Erica Chenoweth & Pals: Another Great NGO Hoodwinking

                                  Hello?  What on earth does that mean?

Up front I’ll admit that this diary will seem like an overly-lengthy ‘shaggy dog’ story, one in which it’s easy to thrum one’s fingers on one’s knees, trying not to (visibly at least) roll one’s eyes at the teller, hoping against hope that the punch line will be a worthy enough sort of pay-off in the endIf you’re able to finish it, I hope you’ll consider the punch lines worth it.

You’ll no doubt remember Chris Hedges’ ‘Black Bloc: The Cancer in Occupy’ from Feb. 6, 2012; this was the overall theme:

“Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment. They confuse acts of petty vandalism and a repellent cynicism with revolution.

The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power.”

(the 247 comments seemed largely in disagreement, as far down as I’d read, but sorry, Old Sourpuss: remember the many close-up photos of Vibram-soled boots which   to many of us signaled  agents provocateurs dressed in black bloc costumes?.)

The Occupy movement seemed to halt…to converse about ‘total nonviolence’ v. ‘diversity of tactics’ for a time.

Now because I had a blogging friend, e-friend in Oakland, her take on it caused me to believe that at the very least, GAs should decide which actions would be the former, which would be the latter.  Often, she’d recounted, it wasn’t until late at night when most Occupiers had gone home that those decisions were made, and most often by academics from the local colleges.  “Move in Day” turned out to be a moderate catastrophe, as I remember it, partially due to that opaqueness.  And yes, the optics of ‘rioting’ were worth considering as questionable for me back in the day.

In any event, four days earlier, on Feb. 2, which timing I’d never noticed earlier, came ‘Erica Chenoweth: Confronting the myth of the rational insurgent’, by Erica Chenowith, Ph.D at

“Lambert here: Occupy’s public discussions on “diversity of tactics” have often lacked historical perspective; discussions, at least online, have tended to degenerate to “Ghandi!” “No, ANC!” Now, however, Erica Chenoweth has developed a dataset and analyzed the historical record. Below the fold are slides summarizing the results of her study of 323 non-violent and violent campaigns from 1900‐2006.  (There are twenty slides…etc.)

I’d put up a version at My.Firedoglake and had pasted in some of the good questions Yves’ commentariat had asked, some noting that Erica had never defined ‘violence’.  Garsh, Mickey.

Last June, Ray Valentine at (great site) had posted ‘You Call This an Uprising?’.  He began with what a yawn Democracy Spring was, and cited organizer Kai Newkirk’s credo that the most important tactic was to get into the media spotlight by staging o many days of sit-ins, having so many arrested that it would lead to electoral reforms, including a repeal of Citizens United.

“In their attempt to win public attention with a staged confrontation, Democracy Spring couldn’t disrupt much more than the Hill staffers tasked with administering legislative gridlock. They described their actions as a drama, but couldn’t find an audience. A few blocks away, DC residents carried on with their lives without noting any significant disruption.”

But he was heading toward this:

“The strategic ideas guiding Democracy Spring didn’t come out of nowhere. The organizers declare their intellectual allegiance to the theories of brothers Mark (a journalist) and Paul (a professional organizer) Engler, and their “Momentum” school of thought, an approach to what the authors call nonviolent civil resistance. …the Englers have outlined their theories in a new book This Is an Uprising, which comes stamped with the approval of luminaries of the American left like Bill McKibben and Michelle Alexander.

The “momentum” theory has some momentum, and it’s worth taking a critical look at it, lest we repeat the mistakes of the people who have tried to practice it so far.” 

