better off” if they are?

    Given this context, I’m not sure whether your contention that supporters “merely need to show up” means…

    (a) that you believe that “supporters” should just “show up,” not concern themselves with strategy and tactics, leaving those to the “organizers” (as some of your earlier comments seem to imply).

    (b) that you believe that it doesn’t matter one way or the other whether those “supporters” who DO “show up” are mindful of strategy and tactics vs. leaving the strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers,” or

    (c) that you acknowledge that it’s beneficial to a movement when “supporters” are mindful of strategy and tactics and don’t leave their strategic and tactical thinking to the “organizers”, but you think that this benefit is minimal and unimportant, or

    (d) that you acknowledge that the benefit is substantial and important, just not absolutely vital.

    I doubt I’ll get a straight answer on this one, either…but feel free to surprise me.

  82. tra
    December 12, 2011 at 12:23 am

    For God’s sakes take it as a “sometimes” and get over it!

    So, when asked “Do you believe that social movements are better off if the ‘supporters’ just leave the strategic and tactical thinking to the ‘organizers?'” your answer to that question is “sometimes.” Really? Like when?

  83. tra
    December 12, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Harold Knight, Dec 8th 12:34: ” Organizers decide strategies and tactics.”

    Harold Knight, ad nauseum: “Supporters merely need to show up.”

    In other words, you are insisting on an elitist, top-down model of decision-making — which ironically is pretty much the opposite of the kind of egalitarian, horizontal organizing model espoused by the larger Occupy Wall Street movement.

    At least now, under pressure, you’re conceding that “sometimes” it might be beneficial for supporters to be mindful of strategy and tactics. I suppose that’s something.

  84. Harold Knight
    December 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I feel your pain tra.

    You are desperate in your inference that I “conceded” something after I exposed a simple, irrational premise of yours, to which you refuse to acknowledge.

    God forbid!

    I even mirrored your “debating” technique @11:58 by insinuating that you don’t participate in the local occupy movement because you never answered my question: “how often do you go”. Then, I pulled another tra-ism and made further insinuations based on my own unsubstantiated premise!

    You ignored it, just as I should have been ignoring you the moment you altered your first erroneous statement. (A “debating” technique that requires no opponent)

    Recall that you immediately changed your original premise when I pointed out its obvious irrationality, LONG, LONG before you bothered to actually defended it!

    And now, still not debated and a dozen posts later, you proclaim it an “impasse”?

    How convenient, yet again.

    Being generally accurate about issues and occasionally providing interesting links isn’t a license for a pass on your patently ridiculous premise and the contortions, false choices and insinuations that followed.

    Here it is again:

    “…movement supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow. Sometimes the answer is yes, but not always”.

    This is a completely irrational assertion because no one is going to know if it “worked” unless supporters show up en-mass. When they do, it’s always a success, regardless of the timeless tactic and strategy, it’s always a huge leap of faith, always a Catch 22.

    Instead of acknowledging the foolishness of your premise, you’ve been trying your damnedest to assert that my criticism is the same as being against “egalitarian organizing techniques”!

    How can such a simple error in your premise elicit such desperation?

    As I intimated earlier, those with the additional leisure time required to plan strategies, tactics, logistics and speeches, should be included, right up to MLK’s warning about the “paralysis of analysis”.

  85. tra
    December 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Poor Harold,

    You’re contradicting yourself all over the place.

    When it comes to the role of organizers vs the role of supporters, your “original premise” was

    “Organizers decide strategy and tactics.” – Harold Knight, December 8th, 12:34

    and

    “Supporters merely need to show up. Harold Knight, ad nauseum.

    But now, in the last paragraph of your most recent post, you’re contradicting that position completely, welcoming anyone to participate in the strategic and tactical process that you earlier insisted was only for organizers. Talk about “changing your premise.” Before you get out your microscope to look for the splinter you think is in my eye, you’d better haul that log out of your own eye!

    Unfortunately, given your dogmatic (and irrational) belief that strategy and tactics don’t matter at all as long as people just “show up,” neither your “original premise” nor your revised position just makes any sense at all. I mean why should supporters, or even organizers, bother to plan strategy and tactics at all, when all people really have to do is “show up” and “it’s always a success, regardless of timeless tactic and strategy?”

