One can cruise around YouTube and get a lot of opinions on strategies and tactics for progressive change. An instructive case is

"The Rise and Fall of Direct Action to Stop the War"

It's a video from an anti-war demonstration in San Francisco and some after-thoughts by participants. It is proudly described as, “A true carnival of resistance.”

Some of the actions illustrated:

The organization may have fallen apart. Different activists are interviewed. One young man comments, “It is hard not to feel disappointed... about the fact that the occupation [of Iraq] continues to this day...”

One interviewee says, “There was a good spark, but of course a spark is not the same as a fire.”

A couple of activists express doubts and divisions about the group itself and “ consensus can be manipulated.”

One very serious young man ends with a call for learning from what has happened so far, and to be “more strategic” in future. He asks, “What would a real strategy to stop the war look like?”

Change comes from great mobilizations

It is sadly true that some people do not believe that mobilizing significant parts of the population is the key to social improvement. There is an unfortunate quote from a popular archeologist going around the internet. It says that only small groups of people have ever made progressive change. Nonsense!

The great changes have come about when great numbers of people demand them. Small groups are more likely to confuse the issues than to help. Individuals who are credited with having made great changes are individuals who knew they had to mobilize great numbers. The list includes

Good tactics come from good analysis

One could add a great number of possible tactics to the ones already mentioned:

None of them are intrinsically work-every-time "good," and none are necessarily bad. All of them have to be judged in terms of their effectiveness in the time and place that they are implemented.

No tactic deserves to become a fetish

Correct analysis of ever-changing conditions and available resources is the key. Southern California comrades made up a good video on strategies and tactics. They call it "methodology."

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