Knowing the opposition: Part 1

Okay, so maybe I’ll have to create a new section on this blog, to talk about the political and cultural opposition that we face in trying to change the world. Because the opposition is real, it is more organized than us, and right now it is stronger than us. For awhile we were okay because we were off the radar, and now we’re a little bit better off because public opinion seems to be moving slightly leftward due to the war and the rise of the democrats…but we should make no mistake about the fact that there always have and there always will be forces who want to disrupt us, discredit us, or otherwise neutralize us in our work to change this world…in our work to limit the power of a few and expand it into the power of a multitude.

That said, check out this article, about the depth of police spying before the Republican National Convention protests in 2004. Now, this was a special case because we’re talking about the notorious NYPD,, we’re talking about a national event of the dominant political party, plus all of the extra NYC Homeland Security funding and priorities as well…but those of us in social movements should just assume that this kind of stuff is happening all around us at all times. If we normalize caution then we lower the chances of it becoming paranoia, which is crucial. Because one of the goals of our opposition when they do this kind of thing is to get us to mistrust each other and dissolve our relationships. So being prepared for what they might throw at us is absolutely essential, right?

However, another side to this story: when my friend was arrested in New York during the RNC protests, his arresting officer whispered to him, “I wish I was on the other side of the line. I hate Bush and I hate this war. But you know, this is my job.” Many folks might just roll their eyes and latch on to the “just following orders sentiment,” but not me. I think it is significant to know that underneath even riot cop gear there are folks who sympathize with us…because that means that there are possibilities, given certain tactical/strategic situations, when we could actually reach them. But hey, I’m an optimist.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi