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Old 02-20-2011   #21
Dayuhan
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Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
The organizers agree with you that organization was critical, but the means they used to form a community (organize) to mobilize was Facebook. Not only did they effectively garner support from within Egypt, they garnered international support, which limited the options for the Gov of Egypt.

IT is important, yes it just a tool, just like strategic bombers, satellite communications, nuclear weapons, submarines, etc., but it is apparent that tools can make things possible that were not previously possible.
These things were previously possible, and were previously accomplished. There was no Facebook during the fall of Marcos in the Philippines, or during the popular revolts in Poland, Romania, et al. No Facebook during the French Revolution.

People use the tools they have. Now that we have mobile phones and internet it's hard to believe that people ever lived or rebelled without them... but they did. Focusing on Facebook and Twitter as enablers makes it all seem very modern, 5G, and open source, but they were and are only tools, and looking too much at the tools can distract from equally important factors.

Loss of fear is critical. These events typically start with small rallies, marches, etc. If the populace perceives that the government is not cracking down and that security forces seem reluctant to break up actions, the size rapidly surges, in a process that can take only days, even hours. These things don't just happen because popular disaffection rises, they happen because government control wanes. Both factors have to be in place for success.
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Old 02-23-2011   #22
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Default Gene Sharp, 'Clausewitz Of Nonviolent Warfare,' Amazed By Egypt's Youth

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He's been called "the man who changed the world," by the editorial board of the Boston Globe, and the Karl Von Clausewitz of nonviolent warfare" by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

As Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep notes, former Harvard reseacher Gene Sharp has been an inspiration to young revolutionaries in countries such as Serbia and Egypt, where they used his manual From Dictatorship to Democracy and his book The Politics of Nonviolent Action to help guide them through what turned out to be successful — and peaceful — revolts against oppressive regimes.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/...-youth?ps=cprs
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Old 11-02-2011   #23
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Default Links to Gene Sharp and Albert Einstein Institute

in this thread Threat or Opportunity: non-violent protest? (links to Gene Sharp and Albert Einstein Institute publications, here & here).

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Old 01-23-2012   #24
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Default Social Movement Leadership

Certainly not new IMO social movements taking on the state / government, modern IT is clearly an enabler and a vulnerability. Communication is simply faster.

So I spotted this comment on ICSR's blog, entitled 'No matter what he says, Wael Ghonim is a leader: Social Movement Leadership...'

It open with:
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There has been a steady stream of thought-provoking remarks about the role of leadership (or lack thereof) in the activist movements that coordinated via social network sites to overthrow the Mubarak regime in Egypt. Most recently, Clint Watts wrote a thoughtful post on the subject at his blog, Selected Wisdom. His comments were sparked by a Steve Inskeep interview with Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian activist and Google executive who played a significant role in the uprising. The occasion of the interview was the release of Ghonim’s new book, Revolution 2.0, which I blogged briefly about the other day.
Link:http://icsr.info/blog/No-matter-what...ian-Revolution
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Old 01-24-2012   #25
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Certainly not new IMO social movements taking on the state / government, modern IT is clearly an enabler and a vulnerability. Communication is simply faster.
There is more to it than that, information not only moves faster, it penetrates more deeply. States have less capability to control information, and as Bob Jones would tell you if you don't control the information you don't control the people. I think the Arab Spring and other events around the world have validated that.

North Korea is terrified of South Korean citizens sending information into North Korea via ballons and have threatened to go to war over it. Attaching a message to a ballon isn't exactly modern information technology, but it still works. Once the paradigm is challenged it begins to rust, in some cases that corrosion is quicker than others.

In locations where cell phones, computers, blackberries, Ipads, etc. it does enable "smarter" and more effective protest efforts. It allows identity groups to form that would have difficult or impossible previously. Where did the protest movements start prior to the advent of online communities? Union meetings, Mosques, Churches, Colleges, etc. Now groups can be formed outside of these institutions.

In the end it isn't new, just different.
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Old 01-24-2012   #26
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A lot of gist here...

1. Control. Either the populace feels they have control over the government, or the government must exercise control over the populace. The wide range of forms of governance are in large part defined by where that control rests.

2. Information. Control of information is critical to control of a populace. More so than security forces, but as one loses control of information, if your goal is to cling to a system with control vested in the government, then you better start ramping up your internal security. You are going to need it.

3. It seems to me that as access to information increases, so does transparency, and transparency leads to familiarity, and "familiarity breeds contempt." Populaces begin to evolve toward wanting more control over government as they become more informed, they also become less fearful of the state. If the state is unwilling to evolve along with the populace friction is inevitable, and conflict is likely.

