The intent and purpose of protest are to demonstrate the objection, frustration, and dissatisfaction of circumstances denied redress, which can no longer persist without adjustment or change. Civilizations have been toppled over disregard for the people’s protest of conditions that will not be tolerated. Protest can be stifled, but eventually, it resurfaces and overcomes the suppression of the people’s will. History always repeats itself in this regard, and change prevails, or extinction occurs.
Effective methods of protest vary with the extent of outrage and the ramification of its effect to force change. Additionally, the passage of time influences the efficiency of the protest methods used to settle any such grievances. The more widespread the objection, the higher the expectations for change are. The more likely a revolutionary demand emerges that requires radical adjustments to the system according to the people’s will and acceptability.
The method of the specific change’s ultimate purpose and other expressions of frustration should not be confused or used to dilute it by the actions used to achieve that change. Radical responses have erupted during protests where force has been met with force. Peaceful protest has also been met with force. The circumstances under which demonstration is conducted must be focused and flexible to maximize its effectiveness while minimizing the harm to the protesters being suppressed by this force.
Harmful exposure to protestors should be minimized and is equally as important as the cause. However, perhaps with the societal climate changing, a new political administration settling in, and the Covid virus still lurking, it may be time to adjust the tactics. Maybe, use more strategic, effective, and conciliatory tactics conducive to the desired change making the outcome more attainable. This is not to suggest not to keep the pressure on or lessen the expectations but to achieve objectives differently to galvanize resources across a spectrum of solutions and support more efficiently.
Any protest should consolidate active and passive support not to alienate resources or allies that can be an asset supporting change or at the very least not standing in opposition to it. The total Black population is roughly 48 million or 14.7 percent of the total U. S. population of 328 million, leaving approximately 280 million people that are other than black. With 67 percent estimated at some point to support racial equality, it is clear that an additional 52.3 percent (171 million) would be helpful.
Taking it to the streets with bullhorns had its place in the past and may still contain a level of effectiveness. However, today a precise focus combined with efficient use of human resources applying technology can disseminate messaging and informational exchanges beyond physical opposition to gain more of an advantage.
More modern tactics can resolve some significant concerns and limit the negative impact on protesters, the alienation of allies, and the alternative actions or narratives levied against the protestors. Protest tactics, methods, and ideologies need to be updated; surgical precision, not blunt force, is required. It is not the skill of the sword but the skill of the swordsman that directs the blows.
Destruction is an emotional response to frustration that is not equivalent to passion or progress. It undermines the success of legitimate efforts and squanders opportunities for meaningful action, resolution, and advancement. The objective is to facilitate focused disruption and change without random destruction or ill-fated confrontation. A tactical advantage has the purpose of engagement with a minimal footprint or target but maximum effect.
Inflicting disruption and affecting changes without being subject to retribution and resisting dispensing collateral damage to innocent parties not involved in the engagement is the goal. Specific tactics can define most responses by manipulative design, thereby aligning the reaction with the purpose of the tactics while working to position the objective for success. Success can often be attainable without conflict when the opposition’s energy is converted or depleted to benefit the protest objective. You cannot lose when causing methodical attrition to the opposition unless by surrender.
Conflict is always an option but becomes exhausting and depleting when recklessly deployed as a default reaction. It should be the last resort even when conflict is the first chosen action. This is not a doctrine of non-violence but a perspective of principle to not become or commit the very oppression we are protesting against. It only justifies their response, fear, and treatment of us, forming a perspective contrary to change while enforcing resistance. Resistance needs to be weakened and not fortified.
It serves no meaningful purpose to destroy or loot except to indiscriminately inflict pain upon someone who has not harmed us directly or who may be sympathetic to the objective of the protest. Protest awry presents the opportunity to express anger, emotions, or repressed personal vendettas by offering an outlet under the disguise and protection of collective outrage for the cause. The business of protest is not personal; it is collaborative, the collective objective is primary, and it will provide some resolution for many of the personal vendettas.
Destruction for the therapeutic purpose of soothing angry feelings or emotional outbursts is not practical or efficiently convincing and mostly futile without focused goals for achievement. Being under the influence of a mob mentality or raging emotions undermines the collective purpose of tactically maneuvering to accomplish our stated objectives and changes. Avoiding compromise by self-imposed distractions or succumbing to emotions is essential in executing a strategy for change.
