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DIRECT ACTION GUIDELINES
 

Alistair McConnachie published Sovereignty from July 1999 to its 120th consecutive monthly issue in June 2009, and he continues to maintain this website.
Alistair McConnachie also publishes Prosperity - Freedom from Debt Slavery which explains how our debt-based money system works and A Force For Good which makes a positive case for the United Kingdom.
To find out more go to the about who is Alistair McConnachie page.
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The following material by Alistair McConnachie was published in a Special Sovereignty Report distributed free with the July 2001 issue.

THE BASICS THAT YOU NEED
1) An Objective
Ask yourself what you want to achieve, and then ask yourself what it is possible to achieve. You may need to advance in small steps. Keep the objective specific, not abstract or woolly.

2) A Positive and Constructive Alternative, which is Easily Articulated, and which has Broad Ranging Appeal

3) A Communication Network

4) People
Gear activity towards reaching, recruiting and organising people. No opportunity should pass without recording names, addresses and contact details so a network can be mobilised appropriately. You need to develop the widest possible coalition of like-minded individuals and groups.

5) Lawyers, Experts and Money
Lawyers are a crucial requirement for any direct action movement. They tell you how far you can go without getting locked up. Where money is a problem then you need ideologically motivated lawyers who will work for nothing, or for very little. Experts need to be on tap and out front. They lend authority.

6) Knowledge of Your Enemy
- Study Him
What are his resources? What are his weaknesses? How can you use his strengths against him? Where is his weakest link? Who in his ranks can you play-off against each other? Who in his ranks are the most likely defectors? Where and how can you best apply pressure? How is he likely to respond? Can he change the law? Can he enforce it?
- Decide your Ground
Do not allow yourself to be distracted onto the opponent's ground where he can be more effective.
- Know his Arguments
In fact, know them better than he does.

THE KEY REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACTION
1) It should be a Constructive Action rather than a Terminal Action
Every action should be chosen in order to build the movement and advance its interests; to recruit people and further its cause. Constructive actions build the movement and advance its interests. Terminal actions lead nowhere.

2) It should have a Clear and Simple Objective, which is Easily Articulated, and which has Broad Ranging Appeal

3) It should Provoke a Reaction
Constructive actions will provoke a reaction from the authorities so that the situation develops and provides new opportunities to build the movement and advance its interests.

4) It should be Geared to Attract the Maximum Publicity
Sometimes, this can be done with surprisingly small numbers of people. Look at your resources and consider how best to utilise them to maximum advantage. Where the numbers of people are very small then actions must be chosen carefully in order to maximise the benefits.

5) It should Enlist the Agreement and Sympathy of Others, Not Alienate Them
You need to keep the public on your side. Appeal to their sense of justice. Be careful not to complicate and confuse your message with Party Politics. Think carefully about how you attack the present Government. After all, millions of people did vote for it and you need to enlist them, as much as you need to enlist the people who did not vote for it. A non-Party Political message will also help build coalitions with other groups.

6) It should Relate to the Injustice Itself

7) The Victims of the Action should be the Perpetrators of the Injustice
You always need to be thinking about how best to recruit the support of the general public. If the public is inconvenienced by your action then you may risk alienating potential supporters.

GUIDANCE ON TACTICS
Tactics is "the art of maneuvering in the presence of the enemy." Saul Alinsky, in his book Rules for Radicals (1971) wrote that tactics requires doing what you can with what you've got and he listed a set of rules on tactics for the direct action activist:

1) Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have
Always give the impression of size even if you don't have it. A demonstration of 10 people, photographed from the correct angle, can appear like a demonstration of hundreds.

2) Never go outside the experience of your people
The result may be their confusion, fear and retreat.

3) Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy

4) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules
and suffer the embarrassment and discredit of breaking their rules, and being "hoist on their own petard".

5) Ridicule is man's most potent weapon

6) A good tactic is one that your own people enjoy

7) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag
Avoid a tactic becoming a tedious and ritualistic commitment.

8) Keep up the pressure
Use different tactics and actions, and utilise all events of the period for your purpose.

9) A threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself
However, you need to be so organised to ensure you have the ability to carry out your threat, and will do so if your demands are not met.

10) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative
Always have an alternative vision to counter the present injustice and never miss an opportunity to communicate it.

11) Pick the target, freeze it, personalise it, and polarise it
By which is meant: that in a complex society, where the buck is constantly shifting, it is often hard to pinpoint the enemy. However, there is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to focus. These must always be specific people, not vague, intangible and abstract institutions.

Polarisation is necessary because you can act decisively only when you have decided that you are right. As Alinsky writes: "A leader may struggle toward a decision and weigh the merits and demerits of a situation which is 52 per cent positive and 48 per cent negative, but once the decision is reached he must assume that his cause is 100 per cent positive and the opposition 100 per cent negative. He can't toss forever in limbo, and avoid decision. He can't weigh arguments or reflect endlessly -- he must decide and act."

This is not to suggest that there is no room for compromise -- which is often necessary -- only that the movement must be convinced of the rightness of its own cause if it is to be successful.

MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS
If you want to control a large population then you need to keep them passive. One way to do this is to keep them muddling aimlessly in a mire of moral confusion.

The national newspapers -- especially the editorial columns -- are the primary means of (mis)guiding the people's moral perceptions on significant political issues. They will throw moral conundrums at you.

Therefore, you need an internal moral compass which will be able to guide you through the ethical dilemmas which may arise during the campaign.

Without this, the opposition will confuse you, and consequently neutralise your efforts


 
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