Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#Occupy Tuesday! #UNoccupy Afghanistan!

There is now a robust community of people using Twitter every Tuesday to protest the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan - #AfghanistanTuesday.

But we still have a ways to travel ... because as things stand now, it is still possible for the vast majority of Americans to go about their business and never give a second thought to what's going on in Afghanistan. And politicians can run their campaigns without giving Afghanistan a second thought. Things could go on like this forever. In fact, that would fit right in with the U.S. government game plan: "Afghanistan Forever." However ...


... what if we could use #AfghanistanTuesday to shut down the other activities of the people who run this country until they start paying attention to Afghanistan and get the U.S. out of there? At least on Tuesdays? In other words ...

... what if people driving past LaSalle & Jackson every Tuesday saw "Honk if you want US OUT of Afghanistan!" signs among the "99%" and "Bankster" signs?

... what if speakers arriving at the Union League Club on Tuesdays encountered chants of "1-2-3-4 We don't want the US in Afghanistan any more!" ?

... what if every candidate who went on a call-in radio show on a Tuesday got nothing but questions about "What are you doing about getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan?"

... what if the Republicans held a debate on a Tuesday and all of the questions were about getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan?

... what if President Obama gave his State of the Union Address on a Tuesday and everyone wore t-shirts that said, "But what about getting the U.S. out of Afghanistan?"

... what if there was an election on a Tuesday and ... well, you get the point!

Perhaps it would be difficult to do if we were talking about carrying out this type of resistance all day, every day. But we're just talking about Tuesdays! How hard can that be?

To successfully Occupy Tuesday, we would need to do five (5) things:

(1) Decide where to focus our energy. Some activities of the governing class are more worthy of interacting with than others. But if we spend a little bit more of our Mondays checking out what's scheduled for Tuesday instead of reading about what happened on Sunday, it should quickly become pretty obvious where we should put our attention.

(2) Make a commitment to go beyond Twitter - every Tuesday! Each of us needs to supplement our tweeting with something else - be it calls, letters, emails, picketing, leafletting -- you name it! Whatever it is we do, we need to tell others what we're doing through our tweets, and encourage them to take action, too! > > > (#AfghanistanTuesday - what are YOU doing?)

Some people are getting out of their houses and apartments and taking the message to their local Occupy movements!

Some people are working with groups like We Are Not Your Soldiers to help kids resist military recruitment!

(3) Get read. Not all tweets are created equal. Check out the tweets of our #AfghanistanTuesday top tweeps to get an idea of how many people will read and retweet your tweets as you learn to compose better and better tweets.

(In other words, start composing #AfghanistanTuesday super-tweets!)

(4) Go viral. The best #AfghanistanTuesday message is one that doesn't just get read but also gets passed along ad infinitum. We've tried to address this a few different ways in the past. But the fundamental concept is: you've got followers; what are you going to say that is going to get your followers to pass your message on to their followers? and get their followers to pass it along to their followers (and so on and so on ....) ? The difference between a message -- nay, a movement -- that peters out, and one that soars, is pass-along. So pass-along can't be left to chance.

For a deeper understanding of this issue, check out this great discussion of "going viral" from @UnifiedLeft!

(5) Want to do it. More important than anything else, we need to want to take Afghanistan and move it from the far back burner to the blazing hot spot at the front of everyone's consciousness. Everything else is an implementation detail.

So: #Occupy Tuesday! #UNoccupy Afghanistan! (What's it worth to you?)

Related posts

Many entities have already started the work of taking on the NATO war-makers when they are in Chicago. Below is a list of some of the most prominent: please support their efforts!

(See Who Will Be Taking On NATO In Chicago? )

I've realized that when we ask ourselves, "What is it that we hope people will do?" we must include an element of recursivity: One of the things we want people to do is to involve more people in doing it. In a way, that element of recursivity -- dare I say "evangelism"? -- defines what it means for people to really become part of a movement.

(See Invite More People into Activism! (Pass It Along!) )

Some ideas for activism c. 2014 -- ones you won't hear at "Chicago Ideas Week"  . . . !

(See Top 10 Ideas You Won't Hear at Chicago Ideas Week )