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Demonstrator Explores Pioneering New Strategy For Public Anti-War Demos
by unmediated artists syndicate
13 Nov 2001
solo challenger, Carin Elliot, messed excellently with the reigning "patriotic" hysteria today when he showed artsigns and passed out fliers to hundreds of people in Albuquerque, New Mexico which were VERY unlike the kind one mostly sees, perhaps even **pioneering** in their chosen strategy! Analysis of some of the crucial problems in what passes for the "anti-war" milieu included. See also, text of *in-the-heart* artsigns! (see one artsign here, for those who've seen "The Matrix": http://urbana.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=2821&group=webcast )
Unmediated artists syndicate social challenger Carin Elliot really went to bat for the fledgling anti-war sentiment today in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he carried artsigns and passed out really powerful in-depth fliers to more than a hundred people.
"The intent of my action was to speak directly to passersby, with concepts which would be able to reach as many people as possible" Carin said. "What's passing for the beginnings of the anti-war milieu in this country, in my experience both directly and indirectly is really basically shooting itself in the foot with a canon! Somehow those most influential in both the indymedia movement and the left don't seem to have learned much, or anything from past experience--those in positions of power in our society, the policy-makers, play a game where only huge movements are *allowed* to even be *heard*, and then always within *diplomatic* terms, which is only another form of warfare," Carin said. "Or maybe they just *lack the nerve* to do anything more than walk around in circles with their extremely topical messages."
Carin is referring to C.Wright Mills, author of _The Power Elite_. Mills showed that elites, even in the "alternative" milieu, have a general "lack of nerve" to make *seriously crucial* efforts, at key times, such as promoting that young, often honestly-oriented folks go on the nonviolent *offensive* at times when such action could really make a difference.
The topical messages Carin is referring to are messages that are made by people who appear to be pretty ignorant and under-prepared, even though they're well-within often very consciously political communities. There's no set-up for any kind of serious discussion about the value of making messages which could really get the public moved and inspired challenge.
"It's as if they really don't believe that they can make an impact, so they just go along with making really BAD, weak signs!"
Some examples of Carin's own signs include:
100 % OF OUR BIGOTED RULERS' MIND-SET GOES INTO FOOLING US & MANIPULATING US AGAINST EACH OTHER
"That one was inspired by John Trudell's fucking excellent insights."
John Trudell is an American Indian Movement (AIM) speaker and spoken word artist whose family, including two young daughters, were killed in an arson fire under very very suspicious circumstances during the infamous c.o.i.n.t.e.l.p.r.o. era of the 1970s. Trudell almost lost his sanity completely after this, except that Jackson Browne, the well-known musician, gave him some kindness at the right time and helped him speak his heavy duty heart through *spoken word* and music.
"I actually took an excerpt of a book about him and his ideahhs and put it on one side of my flier! You want to hear some of what he says?" Take a look below:
'Now, if [the mind-set of the rulers has] all the power, then why do they have to have someone come [into where he was speaking] and run back and tell them what we're talking about? [John is referring to our nation's political police; he, alone, got at least 17,000 pages written up on him by these police which he was able to obtain via the Freedom of Information Act] Because they're afraid we might think. They don't want us to think. They don't want us to clean the polution out of our minds because we can do it by activating our thinking process...Theoretically if everyone that disagrees with the lie that has been imposed upon us--tomorrow, theoretically if everyone got up and said, all right I changed my mind. I'm not going to believe the lie anymore--you would have nonviolent change--and you would have quick change--because the system goes upon our self-rationalizations and self-[can't read that word] and insecurity: lack of respect for self.
'...That's how it works and it has turned all of us against one another through distortion and it continues to perpetuate itself. ...The one thing that is feared by this predator energy is that we would...attempt to see clearly with our minds and our lives. ...we can't blame the predator because we have minds and we have the ability to use those minds...We can speak our truths.
'Obviously you can see I went nuts--I went crazy a long time ago. Trust me it's the safest place...(laughs) Normal...bizarre.'
