• Enter paddy wagons singing — don’t act shocked and upset when arrests occur and cops get rough. Either the left’s critique of American society begins with an assumption of repressive tolerance or it doesn’t.
• “Hey hey! Hey ho! So-in-so has got to go!” no longer cuts it — replace all singsong chants with soccer-type cheers that reverberate much better against buildings.
• Direct actions need leaders. Text-messaging and collective intuition are all very nice, but at some point someone is required to yell “Go!” when a crowd gathers at a crosswalk — otherwise everyone may as well show up already wrapped with arrest netting.
The RNC’s main lesson, however, should be that the corporate media consist, as Marx once put it, of the “gentlemen’s gentlemen of the press,” and that their job is to present the ruling mythologies as scientific fact. Our job is to challenge that mythology and the policies they create. A protest event should not be aimed at cameras but at the hearts of people staring out the windows of Smith’s or from their trapped cars.