As he considers the theory, he features this quote from the Englers’ book:

Because momentum-driven efforts are focused on changing broad public opinion rather than securing a series of incremental gains, their progress is mainly measurable through polls rather than a scorecard of more tangible wins…once the public has moved, and an adequate number of props have fatally weakened, an edifice that looked inert and immovable can suddenly collapse into rubble. (p. 103)”

Valentime again: “No radical would disagree with the necessity of disruption, confrontation, and popular mobilization to bring about social change. But what is the purpose of rebellion? Do the masses move in order to seize control of their daily lives and challenge the power of their immediate oppressors like bosses, police, landlords, and the like? Should movements seek to directly reorganize society, or impose reform by force? Not according to the Englers. For them direct actions like strikes, sit-ins, and land occupations are successful insofar as they send the right message to “the public.” [snip]

“Who is this public that activists must move if they want to win? The implicit answer is a middle class media-consumer, people that are moved to support a movement because they see it in the news, not because that movement promises to win them a wage increase or stop their neighbor from being evicted or decontaminate the water supply. When discussing the phenomenon of violent repression inspiring more people to join a social movement, the Englers say people are inspired by empathy instead of solidarity (p. 206).

What’s missing here is any theory of class, or really of any other kind of structural system of power reproduced in everyday social relations. The most politically successful disruption is a disruption to the relations of dominance and privilege that are essential to the preservation of a stratified society, like obedience to bosses, fear of the police, deference to a dominant race or ethnic group, respect for property.”

He’s arguably taken aback by the Englers’ shallow (at best) school book formulations of the civil rights struggle having resulted in federal civil rights’ law due to the “symbolic victories” that affected a change in “the national consciousness” (p. 131).” He takes pain to deconstruct their claims…  Again, that long section is worth reading, as well, especially given that ‘the people taking power’ should be the key incentive.  Yes, he writes, the public may be upset by pictures of the rabble smashing glass, but may be just as alienated by sit-ins.  But aha: enter Erica Chenoweth and friends…finally.  In their book, the Englers have claimed that they have the data proving that non-violence works to sway the masses. 

Referring to her murky data sets at length, I’d encapsulate these statements as the gist of his arguments:

“Such glosses and omissions are unfortunately common in the capsule historical narratives Chenoweth supplies. Classifying movements according to whether they are primarily nonviolent or violent is a curious thing, and many mass civilian movements are only nonviolent if we squint.  Most civilians movements are surely “primarily” nonviolent most of the time, but they frequently contain moments of intensified militancy.”

Oddly, he says, she makes no mention of the armed wings of the revolutions she calls ‘non-violent’, and lumps years of revolutionary insurrections into one whole; and of course he’s not advocating armed resistance.  He proceeds to examine Otpor!, Gene Sharp (the alleged author of the ‘Arab Spring’), and the darker side of billionaire investment banker Peter Ackerman’s International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (regime change by ‘soft power’), and notes that:

The institutions that shaped and spread the doctrine of nonviolence resistance are closely linked to pillars of the capitalist global order like Wall Street and the State Department, and this may help to account for some of the limitations of the philosophy. [snip]

When you sense you may have been conned, the rule is ‘follow the funding’.

“This is not the only instance of the US government’s interest in “nonviolent civil resistance.” Erica Chenoweth, the scholar whose research is used to demonstrate of the effectiveness of nonviolence, is affiliated with a center at the University of Denver that is funded by the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian government, and the CIA. Her co-author Maria Stephan is a former state department official who was responsible for liaising with the Syrian opposition in the early stages of the civil war. Federally-funded NGOs like the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, which are widely understood as organs of American soft power, train activists and “civil society” leaders around the world. These NGOs have supported some of the highest profile activists to employ the theory of nonviolence, like Otpor! In Serbia. Outside the immediate orbit of US foreign policy, elite foundations like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (named for one of history’s most violent strikebreakers [Pinkertons v. labor strikers, etc.) are vocal advocates for nonviolent struggle.”

There’s a lot more good stuff in terms of class analysis, labor strikes, etc.


Now on May 5, I’d clicked into Michael Barker’s piece at CP reckoning that the title might offer some helpful hints on anti-capitalist revolutionary resistance: ‘Why Civil Resistance Works and Why the Billionaire-Class Cares’.  Oh, yes, it was a whole lot more than that.  Barker wrote a book that sounds just up my alley, maybe yours:  ‘Under the mask of philanthropy’.  After briefly satirizing David Rockefeller’s glorious 101 years of pleasant life on the planet, he mentions that billionaires feel it their duty to inflict pain on the global Rabble classes, and in Rockefeller’s case, he and his ilk’s darling, the Council on Foreign Relations, having had ‘a destructive impact on populations while serving as an effective instrument of class war’.

