Civil Informationing…modernizing activism

By

Robin Hordon

January 2002 through November 2011

The concept of "Civil Informationing" came to my mind when, in 2002, 2003 and 2004, I was involved in planning and executing several typical anti-war protests against the upcoming and ensuing war in Iraq while living in Reno, NV. What stood out to me this time around is that NOW we had the Internet...yet we were still only doing the exact same "dated" things that were developed 40 years earlier. Simply put, there was not very much integration between the "Internet and Information age"…the activists protesting in the streets…the citizens observing our actions…and the spreading of information. What was frustrating was that although the VAST MAJORITY of feedback from the citizens was against the war back then [even in Reno, NV and an interesting yet ignored/forgotten point!], citizens who walked and drove past did so without becoming more informed about what was actually going on. The only thing shared were feelings against the war. In other words, it was the same old “complaint” or protest process…it wasn’t activism to become a political force.

It was clear to me that modern era activists' public protest tactics needed a change...a complete overhaul per se...because the "age old" models of protest activities were clearly not working in spite of the fact that we had some new tools at our disposal. In the years since, more and more excellent videos, DVDs, You Tubes, handouts, specific websites and other "teaching-educating tools" have been developed. The street actions of delivering and activating was performed mostly at the hand of the 9.11.01 Truth activists who have been internet savvy from the get-go. YET, the useless and too often confrontational and misguided "challenge authority street actions" have remained exactly the same as they were some 40 years ago…ineffective!

Civil Informationing (CI) was developed to bring the best of the protests and activisms 60s forward…such as the great power and wonderful hearts of concerned citizenry…the willingness of those folks to stand up in public to voice their opposition in actions known as “vigils“…and to integrate it all with the new millennium's "information age"…aka…its great potentials for self educating and self informing found everywhere within the Internet, websites, DVDs and online videos.

Below are some points-counterpoints and perhaps some suggestions about what CI is all about. But first, a very clear statement:

Neither myself, nor Civil Informationing, nor any 9.11 Truthers nor any of the gang in the 9/11 Civil Info Blogspot take any credit for the process of being "polite" to others. Being polite and being respectful of others are both well developed and successful behaviors that have worked well for centuries. However, we will take credit for reminding activists that maybe, right now, at this stage of the game, being polite is the absolute best way to behave in public when trying to inform, educate and influence our neighbors in positive ways to join us in making important changes.

BEING OUR OWN MEDIA...

Civil Informationing...

...understands that for a democracy to work, citizens need to be properly informed with the truth, evidence and facts, and that existing public education and corporate media are deliberately dumbing down and misinforming both students and the public at large, respectively. Bad commercial TV shows and alleged “news” presentations speak eloquently for themselves as the major forces driving the decline of awareness…from local to worldly.

At this stage of the game, most folks will actually trust their neighbors over their governments, [unless they dress like a "Cat in the Hat on Stilts...and act out in other foolish ways", as images of the 60s and 70s remind us]. Consequently, the value of having good information to hand out, being friendly, and having a smile and a handy "How Ya doin?"...goes a much greater distance in public relations and informing people than does marching, chanting, confronting, raging through the streets…and getting arrested for NOTHING!

Most folks do not trust the government, and as an example only, the “9.11.01 Truth for World Peace and Justice Movement” simply hands out information, and asks that each person "decide for themselves". [The We Are Change groups are the only “Truthers” who still act out confrontationally and its THEY who give us the biggest problems to deal with. The WACs are half cointelpro and half good folk. Sans the WAC behaviors, this polite and information based approach is a very good, respectful, effective and efficient way to go for ALL progressive activists...and for ALL public information spreading activities. This approach is indeed something very different from what is commonly available from corporate media, corporate advertising, corporate dumb-down TV shows, dishonest politicians and their paid consultants. Its quite refreshing to be part of…

Last Century's Tactics...

...were designed to attract the corporate media's attention to whatever cause was at hand. This very process rewarded the more extreme behaviors in groups and in individuals…aka…getting arrested for no good reasons…so that "the issues" would hopefully be placed on the front pages…thus informing the public via corporate media. Truth be told, such extreme behaviors ended up alienating "John and Jane Doe" because most folks simply do not want to be "disobedient" [Civil Disobedience], nor do they want to be "confrontational", nor do they want to get arrested...but they really do want to get more informed, to be good citizens and to make things better. And now, most DO want to make a change…but feel alone in attempting to do so. Therefore, it is of no surprise that the numbers of participants in such major marches of years past have eventually diminished greatly. I argue that they were DRIVEN AWAY by the bad behaviors and CD expectations of the remaining more radical activists, and of course, the now admitted counter intelligence activities . Its my belief that this element of the 60s protests IE: “the dependence upon the corporate media to spread the word“, remains the single weakest link in the entire battery of bringing LAST century's tactics into this century‘s realities.

