Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old, Nonviolent Tactics

Tactics means doing what you can with what you have. In the world of give and take, tactics is the art of how to take and how to give. Our concern is with the tactic of taking, how the have nots can take power away from the haves. Saul D. Alinsky had some of the best tactics to use.

The symphony tactic: the plan was to buy tickets for workers and feed them baked beans before the symphony that the wife of a corporate mogul’s attended. The workers won.

The O’Hare Airport tactic: organizers counted the number of stalls in the restrooms of the airport and then give union members money to tie up the stalls. At the time it cost 5¢ to use the toilet and the user could stay as long as they wanted. The organizers also got men to line up to use the urinals. The workers won.

The gum tactic: when college students were unable to reach an agreement with the college administration, the students, who were not allowed to have fun, dances or drink beer on campus, were asked what could they do? They said they could chew gum. So gum became the weapon. The plan was to get three hundred students with two packs of gum a piece. This amounted to five hundred “wads” and they dropped them on the sidewalks of the campus.

Now we know that it would be rare if we could even use these same tactics again, but these are just to make us think about what we have and how to use what we have.

One other tactic that was used on a hotel was that the workers invited a group of people sit in the lobby and pray day and night. Soon the hotel manager asked if the hotel owners met the demands of the workers would they stop praying in the lobby. The workers said yes. The workers won.

So keep a list of what you have and start using it to start fighting back. We also must remember that a tactic that goes too long will not work. However, a fun tactic is usually a good and will work. Also remember, the GOP cannot live up to their own rules so use their rules against them and hit them over the head with them!

One other tactic, I like, is to make the enemy think you have more than you actually have -- Art of War.