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One strategy for Town Hall meetings.

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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:28 PM
Original message
One strategy for Town Hall meetings.
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 01:40 PM by MineralMan
I suggest this in all seriousness. It works. I have done it in other circumstances.

First, you have to be a guy to pull this off. Dress in a very conservative dark suit with a simple tie. Have a Bluetooth headset in one ear. Carry a good camera with a telephoto lens. At the meeting, photograph the berserkers and rabble rousers. Do it openly and obviously. You can actually take photos or not...it doesn't matter. Appear to be talking as you work.

Be visible and obvious at all times, scanning the crowd and only photograph disruptors. Don't use flash equipment. Everyone knows that the alphabet agencies can shoot in low light.

Stay with the crowd. Do not go alone outside the meeting place until you have someone there to accompany you.

What will happen is that the disruptors will see you taking photos and assume you are some sort of law enforcement person. Many will be intimidated enough to shut up. Others will simply not act out.

You will make no friends doing this, but you'll slow the meeting down.

It's an old strategy, but very effective.

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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. excellent idea
I have used that camera trick in other situations.
Bot, does it work.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. Yes, it's brilliant. Simply brilliant. No wonder we won.
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Wapsie B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. Plus, if someone actually does take pics or video
they can be uploaded so people can actually see how many "locals" are actually local or hired help.
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rvablue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't like this idea. It's plain and simple intimidation and we'd be outraged
at the idea of the freeper/birther/teabagger set doing it at progressive protests.

Why not just call people out. The majority of these "protesters" are senior citizens. They are all on Social Security and Medicare. Call them out on it, and if they won't listen man-to-man, then get in line for the microphone and point it out.

This posing as some kind of "law enforcement" though is very distasteful and frankly wrong.

I hope in the time that is left that you will consider deleting this OP. It serves no good or decent purpose and just makes us look capable of the disingenous thuggery that the RW is engaged in right now.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. All you are doing is taking photographs. The rest is in the minds
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 01:50 PM by MineralMan
of the disruptors. As for the line for the microphone, they're shouting down people who get the microphone. Have you not seen the videos?

Taking photos is not intimidation. It's a public meeting. The disruptors are the ones doing the intimidation.

Sorry, but I won't be taking your suggestion. You're more than welcome to go try to reason with these disruptors. Let us know how that works out for you.
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rvablue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. What you are advocating is intimidation and thuggery. Fine, take a video camera, but
to put on some kind of costume to suggest that you are there in some "governmental" or "official" capacity is wrong and would only fuel the myth that freepers and birthers and teabaggers hold dear that Obama's admin is tracking them and will one day throw them in one of the "internment camps" that Beck likes to cry and moan about.

And yeah, I've seen the videos and wouldn't imagine engaging in the mob mentality of these bought and paid for sheeple.

There are other ways of dealing with them, as we've seen documented here and on Kos, that does not involved nefarious strategies that you suggest.

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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Nonsense. I'm just the guy in the nice suit, taking some
photos. I'm not pretending to be anything. That's all in the imagination of the disruptors.

Other people will be taking photos, too...news people, etc.
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. That's not what you said.
Nonsense. I'm just the guy in the nice suit, taking some photos. I'm not pretending to be anything. That's all in the imagination of the disruptors.

That's not what you originally said. You said:

What will happen is that the disruptors will see you taking photos and assume you are some sort of law enforcement person. Many will be intimidated enough to shut up.

Clearly your stated goal is intimidation by pretending to be "some sort of law enforcement person".

Other people will be taking photos, too...news people, etc.

Yes, but they will not be pretending to be law enforcement officers.

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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I think it's about time we learned that we will never win against these thugs until we adopt some of
their willingness to cross a line. Once we get true progressive goals met, we can go back to being the intimidated, overpowered nerds again.
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rvablue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. "Overpowered nerds?" WTH???? We just nailed the GOP in the last election
Edited on Thu Aug-06-09 02:01 PM by rvablue
and while their thuggish hoards we're screaming "kill him" at the Sarah Palin rallies, our side was out working and educating and engaging the public on hope and change. Remember?

To adopt their tactics now is a big mistake. Many of the middle-of-the-road voters are becoming disgusted with this thuggish, mob mentality.

Read up both on here and at Kos about how some meetings have been kept calm and respectful, so that all voices are allowed to be heard.

Playing dress up and acting in an intimidating manner is only going to give these nuts more fuel for their crazed, unhinged, Beck-sponsored festival of paranoia.
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lib_wit_it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Check this out: Five Reasons the Health Care Battle Is NOT the Presidential Campaign
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-daou/five-reasons-t...

The best organized grassroots political machine ever conceived rolled over the landscape last fall. Where is it now?
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. hear hear!
I agree with you 100%
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quiller4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
25. I think the posing is great. It ain't a new tactic. We used it in
the early 1970s. It is why I still have an absolutely useless long telephoto lens for my F2.
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Also shoot video or pics of the license plates.
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. Nothing like using fear and intimidation...
...to stifle free speech.