“In the ongoing and intensifying class war that is being waged upon us, there is nothing that elites fear more than genuine democracy and the potential it has to unite the working-class against the violent edifice of capitalism. This is why elites based at think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations continue to worry about where the next potential threat to their oppressive system may come from.”

And he also brings in former CFR poisonous sect member…Peter Ackerman and his ICNC.

“Ackerman and his Centre’s work are misleading to say the least, that is, if you are concerned with truly understanding the relationship between mass movements and the governments they have overthrown.

Another member of the Council on Foreign Relations elite creed who, so to say, has picked up on Ackerman’s profound interest in civilian resistance is Professor Erica Chenoweth; an individual who in addition to serving as the co-chair of the ICNC’s advisory board, is the co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia University Press, 2011). Chenoweth prefers not to concern herself with the finer details of U.S. foreign policy, which have seen her pals in high government install and sustain dictatorial regimes across the world, while simultaneously acting to overthrow democratically elected government deemed too democratic for billionaires.”

Yes, he concedes:

“Of course it is self-evident that any sustainable and successful campaign to overthrow a government is predicated upon having overwhelming public support. But just because such mass democratic campaigns should rely upon nonviolent strategies to win power, does not mean that those same individuals do not have the right to forcibly defend their gains from the same viciously violent forces of reaction that they displace. The anti-democratic representatives of the billionaire class are certainly not known for their peaceful acceptance of socialism, or even justice for that matter.”

 Elite experts like Chenoweth are therefore considered to be a vital asset to the full armament of the ruling-class, all the better that they may intervene to undermine the threat to their rule posed by civilian resistance.”

His hyperlink above goes to a 2010 piece he wrote about DCR Congo, ‘Preventing Independent Action in the Congo’, showing how resource-greedy CFR and their  brothers-in-arms are, but citing lies that “combating insecurity in the east and promoting sustainable development” were their actual concerns.  But of course, part of the truth is that corporate plunder can proceed more readily with a ‘stable’ Western puppet government is in place, can’t it?  He continues to narrate the incestuous relationship of so many of the players in the various ‘helpful’ (especially as to the upside-down nature of their names) NGO community in actual alliance with the largest and often ugliest multinationals and faux ‘environmental’ organizations.

Again, if one feels further cons in aid of the capitalist class are coming: follow the money.

Noting the title of Chenoweth’s newest publication at the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Barker calls it ‘appropriate’ that she notes at the end:

“This research was partially supported by the Political Instability Task Force, which is funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.” (p.320).  He continues:

“Of course this funding relationship is no anomaly for Chenoweth, as in recent years — as openly highlighted on her online CV — the peace-loving professor has received millions of dollars of funding from elite sources. (Recent financiers for her terrorism or nonviolence-related studies have seen the professor in receipt the following grants: $270,099 from the CIA-backed Political Instability Task Force, $150,000 from the Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, $1,665,000 from the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, over $2 million from the Minerva Initiative, U.S. Department of Defense, and just short of $1 million from the Carnegie Corporation.)”

Given that there are a couple of long ‘funding sources’ pages at his link to her CV, I’m not sure how Barker chose those, myself.

Having seen that the Popular Resistance newsletter had featured links to essays by the peace-loving Erica, and having ignored them while mentally shrugging my shoulders, this was eye-opening, and demonstrates another meaning within his title.

He writes that clearly Chenoweth ‘seems unhappy’ that Herr Trump was elected President, she’s being published at the Washington Post and the Atlantic, and in Feb. 2017, the New Republic: Violence Will Only Hurt the Trump Resistance’.  You decide, cuz millions marching in pink pussy hats and vulva costumes masks was ‘empowering revolutionary resistance’ against Herr Trump.  Of course we’ve never had other misogynist, power-sex addicts as Presidents, have we?Clinton, for instance, never got caught on a live-mike saying such horrendously misogynistic things about his proclivities…. just acted them out, instead, under the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, the greatest seat of power in the world.