Our anger turned inward or against us is on us and counter-productive. Emotional intoxication creates an impairment to clear thinking and promotes regrettable actions alienating allies from supporting our cause. Regression into our deferred pain or submission to displays of emotional fervor prolongs our condition. As the past has consistently proven, anger subsides with time and expression, making it unsustainable and unreliable motivation to propel protest or change.
Pent-up emotional frustrations must be controlled, transformed, and refocused for any protest’s sustainable strength and integrity. The mind must be engaged, not the emotions, for logical actions and sustainability of intent. The insanity of our same approach without results is evidence of itself that we have traveled this road many times before to find ourselves on the same road again. It is past due time to change approaches for perhaps a different result other than being angry, stubborn to self-examination, or prone to destructive behavior.
Confrontation is the lowest level of persuasive negotiation or communication with the greater force usually dictating the terms and conditions over the lesser force. Overcoming a more significant force or power does not involve direct altercation but a strategic and analytical negation of their advantage. Primitive expressions of anger acted out from past pain are counter-productive to future gains.
Anger disregards intellectual pursuit and persuasion, surrendering to and conceding an inability to reason or debate our objective convincingly. Commitment finds a way to achievement by not succumbing to surrender or outburst when faced with obstacles but engages adaptation.
Our strategy’s disciplined and foundational principles have to remain firm in its conviction but flexible in its focused execution to sustain the expansion of our influence and support the acceptance of our objective. The cultivation of our base requires that they be informed of the purpose and the method of achieving it. Their determination, resources, talents, and skills, when efficiently deployed, will effectively optimize their contribution to the collective objective.
The methods used should be surgical and fluid in dissecting the obstacles to the objective’s realization. When the methods and techniques are organized and unified, the impact can undoubtedly be predictable and quantified. However, when we come to do serious business, then keep it strictly business. Doing business with tangible results with measurable outcomes must be structured by expressed policies and concessions aligned with our agenda.
Appeal to one political party or ideology has historically failed, resulting in bouncing from one extreme to another, never achieving the wholesale changes sought. More realistically, it has led to being conquered by exploiting our differences and personal ambitions instead of unified by our commonality of interest and objective. This division has no viable focus, momentum, or process to make demands much less change.
The insanity of the same old protest tactics has yielded glacier changes considering the last 60 years of progress since the bullhorn and slogans that rhyme have formed the focal point of social justice protest. Unfortunately, as a result, perceptions remain tainted (theirs and ours), assurances hollow, and equality still elusive.
That is not to discredit the efforts and accomplishments of those who have gotten us to this frontier. Instead, it suggests that to fully benefit from these unprecedented times embracing tactics conducive to current sentiment and public consciousness would seem wise. We can then avoid unnecessarily repeating the same futile cycle where destruction overshadows progress.
A multidimensional approach must be utilized, attacking the systems and perpetrators of injustice and those who would align themselves with justifying or concealing institutional and societal violations. Political and legislative recourse is the most pervasive and effective way to universally isolate and identify systemic injustices to punitively and economically persuade or penalize transgressions and transgressors alike.
It is imperative to use all those who would align themselves with our objective of equality and fairness to address both major political parties to propose, pledge, and produce programs, legislation, and penalties. The precise agreed-upon procedural implementation and application should be transparent and obvious.
Changes to existing structures in violation must be urgently undertaken and remedied. Given the opportunity to honor any assurances, visibly effective actions would be the only acceptable verification. Our political and economic courtship must be accompanied by this bouquet as well as by any other suitors who would seek favor with us.
Since beggars have never been choosers, for us to have a choice, we must develop further options to empower our interest without other’s permission or compliance. Therefore, make it necessary and in their best interest to create a coalition with us essential to their own success demonstrated by their actions seeking and validating our trust.
Political and economic prowess is fundamental to being respected as a force to be reckoned with and afforded the same first-class citizenship considerations as any other group. A major cohesive political initiative is needed to consolidate a coalition of grievances to remedy historical and systematic discriminations. Redress inclusive of our grievances and interest, including those marginalized within the diversity of our ranks.
While the political influence and legislative reform are the most pervasive and effective methods, economic protest is the most immediate and convincing consideration to facilitate change. Mutual goals, shared results, cultural awareness, and systematic bias can all be altered by the bottom line.
Maximum strength can be derived from the imposing of strategies that impact and weaken the financial interests of those in opposition. Let our spending do the heavy lifting against immovable obstacles and damaging objectives. Money penetrates many adverse resolves.
