Lessons I've learned about vetting strategies for new leftist groups, a thread.
Vetting is often suggested on leftist twitter, but it can mean very different things to different people both in how it's done and how it's useful. Here are some tips, limitations, and pitfalls.
Leftist groups, especially ones focused on defense/guns, often try to make sure new members fit with the group and are safe enough to allow in. Often the vetting process means interviews, questionnaires, a look at social media, a probationary period, and some initial tasks.
The first thing to figure out is, what is important to the group? Some possibilities: 1) political cohesiveness with the group 2) political development 3) intersectional awareness 4) willingness to work and type of work they like to do 5) vibe 6) background and history
A thread of a few reasons wholeheartedly trusting digital security is a bad idea.
There are a number of ways cops can use your phone against you. Encryption is great, but they can bypass it illegally and use other legal but tenuous reasons to prosecute you. 1/x
Recently in our leftist org chapter we’ve been giving statements to new members during onboarding: 1) Zero tolerance for sexual misconduct/bigotry. Anybody can be a predator especially those who dont “look like” one. 2) The club isnt FOR cis white men but they’re allowed to join.
We tell them if they ever feel like one of these points is not being met to please tell us. We’re getting a ton of positive feedback on this. Thank you, makes me feel so comfortable, etc. Its the simplest shit, but I think it may at the very least show we think about these things
Just having an unofficial policy where the cis men in a group help keep each other accountable on not taking up all the air in meetings makes a difference. I notice it so much more now in business meetings when theres a woman cut off while talking
Concerned about fascists getting your info? Want security while organizing in leftist spaces?
Do these things:
Get a burner email.
Get a google voice number and use it on the Signal app.
Use a fake name.
Wear a mask.
No social media.
Just those steps cut 99% of doxxing potential
Everything besides the mask is free btw
Fucked up and used your real number? Dont fret. Follow these steps (Its a pain but it takes only like 15 min)
1) Get a friend in the groups youre in to save your google voice number. 2) Save their number to Your contacts.
Some not-so-happy thoughts on community defense, a thread.
After every instance of cold blooded police brutality in the US gets publicized, there are renewed calls for community defense and Black Panther Party style patrols.
Before I start lets be clear: if youre ready to form a community defense patrol none of this should dishearten you but remind you of what the stakes are. Patrols are a calm show of force to stop police murders, not a guerilla group, but youll still go to jail for it. 2/18
The Black Panther Party is inextricable from the concept of marginalized community defense. White racist gangs may drive around open carrying rifles, but they lack all of the discipline, effectiveness, and purpose of the BPP patrols. 3/18
Self protection when organizing in violent times, a thread.
Got a call today from a comrade that an organizer I know was asking for help because they're surrounded at their home by white supremacists. 1/x
I put out word to other organizers, but everyone was at a recurring protest and had their phones off, so I put on my body armor and got in the car. I drove by and didn't see anyone or anything weird. I pulled into a side street and texted them. 2/x
They said "oh we worked everything out." I said, call me now and talk or I can't go home. It's too weird to put out a call for help then say everything is ok. They called & confirmed it was all well & there were no white supremacists. I asked if I could come by & got the ok. 3/x
Secession is a good option for bringing socialism to the US, a thread. 1/12
Secession is when one part of a country leaves to form its own country. This can happen peacefully or violently, and can be one sided (unilateral) where the region decides to leave without asking permission or it can be voted on as a nation. 2/12
In the US, secession is LEGAL. Texas v White determined unilateral (one sided) secession to be illegal, but this law can be changed and its not in the constitution. Secession by decision as a country is perfectly legal even now. 3/12
Yall know that until any white person gets in the habit of facing their implicit racism they are racist, and that goes especially for libs, but did my cis male friends know its the exact same thing for sexism, especially if you call yourself a feminist?
Feminist men doing sexism in leftist groups is as common as hot dogs on the 4th of July. You can believe in women’s rights and the importance of equality and think it exempts you from sexism. You are wrong, and still sexist until you look at YOUR specific behavior.