Its so very obvious now that depending upon the corporate media to get one's message out has proven to be very easily controlled by the corporate media itself because they simply were able to chose to NOT cover it…or, they would under-report the events…or, more importantly, they would spin the entire story away from the facts, truths and original objectives. They would simply create their own self serving story [insert Operation Mockingbird here...]…and of course, when the corporate media acted this way, it both angered and discouraged activists simultaneously. Game-Set-Match goes to the corporate media. AND THE TRUMP CARD…as the years wore on, now the activists eventually ended up going home broke, frustrated and unsuccessful...and because our beloved activists had long bought into ONLY the “big event only“ concept of activism, their numbers dwindled into the TINY numbers we see at most marches today.

When I do ask the youth if they ever attend marches and the like, the overwhelming and quick answer is no!…and the quicker answer as to “why” they do not attend comes the answer: “Because they are stupid!”

Anyway, moving ahead into THIS millennium, being out in public performing CI on routine schedules in busy places while handing out our VIRAL information is surely a slower process than it would be IF the corporate media were to blast any of our particular issues that we want shared, but, CI is flat out unstoppable...a classic rabbit-tortoise race! Also, CI supports all the elements of alternative? media that are springing up everywhere nowadays. Our new information age is certainly "fertile", and I encourage folks who are creating such alternative media venues to join us out there in their local neighborhoods and hand out some of your own stuff thus creating many NEW NETWORKS…including revitalizing neighbor-to-neighbor relationships!

BEING MORE LOCAL…MARCH OF THE PENGUINS…or…are BIG EVENTS still a good tactic?

If one does look into the stunning documentary "Sir, No Sir", and can view it objectively, one might see that the HI PERPS [Nixon and the Military Industrial Complex etc.] had to change one of the REAL TRUTHFUL STORIES about why Vietnam ended. The Pentagon had lost the ability to execute their ground war. This was because the Generals had lost control of the ground troops as the GIs eventually “figured it all out” and began killing their own commanders instead of killing the Vietnamese [thus saving their own lives]. After some more open minded thought it becomes clear that the HI PERPS actually WANTED protesters to…travel to distant places…to spend all sorts of their assets [emotional, financial and time]…to assemble in great numbers…to march in front of NOBODY BUT THEMSELVES in WDC…[and a critical point here]…to come to think that the BIG EVENT process was the ONLY MAJOR FACTOR in ending the war. And the icing on the cake…the protesters would go back home thinking that their "Mission was Accomplished" when actually, it wasn't…

One of the reasons that the HI PERPS did this was because eventually, they knew that they would gain control the media coverage. [Operation Mockingbird was/IS still under way] Example: consider the Grenada-to Panama-to Gulf War I-to Bosnia-to GWII sequence of increased control of the media as the reporting became more and more “imbedded“ until the press was sleeping with the media. One can see that after Vietnam, the military knew that they HAD to do something about the free press because it was the free press that informed the US citizenry enough to become against the war. Please understand that its FULLY understood that the GIs would NOT have been as confident to enact their own life saving actions in the jungles in Vietnam without all the Peace marchers back home etc.

So, what we did in the streets was certainly important. Regarding the rumors that the peace communities and their marching actions prevented a nuclear bombing campaign, I personally feel that by spreading this meme, it was actually a cointelpro-disinfo action in that we were made to “feel” as though we prevented a nuclear attack. And further, I definitely feel that this was all laid out solely to keep us marching in one place…and only every now and then. And as we now know, in the end, all the following "marches" were eventually made "invisible" by lack of press coverage. We still can see that the press is not doing their jobs in reporting uncensored news.

The scenario noted above is much like that of "The March of the Penguins". IE: the march would be completely invisible, and thusly also under-reported, IF there were no cameras set up in Antarctica to see the amazing journey by the penguins. No cameras...no March of the Penguins. No news reporting-no March of the Activists.

It still remains this way today as the only thing activists seem to have been doing about this is to make weak complaints, shake their heads, claim that life is unfair and stop activising. But now we have CI…

In conclusion, since if the truth about the soldiers solving their own problems in Vietnam would have undermined the authority structures within the military for decades to come, as well as to give clear instruction for future generations of soldiers on what they could do if they were involved in an unjust war and wanted out IE: frag their superiors. This brings new light as to WHY Blackwater mercenaries were hired for GW I and II?

