Excerpt from The Climate Resistance Handbook
"I was part of a group trying to stop the US war in Iraq. We were able to organise a march of 2,000 people in my city. That’s a big turnout. And we got good press coverage.
So we did it again.
This time we got 10,000 people in the streets. I was one of the emcees for the rally and couldn’t see to the end of the march. At that time, it was the largest march I had ever been part of organising. The feeling was amazing.
So what did we do next?
We didn’t vary our tactics. We did it again. This time, we only got 1,500 people marching. And less press coverage.
Then how did we feel? Pretty bad.
And what did we do next?
Another march. Just a few hundred came this time — and virtually no press.
The problem was that we didn’t really have a plan. We just had a tactic. So we kept using the tactic because that’s what we knew. We were doing endless actions."
Imagine you’re a politician, and you’re the target of a campaign.
People are outside your offices urging you to do something. You had to sneak in the back door so you wouldn’t have to face them. You are feeling the pressure.
But will they be around the next day? Will they keep the pressure on?
If you can wait until the pressure is over, then you are unlikely to make the change.
Government officials (and most targets) regularly just wait until people do their big action. If the activists are lucky, the official gets some bad press for a few days. But the pressure does not stay. They wait until the heat blows over. Then they keep doing the bad thing.
Campaigns assess: Is our capacity growing? That doesn’t just mean more people, but also stronger people — people with more skill, stronger relationships, more willingness to do riskier things — and more people.