Some of you may remember that I am in the process of studying for my Security+ technical certification. One of the things I have taken from my pursuit is that security has many layers; a network may have an Intrusion Detection System to deal with external threats, anti-virus and anti-malware software to combat “Trojan Horses”, and group policies so users only have access to what they should.
As I was considering the best way for the Harrisburg activist community to respond to the city council’s decision to give the Police $65,000 in riot gear, a decision likely influenced by events in places like Charlottesville, etc. Now from what I have seen at fascist or “Alt-Right” events in Harrisburg, the police seem more likely to deploy against the opponents of fascists than the actual fascists. I have seen with my own eyes the police facing the protesters as opposed to the fascists, sending a clear message who they see as the greater threat.
But might the response demonstrate that “Community Defense” needs to be multi-faceted and multi-layered.
When I would speak of the concept to my allies, it was purely physical. Being able to defend oneself or one’s allies against attack, be it from fascists or police[NSFW Language] . Now I do think that is a component, but finding the techniques in one place may be difficult. This may be something that has to be cobbled together, in a sense a true “Mixed Martial Art”.
A second component may be monitoring. I could see either a form of Cop Watch just for the “geared up” officers or perhaps to monitor the actions of the police as a whole. This could be a bit simpler, a matter of reaching out to the leadership of a group from Philadelphia, DC, Baltimore or New York City and asking them to come and present. Interested parties from Harrisburg could also meet members of affiliates in their cities and bring what they learn back to train members of the Harrisburg Community.
A third component, and the one I may be the most familiar with, is technology. Being able to communicate securely and in some degree of secrecy is likely almost another component of self-defense. We’re back to the idea of providing activists with the resources they may find useful in their struggle against a state and system that seems more likely to protect a fascist than defend a person of color, a transgender person or one of their woke allies.