From Dictatorship to Democracy- Civil Disobedience For Dummies.

At home and abroad, in every conceivable way, Donald Trump’s eleven-month-old tenure in office has proven the worst shock the global order has received since 1945. His arrogance and narcissism are destabilizing the world, and other nations are being forced to take measures of caution. It stands to reason for us to do the same.

“Germany can no longer simply react to U.S. policy but must establish its own position…even after Trump leaves the White House, relations with the U.S. will never be the same.”

Those are the words of Germany’s top diplomat, informing the United States that they no longer see us as the allies we once were, saying that leadership from President Donald Trump has led Europe on a path toward nuclear war, a statement with which it is hard to argue.

The Middle East is in pandemonium thanks to his apparently random decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Palestine rose up instantly and declared three Days of Rage. And all humans everywhere looked upon their media devices in total and complete bewilderment.

After that prelude, there’s not much to add as to why it’s time to have this conversation. Martin Luther King said that we have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Perhaps that will suffice.

The Founding Fathers built us a system that was designed specifically to resist totalitarianism, and it has given to us as citizens every advantage we enjoy. But it has been severely tested in recent years. Things aren’t going to manage themselves.
If we don’t want to see America become a dictatorship, we are going to have to fight for its democracy.
People were picked out at random for the uproar surrounding the Trump Tower protests on Inauguration Day last year. They are now facing sixty years in prison apiece, for minor acts of vandalism that nobody saw them commit.
It even apologized to the public for a statement made on November 18 of last year that it would “work with President-elect Trump” and his transition team.
“We understand that content from these press releases, including the 11/18/16 release that was posted in error, was interpreted as capitulating to and normalizing the incoming administration.” They realize now that is impossible.

This is going to cost a tremendous amount of time and money for them. It’s the most serious decision they could make. There is every reason to take heed and follow their example.

If you’re against Trump, and you don’t intend to shut up about it, then you are at risk in this country right now.

We are therefore going to be taking a close look at some of the most time-honoured and effective ways to keep the resistance and ourselves alive and healthy.

Especially for us millennials, who were not around during the big protests of the 60’s and 70’s, this information is critical. We’ve got to understand and master these techniques as soon as possible.

One crucial point to note is that showing up at large public protests like Charlottesville has become very dangerous.
We will never allow this crucial practice to be taken from us. But we have got to exercise the utmost caution when we use it. We’ve got to keep ourselves under control, and we’ve got to keep the moral high ground. The other guys are playing for keeps, and they’ve got all the guns.
Nonviolence is the only chance we have.
In keeping with this line of thought, we’re going to familiarize ourselves with political theorist and sociologist Gene Sharp’s From Dictatorship to Democracy.
This manual includes nearly 200 “Methods of Nonviolent Actions.” This is a comprehensive guide to tactics and strategies that have proven effective in transforming regimes more oppressive than the current US one.
There are five primary types of nonviolent resistance outlined in the manual. Protest and persuasion, social noncooperation, economic noncooperation, political noncooperation, and nonviolent intervention.
Protest and persuasion most commonly manifest under the category Sharp calls Formal Statements, e.g. public speeches or mass petitions. Martin Luther King and many others changed the world with their speeches. And petitions have been a way for the people to express their will for hundreds of years.
More recently, six days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left twenty six dead in 2012, President Obama responded directly to 33 petitions related to gun control laws.
Social noncooperation refers to ostracism strategies such as the social boycott levied against alleged child molester and Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore recently.
Economic noncooperation involves two primary methods; the boycott, and the strike.
The boycott is an organized, large scale ban that forbids the purchasing of goods from the offending company. Earlier this year other members of the resistance against Trump organized an effort to boycott the department store chain Nordstrom’s because they were carrying Ivanka Trump’s shoe brands. Not long after, off the shelves they went.
A strike is a refusal to work. A body of fed up employees organize various tactics by way of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer.
Unions use strikes and other collective action as a bargaining chip to force employers to raise wages. This is why union workers get paid about 22 percent more than non-unionized workers.
People like the Koch Brothers have spent massive amounts of time and money to neutralize this power. They do this because they know they are guaranteed a massive return on their investment if they can forever break the backs of workers unions.
Next comes political noncooperation. One good example of this is the Rejection of Authority strategy. Many of us have made it clear right from Day One, without reservation, that Donald Trump is not our president. He has never been, and he will never be. So many of us feel that way that his presidency has been denormalized.
Lastly, nonviolent intervention is grouped into five subcategories. Psychological, physical, social, economic, and political. This category includes techniques such as the sit-in, or nonviolent land seizure. The latter method was employed by the American Indian Movement when they occupied Alcatraz in 1969.
All of the techniques we have outlined are the type of political activism we call direct action. They are still the biggest way to make a splash.
All of them are also extremely dangerous, and involve a great deal of personal risk. World-renowned journalist Anna Politovskaya was not murdered in Moscow for being a Hollywood blogger.
Virtual activism via the Internet has been invaluable as a way to keep our heads down, and pass through as much information as we can.
It is of great importance for us to do everything in our power to keep the opposition from knocking us offline and rendering us silent.
For this reason, we will also be developing a cursory familiarity with the two most basic and important ways to stay anonymous online.

These are known as the virtual private network, or VPN, and the Onion(Tor) Browser.

A VPN is a secure network connection through which you can safely connect your device to public networks, or create a secure channel for remote access control between computers.

TorProject.org gives the definition of the Tor Browser project as being “free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.”

The best solution is to use VPN and Tor in conjunction.

Just log on through your VPN, and then do your stuff through Tor. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. As for chat, we have a first class (and free) encrypted chat program available to us in the app known as  Telegram.

Remember NOT to use Kaspersky’s antivirus, or anything Russian, under any circumstances.

The New York Times reported that Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russia using it to search for NSA exploits and other U.S. government classified programs.

We have not embarked upon this examination of civil disobedience lightly. Being the harbinger of awful news is not exactly pleasant. And most of us never really thought it could happen here. But we all read the words of the German Foreign Minister at the beginning of the article.  “West losing position.” “Things will never be the same.” “Nuclear war.” This is not mere alarmism.

We have no choice but to sorrowfully conclude that grievous misdeed on the part of the Trump administration cannot be ruled out, and that the threat to the foundations of our democracy is very real.

These events may well be the most fundamentally important of our entire generation. We do not intend to sit them out.

We are going to think of the situation in a fresh spirit, build on that new rhythm, and win through many different techniques. We are in the process of regrouping, and have full confidence. When we have finished, the #BlueWave we’ve been building will start gathering steam again. These are just a few bumps in the road to wash away.

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