This excerpt comes from the book called _Stickman_, edited by Paola Igliori. You may be able to get it via inter-library loan...
The other side of the flier Carin passed out today was a listing of "information that has most deeply affected me," he said. Basically, it's a listing of websites and books and magazines which often demystify *THE WAR* which is being waged BOTH abroad and at home, "in a very broad way" says Carin. Carin has actually spent the last 10-12 years "undertaking a course of intellectual self-defense," by taking the time to look into issues and ideas that have deeply moved him. He sees that articulating a broad-ranging critique actually has a way of bridging with people where the single issue demonstrators can't.
"It all began when I stumbled onto [Noam] Chomsky's 'MEDIA CONTROL' speech. THAT made HUGE sense to me! After that, I stumbled onto some other stuff, and then began a more conscious inquiry." This enquiry took him from Chomsky to John Holt (Freedom and Beyond), the anti-psychiatry movement, and over to a major in the u.s. marine corps and receiver of the c.i.a.'s highest medal, "The Medal of Merit": The charismatic John Stockwell. As well, he found Jaques Ellul's _Propaganda: The Formations Of Men's Attitudes_, and the stated ideals of anarchy to be deeply meaningful. One magazine which stands out in his mind has been "Anarchy, A Journal of Desire Armed."
"Probably one of the most interesting books I've come across recently is Raoul Vaniegem's _Revolution of Everyday Life_ which is online at www.geosophy.com/ROEL1.html," Carin added.
Asked about how people responded to the solo direct actionist, Carin said that the majority of people who took fliers were pretty kewl, and "I had some really good vibes with a lot of them" he said. Though quite a few people worked over-time, he said, to totally ignore him.
There really wasn't any heavy shit that came down. "The 2 or 3 people who gave me the finger or told me to 'love [this country] or leave it' probably didn't even read my main sign [for cars]. I figure they're really really frustrated with things going on in their lives, and they see someone who is doing something which is strange to them and want to release some of their pent-up frustration."
The thing of this action was, was that Carin's main sign (noted above) steered quite clear of what he calls the big "trap." Carin says this metaphorical trap has been laid by those whose job it is to wreak *emotionally potent over-simplifications--*propaganda* (the actual meaning of the word, not the *newspeak* everyone now thinks nothing of using for *all* speech which seeks to persuade); the social and cultural managers use this propaganda upon the average, trusting person. (As well as even somewhat critical people who still feel quite powerless or cynical.)
"That *trap* is mainly the way that our rulers' bigoted, rigidly-fearing mind-set can keep itself intact," alleges Carin. "This is the beauty of a symbol like the American Flag. You can manipulate people into believing that their bosses and the owners of society 'care' about them in a genuine, not ideological, way--if they're properly 'patriotic'.
"Actually, I'm kind of still in a debate with myself about what people are *really* doing when they have flags on their cars, jackets, bicycles, motorcycles, and homes," Carin says. "I tend to think a lot of people put up their flags as camoflauge, too...then maybe they won't get fucked with by the more hysterical portion of society which is now getting a kind of social 'green light' to do some of the things which usually are only reserved for the smaller scapegoats of society. And, if someone does fuck with them anyway, other patriots might help them...seriously, haven't you noticed the way people are starting to get more friendly with each other?
"So, there's some *good* in showing your patriotic 'duty' and that might be the germ of truth as to why this propaganda works so well."
(note: at the time that we tried to publish this article the first time around, the ENTIRE network of computers in the library we typed this at--a major university--went offline for about an hour! Luckily, we had a copy of our article or we would have lost the whole thing! Is this mere coincidence? Or "hackers" making one of their "random" attacks? Or, the NEW c.o.i.n.t.e.l.p.r.o./political police in action, now, or am I just going off the deep-end in "paranoia"? Let's see if I can publish this now!)
anti-copyright, unmediated artists' syndicate; hope4a (at) yahoo.com