Preparing, educating, and directing our base in our preferred way of resistance or persuasion is the most impactful initiative. Financial withdrawal puts us at no physical risk, allows us to remain lawfully blameless, and is an exercise in our spending discretion that can be heard without ever being seen but felt. It is called discretionary spending, and it is our prerogative.
The tactical concentration of resources and the creative application of proven techniques reversed engineered and effectively used against us can be effective for use by us. Hostage negotiators seek to humanize hostages to captors by deflecting their ideology, making them reluctant to harm the hostages. The most prevalent is self-identifying with the hostages and reflecting their similarities to elicit empathy from the captors. They must be made to see themselves in you or see the similarities of you in themselves.
Lima syndrome techniques can be used effectively towards those who are not hopelessly entrenched in their ideology and position to encourage sympathy for those who have wronged or are wronged. Their injustice is their shame which they feel compelled to resolve along with civilized impulses of compassion. The same technique can reverse social engineering to reject racism and instill a more socially compassionate affinity for equality.
Conversion of the ideologies and perspectives of people must hold a more significant enticement to change old thoughts rather than to adhere to them. First disproving those antiquated beliefs, then embracing the voluntary integration to their identity a genuine acceptance of the change. Their hurtful actions becoming vile, distasteful, and regrettable to themselves.
Protest not aligned with core beliefs results in resistance as a survival mechanism as if they were personally attacked. This personal attack is then internally adapted to reconcile those core beliefs to justify resistant thoughts and actions. Any required change must be a self-revelation where an acceptance or realization transforms those actions and attitudes to a different set of core beliefs aligned with a new perspective.
The concept of addition by subtraction seems counter-intuitive, but much can be gained by what is taken away. It is far more challenging to remove a thought and replace it than to place it there initially. In this regard, social engineering must be addressed relative to racial inferiority or superiority complexes perpetuation. Spreading of either must prevent the ratio of people who learn, are taught, display, or are made to feel either.
Repetition and reinforcement of these concepts lead to their prevalence and, when reversed, can lead to these concepts being rejected. Time and patience utilizing reverse-engineering of the propagation of these concepts where there then becomes an overwhelming presence of the desired one, and the absence of the unwanted one leads to the extinction of the unwanted behavior. Like potty training of sorts, it instills a level of conditioning that is socially acceptable, compelling, and enduring.
Aside from the many psychological and behavioral modification techniques available, procedural adjustments can be similarly effective on institutional and structural entities. These agencies entirely comprised of people operating within those systems are either governed by, restricted by, or compelled by some parameter of conduct or procedural mandate. The adjustments can be implemented when an understanding of their protocols, mandates, and operations is utilized.
Intimate knowledge and understanding of these parameters can nullify, neutralize, restrain, or mobilize their resources. Conflict is short-sighted when others can do the heavy lifting for our purpose. For example, resources can be utilized for our protection or against us depending on how we maneuver their interpretation of our intent. Let their muscle support our intent and against any known antagonist intent, as the national guard did for school desegregation in the sixties.
To lessen the possibility of conflict and be equally effective, a massive crowd assembled in one place without a specific agenda for their collective assembly is not tactical or practical when our assembly results in their assembly as a stronger, more fortified consolidated force. Peaceful assembly locations should be carefully chosen, and agendas precisely directed and fully understood with contingency plans against conduct clearly undermining our purpose. There have to be no tolerances for egos, flexing, insults, emotions, or agent provocateurs, just our objectives and goals.
Any conduct while assembled under our flag reveals whether you are with us or for yourself, in which case this unwanted activity damages our purpose. Our protest must occupy the high ground morally, intellectually, and geographically to move separately but in coordination, while converging collectively into a specific purpose and method to achieve that purpose. Disbursement into smaller crowds that spread resources and divide commands demonstrating clear, peaceful intentions minimizes herd mentality on both sides, and our communication can become more sustainable and direct.
If a breakdown should then occur, it would be isolated to that one location and not into collective chaos as when there is one massive assembly. At peaceful assemblies, law enforcement has to respond to any probability as a paid captive audience. So instead of yelling, insulting, or confronting them, why not try to convert them or at least salvage the ones who may find themselves marginalized within their own ranks as well as sympathetic to our protest and objective.
