Layered Defense?

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.

Another “Generation Gap”

One of the earlier posts to this blog concerned me feeling “stuck in the middle” between the Sanders and Clinton backers. I was too old to be part of Bernie’s Millennial base, but seemed too young for Hillary’s base.  I like to say I have seen things from all sides; I backed Bernie in the primary, Hillary in the general, and now see myself as a member of “The Resistance”.

But could there be a “Generation Gap” among “The Resistance”.  The actions of the “AntiFa” in places like Charlottesville, Berkeley, etc seem to have exposed one.  On one side, you have those who seem to say “Let the ‘alt-right’ speak,” their rhetoric will show them as the bigots they are.  Alas, Trump may have helped give the deplorable confidence to come out and spread the message.  A second group advocates for the kind of non-violent, pacifist, resistance of Martin Luther King, etc.  I more and more think that this approach may better be called passive-ism, as I have stated before, I think the “Community Defense” model of the Black Panthers, etc is a superior tactic.

These first two approaches are that of an older generation.  Some of the activists of the Millennial Generation and the trailing end of “Generation X” have gone “all in”.  They are the “Black Bloc”, the ones taking to the streets to battle the “Alt-Right”.   They are the folks recording the police, or “doxxing” fascists.  With the ideas of White Supremacy, or at least White Superiority, resurgent, resistance through direct action may be the best option.  As an old anti-racist poster I once saw said “Pull them up–before they take root”.  Perhaps a better phrase for now if “Cut them down, before they spread”


Choosing My Battles

I had a guest for part of this past weekend.  One of my Facebook friends came to visit some of his family.  I had to pick him up at the train station and we did go out for a late dinner.  The conversation centered around two things; the McGregor-Mayweather fight and my life.

I felt at times like I was being analyzed and interrogated at the same time.  But there was one thing I took away, I need to put me first a bit more.

One aspect of this may be me scaling back on my resistance activities a bit.  Fear not, I am not giving up the fight.  I just may be picking my battles based on two separate, but related questions; “Do I have the time” or “Can I make the time”.

And much of what I do when I’m not on the streets may still be helpful when I do take to the streets.  I want to learn how to search for information that can be used to out fascists, yes I want to learn how to “doxx” people.  I want to be able to better defend myself and others against fascists, etc.  I may even want to finish starting my app–again.