How to Kill A Movement

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by Bobby London
April 16, 2015

There are many facets to the destruction of movements. Although playing a key role in the failure of movements the state requires other components to make their plan of action successful. Organizations with their own vested interests, the media, and stagnation are all factors that contribute to the death of movements.

The State

The state however is the ultimate arbitrator in this, whether through use of repression with physical violence and imprisonment, or through infiltration and psychological tactics. The state will use and has used everything in its arsenal to eliminate what they see as a threat to its system of control. This is achievable through the granted legitimacy of violence that the state is given under the guise of security. We have seen countless examples of this from the formation of unions, red scare, panthers, animal liberation groups, the anti-globalization movement, Muslim Americans after 911, the Occupy movement, and the continuous war on black lives that has existed since slavery. The state is rather predictable in their tactics; they have used the same methods of spying, jailing, and in some cases murder for hundreds of years. The only difference from earlier and now is that the state has the monopoly of technological surveillance that the Internet and computer together have created. Now instead of depending solely on intel to gather information and track possible threats, the government who is already tracking every US citizen can simply use the devices that perceived threats use to spy on them. This new technological arm of the state is growing at a fascistic speed. Recently, President Obama signed in an executive order allowing for individuals to be sanctioned for cyber threats. This strong-armed approach on Internet activism has been continuously growing.

We’ve seen Anonymous go from string of cyber attacks threatening governments such as the U.S. and Israel for injustices they have commited to now going after celebs like Kanye West and Iggy Azaela. While Wikileaks whose direction before Julian Assange’s embassy fiasco had promised to release documentation proving the banking industry of fraudulent behavior. Both groups have been successfully neutralized, Wikileaks has refocused on getting Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy and Anons have been either forced underground, fleeing the US government or were turned into informants helping to capture other possible hackers or Anons. One thing about the state, one always knows how they will choose to strike. Movements need not waste time wondering if they are infiltrated or being surveilled – you are. There is also no need in strategizing in favor of the state’s preferred method of protesting in hopes of avoiding conflict. If your movement is to succeed and grow then conflict is a thing movements must learn to embrace. This is not a fetishization or romanticized idea of wanting to fight with cops, but an observation from participating in uprisings and resistance and understanding that embracing the riot is what leads to movement growth. It is liberalism, media, and the stagnation of classical protest techniques with the desire to work with police and appeal to the state that cause the demise of movements.

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