Monday, 27 March 2017

CSB Netwok Manual (HTML/text version)

At the moment this is just the raw text from the #CantStandBy manual. None of the maps or graphs have been included. They will be added ASAP. They can currently be found in the PDF version of the manual. But we thought that an online text version might make it more accessible even with these limitations. We will try to improve it over time by reinserting the images and perhaps adding links to the chapters etc. In the meanwhile, enjoy!

End mandatory detention now!

#CantStandBy Non-violent Civil Resistance Network Manual


Acknowledgement of Country:
Can't Stand By would like to acknowledge that our network operates on the occupied land of the
Aboriginal people. We pay our respects to elders both past and present and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Introductory quotes.

"It's child abuse. Putting children in detention is child abuse. So, our Government is abusing children in our name," [Dr Isaacs] said. Alanna Mycock, a nurse who worked with Dr Isaacs on Nauru recounted the confronting ordeal of a mother in detention. "We'd seen that she'd been raped there. She was offered more time in the showers for sexual favours," she said.”
- Sydney Morning Herald, August 14, 2015. 'It's child abuse': Australian doctor brought to tears by treatment of Nauru detainees

There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

That doesn't mean that you have to break anything. 1000 people sitting down some place, not letting anybody by, not letting anything happen, can stop any machine - including this machine. And it will stop!”
Mario Savio, December 2, 1964.

“‘If there is hope,’ wrote Winston, ‘it lies in the proles.’ If there was hope, it MUST lie in the proles, because only there in those swarming disregarded masses, 85 per cent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within. Its enemies, if it had any enemies, had no way of coming together or even of identifying one
another. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, as just possibly it might, it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes. Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflexion of the voice, at the most, an occasional whispered word. But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength would HAVE NO NEED TO CONSPIRE. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning.

Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it?”
- Nineteen Eighty-four, by George Orwell

'No more pleading, time for stampeding'
The Coup, Land of 7 Billion Dances


Table of Contents
1. Can't Stand By
2. What CSB Does
2.1 - Decentralised Networks
2.2 - Civil Resistance
a) Without Trucks Australia Stops
b) Material Impact
c) Operation Fortitude

2.3 - Rhythm, Consistency & Decentralisation
a) A Regular Time For Actions
b) Rallying Points
c) Occupying Roads
d) Exercising Political Independence

2.4 - The Stadium
a) Supporters and Scale
b) The Very Thin Blue Line
c) 1 in Every 1000 People
d) Be polite to motorists.

2.5 - Social Costs & Disruptions
a) Government Requires Isolation
b) Isolation Does Not Beat Isolation

2.6 - Voluntary Cooperation.
2.7 - Duplicating The Network

3. The 5 Stages of a Rallying Point
3.1 - (1) A single demonstrator
a) Banner Drops
b) Social Media
c) Tech Support Leaflets

3.2 - (2) 2-30 demonstrators
a) Collective Agreements
b) Street Promotions
c) Broader Agendas

3.3 - (3) 30-100 demonstrators
3.4 - (4) 100-500 demonstrators
a) Police
3.5 - (5) 500+ demonstrators
a) 5 Cities Graph
3.6 - What Will Victory Look Like?
4. Equipment
5. Short Term Goals
6. Maps


1. Can't Stand By

The Can't Stand By network exists to make the Australian government's regime of mandatory detention of refugees so economically, politically and socially expensive that they have no choice but to abandon this policy.

CSB is designed such that it will continue to operate until all offshore detention centres have been closed, the worst of the Australian onshore detention centres have been closed and there is a 30-day limit placed on detention in Australia with periodic judicial review of any detention after that. CSB will continue to apply pressure until these demands are not just an agreement but an operating reality.

There will be no extra time given even to politicians who say they are on our side. The government has already had way too much time to do this of its own accord. As responsible adults, we now have a moral duty to force an immediate end to this abuse. Once our demands have been met, the political pressure which holds the network together will no longer exist, and it will begin to dissolve accordingly. However, if CSB did need to reactivate in response to a return to mandatory detention, it is designed so that this could happen relatively quickly, even after a prolonged period of inactivity.

The following manual aims to give any member of the general public the necessary knowledge to effectively participate in the Can't Stand By network. CSB is intended to be an addition to, not a replacement for, any currently existing efforts to fight against mandatory detention in Australia.

2. What CSB Does
2.1 Decentralised Networks

The CSB network is leaderless and completely decentralised. The most recognisable form of this type of organisational structure is in a “Mexican wave.” From an organisational perspective, a defining feature of a Mexican wave is that no individual person is in control of it. It is a genuinely mutual collective effort. Also, a person does not need to have any direct contact with the person or people who started a Mexican wave to participate. This decentralisation means that these waves can scale in size very quickly.

The CSB network shares three essential elements with a Mexican wave:

1. A simple, practical action that many people can easily replicate.
2. A rapidly transferable understanding of how this simple activity relates to the broader social forces.
3. A consistent rhythm which grants a significant number of previously unconnected people the ability to act in a coordinated manner.

As a participant in a Mexican wave, the broader social forces would include things like the entire crowd as an entity and the stadium which frames them. It is this context which gives significance to what would otherwise be the ordinary act of people using chairs. People stand up and sit down all the time, but it does not become significant until it is coordinated and framed correctly. The question for opponents of mandatory detention then becomes, what does the “stadium” look like for us? What would it look like to “get out of our chairs”? And how can we use consistency or rhythm to facilitate decentralised coordination between large numbers of previously unconnected people?

2. What CSB Does 
2.2 - Civil Resistance

For CSB, “Getting out of our chairs” must be something which is capable of raising the cost of mandatory detention to such an extreme that the government is left with no choice but to immediately abandon it. It has been said that “Protest is when you say, “I object to this or that,” while resistance is when you do whatever it takes to make sure “this or that” can no longer happen. So for example, saying, “don't come through that door!” is a form of protest. On the other hand,
putting your foot in the way of the door is resistance.

Can't Stand By is a non-violent resistance network, not a protest group. CSB is not aiming to convince the government or “speak truth to power”. It is known that the Australian media is so monopolised that one has to look towards third world dictatorships to find significantly worse examples of concentrated media ownership. The logic behind "speaking truth to power" assumes that “power” does not know what it is doing and this whole thing has been an unfortunate misunderstanding. But no one commits escalating covert human rights abuses for two decades by accident. The leadership of the Labor and Liberal parties know precisely what they are doing. To engage them in a serious debate about the legitimacy of mandatory detention would be an insult to all those who languish under its rule.

CSB is not trying to out-debate the government. We are working to out-organise them. Our goal is to use our numbers to make it physically impossible for any political party to continue mandatory detention. Like an ambulance with a siren that brings all traffic to a halt, or a fire alarm that triggers the evacuation of an entire building, the technique of civil resistance operates under the logic that there is an emergency situation so severe and urgent that business as usual needs to be suspended, in specific ways, until such a time that the emergency can be resolved.

Crimes against humanity, like mandatory detention, are precisely the types of emergencies that warrant this kind of action. As serious as disrupting business as usual is, the issue of ending human rights abuse must be more important. Convenience and wealth can not be allowed to be more valuable than human dignity.

Fortunately for opponents of mandatory detention, on a logistical level - on the level of who needs to stand where - mounting a campaign of civil resistance in Australia can be a simple and completely non-violent thing to do. In fact, it has been summarised in four basic words.

a) Without Trucks Australia Stops

These signs refer to the fact that an industry-wide strike of transportation workers would bring the entire country to a halt. Aside from the disruption that such industrial action would cause to the transportation industry itself, there is also the fact that almost every other industry depends on the transportation industry to function. If all the truck drivers went on strike tomorrow, Australia most certainly would stop. However, as true as it is to say “Without trucks Australia stops,” it is also true to say that Australia stops without the roads on which trucks depend. Without certain roads, there can be no trucks, and without trucks, there can be no economy.

