Protest Guru Micah White: Time To Start Revolution

The instruction on how to start a revolution from the creator of Occupy Wall Street Micah White.

Micah White is an extraordinary person. The only American creator of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the former editor of Adbusters magazine, the author of the book “The End Of Protest: A New Playbook For Revolution” Micah White knows a lot about protest movements and how to start a revolution. Being free is a dream of every honest person. Learn what steps to freedom, equality, and justice every person can take from the protest guru Micah White.
Hello, Micah! Your contribution to the protest movement of America cannot be overstated. For those of our readers who know little about your work, could you, please, give a short description of your main creation “Occupy Wall Street”? How did it start? What was the inspiration behind it?
Micah White
It all goes back to the magical year of 2011. It started in Tunisia when Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and protested against all kinds of oppression in this country in a passionate way. It led to Ben Ali’s (who had ruled Tunisia since 1987) resignation and people’s massive protests who called for an elected constituent assembly. That time I was an editor of a magazine called Adbusters and we tried to imagine how we could bring that revolutionary way of thinking to America. We basically sent out an email that said we could combine the tactics of Africa with the tactics of Spain which has also held a general assembly and do it on Wall Street and we can start a revolutionary movement. And people took up the idea. So the basic idea was we needed to end the power of money to the influence of Democracy.
Your original goal was to fight social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the influence of corporations on government. Do you think it is even possible to defeat the 1% that occupies Wall Street?
Micah White
Yeah, of course, it’s possible because we’ve seen it happening in history before. Like in French revolution, they got rid of their king. In Russian revolution, they executed their tsar. So it’s obviously possible as it happened before. It is not easy, though.
What were the demands of OWS protesters?
Micah White
This is one of the contentious things. At that time, there was a lot of debate about what the demands should be and all that kind of stuff. The people wanted to get the power of money out of politics and the essential demand was that we wanted the people’s democracy, that kind of democracy that is controlled by the people, not by money.
OWS doesn’t exist anymore. Once you said that “Occupy Wall Street was a failure, but not the total failure, more constructive failure.” What did these words mean?
Micah White
Yes, I think that OWS was a constructive failure because, as I used to say, we created a perfect movement: it was spread all around the country, it was nonviolent, it included all kinds of demographic, it had people on the streets. It was a kind of socialism we waited for many years. But it didn’t work. And so that’s the lesson. It didn’t work because that history line that we’ve been chasing as activists wasn’t true. You actually can’t achieve social change by doing those protest behaviors that we’ve been trying to do. That’s why it was a constructive failure. It is very important to us as activists. It helps us become more effective.
Are there organizations that fight financial oligarchy on Wall street nowadays?
Micah White
There are a lot of groups that claim to be fighting what’s happening on Wall Street but I think that I am not too inspired by what they are doing right now. I think that we have to build another kind of social movement.
The FBI and DHS had monitored Occupy Wall Street. Now the officials try to add the Black Lives Matter movement to the list of hate groups. Do you think that every protest movement fighting against those in power is doomed? Will we always face this kind of obstruction?
Micah White
No, they are not bound to be doomed. What we are talking about is a revolution, which is the change of the legal regime, which is obviously something that is a threat to the people in power. So the people in power will always use the resources they have to stop you. That’s just the way the game is played. But that doesn’t mean that they are going to win. Activists just need to be aware of that and keep going anyway.
Do you support young people of color fighting against inequality nowadays?
Micah White
Yeah, of course, you always have to support the people who are protesting. The way you want to do it is to support them by encouraging them to be creative because we do ourselves a good service when we support them. We should support them by giving them history and theory about what makes effective activism. We need protest, we need a social movement, we need a revolution! That’s what really crucial and important.
So, let me get this right. Is a social movement essential in our country?
Micah White
Yes, social movement and revolution are one of the ways the history moves forward. Without social revolution, we wouldn’t have democracy, we wouldn’t have anything that people enjoy today. So revolution is essential. When people are protesting they are one of the forces that move society forward.
Do you think it is possible to stand united against inequality and injustice? What do we need to make it happen?
Micah White
Social movements are created out of three things. You need a willing to walk a moment, i.e. the time has to be right. Then you need a contagious mood and you need new tactics. When you start to spread a contagious mood like people losing their fear or suddenly feeling freedom and you combine that with new tactics all of a sudden people start to believe that this could actually work and they join the social movement. If you want to unite people to fight injustice then you need to create new ways of protesting. That makes them feel like this is gonna win.
Esquire Magazine named you one of the most influential under 35-year-olds. This is something to be proud of and a great responsibility at the same time…
Micah White
I’ve always been a kind of outsider activist I never joined large groups. The only organization that I ever joined was Adbusters magazine but I really believed in that. Activism is in my blood, I want to do it for my entire life so I am just trying to do my thing. I am just trying to start a revolution. I try to stay away from that celebrity staff. I don’t think it’s true really.
It is true, facts don’t lie! All the young protesters and activists look up to you. What tips of being a successful leader do you have for them?
Micah White
For a young activist, the crucial thing is to understand, that you have a certain period of time in which to practice activism. If you look at it, a lot of activists created their first revolutionary movement around the age of 28 – 29. I was like 28-29 when we created OWS. So if I were a young activist of 15-16 years old I would say to myself “Ok, I have time until I am 28 to experiment.” I would experiment trying many different kinds of protesting. Whatever it is you are passionate about use your time to experiment and realize that you are building towards something. And when you are 28-29 use all that experimentation to really create a revolutionary social movement. In the course of these experiments frequently adopt different kinds of protesting, read lots of theory, lots of history and constantly experiment!
What are your further plans? Have you thought of creating another movement?
Micah White
On the one hand, yeah, I am going to keep trying to create a social movement. There is a possibility of women social movement. I want to work on that. Then I think of the kind of an organ that could control a city council and become the power that matters. You know, if we wanna get rid of the police then we can get rid of the police. If we wanna block an inconvenient issue we can actually do something if we control the government. That’s the kind of staff I am excited about right now.

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