Saturday, December 17, 2011

open-source tactical evolution

PortlandOccupier | The Portland Occupation stumbled upon a tactical innovation regarding occupying public spaces. This evolution in tactics was spontaneous, and went unreported in the media. On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.

The tactical evolution that evolved relies on two military tactics that are thousands of years old- the tactical superiority of light infantry over heavy infantry, and the tactical superiority of the retreat over the advance.

Heavy infantry is a group of soldiers marching in a column or a phalanx that are armed with weaponry for hand to hand, close quarters combat. Heavy infantry function as a unit, not individual soldiers. Their operational strength is dependent upon maintaining the integrity of that unit. Riot police are heavy infantry. They will always form a line and advance as a unit.

Light infantry are armed with ranged weapons for assault from a distance. Light infantry operate as individuals that are free to roam at a distance and fire upon the opposition with ranged weapons. Cops firing tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, bean bag rounds, etc. are light infantry. They remain to the rear of the phalanx of riot cops (heavy infantry) and depend upon the riot cops maintaining a secure front and flanks to provide them a secure area of operations.

Protesters function fluidly as either light or heavy infantry. Their mass, because it is lacking in organization, functions as a phalanx, having no flanks or rear. Lack of organization gives that mass the option of moving in whichever direction it feels like, at any given time. If protesters all move to the right, the entire group and supporting officers has to shift to that flank. While the protesters can retreat quickly, the police can only advance as fast as their light infantry, supporting staff can follow and maintain a secure rear (if the mass of protesters were to run to the next block over and quickly loop around to the rear of the riot cops, the organization of the cops would be reduced to chaos). If that police cannot assemble with a front to oppose protesters, they are useless. The integrity of that tactic is compromised, and unable to maintain internal organization, the cops revert to individuals engaging in acts of brutality, which eventually winds up on the evening news and they lose the battle regardless of whether they clear the park or not.

Because of the lack of organization in a crowd of protesters, light infantry cops firing tear gas, etc. has little effect because it just serves to disorganize a group that relies upon disorganization in the first place. All it really does is disorganize the riot cops, who then resort to brutality.

The lack of weaponry on the part of the protesters grants them the luxury of opposing riot cops at close quarters, or remaining at long range in a refusal to engage the heavy infantry riot police at all. They have the advantage of the retreat, they can quickly move away, or in any direction, and the heavy infantry riot cops lack the swiftness to respond.

So far, all the occupations have, in a grave tactical error, agreed to engage the riot cops when they march in to clear parks. This has been a show of bravado that has the tactical benefits of providing media coverage of the brutal methods of police and the benefit of draining the resources of the oppressor by forcing them to incur the expense of arresting and prosecuting people for trivial offenses. Fist tap Dale.


John Kurman said...

Ah, the old guerrilla warfare tactics. Harry, harass, then melt back  into the jungle. Reminds me of readings on the Mongols, and how their light cavalry made mincemeat of the heavy cavalry with their "retreat and regroup" tactics. All the while avoiding the Bohemian armies of Good King Wenceslaus. Then, of course, there is the testimony of the people of Isfahan, who, like our current .1% gated-community oligarchs, figured hiding in fastnesses is the way to go. Well, it's a slow way that's for sure. Then again, does our .1% realize they get their fucking food from the 99.9%? Interesting decade ahead of us. And for shits and giggles, I'll bet $1 on a fun little complication, like, say, massive release of methane plumes from the Arctic reserves, resulting in an ice free North Pole and a major climate flipswitch by, say 2015? Any takers?

nanakwame said...

Is that conscious interference by a the thing called human?  LOL - Finally got some cold in NYC, the bones can't travel 1-95 as used to. No one here is going to take that bet, but I send you a six pack, if spirit welling.

CNu said...

I don't know enough about this subject to have formed a strong opinion. What I'm very curious about, however, is what if any archaeological surprises are in store under all that ice...,

John Kurman said...

Well, last time any of those regions was ice free was during the Eemian, 120,000 years ago, back when Conan ruled Aquilonia. Any interesting artifacts were pushed on down into the morraines of WI, and IN, as all was scraped down to bedrock in that last glacial. Unless you are talking about Lovecraftian stuff which is Best Left Alone. The interesting artifacts are all 250 ft below sea level along the coasts. Doggerland, for example, the land bridge between the British Isles and the continent managed to keep head above waters until around 5000BCE. Fisherfolk still pull up stuff in their nets, and oil companies find timber, bronze, gold, bones, and ceramic ware in their drill cores.

As to the methane plumes, the outgassing is accelerating, and the 20m sea level rise predicted for 2200 is now revised to perhaps 2030-50 (in some scenarios).

CNu said...

The Hyborian era was a mere 19,000 years ago - you're pushing all the way back to Kull of Atlantis. Anyway, I did a big professional favor for a colleague about a dozen years ago, asking price, honestly answer any thre questions I cared to pose. [This individual was a retired compartmentally cleared fellow with region-spanning logistics/supply responsibilities]

So of course one of my questions went to most unsettling satellite data of all time. dood basically told me this tidbit, a good three years before it hit the fortean fringe online.

I'm very curious to see what there is to see of this...,

John Kurman said...

Forty years ago, I would have accepted your news item without question - and passed it on. Twenty years ago, I'd have rejected it outright. Now, I consider, reject, re-accept, pull out the claws, play with it for awhile, and then get distracted. I shudder to think what I'll be like in ten years. My only objection (indeed, not even a problem!) is the whole global causality violation dealie-o. And only because of my own little fantasy which suggests that some uchronic entity would be less than pleased (going with the God is an Asshole assumption), and at the very least would have done something truly horrible ala Mountains of Madness to all of humanity. I mean something really grotesque and bizarre and awful and bone-meltingly world bending. Then again, it could also mean we put Santa at the wrong pole.

CNu said...

What I'd asked about was ground-penetrating radar  (I'd specifically asked about pre-sands Egypt - to which he replied he wouldn't let me waste my question because there wasn't enough of that data to make the answer interesting - satellites being pretty expensive to maneuver and military satellites focused on subjects of acute military interest - of which there were none in that area)

Anyway, what he related to me was that there was a regularly formed and wholly inexplicable large metalloid mass on the bottom of one of those subglacial fresh-water lakes and that that was hands-down the most anomalous ground penetrating radar data of which he was personally aware.

nanakwame said...

Did You Humans Crack This Isht And Then Hide It From Yourselves 70 Years Ago?

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