As one of the creators of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Micah White knows a thing or two about protests. He also knows that everything you think you know about protesting in this day and age is wrong.
In a wideranging interview with Folha de São Paulo (the largest daily newspaper in Brazil), Micah delves into the mechanics of revolution and how many of the contemporary ideas and assumptions we have about protests are false.
Attracting millions of people to the streets? Nice in theory but typically devolves to people becoming spectators of their own protest. Especially when you throw in some violence which provides the powers that be the legal, moral and cultural upper hand.
Going up against the police? Insane given police forces are becoming fully militarized. Modern police forces are designed to absorb protest - the objective of the police is to dissipate your energy in protesting so you don’t go near the politicians and the corporations.
Social media? Easily monitored digital hall of mirrors that doubles as a perpetual echo chamber. Incredibly easy for a movement to get lost in its own highly polished reflection.
Micah is proposing a new type of activism that focuses on creating a mental shift in people. Basically an epiphany.
It’s time to reinvent protest. Time to innovate new forms of dissent.
Revolutions can only happen when people lose their fear.