In our last segment, we brushed on the fundamentals of getting a crew, a meeting place and getting the word out. The first part is thoughts about personalities found within organizing, the second is practical tips and tricks. To get to the tips scroll to the ***.
An old friend once told me that peeps get involved with the struggle for 3 reasons. Inspiration, Aspiration, and Desperation.
Those who are inspired to join the struggle do so because they feel affinity and empathy with others who struggle. The inspired celebrate the accomplishments of comrades in other organizations and encourage them to continue their struggles and strengthen their militancy. We know these comrades because their friendship and love can be felt through their work.
Those who join the struggle out of aspirations seek to see their reflection on the television, hear their voice on the radio and read their words in the paper. They worm their way into positions of power through conniving or stepping on the necks of their comrades. The secrets you entrust them become weaponized gossip to gain social capital. They will find every excuse not to work with the masses or anyone.
The desperate become shooting stars as soon as they are affected by the struggle. They are fierce organizers until their personal fortunes change. They lump their support behind whoever can help in their personal cause but will not return the favor for others. Like every shooting star, they eventually burn out leaving their comrades behind to continue onward.
We need to strive to be inspired to fight for ourselves and others, because without collective strength we cannot hope to mount a good resistance against fascism or capitalism.
So at this point in the fight:
- You’ve found some homies.
- You found a spot to meet.
- You’ve made some flyers.
- You have a social media presence.
Now at that’s left is to get out there and talk to people. Or are you? For this scenario, we’ll say that you are at a protest organized by liberals. Before you get out there, make sure you have flyers for your organization, crew, book club in a bag along with some snacks, water, safety gear. Post on your social media that you’ll be organizing out there (security culture always no names, faces, phone numbers). Scan that crowd, who is rowdy? Who is chanting shit you’re down with? Are they masked up or bloc’d out? These peeps are probably a lot more receptive than some scro chanting “USA! USA! USA!.”
Deep breath, smile, compliment. “Love that chant!” “Love that shirt!” “Cool button!” These are tried and true ice breakers. Now it’s your 15 second bit, answer these questions:
- Who you are.
- Who you’re with.
- What ya’ll do.
If they’re down they’ll let ya know. A lot of times we’ve got, I didn’t know there was a group like this, or I’ve heard of ya’ll but never made it out to a meeting. If they’re hella down give them a flyer, if they know cats that you know give them your #. Ask them if they got friends who think like them.
Some folks will be lukewarm, don’t talk them bored, ask them things like “What are your views on capitalism?” “What kind of world would you like to live in?” then listen to what they say. LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY. Actually process what they have to say and then ask them to explain it further. If you didn’t understand what they’re talking about or it was vague ask them to explain in a different way and then LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY. It is so rare to meet someone who will listen, process, and communicate thoughtfully. It shows a minimum of respect for their intelligence, it goes a long way.
After the protest on the ride home or when you get home, text them that it was nice to meet them and you look forward to seeing them at your next meeting. Repeat this a few days before and the day before said meeting. If people feel wanted and needed they are more likely to show up.
Also every step of this don’t be a creep, if folks aren’t feeling it don’t be pushy about it.