Its sometimes difficult to visualize
a new tactic of civil disobedience, so the following list is meant
to give one a beginners guide to organizing an "overalls"
type project in ones community. Remember, though, its
not just about the tactic. Yellow overalls is a philosophy of action!
1. Call for an open meeting to discuss the
current and assumed future climate for direct action and civil disobedience.
Show pictures and hand out information on the history, politics,
and philosophy of the overalls approach, among others. Bring along
a few examples of "non-confrontational" defensive protection.
Assume the meeting is infiltrated, so stick to the facts, and propose
2. Propose or form, in whatever way possible (think security!),
an affinity group, or a collective of individuals interested in
the tactic. Order some yellow overalls (or whatever color you should
so choose). Dont be afraid to have lengthy political discussions
about why, how, and when to employ the tactic. Raise the issue of
"male-centered tactics". Propose ways to counter these
tendencies. Be as open and as honest as possible. And men, check
your bravado at the door!
3. Familiarize yourself with the successes and failures (including
the more harsh criticisms coming out of the movement) of the white
overalls, as it developed in Europe, particularly in Italy.
4. Start small. The white overalls movement began with just a few
individuals protesting in the middle of Milan, Italy, in white overalls.
Find an appropriate campaign to focus around, and dont be
afraid of the media. USE IT! Turn the power of the cameras against
5. Be as clandestine as possible with the actual organizing of the
thing, but find creative ways to publicize the effort. The police
will most likely be aware of whatever you do (at least assume it
so), therefore be alert and smart.
6. Remember, the philosophy is based on "negotiation",
not reformism or "selling out". Dont fall for the
trap of the controversy between violent vs. non-violent direct action.
These debates hinder, rather than clarify, political action. Learn
7. Organize and make decisions anyway you like (I, nor anyone else
for that matter, can say otherwise), but remember, a decentralized,
anti-oppressive effort will go further in effect and security than
some sort of centralized "leadership". Oh, and its
good for its own sake. Oppression sucks!
8. Hold a "regalia" making party, invite friends over
for beverages, conversation, and put together some interesting outfits.
Design a helmet with a stuffed animal glued to the top. Get a hold
of those "pool waders", the ducky ones. Make armour, but
the kind that looks like the guy who wears the grass coat.
9. Practice different "formations" or excorsises of mini-clusters.
Discuss issues of security, solidarity, and "tactical oppression".
Whos in front? Whos holding the banner? Check your language.
Its not about a "military" thing, or "fighting
the cops", but individual and group empowerment...and fun.
10. Be creative. This is a different sort of revolution than Che
and Bakunin were proposing. Relax, and take your time. And for heavens
sake, have fun!