Maybe all along the 60s activists have been "psy-oped" regarding their “alleged successful marches” in ways similar to how the world was 'psy-oped" surrounding with the events of 9/11/2001 ...the truth being one thing [inside job], and the imagery and popularized folklore being another…that 19 Arab hijackers beat us?

So maybe Nixon-Johnson were just playing their “disinfo” roles when the famous stories about them seeing and worrying about the hundreds of thousands of protesters outside the Oval Office windows and being "afraid of them" was circulated in the Mockingbird media. Maybe they were not telling the truth to the American public?

So the overall point here...

CI calls for... More information sharing…being your own media…being more local... Being more frequent... Being more "frugal"... always being legal... always being cooperative... always being polite...always being respectful...never getting arrested…and being more "public" in the displays of modern activism. And that such activities take place NOT at a silent distance from citizens [like the old style silent peace vigils], but instead, they take place AMONGST citizens and are INTERACTIVE with your neighbors as goals instead.

CI deals with people right in the middle of the busiest "people and vehicle" places one can find in the local neighborhoods, intersections, overpasses, sporting events, concerts, fairs and other large gatherings.

The consistent and more frequent schedule allows our fellow citizens in our own towns to get to "see" that …something is really happening in their local region [like democracy]…that someone is motivated enough to speak out against our government and/or FOR the some good issues…that the gathering is polite, respectful, welcoming, and information based…and that this more frequent schedule at nearby locations and in smaller chunks of time commitments per event, ALL combine to encourage MORE involvement of more citizens. In adopting this approach by the CI activists, the average citizen comes to see that a few of their fellow citizens feel quite strongly about something…that they are giving out "information" that asks that we all seek the truth…to become more active in our democracies…and that the public event is non-threatening…and that if they join in, they will come to understand that its also fun and rewarding. This is all good stuff.

AND IF YOU WANT A BIGGER EVENT…then dust off “The Convergence” and throw a party!

A more effective, more efficient, and possibly much more fun way to occasionally gather as a regional group if so desired [mimicking-replacing-improving upon what happens now with the old fashioned BIG MARCH activities], is to have all interested CI activists spend a few hours with their signs and handouts at a few spots in their own neighborhoods all around the region in the morning or midday. THEREFORE…instead of only having ONE thousand person event in one location first, or several 40 person events at ONE corner in difefrent towns, or all at ONE event in your area...set it all up to have 250 FOUR person events in the surrounding region…aka…like having 10 four person events happening at 10 different “hot spots” in your local town...SPREAD OUT TO START...EXPAND EXPOSURE!

This approach fits PEFRECTLY for creating THOUSANDS of local "satellite events" that can assemble to SUPPORT any national or international activism events that the local groups may want to supoport...

AND AFTER CI-ing in the first part of the day and wanting to get together…ALSO plan the day‘s schedule for everyone to “converge” at a chosen time…at a chosen park, facility or another centralized fun location...where a party can be had by all. CI-ing is all DONE…so enjoy some music, food, drink, stories, celebration, future coordination, organizing, meet-ups…and FUN TIMES. This is a better way to end a day of activism...and there are dozens of creative and “fun time” options can be dreamt up…JUST DO IT...and HAVE SOME FUN TOO!!!

DECENTRALIZE...and...RECENTRALIZE...lets get more personal...lets get more political...

The process of Civil Informationing brings a citizen's responsibility for involvement in sustaining their own governments back to themselves. The "representative style" of our democracies, the protest activities of the 60s and the BIG EVENT tactics all transfer too much personal responsibility of good citizenship to someone else to enact. Clearly this has not worked as our elected representatives have been bought out by corporate monies, or, are representing only the wealthier upper classes of citizens, or both.

The environmental movement, the anti-nuke movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, and the GBLT movement have each remained more successful into THIS CENTURY because they have kept INFORMING CITIZENS about their issues for the last 40 years-since the 60s-70s…mostly LOCALLY TOO! But this is not so with the peace movements as they stopped doing their thing when the USofA was not at a “public war“.

And when the ANTI-WAR “CATS" were tricked to go away from WDC and out of the short lasting limelight, the PRO-WAR “RATS" came to play...and now, WDC is crawling with rats! Rats that we have elected again and again and again…and those who pay them. This pattern is NOT SUCH for information based movements.