The radical potential of this modified slogan is that while not everyone is a professional truck driver, almost everyone living in a big city lives within a short distance of an economically significant roadway. Any of these people could block these roads simply by walking over and standing on them. This simple act, carried out on a large enough scale, would in effect shut down the entire country.

At the same time, it is important to stress how literally pedestrian and ordinary it is to close a road. The government will want to sensationalise it and make it seem aggressive and dangerous. But we should resist this framing. We must show that closing a road is NOT an extraordinary thing to do. With decades of experience, many school crossings have demonstrated that two primary school children can be entrusted with the power of closing down a public road. Therefore, surely 30 grown adults should be able to manage to do a similar thing without needing police to hold their hands while they do it.

The next way they will attempt to insight panic around CSB demonstrations will be over the topic of ambulances. However, no demonstration would ever block the path of an emergency vehicle. It may even be easier for ambulances to move around the halted traffic of a CSB action, rather than having to predict the path of moving vehicles with their potentially inattentive drivers. Added to which, the media panic is always selective. The media never screams, "Won't somebody think of the ambulances!?", when traffic is gridlocked by a football grand final, lack of decent public transport or by the government shutting down an entire city to host a trade summit. If the government can close down a city for a human rights abuser like Vladamir Putin, then surely the people of Australia are more than justified in doing the same thing in defence of human rights.

Furthermore, CSB demonstrations have enough flexibility that they can dissolve at any point. If it ever became apparent that an action would pose a danger, then it can always be quickly dispersed. We refuse to let them scare us out of resisting.

The practical issue of scaling up from mobilisations of 1 or 2 people to national demonstrations of tens of thousands will be addressed shortly. But for the moment, when we are searching for a way to “get out of our chairs” all that is needed is an understanding that ordinary people can easily bring the entire country to a halt simply by doing nothing more radical than standing in inconvenient locations together.

As peaceful as these actions are, we can see the kind of economic impact they might have by looking at examples where highways in Australia have been accidentally blocked. For example, on the 9th of March 2016, two highways were blocked in Sydney due to two separate traffic accidents. In the two hours it took the police to unblock the road, an estimated $16 million had been wiped from the Sydney economy. That equates to roughly $1 million for every seven and a half minutes. What this means is that we do not have to hold the roads indefinitely. Instead, we can simply occupy them for short periods repeatedly. Rather than any one particular action being the decisive blow, the CSB network is instead designed to build up a cacophony of tiny pin prick disruptions that will eventually become unsustainable for the status quo. The power of the strategy is that it makes a physical conflict between demonstrators and police completely unnecessary. Our aim is NOT to fight the cops. Our goal is to mobilise on such a scale that we can exhaust and overwhelm the police to such a degree that they become irrelevant as to whether or not the economy can continue to function. The day that the Australian government has to ask for its own roads back is the day that there will no longer be mandatory detention.

b) Material Impact

A mass campaign of non-violent economic disruption would raise three specific costs on the government.

ECONOMIC COST: The occupations are intended to operate like a citizens' initiated trade embargo. They will impede the functioning of the economy in general with the intent of costing it so much money that any government, no matter which party, will have a pressing economic incentive to end mandatory detention.

POLITICAL COST: The demonstrations will give an advantage to any political party that does not support mandatory detention by allowing it to promise voters an end to the costly disruptions.

SOCIAL COST: The demonstrations will expose the reality that all governments are ultimately critically dependent on almost all their citizens voluntarily choosing to be compliant. Once ordinary people have the political consciousness to recognise the industrial potential of their immediate surroundings and the organisational capacity to act politically on this knowledge, the government is in a weaker position not just on this issue, but all issues.

The CSB network is a tool to allow opponents of mandatory detention to demonstrate and develop our organisational capacity. The government and the police (as an institution) will want to draw people's attention away from our organisational achievements by trying to pressure demonstrators into physical conflicts. We should be aware of this and resist being goaded into fighting on their terms. They would much prefer to have a physical fight, because even if they lose a physical fight, they can then use that loss to become even stronger on an institutional level. The fight the government does not want to lose is an organisational one, because this type of loss is much harder to spin in the media. An example of a government being unable to repackage a loss of this kind occurred during the Abbot Liberal government's failed Operation Fortitude in 2015. It boils down to the fact that it is entirely possible to have so many people on the streets that for the police to try to disperse the crowds would clearly work against the government's interests.

c) Operation Fortitude

Operation Fortitude was an incredibly dumb political stunt pulled by the Australian government. The plan was to have police officers patrolling the streets of Melbourne asking to see people's ID as though they were in Berlin in the 1930s. Obviously, this was not going to influence refugees. It was an effort in what is called “security theatre.” But the problem for the Abbott government was that people pushed back immediately and in a way the government could not contain. They had forgotten that since the advent of offshore processing, the Australian public has been physically cut off from the mandatory detention apparatus. They discounted the fact that geographic accessibility for the general public to the grounds of mandatory detention has not played out well for the government in the past. In times when refugees were detained onshore, centres were often the target of sizable demonstrations held by the Australian people in solidarity with the refugees. In 2001, protesters even pulled and cut down fences, which contributed to the escape of up to 40 asylum seekers.

Offshore processing is advantageous for the government because even when there is a significant level of hostility towards mandatory detention, it can struggle to manifest because there is no obvious, physically accessible target against which to take action. The mistake of Operation Fortitude was to not only give the movement a tangible target, but a particularly vulnerable and obnoxious one at that. When the government announced their plan, demonstrators rallied almost immediately in the middle of a major intersection in downtown Melbourne. In the photos of the event, you can see that the police surrounding the demonstration are facing outwards to direct traffic. The demonstrators could not possibly have a permit. However, the police were still not trying to move them. They did not try to clear them because the government was afraid that if they pushed the protesters at this point, it would attract more attention from the public and the media. Within 2 hours it had already gotten to the point that the police were overwhelmed, how much control might they have lost by the scheduled end of the operation in 2 days time? So the government instead called off the operation, despite the massive embarrassment this caused. CSB aims to achieve a similar type of victory on a larger scale.

2. What CSB Does
2.3 - Rhythm, Consistency & Decentralisation

There are countless examples (both in Australia and from around the world) that show that even a few dozen protesters can shut down major highways, in a straightforward and safe manner, just by collectively standing on them. These actions can be impressive and visually compelling. However, they often occur either as spontaneous reactions to specific events, or they are carried out infrequently or in a way that involves at least some degree of secret or centralised organising. Imposing this information bottleneck (where participants need contact with particular organiser(s) to participate) appears to limit unnecessarily the potential of these actions to reach a scale where they could create the type of political crisis which could force an end to a policy as entrenched as mandatory detention. In an attempt to overcome this, CSB has developed a simple organisational framework for what is intended to become a decentralised national network of demonstrators. The aim of the CSB network is to allow for tens of thousands of people to be able to carry out multiple, simultaneous, non-violent occupations repeatedly, in numerous economically significant locations, without needing to be privy to any secret plans and with very minimal risk of arrest or personal injury. It was also important that it could scale up from a single participant so that people with no previous connection to the network could instantly begin participating. The CSB network uses three key components in achieving this:

1. A regular time for actions – The first Saturday of the month at 2pm.
2. A series of maps which show 147 preselected rallying points spread out evenly across Australia's five largest cities. These maps (including an accompanying 147 detailed mini-maps) are included at
the end of the network manual.
3. The CSB network manual which explains how to participate in the network.