4. I was at a meeting with several senior business executives, and one gentleman who engages in several overseas ventures made the comment that "corruption is how taxation takes place where no formal system exists." There is a lot of truth to that (though the State Department rep came out of her chair in protest, as the State Department has determined that all corruption is evil and has a zero-tolerance policy. A policy that is well-intended, but to me seems illogical and is, I suspect, a tremendous obstacle to diplomatic conversations). I think a similar observation could be accurately made regarding revolution. "Revolution is voting where no formal system exists." A logical take away is that the development of formal systems of taxation and payment of government officials could go a long way toward reducing low-level corruption; and similarly development of legal, trusted and certain ways for the populace to "control" government could go a long way toward warding off most revolutions. All must be homegrown solutions designed by and for the cultures they are to operate within; and all must be flexible to allow continued evolution as ever increasing information continues to drive social evolution.
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Old 01-25-2012   #27
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan
These things were previously possible, and were previously accomplished. There was no Facebook during the fall of Marcos in the Philippines, or during the popular revolts in Poland, Romania, et al. No Facebook during the French Revolution.

People use the tools they have. Now that we have mobile phones and internet it's hard to believe that people ever lived or rebelled without them... but they did. Focusing on Facebook and Twitter as enablers makes it all seem very modern, 5G, and open source, but they were and are only tools, and looking too much at the tools can distract from equally important factors....
The Economist, 17 Dec 11: How Luther went viral: Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation
Quote:
Modern society tends to regard itself as somehow better than previous ones, and technological advance reinforces that sense of superiority. But history teaches us that there is nothing new under the sun. Robert Darnton, an historian at Harvard University, who has studied information-sharing networks in pre-revolutionary France, argues that “the marvels of communication technology in the present have produced a false consciousness about the past—even a sense that communication has no history, or had nothing of importance to consider before the days of television and the internet.” Social media are not unprecedented: rather, they are the continuation of a long tradition. Modern digital networks may be able to do it more quickly, but even 500 years ago the sharing of media could play a supporting role in precipitating a revolution. Today’s social-media systems do not just connect us to each other: they also link us to the past.
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Old 01-25-2012   #28
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Its the breakthroughs in technology that are relevant in their time to disrupt the status quo.

Roman Roads allowed Legions to march and counter-march about the empire; and connected disparate populaces in unprecedented ways. All roads led to Rome, and the Barbarians followed them there...

Gutenberg invents a printing press, and a European populace controlled through ignorance and the Catholic Church was able to soon read, write and think for themselves; and those with political agendas soon recognized the power in Luther's work and converted it to their purpose. Within 200 years Western Europeans had developed the concept of the modern nation-state and had leveraged associated breakthroughs in technology to conquer and dominate the globe. The Holy Roman Empire faded from the scene.

A global grid of telegraph cables allowed Britain to dominate the second half of the 19th Century; but as populaces read of revolts in one corner of the empire in their own corner a day later, the costs of controlling such a vast empire soon came to exceed the benefit. Information could be everywhere at once, but the Army still moved at the speed of horse and steam.

The Soviets dominated post-WWII Eastern Europe, but could not control the information flowing from Satellites into the homes of the populaces they sought to divide, suppress and exploit. It shocked the world when those populaces so empowered rose up in a wave the Soviets declined to put down.

Following collapse of the Soviets tensions among the many populaces of the Middle East began to slowly build. Western manipulations of legitimacy and sovereignty of governance to contain the Soviets were benign in comparison, but faced increasing resistance as they shifted from being "the lesser of two evils" to simply being "the evil." Cellular phones, wireless Internet, social media all served to not only share grievances and motivation, but also allowed savvy insurgents to develop new tactics of networked operations and provided the ability to skip the time-honored (and highly vulnerable and dangerous) organization phase of insurgency. "Flash Mobs" and instantaneous and continuous global news cycle quickly put tired and despotic regimes on their back foot, and left Western powers in shock as their carefully crafted schemes of influence and manipulation began to unravel.

Over the years, these breakthroughs always precede change where change is needed. An associated shift of sovereignty being vested in one man, one family or one class and a trend to distribute it back across the people follows. Such changes are typically resisted, and almost always slow and messy. They are also unstoppable.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 01-26-2012   #29
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Its the breakthroughs in technology that are relevant in their time to disrupt the status quo.
Precisely, the world changes constantly, even as certain aspects remain consistent. There were wars before we had gun powder, but I wouldn't recommend showing up to a conflict today with a shield and sword. I wouldn't recommend developing a defense strategy based on the fact that wars have always existed, but rather design a strategy based on how your projected adversaries will fight. You can't live in the real world and reject the impact of new technologies. If a State wants to compete for influence, then it better appreciate the new technologies that its citizens are using.

