Organizing Below the Radar
We need to build a legal/self defense component into all our work, anticipating busts, frame-ups and harassment. We need to build stronger outside networks of support for people locked down, materially and otherwise. There needs to be thought about safe houses, cultivation of supporters who never do anything public to identify themselves with the anti-racist movement, secure means of covert communication, transportation and release and dissemination of information. In other words, we need to adopt some methods of organization better suited to conditions of occupation or fascism, and to the extent we can get at all ahead of the curve on this, it will be a lot easier to do, and a lot likelier to survive the repression. We need to think about building redundancy in all that.
Organizing and outreach into the prisons and the military are vital. These spheres, along with workplace organizing, have always had some of the characteristics of occupation or fascism that impede open organizing. They are vital areas in which to work (the degree of state and bourgeois repression applied in these arenas under "normal democracy" being a measure of their strategic importance). They are an important proving ground of our ability to organize under such conditions as well as our capacity to craft a message and practice that engages the people we want to reach. This is also true for work with high school students, for many of the same reasons (especially as the military increasingly penetrates the schools).
One key to understanding fascism is to grasp, and counter, the appeal fascism makes to women. The male-dominated left tends to discount the revolutionary potential of women, the need for a strategy to deal with the role of violence in the lives of women and children, and the efforts of fascists to present themselves as the answer to women's problems. A fuller discussion and an attempt to develop practice based on a deeper understanding of those issues must take place in a sustained way. They definitely relate to this whole period. The state has moved into this arena in various ways. Bush's use of Afghan women as justification for launching his war on Al Qaeda, the Taliban and Afghanistan is one clear example. Another notable one is creation by the Pentagon of a network of organizers out of "army wives," whose job it is to maintain morale and support for the war efforts among the families of the troops.
Faith-based groups some of whom are hard-core pacifists, must be addressed in an anti-fascist strategy, just as "White Rose" Catholics formed one base of anti-fascist resistance in Hitler's Germany. Such groups also have a long history of civil resistance, sanctuary-type activities regarding unjust immigration policies, and otherwise breaking the law or doing secret work for reasons of conscience. I think we might be able to learn a great deal from them.