These elements give opponents of mandatory detention everything we need to coordinate a nonviolent decentralised shutdown of the Australian economy. At this point, it is important to discuss the first two elements of the network in greater detail.

a) A Regular Time For Actions
One of the necessary factors in a person being able to mobilise is for them to be aware of the details of a mobilisation that is about to happen. People can not attend a demonstration if they are not aware of its existence. Earlier, we discussed how rhythm and predictability were crucial to the ability of a Mexican wave to scale in size. A crowd member's ability to anticipate the path of the Mexican wave is essential to them being able to participate. Rhythm works in a similar way in improvisational music in that it allows people to coordinate their actions without needing central planning. For this reason, our demonstrations have a consistent rhythm, the first Saturday of every month at 2 pm. This time was chosen for a number of reasons, one of the highest priorities was accessibility. Saturday afternoon is a time when the most people, especially young people, are free. It is true that it is not the most economically disruptive time and for this reason, later in the document, we will discuss mechanisms in the network which allow for an intensification of the demonstrations under the right conditions. But for the moment, the real power of having a consistent time for actions is that it saves the energy of constantly updating the same people about the details of the next action. When the actions are at the same time and place regularly, participants no longer need to be part of an email list or a Facebook group. That is not to say those types of tools can not also be used, but the movement is no longer so dependent on them. Instead, once a person has been to an action, they more or less know when, where and how to participate in all future efforts. They can then choose how often they attend based on their individual preference and levels of outrage. CSB can not control how many people will demonstrate, but we can increase the amount of people who are given an opportunity to make that choice. Every month will not always be bigger than the last. But sooner or later there will come a time when a political scandal relating to mandatory detention and the date of a demonstration happen particularly close together. In such a situation, CSB demonstrations could easily be the most prominent and accessible rallying points for people looking to take action.

It also means that when the government does something outrageous, the CSB response will already planned. Groups that do not plan actions until after a scandal breaks in the media will always be working against the clock when they put out a call to mobilise, which limits their ability to reach their full potential. Aside from the people who already have a stance on a particular political issue, many never even get get around to considering their position when the issue becomes current, let alone taking part in action, because there isn't time for a movement to properly build awareness. This problem is then often worsened by the fact that there will be no follow-up action announced at the snap action either, which puts the organisers in the position of telling the participants “we'll call you.” The resulting irregularity of actions necessitates the otherwise redundant chore of telling people when the next action is. It is the equivalent of making everyone in a crowd wait to receive written permission from the individual(s) who started a Mexican wave, every time the participants want to stand up or sit down.

Instead, with CSB actions, someone who has not been to an action since the last time the government did something outrageous, potentially months or years ago, will already know when and where they can go to join a demonstration when a new outrage occurs. Obviously, isolated actions also have a vital role to play in social change, but one-off actions cannot substitute for regular demonstration as a conduit for resistance. Consistency is the best way to open the door for spontaneous participation by potential supporters. Consistency is also important because of the message that it sends to the government. Having regular actions denies the government the ability to claim a victory by clearing the streets. The Occupy movement felt defeated when police violently smashed their camps. Part of the reason for the disillusionment was that Occupy had to some extent built themselves as the movement that would always have a camp. So when they no longer had camps, and the prospect of getting them back seemed slim, Occupy struggled for relevance.
Instead of being the people who will always have a camp, Can't Stand By will be the people who will always come back. We have this strategic orientation because we understand that no single action, no matter how successful, will ever change the government's mind. The need for continuous action to bring about significant social change should be clear in the wake of the record-breaking crowds of half a million Australian anti-war protesters who came out onto the streets for just one day in 2003, only to watch the Australian government invade Iraq against the ruling of the United Nations. This very unpopular and horrific invasion went ahead because governments do not change their policies because of what a social movement has already done, they change their policies because they are afraid of what a social movement will do next. The problem was that all the anti-war movement knew how to do was to put on purely symbolic rallies, and they had already had the biggest rally ever. The government assumed correctly that the anti-war movement would have no plan for what to do next, so they called the movement's bluff and started dropping bombs. Just like the government predicted the anti-war movement became demoralised and fell apart. Taking this into account, from the very beginning CSB will wage a campaign of continuous demonstrations rather than one-off actions so that our efforts can maintain the threat of scaling beyond the government's control right up until the very dismantlement of the mandatory detention system. We should avoid taking single isolated actions and then waiting around to see what they do in response. Protesters often complain that “The politicians/media ignore our protests.” This is said as though it is an indictment of the media or the politicians, but by ignoring protests, politicians and media are carrying out their job description to a tee. If the media or the politicians can ignore our protests, it because they are better at their jobs than we are at ours. Social movements should not be looking to politicians or mainstream media for approval. If we are successful at building our own independent power, sooner or later they will come looking for us. Until that time, we do not have anything to say to them anyway.

b) Rallying Points

In addition to having a consistent time for demonstrations, people also need regular locations at which to take action. Each rallying point will consist of two parts, a rallying point proper and an occupation site. The rallying point should be somewhere where it is easy to gather even if no one else shows up. In many of the suggested examples, the rallying point is a train station. Public transport stops provide people with a common, accessible, public area to gather in. Sometimes it may be a bus or a tram stop. Meanwhile, at the other end, the “occupation site” is the highway or intersection that demonstrators are trying to block. Many occupation points may require hopping over barriers to reach but nothing too athletic. The rallying point should be within walking distance of the occupation site. There may be multiple potential occupation sites surrounding any particular rallying point. Which ones are approached are up to the demonstrators on the day. However, included at the end of this manual is a street directory of 147 separate preselected rallying points that all contain at least one suggested nearby occupation site. The pre-selected rallying points are spread out evenly across Australia's five largest cities. Basically, for every 100 000 people living in each capital, one rallying point has been chosen. The rallying points are spread out to make sure as many people as possible live within a short distance of at least one of them.

As a form of dissent marching on roads has been called “voting with your feet.” The CSB manual merely formalises the “voting” process. The areas around each rallying point become like a new type of electorate, and the occupation sites themselves become like a new kind of polling station. The difference is that CSB elections do not happen when the government wants them to happen, they happen when ever people choose to self-organise.

Through the use of Twitter and introductory “tech support” leaflets (which will be explained in more detail later), it is even possible for people to propose new rallying points at other pieces of public transport infrastructure. These rallying points can be anywhere in Australia, not just in the five cities. If you want to get people rallying in an area, or you just want to help build the network's profile, upload a picture of a CSB sign near any public transport stop at 2 pm on the first Saturday of the month. If the spot that you have proposed makes sense to other people, they may see it and join. Even if no one else participates, it has still helped to build the profile of the network and maybe even inspire other people to act in public as individual demonstrators. There is nothing wrong with a rallying point that only gets a small number of participants. If even a limited number of demonstrators rally at a point, conditions may change at another rallying point, which could then make the smaller rallying point the new better option. The network does not have multiple rallying points because we believe that the same amount of people will mobilise at each point. The network has multiple rallying points so that as many individuals as possible will have an opportunity to participate and these 147 particular preselected locations include most of the industrial roadways in these five capital cities at least once.

c) Occupying Roads

The issue of how to safely and efficiently occupy the roads will be addressed not just in this section of the manual but throughout this guide. However, to begin an attempt at shutting down a road, a demonstration first requires enough people to block all lanes of traffic heading in a particular direction of a major accessible roadway. There must be at least enough people to be able to shut down an entire side of the road. Leaving some lanes open creates too much potential for accidents and injury. We recommend at least five people for every lane. Then it is just a matter of whether or not police are present. If there are no police present, when the traffic has stopped, or the road is clear, people can simply walk onto the roadway to form a barrier. The individual occupations only need to happen for a limited amount of time. We suggest around 15 minutes. At first, this might not seem like long enough. However, we have to remember that in the examples of the highways being blocked in Sydney, 15 minutes was sufficient to wipe $2 million off the economy. The costs of the transportation industry accrue by the minute. Every minute wages are spent. Flights get missed. Fuel burns. When popular uprisings disrupt production like this it is as though we are setting fire to the profits of transnational corporations. Literally thousands of dollars a second going up in figurative smoke. However, we also need to move away from seeing any single action as being the deciding factor in the success of the campaign. A single 15-minute occupation is not going to change anything fundamentally even if it does cost the economy $2 million. However if we multiply 15 minutes by 147 occupation points, and 12 months in a year, you are now looking at a combined total of 440 hours or 18 days worth of paralysed economic transportation routes. Using the measurement of $1 million for every 15 minutes of shut down roadways (half of the Sydney rate which occurred in Sydney), this would translate to a cost of more than $1.7 billion per year for the Australian economy. Through simple non-violent mass action. Obviously, the actual cost will be different for many reasons. Not every highway is in inner city Sydney, but by the same token two highways at once is very different to 147 (or even 20) highways at once. The precise figure of the cost of a single disruption is not significant. Instead, the government will look at the accumulated previous performance of the CSB network, and from this information they will be able to make predictions about what the future might hold. Our goal is to give them no choice when they look at these “figures” but to conclude that mandatory detention must end immediately. They may come to this decision because of a reasonably costly ongoing low-level campaign which the government finally realises is never going away. Or it could be because of a massive paralysing mobilisation which forces the government to concede defeat immediately simply to regain control of the economy. More likely it will be a combination of both. Consistency and scale both matter.