Bonus: ‘Hillary Clinton to launch political group as soon as next week’, Gabriel Debenedetti,, 05/04/17 03:47

“On Tuesday, for example, she appeared at a Women for Women International event in New York, forcefully repeating to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour her belief that Russian interference and FBI Director James Comey’s intervention were the proximate reasons for her loss in 2016.”

Bonus #2:

21 responses to “Erica Chenoweth & Pals: Another Great NGO Hoodwinking

  1. i’m out for the nite. here’s hoping the sandman’s been better to you than for me. my dreams lately verge on the edge of…nightmarish. if they’re tryin’ to teach me somethin’, i don’t seem to be graspin’ the lessons, dagnabbit..

    • Sorry WD; but I’m on overload trying to follow this, what? Thread?
      A one paragraph summary would be wonderful, yes?

      Erica Chenoweth’s comment is beyond the pale, IMO.
      A supporter of wage slavery…?

      • i don’t understand your question v arnold, unless you’re asking for a one-paragraph summary of the entire diary?

      • ach. i read your question again, and yes, it seems you were asking for a one-paragraph summary. now, not entirely kidding, if a quick-hit synopsis would have served, don’t you reckon i may have simply done that?

        thing is, chenowith’s (and apparently the englers’) have become the guiding lights of the ‘non-violent revolutions are far more successful’ to try to take much more out of the nuanced critique ray valentine offered as to her either purposely or in ignorance ‘data sets’ wouldn’t be either fair or educational. but then to see who her and her friends’ funding sources actually are…is of course the punchline, both by way of valentine and now barker.

        that her/their work product has gone full-tilt msm now caused me to grind all this out, reckoning exposing their funding sources as a key tell. and valentine’s critiques of her failure to note such-and-such adds fuel to the challenges and may suggest why so many other funding sources approve of her ‘work’. i know i’d pretty much bought her analysis i 2012, fancy-as charts and graphics, much as i had gene sharp’s work until she kisses frogs at FDL explained things to me, bless her heart. :-)

        on edit: here’s one paragraph from valentine on chenoweth’s failures to ‘note’:
        “Even the choice of which campaigns are included in the data set is important to consider. Consider that the Indian independence movement is considered as a single campaign stretching from 1919 to 1945. Which may seem “primarily nonviolent” at a distance, but only by ignoring the activities of the Indian National Army, which does not appear in Chenoweth’s data. Two separate periods of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle are included: 1952-1961 and 1984-1994, so the Soweto uprising and much of the activity of the African National Congress’s armed wing does not appear in the account. Such glosses and omissions are unfortunately common in the capsule historical narratives Chenoweth supplies.”

        • Thanks WD; as the years advance (mine) I tend to want to cut to the chase.
          I no longer follow movements (bowel or otherwise ;-) ) in the U.S., as I see them as a colossal waste of energy. Impotence seems to be the order of the decades past, present, and future (given there is one).
          Usian’s are largely, but not 100%, responsible for their circumstances; they never recognised the enemy at the gates. After Vietnam they dropped their guard…
          Cheers from the Hermitage

          • cheers back, v. as i’d said, i knew it was long, but i synopsized as much of both authors’ essays as i’d thought was workable, as in keeping to the overall critiques and still demonstrating what (for lack of a better term) deep state ruling organizations are funding her ‘work’. but her bullshit, for instance, about VZ noting that ‘the starving people are protesting non-violently against dictator maduro’ is sooooo msm-off-the mark. it’s the opposition that’s violent, but the Imperial puppets want the world to believe otherwise, as it’s in their collective best interests.

            trump, of course, is just following up on the last presididn’t’s policies and accusations, including more sanctions, and again naming VZ a direct threat too USian security. can’t have no quazi-socialists, no sir!