    Up to this point, I thought maybe you had some kind of coherent thought process behind your point of view, and I was trying to figure out where you were coming from. But the way you’re just floundering around now, contradicting yourself left and right, I’m starting to think that you’ve actually just never really bothered to think this stuff through before. Or else you think you have thought these things through, but you’re simply incapable of recognizing obvious internal contradictions in your own beliefs. Either way I’m starting to feel a little bit sorry for you.

  86. Harold Knight
    December 12, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Silly tra.

    I’ll repeat my point here for the 3rd or 4th time, without the framing you require for your ego:

    “Every aspect of human existence is better off with mindful people”.

    I understand now, the severity of your need for me to concede something, (anything), and I’ve disappointed you terribly with this quote, which illustrates that I never really disagreed with you after you CORRECTED your original error.

    In fact, it appeared @1:01 that your ego was satiated when you wrote: “I suppose that’s something”.

    I guess you were wrong again! It wasn’t enough!

    So sorry chap…that damn ego of yours!

    Your latest post of hyperbole is only more desperate than the last….where none is warranted! No, there’s no contradiction at all, let alone, “all over the place”!

    After all, when “supporters” with the time, energy, and focus, apply it to tactics, strategy, logistics, speeches, et al….they’re organizers, like it or not.

    The more the better…until and unless it becomes what MLK described as “the paralysis of analysis”. Or, as I put it, “Every aspect of human existence is better off with mindful people, unless they’re wrong”.

    It’s amusing to recall your comment @ 11:58: “I doubt I’ll get a straight answer on this one, either…but feel free to surprise me”.

    My efforts to return to the original (and only real) debate, ie, your early premise….

    :“…movement supporters need to be mindful of whether tactics that worked well yesterday are still likely to work well tomorrow. Sometimes the answer is yes, but not always”.

    ….was entirely ignored (again) and remains unexplored.

    As you wish Oh Tolerant One.

  87. tra
    December 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

    You haven’t explained why anyone, organizers, supporters, or whatever, should bother thinking about strategy and tactics at all, given your claim that as long as people “show up” “it’s always a success, regardless of timeless tactic and strategy.” You really don’t see the contradiction there? Really? Or is it just that your own “ego” won’t allow you to admit it?

  88. Plain Jane
    December 13, 2011 at 8:43 am

    The message I keep getting from Harold is “show up, shut up, and do what you’re told.” He seems to have a strong authoritarian streak.

  89. tra
    December 13, 2011 at 9:26 am

    P.J,

    That did seem to be the message when he said:

    “Organizers decide strategy and tactics” and “supporters merely need to show up.”

    But now he’s taking a more inclusive position, welcoming anyone (“the more the better”) to be involved in strategic and tactical thinking. His latest attempt to paper over the contradictions in his argument is to employ the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

    According to this latest twist, he justifies his earlier elitist/authoritarian/formulaic insistence that “supporters” should just leave the strategy and tactics to “organizers”, by now declaring that if they do think about strategy and tactics, then they’re no longer “supporters” but are now in effect “organizers” themselves. (Which is especially amusing, since he was the one who insisted on the distinction between “supporters” and “organizers” in the first place.)

    Meanwhile, at the same time, it’s not clear why they should bother, because according to Harold, choices about strategy and tactics don’t actually matter at all, since as long as people “show up” “it’s always a success, regardless of timeless tactic and strategy.”

    Harold seems to be deeply confused, and is obviously struggling as he tries to cobble together a cogent argument from the wreckage of his various contradictory assertions, so he tries to cover his confusion by resorting to lots of silly ad hominem stuff. It’s a piss-poor debating strategy…but not an uncommon one.

  90. Plain Jane
    December 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I admit that after his first few posts I stopped reading.

  91. Anonymous
    December 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Anyone who has contacts with the local press, e.g., North Coast Journal, News 3, Times-Standard etc.. please implore them to report on the Kim Starr trial.. We have a person who was illegally arrested for video taping the police, a legal act. This should not be ignored. When we want to peacefully protest anything, we should not be subject to arrest. A quote that I’m sure all of you are aware of comes to mind when I see the press ignore something like this:

    First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me. Martin Niemoeller.

  92. December 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Any report on Verbena’s court appearance?

  93. Harold Knight
    December 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve been showing up at the court hearings, have you PJ or tra?