Look I do not agree with the position of these disruptors, either.

But the fact is, we have town hall meetings with our representatives so that people can voice their opinions to the people who represent them. Everyone. Even people you or I disagree with.

To suggest that we should use fear and intimidation - specifically fear of the government - to silence political opposition is not very nice.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Go watch some of the videos, please.
The intimidation is being done by those disruptors, who shout down anyone making any point other than the one they want made. My suggestion is simply to go and photograph the town meeting, dressed in nice business attire. It's a public place.
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. That's not what you said.
My suggestion is simply to go and photograph the town meeting, dressed in nice business attire. It's a public place.

But that's now what you said. What you said was:

What will happen is that the disruptors will see you taking photos and assume you are some sort of law enforcement person. Many will be intimidated enough to shut up.

Clearly you want to intimidate the opposition by pretending to be a law enforcement officer.

I don't like that kind of discourse.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Ok, then don't do it. That's my advice.
I've been an activist since the civil rights movement in the 1960s. This exact technique may have saved some lives back then. Folks having their picture took generally don't break the law, at least not right then.

Remember Kent State? Photographers also got photos of that travesty. I wasn't there, but I was at other anti-war protests, taking photos of angry people who were on the verge of violence. Sometimes it made them move off and not do whatever it was they wanted to do.

It's good to be reasonable. It's good to discuss things rationally with one's opponents. However, there are those who will not cooperate with you in that effort. There are those who shoot abortion doctors and people at the Holocaust museum. There are members of anti-immigration groups who break into people's houses and kill them.

Sorry, but it's not a nice planet sometimes. Sometimes fear is the only thing that prevents borderline people from committing violence. Taking photographs is a non-violent act.

But, you needn't do it. That's fine.
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. It never ceases to amaze me how many people show up at a gun fight armed with a butter knife. n/t
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. word up..
after all that's happened these days, it amazes me that people think that you can reason with these idiots. they don't give two shits about decorum or the the rights of others. i think this is a brilliant idea by someone who has dealt with this shit during some pretty tumultuous times.
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wininboy Donating Member (111 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. One has no expectation of privacy when in public
IMO that is particularly true when at a govt function of some sort. If they want to stand up and be heard, then they are open to identification, with or without a camera taking their picture. The camera is just a reminder
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. I don't disagree.
One has no expectation of privacy when in public IMO that is particularly true when at a govt function of some sort. If they want to stand up and be heard, then they are open to identification, with or without a camera taking their picture. The camera is just a reminder

I don't disagree. I just disagree with using intimidation, by pretending to be a law enforcement person eagerly recording political dissidents, to stifle political discourse, no matter how distasteful.

It's not right at face value, but worse, it reinforces negative opinions of the government.



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wininboy Donating Member (111 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I guess the difference is, I don't see it as intimidation
I think it's the wingnuts who are using intimidation. There is no threat of force posed by a camera. Not even an implicit threat. There are cameras all over the place, including govt facilities. Anyone is subject to surveillance when they're in a public place
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Then you didn't read the OP.
I guess the difference is, I don't see it as intimidation

The OP said:

What will happen is that the disruptors will see you taking photos and assume you are some sort of law enforcement person. Many will be intimidated enough to shut up. Others will simply not act out.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. You keep quoting that. I'm just taking pictures, dressed in nice
business attire. What people take from that is up to them. If they're intimidated into not disrupting an orderly meeting, then that's a good thing. If someone actually asked me what I was doing, I tell them I was taking photos for my blog. I have one of those. I might even use some of the photos there.

Then, if I had taken their photo, I'd ask them for their name and address so I could send them a copy. I'm a nice, agreeable sort of guy.

But, you see, they won't ask. They'll assume. THEY will be the ones to decide who I am and why I'm taking photos of them. I'm not actually pretending to be anything at all...just a guy taking pictures. What the hoodlums decide I am is their deal, not mine.

In the meantime, some folks who wouldn't have gotten to speak will get to speak without assholes shouting them down. It works. It has worked in the past, and it will work again. The idea is to let everyone speak at a townhall meeting...not just the loud, obnoxious bullies.

Now, what are you planning to do to help defeat the bullies? You haven't said anything about that. You'll not that I said "one" strategy. Not the only strategy. Just one, and one I'm very familiar with.
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Incitatus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. This isn't about stifling free speech.
It's about allowing free speech to take place. They are there to disrupt free speech.
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Barack_America Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. Eh, I'd rather ask the crowd to stop "socializing"...
...so I could ask my question and then videotape them going nuts about "socialism".

But then again I'm of the opinion that videos of them acting like inconsiderate, crazed assholes just hurts them and helps us.
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SleeplessInAlabama Donating Member (341 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-06-09 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
23. I'll think about it. Anyone suggesting it's bad to look nice while taking photos
Simply doesn't like to take photos in style ;)


I did it for the teabaggers and MAYBE I'll go to a town hall.

They love to ham it up when I whip this out
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