Tomorrow's Tactics: in the news

Now that the war on Iraq is finished, Bush is already thinking about the next conquest: maybe Syria or Iran, or maybe somewhere else. Thus, it’s already time for those opposed to a US empire to figure out our next move.

The state has become extremely skilled at limiting the effectiveness of traditional, predictable oppositional movements and actions. Tame mass marches are ignored, while ordinary militant street actions get you arrested or shot at with rubber and wooden bullets. Sometimes, the most effective tactics are disruptive actions that the state couldn’t possible imagine and thus won’t know how to react to — surrealist, absurdist actions. Such actions are just too strange for the police to figure out what to do. Or maybe they aren’t even clearly protest tactics at all — they are just things that massively disrupt business as usual, cause chaos, sow confusion, and gradually rot out the empire’s ability to project power globally.

Here are a few examples, but really, you have to think up your own or else they won’t work. Be creative and remember, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.

America’s favorite problem solver: Duct Tape

It seems like every action these days has to have lock boxes. You know, pieces of pipe that people use to lock themselves together that have to be cut apart by the fire department. The problem is that the fire department is quickly learning how to handle the problem. The police magazines probably have whole articles written on this stuff by now, and maybe some company is making a “lock box cutter tool.” Why should we support a whole industry?

What about introducing some other kinds of materials that are intended just to confuse the fuck out of the authorities. For instance, what about at the next blockade, everyone shows up with a box of duct tape and just goes at it. Taping doors, locks, access points, people to cars, cars to trees, people to trees, etc. A few layers of duct tape is surprisingly difficult to cut because it is so gummy. The gum gets stuck in knives. Maybe we could layer some wire in with the tape or something.

Or what about using those wide roles of shrink wrap that shipping companies use to seal boxes together.

Best of all, duct tape and plastic wrap look so good together, so relevant — they are the official government solution to the threat of chemical and biological weapons. When the cops arrive, you can just say you wanted to have some homeland security.

Fake fear cuts both ways

With all the hype around SARS, and before that anthrax and even small pox, the average American is more than ready to believe in crazy health risks. Instead of trying to shut down, say, Bechtel by linking arms outside its front door, how about try something a little more interesting.

Picture this. A bunch of people wearing full white body protection suits and respirators emerge from a series of white vans. They have official looking picture ID badges, white buckets full of a fancy green colored soapy water and scrubby brooms. They tape off the Bechtel entrance with yellow caution tape and start soaping down all of the surfaces and posting official “Warning – Contamination Quarantine” stickers.

They probably shouldn’t answer any questions or talk to anyone — just act official. At the very least, this is going to create chaos and confusion. At best, the building will be shut down until someone can figure out what is going on.