However, because each individual action is not decisive if the police arrive while an occupation is taking place, and they indicate that they are prepared to make arrests and they appear to have the capacity to do this, demonstrators should aim to leave collectively and disperse “without incident”. The reason we do not take a more confrontational approach is simple. Imagine a stadium where a dictator is trying to address the crowd, but the people are carrying out a noisy Mexican wave in defiance of the dictator. This is embarrassing for the dictator, so the guards at the stadium want everyone to sit down but there are a lot more people in the crowd than there are guards. If we use a similar ratio for people to guards in the stadium, as we found there to be among people vs police in the five major cities, for every 1000 people there would only be roughly four guards. There are two potential pitfalls when it comes to guards. One is to ignore them completely and the other is to overreact to them. To ignore the guards would be to jump up out of your seat while a guard is standing right next to you. Not only is there no need to do that, but at least within the context of the CSB network this type of action may be counter productive. Arrests can create a situation where it is harder to focus on “the wave” or the collective effort because instead people are compelled to focus on the guards violently subduing a person in the seat next to them. Whether or not is a “justified” is not really the point. We are not here to express our individual desires we are here to engage in collective political defiance.

This does not mean that the crowd can no longer be defiant. It just means that they need to “remain seated” (ie. Don't act out in a way that could get you arrested) when there is a guard standing right next to them. The specifics of what this will consist of will vary depending on the balances of forces on the day. Some days 100 people might be enough to not have to worry about the police at all. Other days 100 people may just end up stuck at the train station. The fact that people may be unable to participate in the wave (ie block the road) is more than compensated for by allowing everyone's attention to remain on the wave (the collective effort) and not side tracked into pointless squabbles about any one particular instance of defiance.

The guards and the members of the crowd that they can easily reach will always be a tiny minority of the people in the stadium. A Mexican wave can pass right over both groups and still be virtually in full effect. People can start joining in the waves as the guards leave and others will stay seated as the guards arrive. Any police presence (particularly with no arrests made) is a success to some extent because we have forced the government to respond to us. When you have enough people to block the road (where experience and confidence allow) demonstrators should aim to leave the demonstration either with footage of the road shut down or of the police presence that stopped it from being blocked.


Once our willingness and potential to defy and disrupt has been demonstrated, recorded and distributed, (whether or not it was successful in stopping traffic) it is simply a matter of coming back next time with more people, instead of making a futile attempt to make a single action last indefinitely. By making a strategic adjustment towards short, sharp demonstrations CSB opens up participation in the occupations to a many more people. There are hundreds of thousands of people who sincerely want to see an immediate end to mandatory detention, but can't simply uproot their entire lives so they can camp on a highway indefinitely. The sole point of any one particular demonstration is to inspire other potential supporters into activity. As a CSB network participant you are literally demonstrating what to do. Your audience is the people, not the government. You are a demonstrator, not a protester. Therefore the demonstrations only need to take place for long enough for people to document it and use social media to prove undeniably that an occupation (or a
serious attempt at an occupation) took place. These actions and this media become our capital. As a special type of economic embargo, the CSB network trades in our ability to shut down roads. Each documented closed road becomes like a trophy photo. Ordinary people aren't supposed to be able to do this. We are supposed to stay out of the way. And if we do get out of line the government is supposed to be able to stop us. What can not be allowed to be understood, is that the government actually does not have the physical means to maintain control in the face of even vaguely popular non-violent resistance that is organised appropriately. More important than whether or not the road was blocked during a particular attempt is whether or not people leave the action better prepared to build the next action than when they arrived. The problem CSB presents the government is that there are so many hundreds of kilometres of economically significant roadways that it is impossible for police to be standing right next to all of it at the same time. Therefore, in the beginning, when the police outnumber the demonstrators they will be able to minimise the disruption by responding to each demonstration as quickly as possible. However, once the police are outnumbered, responding to any one of the occupations will just take them away from preventing another demonstration occurring in a different area. This is how we win. Very specific details about what participating in the actions will involve, the chapter 5 Stages of a Rallying Point goes into
specific detail about what participation in these demonstrations looks like at every step in the network's development.

In the meantime, it is important to point out that 50,000 people mobilised against mandatory detention at 2016 national Palm Sunday rallies in March. The combined state police forces of S.A, W.A, Q.L.D, VIC and N.S.W only number around 56K officers. While these figures are only a rough guide, the point is that it does not take a particularly unusual situation for protest mobilisations in Australia to outnumber the police. The success of CSB will not be a mass awakening of people “caring about the refugee issue”. The success of CSB will be when those that already care are to find ways to do something about it which the government cannot just ignore.
Every time CSB even tries to overrun the roads it will raise our embargo's cost to the economy. In fact, simply making the possibility of physically overrunning the system seem like a viable option will be a cost that the system has to absorb. It will do this by either forcing the government to pay for police to prevent the roads from being overrun or by wiping money from the economy by holding up industrial levels of traffic. Either way, if we are smart and self-organised, we can make sure the real material bottom line costs of mandatory detention grow every time we come out. With experience, we will improve and become more confident. We can also begin to come more prepared. Over time we will be able to shut down larger areas with fewer people. At the same, regular actions will raise the profile of the network, increasing the chances that more people will participate. The ultimate risk to the government is that Can't Stand By will get to the point where it can shut down the economy with impunity, more or less developing the capacity to declare our own public holidays. After all, with even limited participation from the public, CSB could quite quickly in effect become one of the most economically influential unions in the country. We have no leaders to jail. We have no dues to pay.

d) Exercising Political Independence

The purpose of CSB demonstrations is to exercise and demonstrate the strength of the network's organisational capacity. Specifically, we must demonstrate our collective willingness and ability to defy the government, disrupt the economy and increase the size of the movement. While we might have a specific goal of assembling immovable crowds, the size of the goal doesn't affect the form of the process. The way you work out a muscle to be able to lift 5kg is exactly the same way as you work out to lift 50kg. We shouldn't give up on lifting anything just because we cannot lift everything immediately.

Instead, we will start out defying and disrupting as much as we can, however little that may be, so long as it doesn't affect our ability to do it again next time. CSB has an explicit policy of nonviolence, but we also have a clear policy of non-cooperation with the police. We never ask for permission to gather. We have this policy because CSB is about proving our willingness to defy the government, so asking for a permit would defeat the purpose. It is far more politically, economically and socially powerful to achieve “less” while working against the police, than it is to do “more” with their cooperation.

Therefore, if the only form of truly independent collective defiance we can muster at our current numbers is to meet without permission at a train station, even if only to be immediately dispersed, then that is what we should do. But if demonstrators arrive at the train station, and find that there are no police between us and the road we plan to occupy then people should move closer to the road until they either reach it, or they get stopped. If we have enough people to hold the road safely for a short period, when it is safe to do so, we should. 15 minutes is long enough to document that a
successful occupation has taken place. If we do not have enough people, then we can stay at the edge of the road. Either way, we record our efforts and publicise them through social media, primarily Twitter. Then we come back to the same place, at the same time next month. Just as one spaces out their gym workouts to allow their body time to recover. The network spaces out the actions to allow a chance to build for the next one. But we should never leave one demonstration
not knowing when the next demonstration will be.

