Direct action is much more complicated when you have a family (especially if you are the sole breadwinner). Does anyone else know how to balance fighting for change with being responsible for more than just yourself (because the math sucks sometimes)? Risks are a bit bigger when it isn't just you facing the consequences. As an example: Protesting in front of an ICE office is great, but can feel insufficient given what is happening.
@ginguin Even if we do limit the discussion to high risk if arrest actions (and we shouldn't, low risk direct actions are equally important) the people who are putting themselves in danger need a support team.
I can't tell you how much I depended on people just dropping by with meals, for example, when I was doing an occupation. Those guys were running green but damnit I needed those meals.
@ginguin Jail support is a huge need. People who got arrested need to be tracked in the system and they need emotional care when they get out. Food. Cigarettes. Compassion.
People in jail need to know, also, that if they don't even up walking out there will be someone there to deliver cash bail. They need to know that cash bail exists.
Also totally low risk.
@ginguin Medics are a great option for people who really want to get in the thick of it but need to control legal risk. Just be prepared to do a lot (and I do mean a lot) of ongoing training.
Legal observers are also in that same category.
@ginguin Marshaling! Yeah, it's all about organizing marches and protests and pickets and you could argue that's not direct action but that activity is important!
Intelligence gathering and analysis! It's a lot of work to gather information on fascists, their tactics, and activities. The people who do this work go all the way from almost no risk to mortal peril to make sure that the Nazis can't do shit unopposed.
@ginguin Anyway, that was fun. I guess my take home point is that any organization worth a damn will be sensitive to the fact that different people have different levels of privilege and ability to take risks.
Even if you don't feel you're contributing 'enough' compared to other people in your affinity group, if you are reliable you are indispensable. All roles need to be filled by people we can trust to see it through.
@gendertreyf This has given me plenty to think about, and I have some great ideas for moving forward! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
You can fight juristically or organise demonstrations, organise a vote of the people, support the finance of interesting groups, prepare handouts with a summary for a busy street, organise speeches
Or maybe ask interesting groups directly what you can do in your situation?
As a sysadmin, you could also manage/improve the website of that group.
Ah, another thing:
1) The better you understand the root/core of the problem you're trying to solve, the better you can fight. If you have identified that, usually fighting is MUCH easier, in my experience.
Small example: One core problem related to climate change in germany is imho, that many people around 30-60 (typically those with a family, children, maybe they own their own house, etc.) do not understand the details of climate change enough to understand why its an emergency.
i think many people of that group I described think of climate change as a problem, but not as an emergency. That is one reason why many still plan to fly to their holidays.
Another group of people who don't understand climate change as an emergency are obviously those not being politically/democratically active in that area. They do not block bridges like 'extinction rebellion' does.
I think those two groups can be found in shopping areas/centers/etc. -
Being activistic here could be as simple as giving people handouts with concise explanations to climate change.
You have to adapt that of course to your problem.
2) I just have observed an interesting pattern in german media: There is the mainstream press which is mostly - that is my impression - not very pressing to receive answers that e.g. a ministry would rather avoid. For instance, they - again, that is my impression - fight not much juristically for receiving documents.
By contrast, there are rather small group of people delivering fundamental solid journalism, supported by fighting juristically to receive those documents. For instance, in germany: 'netzpolitik.org', 'Gaby Weber', 'FragDenStaat', 'correctiv.org'
Why am i telling you that? Because i think it would make sense to search for those people/groups. Those are organisations that can make huge things with your money.
I recently found a small english-speaking magazine that also falls in that
[..] category. But i cannot find it anymore, unfortunately. However, i think Edwared Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg, etc. also fall in that category.
Last: Remember, as a group - rather than individuals - people can have a huge impact in democracy. I think you just have to make the first step.
I wish you great success :)
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