“Protest Tactics” Saul Alinsky
Protest Tactics Tactics: Doing what you can with what you have (225) Focus Here: Tactic of Taking: How the Have Nots can Take Power from the Haves (225)
Protest Tactics Human Face: Illustration of Tactics Eyes: visibility, public demo of strength Ears: make a lot of noise, use if you don’t have numbers Noise: if you are too small to make noise, stink up the place. (SHIT IN)
Rules for Radicals Rules of Power and Organization First Rule: “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have” Second Rule: “Never go outside the experience of your own people” Third Rule: “Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy” Sherman Example: Shocked the South with new tactics.
Rules for Radicals Fourth Rule: “Make the Enemy live up to their own book of rules.” (226) You will kill them with this: they cannot do it. Fifth Rule: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” It is hard to counterattack, and infuriates the opposition. Sixth Rule: “A good tactic is one that your people enjoy”
Rules for Radicals Seventh Rule: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Columbia University example: Blockade went on too long. Eighth Rule: “Keep the Pressure On” Ninth Rule: “The Threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Example: O’Hare “Shit-In”
Rules for Radicals Tenth Rule: “Need to Develop operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” Eleventh Rule: “If you push a negative enough it will break through into its counterside.” Alinsky’s apartment was burglarized by a private security firm hired by a corporation he was protesting. He also received a death threat. He used both against the company. He threatened to go public with the assassination in a Congressional hearing.
Rules for Radicals Thirteen Rule: “Pick the Target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.” (227-228) Pick Target: In an increasingly complex world, govt agencies and corporations will try to shift the responsibility and blame. You therefore need to pin down the target.
Rules for Radicals Personalize It: Give the opposition a name and face: going after a company or “City Hall” is too abstract. Examples: CIO did this in the 1930s Polarization: “He that is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23) You need to draw a sharp distinction between the your side and the opposition. Need to be clear and decisive about who the opposition is.