The Internet brings the both the world and our fellow citizens right to our fingertips as we can gather whatever we want from the net…and we can do so on our very own schedules. Additionally, we can now "meet up and gather" with whomever we want to meet up with...but now its “virtual“. However, performing CI in local communities now puts a "human face" on all this electronic wizardry and at the end of the tentacles of the Internet. This is why there are so many "Thank you for doing this and being out here[s]" offered by citizens to me and to other CI activists when we take to the streets in the MODERN CI way. The citizens do care, and we show that we care and that we are unafraid to be out in public…and some will come and join!

I argue that the OCCASIONAL BIG EVENT peace marches of the 60s serves as another example of the transfer of our individual power to the hierarchy of those atop the peace groups to whom we entrusted that responsibility to carry our voices and to make changes. Thusly, this duplicates the ways in which we expected our elected officials to make changes after we elected, and then ignored them. We marched and went home thinking something was actually going to happen with our opinions. And similarly, we voted once every four years [many were not involved in mid-terms] and then went home thinking that something was going to happen with our voted opinions.

Its my view that have allowed too much of our own personal power and responsibilities to be "centralized" in OTHER PEOPLE and in FAR AWAY PLACES… and lost track of too much. Another way that I choose to describe this phenomena is that “The Great Gray Nap” has long begun…AND…that its firmly entrenched in the left.

But not so with the right, especially the church goers as they meet-up every week and remind themselves about their civic responsibilities that they need to accomplish this next week. Like voting in the mid-terms-and more!

With the Internet and its power to allow us to "meet-up" virtually, we can take back our own process of educating and organizing ourselves thus getting past corporate news and “dumb-down“ TV. We can DECENTRALIZE the powers within WDC and RECENTRALIZE our powers starting right on our laptops and computers at home…all at the end of the web world's tentacles. Practicing CI personalizes the Internet and brings human beings out to meet human beings in neighborly LOCALIZED ways. CI also brings the local grassroots beginnings of meaningful changes right to our towns and cities. In using CI, and as citizens become more and more involved with both the "virtual meet-ups" of their interest, and with the personal meetups with their neighbors, there will be a HUGE difference between the 60s protests and the new millennium's modern public activisms. I see the decentralizing effects of performing CI in the exact same light as I see the processes of local Farmer’s Markets! Local, organic, friendly faces, people-to-people, information sharing, new ideas…

The 60s BIG EVENT war protests were mostly designed to change opinions, but they essentially failed to establish or to remain a political force for major change in the future…the protesters left that for OTHERS to accomplish…just like they left the protests themselves behind.

The modern CI activisms are more organic, more constant, more self-designed and are becoming a very powerful political force because citizens are becoming informed, and slowly, we are regaining control of their abilities to give or withhold their consents. This is a good thing and it will not go away. Just ask the 12-26 year olds….kids who have grown up online! Once they start voting, it will be informed…and it will LAST…if we are locally active more often!

A HUGE NEW WAY TO BE…DO NOT ARGUE WITH FOOLS...or "agent provocateurs"

The single major difference between 60s marches and gatherings, [other than the size and locations], and CI, is that the entire concept of CI...being CIVIL and being INFORMATIONAL calls for NOT confronting or loudly arguing with those with whom one strongly disagrees ONCE it is discovered that this person is a FOOL…a hard core “believer“…or you think possibly a cointelpro! Many 60s style activists SOUGHT OUT these lowest level, hardest headed, most egregious opponents…and THAT became the behavioral standard…a very low one.

Once a CI-er discovers that the person with whom they are talking is incapable of absorbing any new information, is stuck in their narrow belief structures, or might deliberately be “pushing your buttons”, then a “skilled” CI-er simply terminates the engagement. Its always best to simply express that its great that we live in countries that allow for a difference of opinions…and that we hope this person has a nice day. The “co-mingling” of PEACE SYMBOLS or the words of PEACE at the end of the conversation seems to always allow for no words to be said. The best way out of this dead end conversation is to hold up the two fingers flashing a "peace hand sign" and a smile as your final answer or response. Its possible that some folks with strong opposite positions might make some type of "scene", YET, they can be asked to leave you alone because they came to see you and not vice-versa. Law is on your side here.

Truthfully, we want the OPPOSITE of verbal or any other confrontations-loud arguments to be the order of the day. If other citizens nearby see that your Civil Informationing presentation is conversational…and note that friendly interactions are happening…and further see that there is a willing, sharing and open discussion of information with other citizens, then a VERY POSITIVE IMAGE is being presented which makes for more POSITIVE vibes. This will lead to even more FUN meet-ups and conversations with reasonable citizens.