            but you may like this sentence from examining the oft-used term ‘elites’ (cuz no one knows who they are, see?):

            “Perhaps the term should be ruling elite, that is, the current ruling elite. Amy Goodman got it right when she subtitled Democracy Now! The Exception to the Rulers.

            one other small thing: valentine noted that during the 60s civil rights era (contra chenoweth’s ‘sympathy for passive resistance to bull connors and his ilk’) valentine mentioned blacks w/ guns for self-defense, but left out the implied threat of malcom x, which absolutely was part of the mix that led to civil rights legislation.

            on edit: i’m still mulling this over, so many images of power over the citizenry: “Usian’s are largely, but not 100%, responsible for their circumstances” but why this please? “they never recognised the enemy at the gates. After Vietnam they dropped their guard…”

            • Had to think about how to answer…
              Usian’s “enemy at the gates” were the deep state and the constant bombardment of propaganda from the media, public education (a misnomer), the military, government constructed distractions; and a never ending war footing.
              Usians (in general) were never educated into the real world. Even my attempts at a university education failed; I chewed out a few profs for incompetence and finally said fuck it.
              Vietnam ended and so did the anti goverment frame of mind. Very little resistance to Clinton’s (Bill) murderous campaign against Iraq’s children and civilian population.
              And here we still are; and we lost our republic to the galoots…

              • …and mcGovern got routed and so on. but how nice; the diary i’m slowly building contains many of the elements you’ve brought here. but oh, my; hadn’t i utterly forgotten bubba clinton’s four-day cruise missile attacks on iraq. thank you, v arnold, for the reminder. i always think of him and ‘protecting yugoslavia’ in 1999, partially because i’d missed it in real time. iirc, revisionist history says milocevik wasn’t what we’d been told, but in my ignorance, i’ll have to remain agnostic on that, myself.

  2. cuz the WSJ is the place to find out the truth of the crisis in VZ:

    Erica Chenoweth Retweeted @AliciaVnzla2014 13h13 hours ago
    #Venezuela under terrorist dictatorship We need Int’l intervention .

    Give Up the Violence’: Venezuela Slams Opposition Bloodshed’, telesur

  3. N0! Because capitalist (CIA) Company sanctions and subversion (are the cause of Venezuela’s deprivations*)
    * See overthrown BRIC,, Brazil.

    • the CIA has definitely played a part, and has since chavez, as we know from wikileaks. but this soft coup seems to have many authors, so many compromised NGOs, mainstream media in thrall to the Imperial elite, the OAS calling maduro a dictator, the calls from the usual congressional suspects for increased sanctions… and more.

      but my purpose for writing the diary was more to point out the punchlines as to which tools of the empire are actually funding chenowith, ackerman, and their sister compromised ngo’s. and now w/ trump: erica is getting more play than ever, but still mightily gate-keeping ‘dissent’. her piece at the new republic was wrong in many respects, imo, for instance.

  4. I’ll venture a comment, wendye, which is to say that for me follow the money is very useful when it comes to personality politics – I’d not heard of Erica, not being a follower of twitter myself, though I am very grateful that you are such, and I do see snatches other venues as well. It does give one cause to link questionable ideas to persons we have come to trust – Amy Goodman is one who comes to mind particularly with the latest controversy in her hosting a gentleman fielding the government line on Syria. (Once she was on PBS things had gone downhill for me, so I haven’t been a regular since.)

    This lady may well be not what she seems, out there like Bernie in an attempt to deflect – or she’s been quickly co-opted by others and will take the non-violent cause where it ought not to go – into a blind alley perhaps. As apparently happened when Black Lives Matter got entwined with the Democratic Party.

    It’s hard to know who is genuine when such legitimate concerns have to take on fellow travellers in order to be noticed and incitement to violence takes national and international plumage. I’m not in a position to contribute to any cause, and maybe that’s a good thing. I’ll still be ‘for’ nonviolence – had cause to mention dear Molly Ivins’ call for housewives banging pots recently. The zeitgeist is an elusive willo’thewisp, but once it gets going may be unstoppable. I’d prefer it to be nonviolent than otherwise, but I’m not in charge.