What this means is that we should recognise that when the government says to social movements, "Don't take over this road, that would be hard work, we will give you a permit to march on the road instead," this is a trick. The real meaning of what they are saying is, "Don't develop your strength, depend on ours." Of course, if you do not realise that the "hard work" of people being self organised enough to be able to take over a road is the entire purpose of taking the action in the first place, then accepting their offer can seem appealing. For instance, if you think the purpose of the demonstration is the way people look at you when you do it (i.e. positive mainstream media coverage), then having someone else come in, do the work and give you the credit, can seem like a fantastic deal. But at no point will the movement ever become a threat to the government, if the power that the movement thinks it has is premised on getting them to sign a permission slip to allow them to dissent. Maintaining this subservient relationship is the entire reason why the government uses the police to "help" movements hold protests. They do this for the same reason that the Mafia “offers protection” to a small business. They are attempting to create a relationship of dependency which they can exploit on an ongoing basis.

2. What CSB Does
2.4 The Stadium
a) Supporters and Scale

If we work from the assumption that 'getting out of our seats' will mean closing industrial roadways via non-violent demonstrations, then we can also begin to get an idea of what the 'stadium' could be in this context. The first step for any group to be able to act collectively is for us to be able to conceive of ourselves as a collective. Participants in Mexican waves do this in many ways. It may be as simple as seeing the person next to you stand up and realising that if you did it as well, then it would create a pattern - something neither person could create by themselves. Part of the reason Mexican waves are common in stadiums is that the size of a wave is part of its appeal, and when people are in a stadium it is easy to recognise this potential. Crowd members even get the advantage of being able to watch the wave go around to the other side of the stadium, which allows people to see its effect from the outside. The issue with opponents of mandatory detention, and our ability to take collective action, is that because we have no stadium, there are far more of us than many people currently realise. In a sense, ending mandatory detention will require opponents of the policy to build their own stadiums - spaces where opponents of mandatory detention can come together to be seen. These spaces can be both real world and online. Creating these spaces will also mean allowing people to see the actions of individuals reflected, in a way which captures their collective significance. Having every demonstrator uploading a picture to Twitter, which will be explored in more detail later, is about being that "other side of the stadium". Collectively, one of the most important ways to capture the individual actions is through the creation of time lapse maps. For those who are unfamiliar with time lapse maps, Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto created a famous example of one by using the historical records of the global use of nuclear bombs. In this video art work, the viewer can see a map of the globe and in the top corner there is a counter that is counting the months. With months ticking by like seconds, every time there is a historical record of a nuclear explosion, a little flash would appear on the map where it was dropped. This would be accompanied by a beeping sound. Initially, the viewer sees only a few flashes and beeps, which represent the earlier isolated examples of nuclear activity. As more countries build nuclear weapons and nuclear tests become more prolific, what started as silence gradually builds into a storm of nuclear activity. Time lapse maps allow people to see individual actions in a new way because, like viewing a Mexican wave from the other side of the stadium, you are looking at it from far enough away that you can begin to see their collective significance. Using the movement's social media hashtags, it should be possible to automate the creation of these maps.

By creating time lapse maps from the beginning, CBS can make sure that every individual action will get instant recognition from the group which will encourage greater participation. At the same time as building a stadium we have to be aware of the scale and composition of the crowd. Australia has a population of 23 million people. If you look at the polling done on refugee rights issues, very rarely are they divided by more than a 40-60% split. However, to make sure that we are working with a particularly conservative estimate, let us take half the amount, of the smallest side, and say that only 20% of the country actually opposes mandatory detention. The validity of this estimate is supported by cross checking it with recent national election results, which show that between 11-14% of the population voted for the Australian Greens. While not every Greens voter opposes mandatory detention, opposition to this policy is a key part of their platform. The idea that there could be a further 6-9% of genuine opposition to mandatory detention, found among Labor voters and the rest of the population, would seem to be a safe bet. Operating from this assumption (while also recognising its limitations), would still mean that there were at least 4 million opponents of mandatory detention living in Australia.

More than half of Australia's 23 million people live in one of five cities: Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Therefore, we can assume at least 2 million opponents of mandatory detention in these five cities. This is many times more than enough people for non-violent demonstrations (with the right organisation) to be able to turn the economy on and off like a light.



[2011 November 2 - Occupy Oakland general strike: While police estimate 7,000 people marched, local organisers and participants put the number somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000. As protesters completely filled Middle Harbor Road, the main road leading to the port, all truck traffic entering or exiting the port was halted. Port operations were "effectively shut down" a couple hours later.]

The prevailing mindset of the Australian public underestimates mass opposition to mandatory detention due to three factors: its overassessment of parliamentary electoral politics, media bias and a lack of awareness of scale. The two party political system creates a mode of thinking in which any group of people who are fewer than 50% of the population are strangely assumed to have no political power. This mindset allows the media, for example, to present a significant section of the Australian public in opposition to mandatory detention as “only” 40%. They will say “only 40%” as though this somehow means that mandatory detention is a secure policy. However, it is only through the exclusive focus on parliamentary politics that a group with the support of two out of every five people can be made to feel like they are powerless and alone. Exacerbating this pervasive mindset, both major political parties work together with the mainstream media to present opposition to mandatory detention as a socially isolated phenomenon. They try to present a significant minority as socially isolated and alone, but this does not amount to the same thing. On top of that, at certain points, polls have even shown a majority opposition to mandatory detention: a 2016 survey of more than 1,400 Australians for example found 63% of respondents oppose the policy that refugees who arrive by boat should never be allowed to settle, instead saying those found to have a valid claim for protection should be allowed to have that claim processed in Australia itself.

However, even without majority opposition, as long as opponents of mandatory detention are still a significant minority of the population (20%+) we should not be discouraged. Even with this level of opposition we do not need to change the hearts or minds of any current supporters of mandatory detention to shut down the country. We can do this with even a fraction of its current opponents. While it is impossible to determine the precise number of demonstrators that would be necessary, let us estimate what might be possible by mobilising even a tiny fraction of the overall population in this way. Let us say that from our earlier estimate of 2 million staunch opponents of mandatory detention we are able to achieve a mobilisation of just 1 out of every 20 at a given time. Even this small fraction turns out to be a massive number of people, equivalent to 1% of the residents in the five major cities, and it would be enough people to gather crowds of 1000 people at 147 separate locations at once. We do not have to be action heroes. If even half this amount of people did nothing more than meander like zombies with arms outstretched to the nearest highway, the entire country would grind to a halt in a matter of minutes. That is the power of popular uprisings.

b) The Very Thin Blue Line

One of the most pressing questions then becomes: “what about the police?” Surely they are part of the “broader social forces” with which opponents of mandatory detention have to contend. This is true. It is the position of CSB that the police are a hostile force when it comes to grassroots social change. The police are the government's physical front line. Experience has repeatedly proven that the government will order the cops to stop social movements from doing anything that really effectively resists their rule. They will do this even if the protest actions are peaceful and legal. For
example, the Occupy movement was not defeated because governments convinced people to stop participating. Occupy was defeated, because all across Australia, the US and the world, government after government sent in men armed with tools of violence who indiscriminately hurt and intimidated demonstrators until they no longer had the organisational or physical capacity to resist. Even if there are no laws against a movement when it starts, the Australian government has shown that it has no problem creating new ones to take out political opposition. “Coal seam gas developer Santos and the Baird government communicated closely at the time new laws curbing protest activity were being drawn up, with the office of Energy Minister Anthony Roberts supplying a draft of a key speech hours before he read it in parliament, documents reveal.” The new pieces of legislation “include jail terms of up to seven years for "interfering" with CSG mines and raised some fines tenfold.” While it is possible for the interests of the police and justice to align, that is not the primary purpose of a state police force. The reason they exist is to fulfil the front line work of enforcing the will of the government.

