Ghandi famously charted the trajectory of his protest movement thus: “First they ignore us, then they ridicule us, then they fight us, then we win.”
In the aftermath of the hand-to-hand combat that was the Health Care Reform bill I think it is safe to say we are well into step three. (For the guardians of public safety ever vigilant for Right-wing violence, the term “hand-to-hand combat” is a metaphor, to our side at least. To the Left it would seem to be another day at the office.)
A great example of the Left’s playbook vis-a-vis the next round of Tea Party rallies can be found at Infoshop News — your one-stop for all things anarchistic and groovy — and their post of last Saturday Crash the tea parties!
On April 15th thousands of right-wingers will attend rallies in cities and towns across the United States. The organizers of this nationwide day of protest call it a tea party. This tea party movement that emerged only a year ago is a coalition of conservatives, anti-Semites, fascists, libertarians, racists, constitutionalists, militia men, gun freaks, homophobes, Ron Paul supporters, Alex Jones conspiracy types and American flag wavers. If the tea party movement continues to grow in size and strength there is a big chance they will dominate this country in the near future. If the tea party movement takes over this country they will really hurt poor people by getting rid of social programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, student aid, free health care, etc. The tea party movement will say these programs must be gotten rid of because hard-working taxpayers cannot afford to pay for these things especially when the economy is in a depression. There are three options we have with the tea party movement:
1. Organize counter-protests against the tea party demonstrations, same time, same place. This is probably the best option. We need to get in the streets on April 15th and show the tea party movement that there are lots of people out there who oppose their agenda.
2. Get individual tea party protesters to leave the right-wing and move to the left politically. That would involve passing out stuff like this at the tea party demonstrations: http://www.anarchist-studies.org/node/299
3. Ignore the tea party movement. This is the worst option because without anyone opposing them they could easily gain power.
Some good articles critical of the tea party movement:
Tea party websites, so you can spy on them:
Someone might want to advise these folks that in an age of Flip cameras, cell-phone cameras, disposable cameras — to say nothing of that clever one I keep in my pocket that looks like a pen — the strategy of the agent provocateur might be a little less effective than it was even ten years ago, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try.
My father once told me to trust everyone but always cut the cards. Going forward, keep the peace and record everything.
(Hat tip to @mikepfs for finding this and Greg Howard for bringing it to my attention.)