Monday, July 11, 2011

Word of the day: de-arrest

Just finished watching a new doc on environmental activism and I was struck by a wave of deja-vu observing the planning and training that goes into such actions. "Oh," I thought. "We used to do that", regarding going limp and so forth. Ah, yes, back in the day, in the early '90s, when the streets of San Francisco were alive with shouting.

One tactic that was new to me was "de-arresting": if someone gets grabbed by the police, the person shouts "De-arrest!" and the rest of the affinity group swarms around in an act of collective liberation. Imagine how that would work in the wider world: you're walking down the street and confronted by an assailant. You shout "De-arrest!" and people come out of the woodwork to your aid. Most empowering.

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