However, for demonstrators, the police are more like an environmental hazard than a target which should be tackled head on. The police could be likened to scalding, slowly spreading pool of lava. We wouldn't try to attack a pool of lava, we'd take intelligent action to go around it and shield ourselves from the heat. Similarly, we should be prepared to take defensive measures to protect ourselves from the police, rather than attacking them head on. Like lava, top-down organisations like the police are slow, while decentralised networks are quick. The fact that we cannot attack them does not matter, because we can easily out-manoeuvre them.

On top of this, while the government likes to create the impression that it has an endless supply of police, the reality is far different. In fact, the government has a very limited number of police officers at their disposal at any one time.


Keep in mind that each of these respective forces is responsible for policing an entire state, and the entire force could never be gathered to deal with any one case of civil unrest. Even if they somehow brought every officer in any state to the capital at once, each force in its entirety is only roughly 0.4% of the population of the capital city it is tasked with policing. The ratio is almost identical in every city. At just 1% of the population, urban vegans outnumber the police in these cities. In fact, by themselves, university students even more dramatically outnumber the police.


If even 10% of university students opposed mandatory detention in this way, as current polling suggests they may be inclined to do, then by themselves they could assemble crowds large enough that any effort by the police to disperse them would be futile and counter-productive for the government. In effect, mobilising 1% of the population is enough for the capacity for violent repression to be virtually taken out of the government's hands. But even when CSB is not able to mobilise on that scale, a government can not have half its state police forces on standby in case they need to repel non-violent sieges for very long before it becomes unsustainable in a number of important ways.

c) 1 in Every 1000 People

So what would happen if CSB mobilised just 0.1% of the population of the five cities? Despite this being an even tinier fraction of the population, this number of demonstrators would still be able to mobilise 100 people at each rally point. 0.1% would be the equivalent of mobilisations of 1300 people in Adelaide, 2200 in Brisbane and 4800 in Sydney. Protests of this size have many precedents even during politically conservative periods. Ordinarily, demonstrations of this magnitude would be something that the government could comfortably ignore. However, because of the way CSB organises, when the network can mobilise even this limited number of people, these will not be crowds that the government can afford to ignore. With 100 demonstrators at each rallying point, if the government felt compelled to send just 40 police to each spot to keep people off the roads, this would be a national total of 6000 police. In 2014, it cost the Queensland government $100 million to provide 6000 police for the Brisbane G20 meeting. Obviously, the exact cost depends on many factors, but this shows that mobilising even significant sections of the police force can be a very expensive operation. Using multiple rallying points increases accessibility for demonstrators while at the same time raising the movement's cost to the government.

Either way, within a year of modest demonstrations like this, the cost of mandatory detention could be raised by more than a billion dollars. All without a single road actually being blocked. Instead, the mere possibility that the transportation network could be disrupted becomes a substantial cost in and of itself. It is in this way that the organisational capacity of CSB will begin to have significant concrete consequences for the government, long before the network can mobilise enough demonstrators to physically outnumber an entire state police force.

d) Be polite to motorists

The drivers who are blocked by the occupation should be politely informed about the purpose and duration of the action through the provided default leaflets (See: Practical Resources – Crowd Management Equipment). Once they know what to expect, even if they are unhappy, pressure can be diffused by letting them know that this is a temporary situation which is not directed at them personally. If you want, you could bring the people in the cars cold or hot drinks, depending on what is appropriate. Just refuse to engage with anyone who is hostile. There is nothing to be gained by interacting with them.

2. What CSB Does
2.5 - Social Costs & Disruptions

So far we have only spoken broadly about creating a “social cost” for the government. In beginning to flesh out what this means, the first thing that needs to be recognised is that the government's overarching social goal is to keep the general population atomised or separated.

a) Government Requires Isolation

Governments love elections because they maintain isolation. Our electoral process works in such a way as to have people come together just enough to give the government the bare minimum it requires to qualify as a democratic nation because more than 50% of the country voted for an ambiguous something which never has to come true. When an election is held, everyone goes to the polls not trusting each other, and they leave the same way. At the same time, elections keep people isolated enough that they are not able to appreciate how much more powerful they would be if they could act outside of the ballot box. “Can you believe that almost half (or more than half) of the country voted for that OTHER ambiguous something which never has to come true – we can never get anything done because they are crazy! I feel so alone.” This is great for the government because if we do not trust each other's capacities, then by default "the powers that be" become the only living reference point we have for how society might be organised. The problem that the government has with CSB is not so much that roads are getting blocked and costing a lot of money. The problem that the government has with CSB is that it provides citizens with an accessible way to collectively withdraw their obedience so that it has direct material consequences for the Australian government and its economy. This access point is created by allowing ordinary people to change the way that they relate to one another in a way which undermines the power of the government. Through the CSB network, two complete strangers who would otherwise never have thought of each other as a source of political strength can relate to each other in a new and empowering way. Each person that connects to the network breaks down one wall of the social prison, and as each
wall falls, our ability to take coordinated action grows.

b) Isolation Does Not Beat Isolation

No one should deliberately damage property or cause physical injury or insult to other people at CSB actions. This is not to say that CSB has a broader philosophical opinion on the use of physical conflict in political struggles. On that issue, like many, CSB remains agnostic. However, we take a firm stance against violence, property destruction or aggressive and insulting behaviour at CSB demonstrations. This is not a moral position for all time. It is a strategic decision for the CSB network alone. In general, CSB demonstrators should try to avoid speaking to the police at all. But they certainly should not insult them or attack them. Inflicting suffering on the bodies or minds of the people whom the state is currently possessing - does not hurt the state. They are lava. The CSB network is striving to break down isolation so that we can collectively withdraw our cooperation on such a scale that the police become irrelevant. Under other conditions, the most optimal tactics may differ, but violence at CSB demonstrations just makes our work harder.

2.6 - Voluntary Cooperation

Although CSB acts as a whole to coordinate mass action, and the development throughout the process of resistance of subgroups with specific aims is to be expected, deeper political or philosophical alignment with CSB or any participating groups is not a prerequisite for participation. Everyone is welcome to participate in the CSB movement on their own terms. Everyone is free to align with the network as they wish, to change their alignment with time, and to act individually within the aims of the movement. People's freedom of alignment and realignment should be viewed as a good thing. Two separate smaller groups passionately pursuing the same goal from different approaches is far better than one larger group stuck in gridlock. For example, having more than one group of tech support people at a rallying point carrying out introductory conversations could mean that the network is able to engage a greater variety of participants. One could take hanging banners as another example. While 15 large banners used to form a 50-meter-wall along a major highway could look very impressive, if, for whatever reason, as an individual, you want to hang your banner somewhere else, then 14 will look just as impressive. We are not here to tell each other what to do. We are here to help each other take over. There are multiple places to rally; there are multiple things to do at each rallying point. You can even start your own place to rally.

2.7 - Duplicating The Network

It is also possible to clone or duplicate the network. The network is specifically designed to be able to be rebuilt by any individual. However, because the network's collective agreement must remain fixed, it is not possible to modify the network once it has been created. Unfortunately, it makes launching the network a bit like pushing a hang glider off a cliff. While it is possible to steer to some degree, it will fly or it will not, but you can not fix it while it is in the air. Instead, if it crashes, so to speak (or even if it succeeds to some extent but with room for improvement), there is nothing
stopping anyone at any point from starting their own distinct network. Unfortunately, any new network must remain completely separate. So even though we wish the best of luck to any well intentioned CSB network modifier, we ask that you “push it off your own cliff” (i.e. use a different name, times, etc.). Hopefully, this space will work to your advantage. CSB will be the first to cheer when we see your success.

