Developing concepts that solve complex problems has always been a specialty and hobby of mine.
Before we jump into the steps of successful civil disobedience, let us first define the phrase "civil disobedience."
As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary: "The refusal to comply with certain laws considered unjust, as a peaceful form of political protest."
However, my definition goes a little something like this: "Any action taken by an individual, or group of individuals, in pursuit of resisting any literal, figurative, perceived, imposed, suggested, etc. unfair means of external bodies/institutions governing their individual being(s). These actions can be peaceful, and they could be violent, because civil means anything and anyone within the private sector."
My definition is the one I would like you to keep in mind, and I will address why I'm using my definition near the end of this article.
Step 1: Cause and Timing
When attempting successful civil disobedience, make sure that you choose a clear cause and know when it is and is not appropriate to practice civil disobedience. Picking a cause can be difficult, because most causes will not attract others to them, so ensure your cause sounds pithy and just. Once you have your cause in mind, make sure you know at what point in time bringing this cause to light through your disobedience will have the greatest effect.
As I write this, police are arresting people for no reason other than they made up some new rules that close the beach to the public. The man arrested in the article was not putting anyone in immediate, direct, nor indirect danger, and the arrest was said to be for the purpose of "sending a message" to the public. The police broke their own rules, the rules this man was following, to ignore social distancing and arrest this innocent man. This is a possible cause for civil disobedience, and now would be the time to get the word out.
Step 2: Get the Word Out
This is the most crucial aspect in your plan for civil disobedience, because if no one knows about your plan and its cause then you have no power at all. Don't be that weird hippy who makes a bunch of signs then goes down to the corner and screams at people. They don't bring about any change and serve only two purposes: they become either an eyesore or a meme opportunity, and that is not the goal of civil disobedience.
Ensure that you contact every news source (amateur, expert, and professional), send out mass emails, texts, make your own web pages and articles... it doesn't matter what you do to get the word out, only that you do it. Writers such as myself will jump at the opportunity to stir up some trouble with our writing, and when we do make sure you share it everywhere! Make sure you include the dates and locations of your gatherings, or else it will be a really short and lackluster show of civil disobedience.
Even better, contact every local militia leader and ask that they provide resources for your civil disobedience. Militias are there to protect the people, and they always have been.
Step 3: Gather Together
It is very important that once you establish your civil disobedience infrastructure that you, yourself, organize all individuals involved and get them together before, during, and after the disobedience in order to show organization and solidarity. Take a lot of pictures, videos, and other forms of recording for posting on the internet. Show your opponents that you are not alone, and make them shake in their boots.
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The more individuals you can gather together, the more successful your civil disobedience will be. Where you gather is also quite important, as gathering in an unpopulated area will not send your message to the masses. Gather in public areas, areas with the most visibility and foot traffic, this is for your own safety as well as your cause. The more witnesses, the less likely the government or authorities will abuse their power to silence you.
Make sure you don't give them a reason to abuse their power, and if you do, you better be ready for the consequences.
Step 4: Maintain Civility
I know I told you to get as many people involved as possible, but it is important that you do not involve anyone with direct, professional ties to the government. Civility is for the private sector, and the second you let a public figure with government ties into your movement, your cause will be hijacked and distorted for the gain of others. It is great to have public figures, but civil public leaders are the key, not people who already have the power to work for change at the same level you are fighting against.
Look back on the Occupy Wall Street movement, and how fast it ended when public figures above the civil level got involved. Those public figures drew massive crowds, drew cameras to their own causes, and the influx of media around public figures quickly demented the purpose of the movement. Soon after public figures from the government started speaking, so did people start to get labeled "domestic terrorists", "anti-American extremists", "anti-government extremists", and "direct threats"
Make sure you aren't letting wolves into the chicken coop. Keep it civil.
Step 5: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
You now have all the steps to accomplish successful civil disobedience, and steps one through four need to be repeated over and over again. It can take days, or it could take years, and sometimes your civil disobedience will never pay off. Please don't give up and keep repeating these steps, for all our sake. If you can pull off one successful show of civil disobedience, you can pull off many more, and in the face of the growing tyranny of our governments we need more leaders willing to civilly disobey.
We will stand behind you, so long as you put in the effort, but we need you to take those first steps for us!
Civil Is Not Always Peaceful
I will never encourage illegal violence, but history tells us that civil disobedience is not always peaceful. In fact, the legal definition of civil disobedience has changed over the years to discourage the public from protesting at all, making the definition more rigid so prosecutors have an easier time pushing punishments on those partaking.
To try to discredit your movement inorganically, and sometimes with force, all major leaders of movements go from being labeled "activists" to "anti-government extremists" by the media. Do not let their scare tactics fool you, stay strong and true to your cause and its leaders! The government has to have serious evidence to try you as a domestic terrorist.
We have seen this occur many times throughout history, here where I am in America and abroad, and they will push you and your followers to become violent by pushing the boundaries of their power. Make sure you are ready for when they begin to hit your soft spots, when they try to entice violence out of your cause, and don't let them win. Know your enemy inside and out, rally your followers around your cause, and be the one to turn the other cheek when your opponent casts the first stone.
There are ways to legally block the abuse of power, make sure you keep yourself tactically knowledgeable as well as legally, and as they prod at your weak points you will be able to smash theirs. Best of luck out there people, and may we all maintain our liberties forever.
Liberty is in our hands!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.