Technology more than anything else has disrupted the status quo throughout history, and those who have failed to adapt generally fell.
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Old 01-26-2012   #30
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This is why I find recent DoD thinking on Cyber and A2/AD so scary. Some domains opened by breakthroughs in technology require the power of a big state to play in. The Sea, under the sea, the air, and space all to varying degrees. But Cyber? This is a democratic domain where all have equal access.

We have created tremendous cyber-based capabilities over the past 20 years, and have created equal cyber vulnerabilities in stride. Instead of doubling down on those bets in pursuit of broad new missions in an age of declining budgets, we need to refocus.

Are we maximizing the cyber domain to conduct our core operations and activities? I think SOF has some work to do there. Are we still trained, organized and equipped to conduct those same operations and activities if forced to play unplugged? I fear not.

What happens when the Sat Comms go down, the GPS data stops, the Drones all drift out of control, the Op center screens go black and all neck down to a couple FM or HF channels and a map on the wall; the computers in the fire direction centers black out; Are we ready? No cyber defense, certainly none we can afford, can prevent this. We need to be ready to continue the mission when the lights go out.

when breakthroughs in technology favor big states, there isn't much disruption. But when they involve information and favor the individual??? Time to hang on tight, this ride is going to get interesting. "Non-violence" is not limitied to putting flowers in gun barrels and standing in front of tanks; it also includes kicking the plug out of the wall on state and military capabilities as necesary to make one's point. It won't be the "rise of the machines" that takes us out, it will be the "rise of the individual."
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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Old 01-27-2012   #31
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Posted by Bob's World,

Quote:
This is why I find recent DoD thinking on Cyber and A2/AD so scary. ome domains opened by breakthroughs in technology require the power of a big state to play in. The Sea, under the sea, the air, and space all to varying degrees. But Cyber? This is a democratic domain where all have equal access.

We have created tremendous cyber-based capabilities over the past 20 years, and have created equal cyber vulnerabilities in stride. Instead of doubling down on those bets in pursuit of broad new missions in an age of declining budgets, we need to refocus.
Cyber enables individuals and poorly resourced groups to wreck disproportionate havoc on a range of potential targets from Corporations to governments. The power of advanced States to attack their adversary's cyber systems is a little frightening.

Quote:
Are we maximizing the cyber domain to conduct our core operations and activities? I think SOF has some work to do there. Are we still trained, organized and equipped to conduct those same operations and activities if forced to play unplugged? I fear not.

What happens when the Sat Comms go down, the GPS data stops, the Drones all drift out of control, the Op center screens go black and all neck down to a couple FM or HF channels and a map on the wall; the computers in the fire direction centers black out; Are we ready? No cyber defense, certainly none we can afford, can prevent this. We need to be ready to continue the mission when the lights go out.
We can pretend we'll just go back to HF comms in SF, but the reality is quite different. It will take time to adapt our C4I systems (and just as importantly our command and control procedures, since we're now accustomed to a high degree of micromanagement). We're also accustomed to near real time comms, video feeds on targets, and GPS guided weapons. None of these challenges are insurmountable, but the transition period would leave us vulnerable to an aggressive enemy who was capable of exploiting our confusion.
Quote:
when breakthroughs in technology favor big states, there isn't much disruption. But when they involve information and favor the individual??? Time to hang on tight, this ride is going to get interesting. "Non-violence" is not limitied to putting flowers in gun barrels and standing in front of tanks; it also includes kicking the plug out of the wall on state and military capabilities as necesary to make one's point. It won't be the "rise of the machines" that takes us out, it will be the "rise of the individual."
The rise of the individual is important, but it is wrong to dismiss the potential disruptions that can concur when States acquire certain forms of technology. They can be just as significant, if not more so, than the rise of the individual.
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Old 03-26-2012   #32
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Default The protesters toolkit - revolutionary apps

Protest has not gone away, although in Europe it is not so rife, except in Greece:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17505944 and with the odd reminder here in the UK:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17496073

Here is an event at London's Frontline Club: 'Events Feed On the media: 'The protesters toolkit - revolutionary apps':http://www.frontlineclub.com/events/...e-media-1.html

Quote:
Governments and security forces are becoming increasingly wise to the role of social media in organising and enhancing protest movements. As a result they are developing new ways to block, hack and track citizens tweets, Facebook and other social media tools in order to prevent unrest.

