Occupy Blitzkrieg – nonviolent militantance

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Made in collaboration with: occupy.com

Speeches at the Occupy LSX protest @ St Pauls Cathedral, London here

Director’s Statement

‘It is possible to be militant and nonviolent.’ Martin Luther King

If one considers occupy in militaristic terms, like a nonviolent army, maybe we can borrow from a destructive discourse to organize constructive dissent.

This led me to the question: What would a nonviolent blitzkrieg look like? Who would rush the front lines? Who would orchestrate it? And is occupy capable of such a task?

I found occupy is one of the most creative social movements the world has ever seen. In under 6 months they lit up a thousand cities with general assemblies, flashmobs, light shows, strikes and marches. These are the nonviolent weapons at Occupy’s disposal.

We have yet to see if Occupy can use them in unison to win a large battle, something like Martin Luther King’s Montgomery Bus Boycott, which required a blitzkrieg-like focus fire on a single civil service for over one year. To date Occupy has fired at random times on random targets with random intensities. Occupy has opened up many battlefronts, but it has yet to focus on one at a time. This of course is due to the horizontal, non-hierarchical approach, which it seems would not be compatible with Blitzkrieg. But maybe this would be an exception to the rule, in order to win a big victory.

The blitzkrieg tactic, used in a nonviolent way, seems to be a worthy model to pursue this spring. What if, for example, there was a campaign of simplicity that everyone can get behind:


Imagine if all the elements of occupy – organizers, protesters, flashmobs, whistleblowers, donors, filmmakers, journalists, hacktivists, etc etc – could focus fire on just one government official, one bank, one corporation, one institution, all at once, for one month, with one simple demand. Whoever the target was, they would be shaking in their boots, and would be more likely to give in if they knew they were Occupy’s single target.

Blitzkrieg simplifies the complexity of the battlefield for the attacker, focusing every weapon on one target at one time. This made it the most ground breaking strategy in the history of violence. Maybe it also has a place in the history of nonviolence.

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