    People who show up make the difference between a successful movement and a failure, we show up because we are mindful of the issues, not whether the tactics or strategies of the movement are historically relevant, for that, there is no actual “need”.

    Yet, tra curiously continues to insist that there is an actual “need”.

    This is a rare moment that I’ve taken issue with any posts by my liberal comrades on this blog.

    I really don’t understand how anyone can, or would try so hard to, assume I’m an “authoritarian” after I’ve repeatedly clarified “the more the merrier” and “every aspect of human existence is better off with mindful people”.

    There are distinctive meanings for different words like “supporters” and “organizers” and one becomes the other all the time.

    How foolish it is to have to explain it.

  94. JTS
    December 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Not true, right? A DA ordering police action against citizens/?
    Can’t be true? Every other city it is Mayor or combination of legislative bodies, health officials,etc.

    If DA does the order, how could he possibly prosecute illegal police actions or the Occupied people. (Wouldn’t that be a conflict?) and if I am not totally dreaming, wasn’t a recent police chief appointed to DA in a Calif. city, and hundreds of cases filed,almost automatically dismissed?

    Think!

  95. Harold Knight
    December 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Officials are constantly subverting and selectively enforcing the law and engaging in conflicts of interest with little accountability. Down the road, the public pays the settlements. Eureka’s illegal actions will be added to their other recent settlements, it’s not their money, they know they’re wrong.

    It reminds me of Norman Solomon’s recent appearance when he said, “It’s pointless to speak truth to power, they already know what they’re doing”.

  96. tra
    December 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Harold,

    The tactics, attitudes and behaviors of the people who “show up” at point A has an effect on how many people choose to “show up” at point B, and so on.

    To say that a given tactic “would have” worked if only more supporters had “shown up” ignores the the fact that potential supporters look at the chosen tactics and the way those tactics are carried out (and the attitudes and behaviors of those carrying out those tactics) and take these factors into consideration as they decide whether they want to “show up” and be associated with these folks.

  97. Harold Knight
    December 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Tra:

    Adding “potential” supporters to your argument is a new argument.

    Again, you have yet to make a case that there is an actual “need” for supporters to be mindful of the historic relevance of tactics and strategies for a movement to be successful.

    I would argue that it is ubiquitous media censorship that is effectively limiting supporter’s, and potential supporter’s, understanding of the issues that is having a far greater impact on participation, not their understanding and “concern” over tactical and strategic actions.

    With a deep understanding of issues comes anger and action.

    Instead, a generation of media consolidation has created unparalleled propaganda that censors historic contexts, cause-and- effect linkages, and the salient issues of social justice movements. The effect on our strongly independent culture has been families feeling they are isolated in their suffering; uninsured illnesses, unaffordable housing, poverty, foreclosures, bankruptcy, et al.

    When supporters and potential supporters better-understand the issues, they will take whatever actions avail themselves, or become organizers and start their own. It is only through their angry, desperate action and attendance that the public is exposed today to the uncomfortable truths being systematically suppressed from public view.

    In fact, tactics and strategies remain largely unchanged in U.S. history.

    When movements are well attended, they are successful and serve their purpose, so that an LBJ or an Obama can justify making the obvious changes we need.

  98. tra
    December 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Well I agree with a good deal of what you’re saying here. I agree about the role of the media and propaganda in keeping people feeling isolated and hopeless and so on. I agree that increasing awareness and understanding is crucial. I agree that when people are aware and (justifiably) angry, this can motivate them to take action. I agree that for mass movements to be successful, lots of people have to participate. And I agree that there are a plethora of time-tested strategies and tactics which today’s movements can look to for inspiration and guidance. So far so good.

    What I was getting at at 4:06 is that as a movement unfolds, there’s always a feedback loop involved, where the kinds of tactics that participants are engaged in at timepoint A, and the attitude and behavior of those carrying out those tactics, has an effect on how the overall public perceives the movement, which in turn affects how many people identify with the movement, and how many people choose to become actively involved (“show up”) in the movement’s activities at timepoints B, C, and so on.

  99. Harold Knight
    December 14, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I was more hoping to read your defense of, “the NEED for supporters to be mindful of whether or not today’s tactics and strategies will work well tomorrow”.

    “The overall public”, was not the basis of your original premise, nor were the “attitudes and behaviors” of protesters. (Effectively manipulated by mainstream media).

