Sunday, 30 October 2016

#CantStandBy 101

The #CantStandBy Network Manual is a step by step instruction book. It is designed to allow the general Australian public to form a decentralised network (like Anonymous or Occupy). The #CantStandBy network is designed to make mandatory detention financially unsustainable for any political party by carrying out an escalating campaign of simple, safe, non-violent civil disobedience.

In 5 months, there have been dozens of actions held consistently across the country in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Newcastle and Canberra.
In a practical sense, the strategy works like this: Demonstrations happen once a month a 2pm on the first Saturday of the month. But instead of having only one rallying point for each city (at symbolic locations) - the CSB network assigns multiple rallying points (at economically significant locations). The idea is that most major roadways in each city will have at least one rallying point. So Adelaide has 13, while Sydney has 48. Each month, demonstrators simply bring, a sign opposing mandatory detention and supporting #CantStandBy to whichever rallying point is most convenient for them.

Once a demonstrator arrives at a rallying point, they are advised to wait 10 minutes to see if any other participants arrive. Either way, the demonstration can still be successful.

If no one else shows up at your particular rallying point, simply take photos of your signs and upload them to Twitter under #CantStandBy. This then lets other potential participants know where there is activity in the network.

These photos are intended to show others where they can join in next month, or to inspire them to begin participating as individuals in their own area. Especially in the beginning, it is important to focus on the total national picture, not the number of people at anyone demonstration. In the early stages of the network, having even 1 CSB demonstrator in a city will be a significant development. However, as more people gather on a monthly basis to take pictures, small crowds will begin to form.

If there are less than 30 people at the same rallying point, then demonstrators simply take photos of their signs and banners as close to the occupation site as they can reach safely. The purpose of these demonstrations is simply to raise the profile of the network and have the general public become familiar with the rallying points simply by seeing demonstrations taking place at them regularly. However, when 30 people or more attend the same rallying point, they are invited to consider collectively staging a short occupation at a nearby highway, intersection or bridge. Every pre-selected rallying point has at least one suggested occupation site within walking distance.

For anyone who has never done something like this, it is as simple as it sounds. As a group, demonstrators wait by the roadside for a long break in the traffic. When there is a safe time to enter, collectively walk out on the road. Demonstrators should wait until they have enough people to block every lane of traffic in a particular direction. Leaving some lanes open with moving traffic, could be dangerous for both motorists and demonstrators. We recommend at least 5 people for every lane.

Occupations are also not compulsory. Whether or not demonstrators choose to occupy on a particular day will depend on how well prepared they are, and how well prepared the police are. If the police stop demonstrators from reaching the road, demonstrators simply take a photo of their signs and police where they were stopped, the same way you would as if you had reached the road without enough people.

But once the small requirement of mobilising just 30 people at a rallying point has been met across the network, the government is now in a significant predicament.

The CSB network uses 147 separate rallying points. If there are 30 people at each of them, now the government has to figure out how it is going to keep the roads open. If they don't send any police the highways will be blocked which will cost the economy money. At the same time sending enough police to that many locations would also cost a large amount of money. This means demonstrators don't need to actually block the road to raise the cost of mandatory detention. They just need to make an even vaguely effective attempt at trying to occupy them. So long as demonstrators maintain this position of repeated attempts, they will raise the cost of maintaining mandatory detention dramatically, whether or not they out mobilise the police during any specific demonstration.

In the event that protesters are willing and able to block the roads, the collective agreement is to only do so for 15 minutes during any single demonstration. This is long enough to demonstrate a successful occupation. Having short actions opens up participation to thousands of people who genuinely want to see an end to mandatory detention, but at the same time, are not able to uproot their entire lives so that they can camp on highway indefinitely. Once 15 minutes has elapsed, demonstrators should link arms and leave the road collectively, making sure not to allow the traffic to move until everyone is safely off the road.

A common assumption is that 15 minutes wouldn't be long enough to be effective. However, the Daily Telegraph reported that when just two highways in Sydney were closed by accidents, it cost the state economy $1 million for every seven and half minutes that the roads were closed and that is also looking at only two blockages. CSB has nearly 150 rallying points across multiple states and 5 major metropolitan areas.

In addition to this, CSB has the capacity to intensify the disruptions even further. In the beginning, when just a few people are participating. the demonstrations are only held on the first Saturday of the month. But in the event that attendance at the Saturday demonstrations exceeds 37000 people nationally a second demonstration will be called. These demonstrations will be held at 9am on the Monday morning which follows the Saturday demonstration.

The point is to use whatever forces we have available in the most effective way. CSB is, similar to Occupy or Anonymous, in that it is completely decentralised. You just learn the rules and start your own project.

A free guidebook (known as the "network manual") explains everything a person needs to know to participate effectively. Participation is open to anyone who opposes mandatory detention.

Can't Stand By Network Manual PDF.

Alternative link...

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