When one argues with a fool, or a person with a strong opposite opinion, a few things might happen...

First......the entire event is allowed to be "uncivil" and thusly becomes confrontational in lieu of being informational…which is the primary goal of CI...

Second...if one argues with a fool or angry person long enough, innocent bystanders will shortly not know which person in the argument is the fool...

Third.......you may have been "cointelpro-ed" or effectively baited by some very conservative types because this tactic is well established as a technique used to undermine public activisms by both the intelligence community...AND…the radical right communities…IE: sustaining-creating LOUD confrontations…

Fourth.....if you loose control of your emotions and begin to reach downward to produce "answers from the gutter", you will now be in the gutteryourselves...

Fifth........if you allow the peaceful event to become rowdy, you may: …be asked to leave or move…receive a citation…cause a huge hassle...or end up getting arrested…so DON’T DO THAT!

To repeat a bit…the well established interactive "habits and attitudes" from the 60s far too often call for the exact OPPOSITE of CI to take place when one deals with a person or persons. In fact, CD and protesters from the 60s and 70s, [and most of their heirs since], usually sought out and were quick to respond to people holding opposite opinions by confronting, if not pouncing on them creating these confrontational "scenes.

When one uses the approaches developed in the 60s and 70s to deal with those who oppose, several negative things happen...in list form…

First........an amazing amount of energy and time is wasted on someone who will never change their mind anyway...these may be John Dean's 25% of morons are uneducable-PERIOD...

Second...the average citizen observing the interaction will now deliberately steer well clear of the CI event because they do not want to be involved with the confrontation...

Third.......the only INFORMATION being shared in the above point is that there are bad things associated with the particular movement or initiative that is being presented by CI-ers...

Fourth.....it is possible that your friendly "cointelpro" or "agent provocateur" has had his or her way with you...and because of the emotions running wild, you won’t really even know it…

Fifth........if the situation does break down, THAT will be what is seen in the news cycle which of course, is the goal of the cointelpros...and has been for decades now…

In the end, there is a "turn the other cheek" thing going on here...and it is well worth it to do so. Eventually, your peace fingers, smiles and refusal to respond to the "provocateur's" verbal assaults will cause those persons to go away frustrated. AND, your esteem in the eyes of an average citizen will rise significantly. In this way one can take a difficult situation and turn it completely around to our favor.

COINTELPRO THIS!...CI as a natural disinfectant...

There are two places that "cointelpro" usually has access to undermine activist movements, and there are two rather distinct "behaviors" and "looks" of such actions and agent provocateurs...

Friendly Fire: Friendly acting and friendly looking people who are "in thegroup" and attend all the organizing and other meetings and are those who subtly suggest and move the planning to "walk the line" between legal and illegal activities...or...who narrow the gaps between violent and non-violent behaviors...or...[the most difficult cointelpro-disinfo types to see]...those who steer the objectives of the group away from the achievable and reasonable goals and towards the IMPOSSIBLE to acheive...although it all sounds so damned good. These are the most clever and deeply hidden amongst the progressive groups.

Unfriendly Fire; These are the lesser known people [if known at all-they may be new faces] who show up at the public or street events and who work by moving around and suggesting more and more illegal or violent behaviors. These types are careful and skilled enough so as to not become easily exposed by making statements while standing behind others and then moving away. Usually theer are two or more such types and they ping-pong the ramping up of emotions making the other attendees think that there are more activists who think that they should brick some windows than there actually are. These types are the "Unfriendly Fire" types.

Anyway, in complete contrast, Civil Informationing is a concept whose goals are to not be disruptive…not to be law breaking…not to be confrontational…not to be aggressive in public…CI is designed to be THE OPPOSITE!

Game, set match goes to CI because the planning for both civility and message has already been done. This is because the goals of the event are already established and the behaviors of all the Civil Informationers is firmly understood and agreed upon.

Cointelpro and agent provocateurs soon become exposed because eventually they or their actions and goals stand out so clearly. There is no cover for these creeps within any CI actions and they can be disinvited.

So, in closing...

"All I am sayyyyying .....is give CI a chaaaance"

Thank you for your time...and if you give it a go, you will be rewarded positively and get better at it all. Its fun!

9.11.01 TRUTH for WORLD PEACE and JUSTICE

PUGET SOUND PEACE PRESENCE…a concept

Robin Hordon

Kingston, WA

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