Protesters and citizen journalists the world over are able to stay one step ahead, however with the help of Open Source developed phone apps that allow them to communicate effectively without being tracked as easily. From letting friends know if you've been arrested to getting your story public, there is an app for all possible situations.
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Old 07-05-2012   #33
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Default Forgetful?

An interesting commentary on Stratfor 'Protest Movements as Political Strategy':http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/prote...tical-strategy

It ends with nice prose that is hardly new:
Quote:
By understanding how a protest movement works and how well it targets and exploits the weaknesses of the state it is demonstrating against, we can assess how successful movements are likely to be.
What struck me as curious is that it was published on the 5th July 2012 and has not one mention of 'protest movements' in the USA, a nation-state that arose from a protest movement and had just marked that the day before.
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Old 07-23-2014   #34
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Default Tools of protest: Disobedient Objects

Art sometimes appears on SWC, so this current exhibition in London, at the V&A, fits in:http://www.theguardian.com/artanddes...-objects-vanda

First:
Quote:
some of the most powerful exhibits are the simplest ones – things that engage with the more theatrical side of a demonstration and show how the balance of power on the street can be swung with just a bit of mischievous wit. In one corner, a cluster of gigantic inflatable cubes hangs above a line of placards, like metallic clouds. These are inflatable cobblestones, made by the Eclectic Electric Collective, and used in worker protests in Berlin and Barcelona in 2012, as a way to outwit the authorities.

"The police just don't know what to do with things like this," says Grindon. "Do they throw the inflatable back, in which case they're engaging in this weird performance? Do they try to bundle it into a van and arrest the cobblestone? Or do they try to attack it and deflate it?" Either way, as accompanying footage shows, they end up wrongfooted and humiliated, their authority brilliantly undermined by an ingenious reference to the traditional tool of the street protestor.

The linked article expands on the inflatable theme, although it is hard to see what effect it had in one film clip of a protest in Berlin. The photo below is I think from Paris.


The Poles have always a strong sense of humour, so to them next:
Quote:
A similar tactic is embodied by another object, an orange felt hat: 10,000 of these were worn at a 1988 protest against communist rule in Poland by members of the Orange Alternative. Declared by its anarchic organisers to be the "Revolution of Dwarves", the demonstration resulted in the police having to round up and arrest thousands of people in dwarf hats – a farcical scene not lost on an image-hungry media. A statue of a dwarf, dedicated to the memory of the movement, stands today in the city of Wrocław, where the Orange Alternative has its origins.
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Old 04-05-2017   #35
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Default Advice for protestors today from the past

The actual article's title is 'How anti-Vietnam War activists stopped violent protest from hijacking their movement' with a sub-title: 'Governments welcome violent protests and know how to deal with them. It’s a lesson the anti-Trump movement should remember.' The author is a Quaker.

Maybe rather historical, but this is the only thread that it fits in. I have not read anything on the Vietnam protests, although some imagery remains in my memory. Then it offers some advice for contemporary protestors, so fits in well here.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/robert-levering/how-anti-vietnam-war-activists-stopped-violent-protest-from-hijacking?

Yes I have re-opened this thread.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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Default Spain: how a democratic country can silence its citizens

Via Open Democracy and a timely republication of a 2014 article after the clashes in Catalonia last weekend between national police forces and those who wanted to vote in a referendum on independence:
Quote:
Nearly 900 people were injured as the police, trying to enforce a Spanish court ban on the vote, attempted to disperse voters.Thirty-three police officers were also hurt.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41540994
The sub-title:
Quote:
Spain, one of the European countries at the sharp end of imposed austerity measures, has also been in the vanguard of imposing restrictions on protest against them.
This is a classic silencing tactic:
Quote:
When there is a peaceful assembly the police usually carry out a collective identity check, asking each of the participants for ID and recording their details. Some might find out weeks or months later that they have been fined for participating in an un-notified demonstration or for obstructing traffic.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/opense...-its-citizens?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Default Spain: a different view

Via an academic website 'The Conversation' and with a long title, a different view of recent events in Catalonia:
Quote:
Violent scenes in Catalan referendum were not the return of Spain’s Francoist police
The author adds, sympathetically:
Quote:
But it did not make much sense to send 10,000 police to stop two million protesters and oversee 4,000 polling stations – a useless and impossible task that could only inflame the situation and discredit the police.
Link:https://theconversation.com/violent-...-police-85073?
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