3. The 5 Stages of a Rallying Point

In the initial stages, the network will be comprised of individuals or small groups of people who otherwise have no connection to one another. They will be random people who have come into contact with the network manual. There is no way for them to know any of the other people. This is not unusual; ordinarily, people do not personally know most of the other people at a protest unless it is small. However, the difference with the CSB network is that when you arrive at most other protests, in one way or another, you will be directed to a person who is in charge. At a CSB demonstration, you are as in charge as anyone else. Once you have read this network manual, you are then free to decide when, where, how and to what extent you contribute. Any individual who helps develop the network is as close to a leader as the network will ever have. Like a giant game of backyard cricket, the actions and how the participants are linked is so simple that no one needs to be in charge. This chapter is for those wishing to join forces with other demonstrators. Depending on whether you are by yourself, with a friend, with a stranger, with 30, 100 or even 500 people, there is a simple set of practical tasks that demonstrators can begin cooperating on with each other to build our organisational capacity.


3.1 - (1) A single demonstrator.

To begin, demonstrators meet at whichever of the 150 rally points they prefer. This gives demonstrators a chance to connect with each other before the action begins. However, when the network is in its infancy, it will be common for many rally points to have no demonstrators attending them. This is why it is important that the demonstrations are simple enough to be carried out by a single person. After waiting for 10 minutes at the rally point for others to arrive, demonstrators are encouraged to move as close to the occupation site as safety permits. As an individual participant, the purpose of taking action is to demonstrate active participation so as to promote the network and draw more people into activity. Demonstrators are encouraged to upload as much media as they would like. However, there is one piece of media which is a crucial part of every demonstration: the “banner drop photo.”

a) Banner Drops

A “banner drop” is a tactic used by many movements. It involves leaving a banner or sign on display in a prominent public place. CSB demonstrations are slightly different because the aim of the demonstration is not so much to catch the attention of onlookers. If people see the signs at a CSB demonstration as they are being displayed, then that can be an excellent bonus, but the primary purpose of doing the banner drop is to create the photo to generate evidence of active participation in the network. We are not planning for someone with no interest in human rights to suddenly see a CSB banner and have their whole political outlook changed. We are planning for people who already agree with ending mandatory detention being emboldened to join the demonstrations by seeing our examples.

To do this successfully, the photo should aim to have two components. Firstly, a sign (of whatever size) with the CSB hashtag (#CantStandBy) and an anti-mandatory detention message written on it. This could include other hashtags, slogans, memes, etc. Secondly, the photo should contain enoughof your surroundings that it are will be recognisable to people who are familiar with that area. Preferably the photo will be taken at the occupation site, but it may just be at the rally point or any point in and around these areas.

This does not have to take much time. A simple way to do this, especially if you are by yourself, is simply to write #CANTSTANDBY on a postcard. Then you can hold it up in front of your phone and take a picture of your rallying point so that the postcard is in the foreground, and the roadway is in the background. As numbers and experience accumulate, people can bring larger banners to share with others in order to create more impressive visual evidence of active participation in the network. Demonstrators are encouraged to think about resources or equipment that could be brought to demonstrations to give first-time attendees a better experience. Such equipment might include things like signs, drums, protective equipment, food, cameras, etc. Whether or not the signs or banners are left behind is up to the people who brought them. If you are not going to have time to make more before the next demonstration, we would suggest not leaving banners behind. In general, you should avoid doing anything which is likely to make it harder to take action in the future. What is more important is that the banner has been photographed and that the footage of this

attempt is uploaded to social media with the appropriate hashtag. Each demonstrator should aim to arrive at every action with a camera and banner so that they have the equipment necessary to carry out a basic demonstration. As more individuals begin to take part, small groups will begin to assemble at each rallying point. This simple act (the banner drop) represents the discreet atom of decentralised, awareness raising protest: as these atoms come together they build the material basis for being able to collectively shut down the economy.

b) Social Media

For those unfamiliar with Twitter, learning the basics is simple and will be covered in 6.1 Twitter Account. A key goal of the demonstrations is to show that collective action is not only very much possible, it is also happening virtually right outside everyone's front door on a regular basis. For this reason, demonstrators need access to social media. Every demonstrator is encouraged to have a Twitter account at least (See 6.1 Twitter Account). Once the footage of the banner drop has made it to social media under the appropriate hashtags then other people can take it and transfer it to other platforms. There are three hashtags which should be included with any footage of the demonstrations. Firstly, #Can'tStandBy. Secondly, each preselected rallying point has its own 6 character ID number. Examples include #WA_008 and #QLD018. This ID number should be included as a hashtag to help people who are trying to compile footage. Also include the date written like: #02FEB16.

Aside from general outreach, uploading this footage helps the network in a number of other ways. Firstly, footage & photos of actions serve in some capacity as a how-to video for any would be demonstrators. Secondly, the footage documents our non-violent orientation, and may become useful in a legal setting. We want to fiercely defend our non-violent status with as much evidence as possible, and using cameras to collect evidence in our defence before an accusation has ever been made is part of this.

These images also play the immediate role of making network participation visible to participants with no active connection to one another and in other parts of their city (as well as in other cities). This is the “other side of the stadium” effect discussed earlier. It allows potential demonstrators to see where they might meet up with one another and perhaps how they might spread out to cover inactive rallying points.

Ordinarily, when people go to protests all they can do when they leave is hope someone listens. CSB demonstrations on the other hand are built up out of small, achievable, concrete tasks that move the campaign forward. Participants in a CSB action have clear tasks and at the same time a lot of freedom in how they are approached.

For example, one of the initial aims for demonstrators in each city will be to make every occupation point active at the same time and on the same day. This is a small organisational achievement. However, the power of the network comes from stacking very small organisational achievements on top of one another.

While CSB will NEVER have an official social media presence (and anything claiming to be official (that is not this manual) is fake), we do however encourage supporters to create unofficial CSB social media sites. Just as with the rallying points, the network participants will decide which sites will be popular or they will create new ones. We encourage demonstrators to treat every site sceptically. There is no doubt that some of these will be run by people who are in someway (secretly or openly) hostile to the movement. However, the people who do this work genuinely are invaluable, so good online content should be supported.

In some ways the various parts of the network are designed to function somewhat like a sailboat. The regular network participants are like the mast. They create a framework which is thin (made up of few people) and rigid (with a constant, predictable set of rules), spread out over a large area. Instead of wind, mass political outrage is the natural force that we are trying to harness and translate into movement. CSB media (online and offline) is the sailcloth. The “wind” of political outrage is going to come into the most direct contact with the “sailcloth” of social media rather than with the CSB organisational framework. These three elements are all equally important in getting the
sailboat to start moving.



c) Tech Support Leaflets

If there is one item you should unfailingly bring to a demonstration, it is tech support leaflets (TSLs). You should almost always bring at least 50 TSLs to a demonstration. A tech support leaflet is a simple way to quickly provide someone with several key pieces of information that are vital to their ability to engage with the network. The first element of this is a short blurb about the organisation. It is also a physical copy of something with our hashtag #CAN'TSTANDBY written on it. This information can be printed from a photocopy of a default template which is provided later in this manual. The template also provides 3 blank spaces for the following information: The first space is for any demonstrator to input links to different digital copies of the network manual. The reason for doing this is so that if it is censored in one location, demonstrators can quickly re-direct people to new active links.

The second spot was left blank to input links to various media covering CSB. What these links will be is up to each demonstrator, but we recommend links to movement media, like the time lapse maps, which help to capture the scale of what we are attempting to do. People are also invited to include links to news articles and other media that is relevant to CSB. The third space is left for people to fill in the details of their particular rallying point and occupation site. People may use the mini-maps provided at the back of the manual, although a photograph of the location that you are rallying in may be an even better choice. We recommend either adding this information to the leaflets digitally or with a stencil and photocopier, so that your handwriting doesn't link you to the leaflets personally. The network is designed so that instead of having seperate committees to do every little thing, each demonstrator is given enough information to be able to do a little bit of everything. This means that people are then able to choose how they engage with the network according to their own individual preference (aka. self-organise), rather than needing to rely on a petty bureaucracy or cult of personality.