    While there may, or may not, be a “plethora” of tactics and strategies, holding signs and marching account for the bulk. Thus, supporter’s “needing” to be concerned over tactics and strategies sounds very bizarre to me.

    Showing up persistently, holding your damn sign, and, if you chose to, getting arrested in the process, is the only way supporters have effectively circumvented media propaganda for generations.

    When “the overall public” see enough supporters and hear about the issues often enough, they start to pay attention, just like LBJ did.

  100. tra
    December 14, 2011 at 12:28 am

    In the case of the Civil Rights movement, there was a remarkable degree of self-imposed discipline by early participants (both those who we might categorize as “supporters” and those who we might categorize as “organizers”), who were very thoughtful in choosing their targets and tactics, and who took equally great care in how they comported themselves in the face of the brutal repression that they received while carrying out those tactics. This paid off in the form of increasingly broad support from the public at large, and as a result, over time, a growing number of active participants of all sorts.

    So the movement became more and more “well-atttended” and successful over time, in part because of the wise strategic and tactical choices made early on, and because early participants, who were well aware of the strategic importance of how they behaved when acting in the name of the movement, set an example for those who would come later, in terms of maintaining a deliberate posture of civility and compassion, even to those who were not civil or compassionate towards them.

    It’s not that African-Americans had previously been unaware of the way they were being oppressed in this country, or that they hadn’t been angry enough to want to take action. And while there are certainly other historical factors that contributed to why the Civil Rights movement gained momentum when it did, a key element was the early adoption and relentless pursuit of a deliberate, well-thought-out, and widely understood strategy that combined civil disobedience aimed directly at the segregation laws, with targeted boycotts aimed at directly at businesses that engaged in segregation. And, in keeping with their overall strategy, participants carried out these tactics in a way that managed to come across to the broader public as both civil and steadfast at the same time.

    In every case I can think of from that era, it was crystal clear what the civil rights protesters were demanding, and there was a very a clear relationship between their actions and their demands. Local busses in Montgomery were segregated, so protesters boycotted the bus system in Montgomery. Lunch counters were segregated, so protesters conducted sit-ins at those lunch counters. Businesses discriminated against black people, so movement participants boycotted those businesses. Interstate busses were segregated when they entered the South, so black and white Freedom Riders boarded those buses and rode south together.

    It seems to me that the impressive degree of strategic and tactical clarity achieved within the ranks of both organizers and supporters early on in the movement was a key part of the reason that more and more people were willing to “show up” as the movement unfolded.

  101. tra
    December 14, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Just to be clear, your 12:19 comment was not up yet at the time that I was writing my 12:28 comment; so my comment was a follow-up to my 10:54 comment, not a direct response to your 12:19 comment, though as it happens it does relate to some of the points you raised at 12:19.

    To respond to

    I was more hoping to read your defense of, “the NEED for supporters to be mindful of whether or not today’s tactics and strategies will work well tomorrow”

    allow me to offer a concrete example: In resisting the war in Vietnam, one approach used was that protesters burned their draft cards and refused to comply with the draft, some by fleeing the country, others by going to jail. Others became conscientous objectors. All of these tactics were aimed at starving the war machine of the raw material it needed to continue the war.

    But by the time of the recent war in Iraq, the situation had changed, and therefore those who wished to disrupt the war machine had to change tactics. Though the Selective Service still existed, and people still had draft cards to burn, there was no actual draft taking place and therefore that tactic was no longer as effective as it had been in the previous anti-war effort. So anti-war forces adapted to the changed situation with a somewhat different tactic, focusing on trying to impact the recruitment system, doing “counter-recruitment” at high schools, college campuses and elsewhere.

    As far as the idea that the only tactics that are really necessary are marching and holding signs?…I hardly know where to begin. Just for starters, have you forgotten about strikes and boycotts? Have you forgotten about things like teach-ins, draft resistance, campus occupations, the Winter Soldier hearings, and so on? I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. For that matter, if marching and holding signs was all it would take to break though the media noise, why did the folks at Zuccotti Park decide to establish an “occupation” in the heart of Wall Street in the first place? It seems to me that they did so precisely because they didn’t think that just marching and holding signs would be enough to get the job done.