Leftist groups need clear group control structures for keeping cis men from dominating conversations. Go to any leftist group meeting without that, and I mean ANY, and count minutes of male vs female talk time. If it ever skews female Ill eat my fucking hat.
Just because someone’s been given a megaphone at the protest doesnt mean theyre a good person or have your interests at heart. They could be cop plants, but equally bad are sheepdog Opportunists making peace with cops or True Believers trying to get people hurt by the cops.
Over the years most protests Ive been to had an Opportunist element in leadership which just kills the protest’s spirit, but Ive also had a protest coopted by people to throw bricks through a military recruiter window, march onto the freeway, rush a police line, etc. This is bad.
Its not bad to go hard at protests, its bad to lead unwitting people into heavy stuff they didn’t sign up for. It’s a consent violation. Pay close attention to what a protest leader does, and if it seems like a bad security choice, it likely is one and it may be purposeful.
Good morning communist twitter! Today Im going to see what organizing issues I come across on the feed and I’ll subtweet them here in a “challege:” “possible solution:” format. If you see any organizing issue in your feed youd like a take on, feel free to quote tweet it here.
Challenge: my local protest group makes planning decisions then while we’re doing them, plans change and everyone gets confused.
Solution: make a flier with your group name, the basic details like time, place, & activity, & stick to it. Just making it solidifies the plan & holds you accountable to those you invite. If reqd security is so intense you cant do that, you need a much, much firmer plan anyway.
The leftist revolutionary spirit and American gun worship, a thread.
Many leftists have seen the rise of fascism and had a knee jerk reaction of “buy a gun NOW!”
The fear is natural, the willingness to fight is admirable, but the reaction isn’t appropriate.
Looking into your heart and realizing youre not just a leftist but a revolutionary is a powerful, important thing.
Looking further and realizing you arent a soldier at heart but are willing to do equally dangerous work is equally powerful.
Are you willing to pass messages, wrap wounds, or let a soldier hide in your basement? You are as vital as any gun carrier to the revolution.
Soldiers are obviously needed, but they are nothing without support, and support will be just as dangerous of a role.
Fash revolution timeline: 1) economic problems leave a large chunk of people with food and housing insecurity 2) government handles it ineptly 3) the working class poor riot, the petty bourgeoisie turn fash and recruit bigots to fight for them 4) open streetfighting starts
5) Fash recruitment leans on reactionary “return to better times” rhetoric and bigoted rhetoric to keep growing newly poor petty bourgeoisie and bigot numbers 6) Economic instability worsens 7) Open streetfighting intensifies, police stop interfering
- - you are here - -
8) First killings start. Fash blame antifa, call them thugs, talk about restoring law & order. Media works with fash. 9) Fash stage an event like a big state building burning or a political leader assassination to say “look, the regular government cant handle these antifa”
Good morning communist twitter! Remember to define what success means for every action you do. Make it concrete, not something like “make them listen.” If you cant define a success state, organize differently and do something else.
Burnout comes sometimes from too much action, but sometimes from feeling like you’re not making a difference too. Define the difference the action will make, and perform the action to make that difference.
Example: protesting. Doing it to show community solidarity is useful. When you refocus on solidarity its a smaller more attainable goal than making the cops listen. With that focus youll know to bring water or sign making material. Youll know to stick around & talk after.
Tenants unions (TU) are an incredibly strong defense against abusive landlords and evictions. TUs are started by normal people who live anywhere in a city. You dont need the same landlord. Lawyer support is great but not required 1/?
TUs can be started with a free google voice number and an email address. Make a tumblr page with a writeup of what the tenants union is and does. A rapid response eviction defense group can be started with a signal chat and a group of politically minded friends. 2/?
Rapid response eviction defense is as simple as coordinating with tenants and standing in their yards when the police come to evict them or shut off their utilities. The image attached shows the ring of defenders and the volunteers outside talking to cops and landlords. 3/?