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imperialism & war | media criticism

Propaganda Tactics

Useful forms of propaganda
Many forms of propaganda have proven useful in the sort of situation that Portland anti-war activists now find themselves in. We need to start thinking about this. A lot of times propaganda involves minor property damage. This is sometimes necessary since we, unlike the government, do not have control or even major influence on corporate media. They spread their propaganda and fight their wars on TV, we spread or propaganda and fight our wars on the streets. Here are some ideas that have proven effective:

Permanent marker graffiti on public transit - HUGE numbers of people take Tri-met and the Max every day. This is a great way to introduce doubts on the war into their minds. These can often be longer messages, so be inciteful instead of vulgar. Provoke thought rather than emotion.

Posters - a great way to display graphics instead of just words. These are especially effective when the images are shocking. Two of the most effective images of the 20th century protest movements were black protesters being bitten by dogs in the 50s and 60s and the Vietnamese girl running covered in napalm. Things like murdered Iraqi children may be horrifying, but they also affect peoples' consciences.

Taking advantage of corporate media - If you can plant yourself behind a live reporter holding a sign that says something like "Iraqis have children too," DO IT. Keep in mind that this is mass media, so slogans like "Fuck Bush" won't help much. These phrases are more useful in provoking crowds that are already angry with Bush.

If you guys have any ideas, let's hear them! Don't be afraid that the cops are watching, since most of these things are individual actions and aren't things that the city can stop just by throwing riot cops at them. Be creative!

Books not Bombs
counter prop. 23.Mar.2003 10:15


Countering their propaganda is the only way to free the minds of the brainwashed. If anyone with a camera comes up to you and asks some bullshit like "what are you trying to accomplish with your protest", melt the question and use the media by answering something like "how many Iraqi children died while you were asking that question?"

These kinds of tactics are very useful. All part of the media jamming/ culture jamming scenario. Take the medium and subvert it.