It is a marketing opportunity since they cannot leave, and exposure to our ideology cannot be avoided. This time and opportunity can be used to hear or see our message and possibly promote it in places where we cannot. By the same measure, the key is not conflict but expense. The more they stand there, the larger the expenditure becomes until it becomes too much on the city budget. City officials will want to negotiate a resolution because law enforcement will also complain and protest about their own conditions and attrition. It will then become a matter of wasted resources and weakened morale.
Law enforcement, city officials, and city council can be required to meet with the public at any number of safe environments where we can put a name and face with a promise or proposed action. The police department is always open to receiving complaints, must investigate, and must give a disposition to the submitting complainants. Churches, schools, community centers, and government facilities can all be utilized for community events and meetings. If they can’t come to us, then we can always peacefully assemble and go to them. Systems and resources are always susceptible to being overwhelmed.
Law enforcement reform starts with the hiring practices of who they put into the uniform and an asserted effort to increase their interaction and familiarity with the culture of the community they serve. Avoidance of bias deployment of selective enforcement throughout the community, a better internal and public accountability system, and assurances that reflect departments and specialized units ratios align with the community demographics are also needed. Discretion is encouraged where minor offenses build goodwill and correction instead of revenue and criminal intent.
Removing the overseer, occupying force, and adversarial culture and mentality of law enforcement to be above the people they serve is crucial to better policing. Changing the officer’s expectations within the department to be less numerically driven as the basis for the court system, jails, and general fund revenue. Additionally, training needs to be directed at mental and psychological options for compliance, de-escalation, and control under fearful or stressful situations that simulate reality. Indeed, a different type of training and increased training is in order.
Engaging the political and legal process at the municipal, county, and state level to change the city charters, county enforcement, and state laws mandating more accountability and transparency removes many instances of abuse. The other component to remove abuses is to remove those who obstruct or violate the intent or equal application of the law. City Charters can make the Police Chief accountable to the public and not the mayor. The law is full of remedies that are not currently aligned with the will of the people or used to reconcile them.
The political structure of this country is established upon majority rule, even if that majority is by one. The path forward seems clear to keep that which has served us well in the past, embrace that which reveals itself to be effective moving forward, and discard that which has not produced the desired results.
The use of technology, emails, social media, and the like that can be consolidated at the push of send is a powerful tool to disseminate protocols, actions, and objectives. Information is the new currency, and shared education is the manner of transport to expose the iniquities of history and the needed corrections now and in the future for advancement.
The objective must be exalted above the method of the objection, the message superseding the messenger, and the change sustained beyond the sacrifices made. All those concerned are welcome to be agents of change under this directive that lessens harm to the integrity of our concerns.
We must practice policy-driven professional protest, not random emotional exhibitions of extortion. Some of the methods and techniques available are time-sensitive and subject to subversion. There are forces actively attempting to legislate and criminalize specific actions to abolish or lessen their use and effectiveness, making it more difficult to protest without retribution and retaliation.
These laws designed as countermeasures to suppress voting and protest have been announced or anticipated which the development and implementation of effective alternative methods must be employed that are impervious to being undermined. Force is used for revolution, which is not reasonable since our goal evolves and it is not the overthrow of the government. On January 6, 2021, an attempt was made on the Capitol by anarchists hell-bent on suppressing our objectives and the incoming administration as well as the imposition of theirs.
Force in the form of civil unrest and civil disobedience, as it is termed, has minimal effect, being localized at best and a squander of human resources at worst. Using revolution employing force and confrontation, the butcher’s tools generate casualties and opposition with the need to maintain coerced compliance. Evolution is the tool of the master akin to chess outmaneuvering the opposition manipulating their move by intellect and persuasion to anticipate their move and checkmate them with their contribution.
We are not equipped for revolution by force and should not be so inclined when the results move us farther away from our goals. On the contrary, the times are ideally suited for evolution, with the circumstances ripe with the proper strategic approach. The surgical attainment of our prime objectives should aspire to minimal exposure and maximum benefit. With that in mind, adaptation and progression do not have to be glacier, but it will take some time and sustained effort.
To survey the factual landscape and assess the most effective course of action, the first thing we must do is control our emotions and remain reasonable about the sequence and scope of our goals. We can not succumb to the emotional compulsion to express our frustrations through destructive methods that yield only a release of anger but limited results.
We must then logically analyze the playbook being used against us for vulnerabilities and deficiencies. Many have historically been the same, but the support has waned, significantly exaggerating the weaknesses exposing new paths to change. Just as their ideological numbers have weakened, ours have been strengthened, forging overt empathy and allegiances towards justice for us.