    Still, forewarned is forearmed; thanks!

    • glad that you’ve ventured a comment, juliania; it’s great, save for one bit of confusion: as i said above, i’d cross-posted chenoweth’s ‘research conclusions’ in 2012, and i dunno if twitter even existed then.. if it did, i sure wasn’t aware of that odd form of 126-characters form of ‘communication’, if one can call it that. ugh. but yes, figuring that she’s an even bigger star now, i checked for her Twit account.

      but her grand advice on how NOT to protest trump makes me wonder after reading ray valentine’s (to me) exposé sincerely questionable as to her motives and those of her funders. follow the money for media stars and star spectacles is indeed good advice. for instance, when wrong kind of green the funding sources of and naomi klein’s book and documentary (rockefeller bros. a whole interlocking of systems, tides foundation, tick-tick, etc. ), one sees the book as specious gate-keeping. “unfettered capitalism” was her key tell..not just climate change and capitalism itself, nor, did i ever hear that she’d mentioned militarism and Empire as biggies; nor has mckibben, of course.

      but oy; i hadn’t checked out b’s links, but i did read his piece on gopal on DN! and quite a few of the comments. remember when she used to have stephen cohen on for analytical interviews about not only russia, but the ukraine? then all of a sudden she had on that pipsqueak from the kyiv post? miller? and some other zombie russia-detractor? yes, goodman was very bullish on the ‘white helmets’, but so was maz hussain at Pierre’s Place.

      i did laugh when RT had announced ‘new snowden leaks at the intercept’. i clicked in; a big yawn on japan, but a few commenters made sport about ‘all the leaks that Omidyar sees fit to print’. one asked ‘do you ever wonder why whistle blowers leak to wikileaks instead?’ good question, i’d thunk.

      i utterly agree, as did valentine, that sticking to ‘nonviolent revolutionary concepts’ is the way to go, but his nuanced arguments about ‘having to squint’ to call ‘rioting’ violence, or ignoring such, or side armed movement in history, is not helpful to class solidarity in the struggle to shift the balance of power.

      sorry; dinnae mean to write a chapter of a book. ;-) hope your garden’s growing well.

  5. from ‘protect our internet. org’:

    “The Giant Telecoms like Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon are going after net neutrality and they have the perfect weapon. The new chair of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a former lawyer for Verizon and an opponent of net neutrality. He is moving quickly to turn the Internet over to the Telecoms by allowing them to control content. Join the fight! We have until may 18. There’s a sign up sheet and directions to email Pai.

  6. For all of my political writing over these many years, the absence of a Progressive Caucus in the Senate, and as a “certifying agent” would define and describe the “street cred” of the unending highway of pundits, who when wrong, refuse to acknowledge such behavior, causes me to shudder on many an occasion and where Common Sense is absent, defines today’s toxic politics. Consequently I prefer to focus on the Future and not on yester-year’s sleaze.


    • hey, jaango. i’m missing the meaning of your comment. but one question is: are you saying that this diary’s topic is ‘yester-year’s sleaze’? if so, it’s not, believe me. but even things in history are important to know since they often predict what might be int future, yanno? on the other hand, if you support chenoweth’s and the englers’ work and conclusions, that’s fine, too.

  7. Erica Chenoweth Retweeted:

  8. Kind of interesting to me that the DC Occupy (Democracy Spring?) figured prominently in the articles. There were two occupations in DC, one organized by Kevin Zeese and friends and camped on an awful concrete plaza and targeted at Congress and one in a DC park that held a whole lot of young anarchists and other assortment of weird locals.

    Many of the 300 or so occupations were locally organized by a variety of types of people. Some exclusively academics, students, and campus types, others drawn more widely from existing activists.

    A lot of inspiration for a number of Occupy encampments came from the Spanish anti-austerity movement. The facilitation methods of the general assemblies often drew on that movement’s resources.