In times of rapid growth of demonstration size, it is likely that the vast majority of attendees will never have read this manual. That's why CSB is designed to give the “wind” of political outrage a surface to blow against. We need to make this manual as accessible as possible, and gear our organising towards making the participation of people who have never read the manual effective. Fortunately, it only takes a tiny number of attendees at each action to be familiar with the CSB framework for it to have a significant impact on the whole demonstration.

With fewer than 1500 people participating nationally, the network would be in a position where it was capable of converting a massive gust of political outrage into a powerful political movement. This would be the equivalent of 10 active demonstrators at every rallying point (or 130 people in Adelaide, 220 in Brisbane and 480 people in Sydney). Over the course of a year, it could be the same 10 people at at the rallying points every month, or it could 120 completely different people who only mobilise once a year. So long as they are familiar with the manual and confident at demonstrations, this tiny number of people will dramatically raise the stakes for the government. Now spontaneous political outrage has as an avenue to apply concrete material consequences for the government.

While giving someone a leaflet does not guarantee activity, it does provide a number of active links to the network, which gives someone all the information they need to become involved. This means that once the network has 1500 consistent participants nationally, even if the numbers at demonstrations grew to 75000 participants overnight, everyone would still leave those actions with materials allowing them to make an ongoing contribution to the network. Rather than getting frustrated at not being able to force the wind to blow, we should focus on preparing our “sailboat” and making sure it is shipshape for when the wind does pick up.

3. The 5 Stages of a Rallying Point
3.2 - (2) 2-30 demonstrators

It should be understood that as demonstrations grow in size, the tasks which took place at smaller gatherings still need to be carried out. So for example as demonstrations grow beyond a single participant, banner drops and social media tasks continue to be carried out, while at the same time new technical support tasks become relevant. Basically, when you are doing banner drops, you want to be prepared for when someone else shows up, so you can answer their questions.

In terms of technical support, new participants at rallies can be seen as fitting into 4 main categories:

1. People who know all about CSB will often be identifiable by a their hi-vis safety vests. They may even try to give you a tech support leaflet. They will in all likelihood have arrived already with some sort of activity in mind because after all, they probably didn't know you were going to be here. You can either combine forces or continue to carry out your plans individually. If you want to join others, it is a good idea to wear or carry something which makes you identifiable to potential supporters.

2. People who want more information can be helped almost instantly just by giving them a tech support leaflet and a bit of encouragement. From there they can pretty much take it for themselves or you can use the action time to have a discussion or do a live demonstration of what it looks like to participate in the network at this time. In order to prepare for those wanting more info some people may also want to take the PDF of this manual and print hard copies to distribute for donations. The point is not to make money. The point is to create another avenue through which people can engage with the network. There is a significant section of people who would not print their own copies of the manual but would definitely pay a few dollars for one that has already been printed. Either way, from leaflet to online version or hard copy, in terms of “more information,” a copy of the network manual is all the official information that there is. Having read this document, it is then up to each person to decide what their participation will look like. 3. People who are familiar with CSB and would like to change it. Anyone who has paid enough attention to the CSB network to propose changes should be rewarded. The problem is that being completely inflexible is an integral part of the design of the network. In an attempt to create a synergy between these two standpoints, people are instead encouraged to take any part of the network they find appealing and re-purpose it for other movements. So while it remains impossible to change this network, it is possible to duplicate it. This was covered in 2.8 Duplicating The Network.

4. Finally, there are the people who do not want the network to succeed. They should be disregarded and ignored where possible. The power of the network comes not so much from the roads being blocked, but from people having the organisational capacity to be able to consciously choose to block the roads collectively. Wielding power collectively can be an awkward thing to do because we have so little experience with it in our everyday lives. Our society teaches us to see liberation as anything which increases our ability to express ourselves individually. But this completely disregards the development of our capacity to express ourselves collectively. When it comes to opponents of mandatory detention, our capacity to act collectively requires strategic political alliances between people with a range of political ideas.

CSB participants may not agree on any other issue, except the abolition of mandatory detention. For those who are afraid that they may become tainted politically by working alongside someone they disagree with, think of it this way: if someone has a tendency to be disagreeable, is that not all the more incentive to keep them busy doing good? The network is so narrowly defined that it is virtually useless except for opposing mandatory detention in a very specific way. It is a tool, and whether the participants are “good” or “bad” doesn't really influence whether it works or not.
So, if the network is attracting the participation of people who you think would otherwise be doing political work that you disagree with, then all the more reason to make the network successful, so that their energy is devoted to the one point you have in common. Everybody in the network is in the same boat regarding tolerating others' differing ideas. One of the ways that tensions around differences can be mitigated is by showing each other the mutual courtesy of not bringing banners for other causes to the demonstrations. Everyone has collectively put in the work to build the action under the assumption that the politics laid out in this collective agreement are going to be promoted at the demonstrations. For this reason, we ask that demonstrators not bring banners or placards with other groups' names or websites written on them. Whatever space you're using for your group, use it for CSB instead. As CSB is a decentralised network, there is no intention or possibility to enforce this position, we simply hope that the reasoning is clear enough that people will heed the call.

a) Collective Agreements

In a sense, the effort undertaken by CSB is similar to the struggle of a workers union. Being able to operate collectively involves being very specific about our demands. For a workers union, a collective agreement might include conditions like a particular pay rate or limited work hours. The workers get together and decide as a collective: “this is what the boss has to give us before we are compliant”. Until the demands are met, at least theoretically, the potential for industrial action and strikes remain. Likewise, until the abolition of mandatory detention, Can't Stand By aims to make
sure that the potential for massive disruptions will remain as real as possible. This is one of the reasons why tech support is one of the first tasks we carry out. Without the basis of the collective agreement none of the blocked roads would mean anything. Once we have this consensus, whether or not we agree on any other issue doesn't really matter in this context. Focusing on our differences would lead to paralysis. The invisible walls between us shoot straight back up again and we are no longer able to defy collectively. But we can be assured that we will remain morally pure sitting in self-imposed solitary confinement. Miserable, powerless and completely justified.

b) Street Promotions

Once a rallying point becomes consistently active it becomes possible to effectively use posters and fliers that direct people straight to the rally point rather than towards a digital copy of the manual. The benefit of this is that it minimises the number of steps between first contact and participation in the network. When directing people towards digital copies, they have to actually follow a link to either watch a video, listen to an mp3 or read the manual. Then they have to do all the preparation in order to participate. Then they actually have to show up with only a vague idea of what is going to happen when they get there. Certain people, who are either confident and experienced in doing this type of thing, or just particularly outraged, will easily manage all this preparation and overcome any anxieties about initiating a gathering themselves. But other people will encounter something like this and not have the confidence to do it alone. They will however be eager to attend a demonstration that someone else has started.

When a person receives a leaflet that just says “#free the refugees #cantstandby rally at Example Station, 1st sat every month”, they have no idea of the difference between a CSB action and a regular protest. But when they arrive and see how the network actually operates, they see the strategic strengths that set CSB apart. Even if they leave only to hang the leaflet on their fridge, the details never go out of date, and the next time that person is outraged, they know exactly where to go. Once a rallying point has been established, offline and online social media can open the door to participation by a much wider group of people. See 6.2 - Promotional Materials.

If you imagine the months of the year as 12 beats on a sheet of music. Every time a participant comes to an action and they publicise that attendance through social media, it is as though they make a beat that can be heard by others. The more participants there are, the more people can hear them. People will attend as often or as infrequently as they feel compelled to, but to some extent, there will be the regulars, the people who 'regulate the beat,' by attending actions more or less every month. Obviously, there will be exceptions. For example most likely attendance in January and December will slip. But as a general rule, there will be particular people who are active consistently. At the same time, when the protests grow larger, people who are consistently active will be a tiny minority of the overall participants. Therefore, we must build the network in a way which will enable access and harness the strengths of both groups of people.

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