  102. tra
    December 14, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Harold,

    I’m heading out of town on Wednesday morning and once I leave I will not have access to the internet for a few days, so I won’t be able to continue to carry on this conversation. Heartbreaking, I know.

    ;)

    I’ll try to remember to take a quick look at this thread again when I get back, in case there’s something further that you’d like me to respond to. Otherwise, you’re welcome to “have the last word” if you want.

  103. Harold Knight
    December 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    tra:

    It’s always perplexing when those who share identical understandings of history draw different conclusions.

    Once again, you’ve made a strong historical case that activists and organizers “NEED to be mindful of whether or not today’s tactics and strategies will work well tomorrow”.

    Not supporters.

    Supporters do not NEED to be mindful because the activities we periodically engage in are as old as the nation itself.

    It is a show of support!

    Marching and holding signs, has historically been the predominant activity of movement supporters, we also write letters, make donations, attend court cases, etc, to back-up the timeless tactics and strategies of those arrested, or those who legislate. Otherwise media is predisposed to frame the activists and legislators as irrelevant.

    Your most recent self-serving insinuation that I must, therefore, believe that “marching and holding signs will get the job done”, is simply more of your ludicrous hyperbole that further proves my contention that it must be your ego that’s keeping you from slightly modifying your premise to make it logical.

    Please explain which of yesterday’s tactics and strategies SUPPORTERS should be mindful of not working today! And explain how SUPPORTERS are supposed to know if a tactic will work, if they decide not to try?

    I consider myself a supporter, because I believe in the issues and occasionally march, hold a sign, leaflet, phone, canvass, write letters, and attend a court case. On no occasion have I, or anyone I’ve ever known, concerned ourselves that the rallies, court hearings, teach-ins, protests, marches, or occupations we attend are tactics that are still historically relevant!.

    If I planned civil disobedience, I would be an organizer/activist. If I engage in civil disobedience I would be an activist. Both need to be mindful of whether or not their tactics will work tomorrow!

    And still, that’s not always the case, and it doesn’t always matter!

    History illustrates repeatedly that when a movement becomes a mass, even the threat of violence isn’t enough to keep supporters and the “overall public”, at home….as we’re witnessing around the globe today, including our own U.S. history.

    That’s the reason the authorities make every effort to infiltrate, discredit, and repress movements before that can grow.

    When my misinformed and consumption-drunk neighbors start having even more of their kids and grand-kids moving in, when the under-insured illnesses pile up, when their buying power plummets, when foreclosure and poverty knock, they’ll wonder why they hadn’t shown up to every protest they can get their hands on.

    See you at the courthouse?

  104. Anonymous
    December 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Kim Starr won. Case dismissed after jury hung, 10-2 in favor of Ms. Starr.

  105. Anonymous
    December 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Keep at it Harold, it’s good to know there are people like you out there. The internet paints a false picture of the real world, where blogheads dominate this new era of Mainstream Opinional News. Folks like tra don’t and won’t “get it”. Dog save our children.

  106. Harold Knight
    December 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks Anon, I think tra’s heart’s in the right place.

    Blogging is like driving a 2-ton vehicle, anonymity can provide a false sense of being in the right, especially when you know your wrong.

    Did supporters need to be mindful of whether or not it would “work”, or should they just show up in the courtroom?

    If the judge and the media avert their eyes from the 20-30 people leaving the courtroom in unison, does that mean it never happened?

  107. January 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    “We, the undersigned, believe that we as citizens have a right to assemble and occupy public spaces which our taxes have funded. We believe that a chainlink fence erected to prohibit the public from exercising this right is not a successful image for promoting tourism here in redwood country. We also believe that those who are courageous, selfless, and dedicated leaders should not be subject to violence, harassment, and arrest.”

    Will you sign this petition? Click here:

    http://signon.org/sign/stop-harassing-humboldt?source=c.em.cp&r_by=510544

    Thanks!

  108. Anonymous
    January 19, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Citizens have the right to assemble but some have abused that right and ruined it for the rest of us. Those of us who are committed to this campaign can do it in other ways. We don’t need those who defecate on bank stairs and want a place to live for a few weeks that is free. We don’t need abusive language thrown at those who disagree with us. If people will not follow directions not to camp or erect camping structures, they have to cage the area to keep them out, like they did on the Arcata Plaza on New Years.

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