    So the question becomes more than just the US influences like Gene Sharp and others but also the influences on the Porto del Sol movement.

    And just because an external agent tries to influence a local movement does not not mean that it always succeeds.

    In my memory, the police violence and riot theater preceded any attempts to retaliate with other than disruptive “take the streets” tactics.

    The discussions in Oakland followed vandalism uncoordinated with the chaotic Occupy Oakland general assemblies; it was then that the general assembly began discussion that led to the idea of diversity of tactic (separated in time and space) that allowed people to decide the degree of risk they were willing to take without being shanghai’ed into someone else’s provocation. That discussion became huge in Occupy Chicago and NoNATO leading up to the NATO Summit.

    The issue now has changed. When states are passing laws immunizing motorists who run over demonstrators, the situation has to be looked at again.

    What influence did Erica Chenoweth have on how Occupy unfolded. Her research looks like the after-the-fact analysis that folks like Chalmers Johnson used to do. It’s her grant sources that make her work suspect. And hints that some folks in the national security state are still clueless and willing to waste money on their associates.

    There’s a lot of scrambling trying to put US politics back into the box that broke wide open in November. My sense is that it is going to get real nasty before it gets better and any folks who think they can wrest power out of that nastiness better be tougher than most of the left that has manifested itself over the past half century. The powers-that-be are tired of nonviolent resistance and are rejiggering the laws and unleashing the police to shut it down.

    • hmmmm. from what you’ve written here, i think you may be confusing the april 2016 democracy spring (get money out of politics by mass arrests, changing the conversation and polling numbers, yawn) and the start of Occupy zuccotti park, which began on sept. 17, 2011, “300 or so occupations” followed. yes, zeese and flowers and their planned ‘oct. 2011’ deecee plans were upstaged by those pesky kids who were definitely motivated by the indigados and related movements.

      i do remember telling ray valentine that the avaaz, 99rise, etc. seemed so useless that i hadn’t covered it here. oh, and nationofchange helped, an organization i was laughing about earlier, spreading the identical msm backwards facts on VZ that chenoweth and friends had. pfffft.

      i haven’t any idea what influence sharp’s teachings had on the spanish protests, myself. but of course you’re right, funders cant affect actual outcome and directives, as valentine i think it was, took pains to note.

      chalmers johnson was prone to such after-the-fact stuff? i hadn’t known that, but then…i’m not sure i take your meaning. but to me, his was a voice i hated to know was lost upon his death.

      • Yep confused. Missed that it was 2016. Maybe because it was such a snooze amid some serious Black Lives Matter actions, including one in Charlotte.

        Sharp and Spanish protests were independent inspirations feeding into the Occupy movement.

        All analysis of events is after-the-fact. Chalmers Johnson was a scholar and not particularly and activist. He did have his opinions about his subjects. Chenoweth seems to think that because of her analysis, she is an oracle about effective tactics; her funding makes one think that some particular agencies are trying to figure out how movements move or trying to guide them into preferential tactics.

        • i’m so glad to have been able to help straighten things out a bit. newkirk, et. al.’s democracy spring reminds me of soros’s version of Occupying: stand outside your rep’s office and demand an end to citizens united. yep, and i will say that soros gate-keeping was alive in cortez, the next town west. a few of those ‘occupiers’ stopped by our occupy mancos (well, okay, our GA was only mr. wd and me), and i did my best to explain to them, but…no dice, so to speak.

          excellent grasp of why chenoweth’s funding matters, especially w/ the current president seeming to have catapulted her into the msm. every time i think i may have a glimmer of the reason, the further i take it the more questions i have. her new project is crowd-counting by twitter, which barker found a bit….suspect. dunno.

          wish i could remember some of the fishy stuff i’d been told about sharp, but one thing was that he’d geared his work toward overthrowing commies and socialists, like chavez, for one. me, i loved the flash mobs best in his little book on nonviolent tactics. ;-) methinks black lives matter may have created ‘die-ins’, themselves. powerful stuff, imo.

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