Ed’s One-Page Manual for Long Haul Activism

Life Style

  • avoid car ownership: walk, use your bike
  • avoid debt, the lure of credit cards
  • consume little
  • work in coalition; live & work non-hierarchically
  • establish community roots, a sense of place
  • develop skills (computer, layout, media, writing, copy-editing, public speaking, languages….)
  • reduce distraction, resist addiction
  • seek “right livelihood”; avoid co-optation; be sand in the gears, not a cog in the machine
  • reduce complicity, vested interests
  • avoid banks: use credit unions
  • reduce/resist federal taxes
  • eat mindfully: favor local food & produce, avoid franchise & fast food
  • bite less, chew more: avoid burn-out, pace yourself
  • mate mindfully
  • have – or not have – children mindfully

Consciousness

  • cultivate nonviolence
  • treat all – especially adversaries – with respect
  • make truth-telling reflexive
  • overcome your “-isms”: race/class/gender/tribe/nation…
  • transcend US exceptionalism
  • become media savvy; get beyond the mainstream media bubble
  • read widely
  • learn a strategic language (Spanish, Arabic, Pashtun…)
  • study the human condition: interact with and seek to understand the “other”
  • think globally, protect the planet, preserve sentient life, preserve wilderness
  • go beyond the affluent, industrial, capitalist bubble
  • travel with progressive delegations to “hot spots” (WfP, F.O.R., CPT, SOA Watch, Global Exchange…)
  • connect the dots: resist compartmentalization, calculate consequences
  • think critically: ask why, ask cui bono? “follow the money,” question authority
  • take useful risks, make useful sacrifices
  • embrace arrest: consider doing “prison witness”