I received the following letter from an anonymous contributor. I thought it was an interesting set of ideas. I like some of his/her reflections on the non-violence. What do you all think?
Dear Occupy Wall Street,
I have struggled emotionally, watching Occupy Wall Street descend into habitual protest as its primary means of expressing itself. My memories of hearing ‘we are not a protest movement’ are happy memories, and I long for the kind of innovation and revelry that marked the movement’s beginning. And, I find that the movement has become, like many social institutions, a little bit allergic to critique.
So, in my attempts to sustain my hope that evolution is possible, I am going to present a very simple set of strategies that could help Occupy Wall Street return to its roots in direct action.
It has always been my intuition that non-violence, like all cultural traditions must innovate, must be open to creative development, and I have been interested for years to eliminate one aspect of traditional non-violence, which is subjecting one’s own body to violence. I feel that this is itself a kind of violence, and I believe it is time to honor ourselves, and move away from the confrontational tactics that can often descend into counter-productive chaos…however, I am replacing it with something equally exciting, a kind of mischief ethic.
Loopholes have been used for years to oppress people, and further advance the process of exploiting workers for more and more of their time and energy. What if Occupiers began to utilize loopholes to create moments of resistance. Let me explain a tactic I will call Non-Violent E.M.P.s (ElectroMagnetic Pulses). With a 3-part approach I would like to propose a theoretical non-violent device that could be used to halt the movement of an entire city with less than 200 activists working together.
Traffic – The inspiration comes of this whole technique comes from the idea of the ‘Phantom Traffic Jam’, a phenomenon that arises from a mathematical wave caused by a slow-down, that accumulates into a full-blown traffic jam. In other words, 2 drivers can utilize the minimum speed limit, in tandem along one of the handful of 2 lane arteries that feed into New York City on an average rush-hour cycle, and because of the reliance upon higher than the limit speeds, can use the law to create a backup that cannot be sourced, and cannot be considered a violation of the law. If this was done at the same time it would be a measurable event, that could be used to political ends.
Trains – Similar techniques could be used, by small groups taking a long time to board subway trains, stalling the lines with accidentally jammed luggage, just minutes at a time, but doing so in orchestrated circles over and over to create a feedback loop. If this was done in 5 or 6 different circles all over the main island, phantom backups could become acute.
Pedestrians – The same principle holds here. If groups of ten people took a long time at crosswalks, acting aloof, utilizing the principle of the ‘fool’, pausing traffic just a minute, and this group walked in a large circle, doing this over and over, this could be used, in conjunction with other groups to create a feedback loop.
Summation – If all 3 of these techniques were used at once, with an organized group of 200 or so people, I propose that it is possible, because of the structure of the machine to shut it down completely, or at least cause a jam of such significance as to grant political power, since it is possible to do this with very little police interference. Also, when such actions are planned, unknown occupiers could participate on their own, and magnify the effects dramatically, knowing that they are being backed up by a small organized group.
Conclusion: I write this anonymously, because I am not comfortable inciting such actions without conscious ends to inspire these means, but merely to show that creative action is always possible if one thinks about it. I urge the movement to put down protest and police confrontation, because I believe it is being used to dissipate energy, and avoid the truly radical act of confronting one another and finding REAL solidarity, that comes from universal principles, rather than STREET solidarity that is a recapitulation of the use of physical force to attain what is only possible spiritually. Good luck and Godspeed, or GodSlow…