Dissent and allegiances in unison with a significant number of people who should not be alienated or excluded from their contribution to a mutual objective. For example, some have aged out of active protest in the streets. However, they still can significantly contribute if an avenue for their participation was available which remained within their capabilities. The same holds for adolescents who can contribute in their own particular way or those who would need to remain anonymous for their own preservation but would love to contribute if provided a way.
The racist or conservative value ideology has to be exposed for what it is and the lack of inclusion of some who support it, not realizing that they are not included except for achieving a goal that will discard them. Conservatism is rooted in the past, which does not include alternative sexualities, gender roles not male-dominated, inter-racial relationships, immigrants who visually do not look white, and the list goes on.
These are the divisions and vulnerabilities which need to be exposed. The 2020 election and the strategy utilized by Stacey Abrams and many others are symbolic of the horizontal attack on a vertical establishment. The legs can be taken out to make the head fall.
The divide and conquer tactics that have been so effective against us redirected against the social intimidation used to sustain this stain of racism can now be used as never before to topple this system of discrimination. Isolating its methods and motivations cultivating change for its own survival or wither isolated from the acceptability of change. The implosion of maintaining their discriminating ideology will collapse when starved. The pen is mightier than the sword, and the briefcase more effective than muscle can use their momentum against their purposes when redirected for our purposes.
The prototype builds a horizontal coalition targeting as many local gatekeepers as possible from the school boards to city council from the infrastructure that governs them by vote, city charters, or other legislation that either changes their policy and functions or promotes the compromise needed for our redress.
The latest census report does not accurately reflect the shifting demographics of those by their designation whose interest would more closely align with our objectives for their benefit. The number of those who would oppose or actively resist has diminished when put into the context of racial and economic oppression, which comparatively suppresses their prosperity as well.
Focusing on the horizontal social foundation is where the legal and meat on the bones changes will be more attainable and intensively affected at the grassroots level. Producing new socio-economic norms not constricted by race, gender, or discrimination will require more vertical institutional infiltration.
It would be regrettable not to fully benefit from this unprecedented time in a diametrical shift of ideologies, theirs and ours. Confronting this plague of racism that has persisted for centuries has spilled out into the open, and we can not refuse to update our strategy conducive to meaningful change.
There was civil unrest under the previous administration as clashes of ideology and practice, but that most certainly seems not to be the case with the Biden-Harris administration, so why would the method of protest be the same for friend and foe. They deserve a chance to benefit us from the highest levels as they have pledged without being encumbered by behavior that undermines their efforts or strengthens the opposition.
By demonstrating their actions and those appointed by them, they have demonstrated more willingness toward fairness than we have been recently accustomed to. So let us do our business while they do their business unencumbered by each other and in support and coordination towards a just objective.
We can use all the help we can get and can not afford to squander our allies or resources by our emotional behavior or lack of logical strategy. So many of these protests are in response to the loss of life of individuals whose family gets constantly bombarded with reminders of their loss. They deserve closure and resolution reflective of the pain they endure and provide the progress that can be the only thing to minimize their loss and provide some degree of comfort.
So first and foremost, let us not get too wrapped up in our anger to exacerbate their pain without honoring the progression needed as a result of THEIR loss. We must embrace their wellbeing and make sure they are provided for while we claim our actions are on their behalf without honoring their wishes or embracing their condition.
Remember, it is about their families and protest, collectively, not us individually releasing anger. We must remain diligently respectful of their loss. United, we stand erect consolidated in purpose and with the integrity of our convictions to demonstrate that which we demand.
The teachings of Sun Tzu or the Five Rings present conceptual tactics of principle and concept. The study of Hannibal from Carthage and Shaka Zulu reveals helpful strategic maneuvering of resources, innovation, and positioning. These learnings are military tactics that will prove effective in a civilian application of protest.
War tactics applied to peaceful thought processes guiding social movements whose ideology is adapted to reflect the logical application of their concepts not to create war but to create evolution and progression. They are designed to minimize conflict and self-inflicted collateral damage while ensuring success in overcoming obstacles by a coalition of consensus.
The question is will we put an end to some of this nonsense or wait for others who have less incentive? But, again, the perspective of tactical protest is wisest, not demonstrations of emotional outbursts.
Thurston K. Atlas
Creating A Buzz