No names, no packdrill: activism is preparedness and integrity

OK, I sincerely doubt anyone’s reading who could put a specific set of names to this post, but just in case I’ve delayed publication and eliminated (some) things that would tend to identify…

There were a bunch of us in a remote locale. We were already beyond the agreed time limit for leaving, but there were people (let’s call them Y and Z, though there was a third person of contradictory wishes) wanting to stay for an undefined length of time.
Person X was querying the usefulness of continuing to stick around. “At most we will delay [bad thing that dickheads were planning to do and would be able to do because they own the State in all important respects, don’t you know] by 90 minutes.”
Person Y said in a condescending tone “but that’s what activism is.”
Now, Person Y really had no business saying that sort of thing to Person X, on general principles, and not just because Person X had been doing activism for longer than Person Y has been alive, and has put their house on the line in order to sue the police for some very bad shit that the police had done. (And person Z had no business rolling their eyes at Person X, but let’s stick to the main narrative).

No, Person Y had no business saying that because

a) we were never going to even prevent the bad guys by 90 seconds, let alone 90 minutes, because we were not prepared to be arrested. And in this specific circumstance, that was what was going to be needed.
b) we were already over the time limit that everyone had agreed to less than 2 hours previously. Person Y and Z had only agreed to that, IMHO, in order to get us out to the location we were currently at. They then hoped, I think, to use emotional blackmail, momentum and the fact of our physical location to renege on the agreement they had made.

Activism isn’t about stopping things for 90 minutes (even when that isn’t an empty boast)
Activism is about preparedness.
Activism is about a realistic appraisal of what is achievable then and there.
And most of all, most of all, activism is about integrity – about sticking to agreements that you have made with fellow activists, especially when it is not possible for those other activists to vote with their feet because of the remoteness of the locale and the existence of just the one bus.

By this crude form of emotional blackmail and deviousness, Persons Y and Z merely succeeded in destroying their credibility, at least in the eyes of two people.

But since those two people aren’t In The Gang, I guess no harm done, eh?


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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