New Occupy plot: Flash mobs. 'Alternative forms of protest' put cities, cops at disadvantage

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By Aaron Klein

The Occupy movement is stepping up its confrontational tactics, plotting “alternative forms of protest,” including flash mobs that can be deployed nationwide.

Citing the success of last week’s so-called Day of Action protests, Take to the Square, one of Occupy’s main online planning forums, has devised an “Alternative Day of Action” to coincide with international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

“Our freedom and dignity are under attack as a result of market dynamics and corrupt government institutions that are turning our local and global societies into increasingly unjust places,” the site complains.

The Occupy forum calls for “alternative forms of protest” and “new forms of action with a creative spirit.”

Among the proposed actions: “We can organize public forums, workshops and flash-mobs; we can promote the movement at local schools and neighborhoods or get in contact with humanitarian organizations working with the same goals.”

A flash mob refers to a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to  perform a collective act and then disperse.

While flash mobs have been organized in the past for entertainment purposes, such as for satire or live television shows, recently the concept has also been used for criminal intent.

Flash mobs of mostly teenagers have reportedly attacked random targets in Philadelphia, Maryland, Cleveland, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.  Philadelphia’s recently reelected mayor, Michael Nutter, imposed strict curfews in response to the incidents.

While the exact nature of any future Occupy flash mob was not immediately clear, already one Occupy site – Occupy Oakland – did host a dancing flash mob yesterday.

Dancing Without Borders, an Oakland nonprofit, teamed up with the radical antiwar outfit, Code Pink, and the National Organization for Women, to attempt a “dance flash.”

The dancing group’s Facebook advertised: “What better way to breathe new life into the Occupy demonstrations and perhaps show the 1 percent that the 99 percent can do more than just occupy — they can dance, too.”

“This unique flash mob will include choreography that evokes the dying system, the awakening of a new society, and the necessary reconciliation between the 99 percent and the 1 percent,” the group said in a statement.

The deployment of Occupy flash mobs could provide the anti-Wall Street with a tactical advantage. Occupy mobs appearing at sites without warning could damper the planning of counter measures by cities, citizens and law enforcement.

The Dec. 10 scheduled Action day follows last Thursday’s Day of Action mayhem nationwide, a three-course meal of in-your-face tactics that aimed to block subways and bridges as well as shut down the stock market.

That day, too was preplanned.  Last week, Occupy Wall Street held a three-day “Direct Action Preparation and Training” course in downtown Manhattan to gear up for the latest round of riots.

A look at the official resources provided on the Occupy site as part of the planning for the most recent chaos shows several manuals from the Ruckus Society, whose mission is to provide “environmental, human rights, and social justice organizers with the tools, training, and support needed to achieve their goals”; including training radical activists in direct action techniques.

The same Ruckus Society that helped to spark the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, which devolved into violent unrest, was listed as a “friend and partner” for last week’s Day of Action.

The Ruckus training manuals provided at the Occupy site leave little to the imagination.

Titles include: “Blockading for Beginners,” “Anonymous Riot Guide,” “Define White Supremacy,” “Uncle Sam the Pusher Man” and, of course, the (still!) Communist Party-connected National Lawyers Guild’s “Legal Observer Manual.”

Occupy, meanwhile, shows no signs of relenting any time soon.

Besides the Dec. 10 protests, a forum on the Occupy Wall Street website is calling for protesters to “occupy” the malls on Black Friday.

The Occupy the Jobs subgroup of the anti-Wall Street movement has called for “actions” on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend of Jan. 14-16.

If Occupy can simmer along for a few months, the most ambitious escalation seems set to coincide with major NATO and G-8 summits in Chicago next May, when world leaders convene to focus on global economic issues.

KleinOnline has learned that a list of radical groups, including those behind the 1999 WTO riots, have already petitioned Chicago for permits to demonstrate.

With research by Brenda J. Elliott