Unseemly Cooperation

5 October 2018

Watching my usual morning news program I was troubled by the images of some of the 300+ women who were obligingly assisting in their transfer into custody of law enforcement officials (mostly men), presumably for the offense of raising their voices and/or sitting down in the atrium of the Senate Hart Office building.

How unseemly, not the protest, but the passive cooperation of the arrestees. The ladies should have remained seated. They should have politely advised their would-be custodians that they would not do the officer's job for them saying. "Arrest me if that is your intention but don't ask me to do it for you."

If committed to taking protesters into custody the arresting officers should not expect the arrestee to assist in their own oppression. If each arrestee had to be carried off by two or more officers, or hoisted onto wheeled stretchers, the protest would have endured much longer and the protesters would have garnered more media coverage and sympathy, especially if the law enforcement
officials became offensive or violent.

A possible positive result of such non-cooperation would be the police officers being forced to recognize the significance of their actions, and perhaps gaining greater understanding of their role in citizen protest suppression. It could have been an important teaching moment for law enforcement and an empowering experience for the women.



Refuse to cooperate

“ do not make your enemy afraid by selling out. You make your enemy afraid by refusing to submit, by fighting for your vision, and by organizing. It is not our job to take power. It is our job to build movements to keep power in check. Without these movements nothing is possible” and,

“The forces arrayed against us are frightening. The struggle will be difficult. But we will never succeed if we attempt to accommodate the current structures of power. Corporate capitalism cannot be reformed. Our strength lies in our steadfastness and our integrity. It lies in our ability to hold fast to our ideals, as well as our willingness to sacrifice for those ideals. We must refuse to cooperate.”

Chris Hedges in the concluding pages of “America: the Farewell Tour.”

For more on modes of disobedience and non-cooperation see:
198 Methods of Nonviolent Protest

Consider the boycott

Boycotting is akin to civil disobedience but directed at one of your would-be corporate masters – I call it Corporate Disobedience.

It’s simple, pick any for-profit corporation you identify as a bad actor, poor corporate citizen or whatever, and no longer do business with that undesirable entity.

Some of the corporations I boycott:

  • WalMart - pitiful pay and employee disrespect.

  • Nestle – water in plastic bottles, what’s not to hate?

  • Amazon – Same as WalMart only worse.

  • Apple – exploitation of Chinese workers and American consumers.

  • Microsoft – Crappy code and consumer disrespect.

  • Wells Fargo – Predatory mortgage lending.

  • Bank of America – Same as Wells Fargo.

    You get the idea...

Find your boycott target – visit Corporate Accountability or Corp Watch to learn which corporations they have identified as bad actors. Also pay attention to the online alternative news journals. Check out the Voters’ Guide Got News document for a list of trustworthy news sources.

There you go, have at it! Boycotts work best if large numbers of people participate so be sure to educate all your family and friends as to what corporations you are boycotting and why. 

Leave a note here let us know your boycott targets.


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