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How not to sabotage existing groups and STILL do new activism....

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  • Seth Cohn
    Please forgive the crosspost, but this needs to said and widespread... feel free to forward this to other NH based liberty activism groups and mailing lists.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2004
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      Please forgive the crosspost, but this needs to said and widespread...
      feel free to forward this to other NH based liberty activism groups and
      mailing lists.

      How not to sabotage existing groups and STILL do new activism
      -------------------------------------------------------------

      Ok, so you've got a cool idea, or what you think and hope would be a
      cool idea. It'll raise attention and get people noticing you and your
      group, or something your group stands for and against.

      First step, you float the idea to your friends in the same group, and
      you get enough support to continue and make a plan... what next?

      What if others in the group (or groups) you floated the idea to get
      uncomfortable with it? What if not everyone thinks it's on topic, or a
      good idea? What do you do? How can you do activism and not piss off
      the very people who you will want on your side either this event, or
      hopefully the next event you plan... especially groups that you might
      not 100% align with, but want to work with in the future?

      This question is one we're going to be dealing with a great deal, I
      suspect... The more people we connect with, the more groups, the more
      we'll find that for any given event or idea, some people will love it,
      some will tolerate it, and some will be snickering about the very idea
      that you think is the perfect solution, and some, hopefully few, will
      be convinced that your idea is a mistake, a disaster, and will hurt
      them or what they are working on... So how can you hold an new event,
      or even plan one, and not get in battles?

      My suggestion for a good way out of this dilemma:

      Nobody will object a pointer to a _new_ place of discussion.
      Posting a single post on any mailing list or group is a great way to
      get attention. Even a second post, once an event is nearing time to
      happen, would probably be a good thing, to remind people it's going to
      happen.
      But having a full blown conversation, even an argument about it, is
      always going to be offtopic, and probably creates more negative
      attention than positive support for your idea. SO you post on 2 or 3
      groups, or heck even a dozen or more:

      Hey, we're throwing a event - We'll be discussing the details at

      neutralgroundwebsite.whatever/discussion/here.html

      Pleae join us and discuss it there. This event is not directly
      affliated with the group/list we're posting in, but we welcome the
      support of individuals from this group.

      Thankfully, there are many places you can go that are "neutral ground",
      post new information, and even have a discussion about it.
      Creating a yahoo group, for example, is trivial. No matter that it's
      for one event, or a series of events, you aren't wasting resources...
      Simply delete the group after the event, or keep it in case another
      truly similar event is going to happen again. Name the event something
      useful and easy to remember: OurEventName not EventDateTimeDetails

      Aother option is to create a website devoted to your idea, your
      subgroup, or even the type of event... Personal websites would be
      another way to deal with this.

      For those who insist that 'nobody will object if we have this
      discussion in their backyard', or that 'But everyone will just know
      that we aren't representing the groups we come from', or any other
      fantasy... All I can say is grow up and look at the reality. If you
      don't learn the lesson, rest assured, the rest of us won't want to work
      with you in the future, either. If you insist that you know better
      than the rest of us, that we're just 'not' the right stuff (whatever
      that stuff's definition), and that you'll show us... go right ahead..
      .but don't expect us to support or tolerate rude behavior and
      obnoxiousness for too long. Courtesy isn't just a old custom, it's a
      way to get what you want in the long run too.


      (Revision 0.1 - This document will be improved upon in the coming
      months. Positive Feedback welcomed.)


      =====
      Liberty in our Lifetime - http://www.freestateproject.org
      20K activists working toward personal responsiblity and smaller government



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