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In this excerpt from The End of Protest, the author compares the tactics of rioting and ambushing and argues in favor of the ambush when confronting the police.

TL;DR version:

“Rather than trying to overcome police repression in a series of successful protests, activists should aspire to a dramatic victory in a single encounter. A video of a stunning victory against paramilitary police could mobilize the world. This victory does not need to be violent. In fact, a spectacular and humiliating non-violent defeat of riot police would be far more effective.”

Full version:


The closest a spontaneous riot has come to a successful revolution against an empire occurred in Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, in AD 532. During the spectacular people’s riot, known as the Nika Revolt, a large portion of the capital city was burned and a new emperor declared by the people. The riots nearly forced Emperor Justinian I to flee and almost toppled the Byzantine Empire. The Nika Revolt is significant in the history of protest because it demonstrates that revolutionary moments happen when the people break the pattern. …

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It was a surreal experience to hand this candidly written activist manifesto to a few of the world’s most powerful people at the World Economic Forum in Davos. My intention in drafting this strategy briefing was to lay out in the most direct way possible what is at stake both for activists and elites in a united front for climate action. I’ve taken it to the Forum and I’m taking it to Extinction Rebellion.

Now I want to know: is this something that you could get behind?


What we need

The 2020s will be defined by the collective race to drastically reduce global carbon emissions. …

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A firestorm of criticism from across the political spectrum was ignited by the news that I had accepted an invitation to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, one of the most elite gatherings of corporate CEOs and world leaders. Now I’m headed to London to meet with a few founders of the Extinction Rebellion, one of the most influential climate protest movements.

Knowing only of my journey to Davos, my activist peers on the left ridiculed me as naive, reactionary and a sell-out. Those on the right cited my acceptance as proof that radical activists only critique elites because they wish they were elites. …

When I received the invitation to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, my first reaction was embarrassment at the thought that my activist peers would find out. For practically every profession, from corporate CEO to philanthropist and artist to world leader, attending Davos is a coveted proof of success in their field. Not so for contemporary activists like myself who have spent their lives organizing unruly protests against powerful elites. …

From the critique of clicktivism to Occupy Wall Street, social movement warfare and electoral protest, here are Micah White’s most prescient and impactful interventions in the last decade of activism.


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Clicktivism is ruining leftist activism

Reducing activism to online petitions, this breed of marketeering technocrats damage every political movement they touch

A battle is raging for the soul of activism. It is a struggle between digital activists, who have adopted the logic of the marketplace, and those organisers who vehemently oppose the marketisation of social change. At stake is the possibility of an emancipatory revolution in our lifetimes.

The conflict can be traced back to 1997 when a quirky Berkeley, California-based software company known for its iconic flying toaster screensaver was purchased for $13.8m (£8.8m). The sale financially liberated the founders, a left-leaning husband-and-wife team. He was a computer programmer, she a vice-president of marketing. And a year later they founded an online political organisation known as MoveOn. Novel for its combination of the ideology of marketing with the skills of computer programming, MoveOn is a major centre-leftist pro-Democrat force in the US. …

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By the end of 2029, humanity’s destiny will be decided. Activists and social movements will play a key role in the outcome of events.

Here’s six ways we’ll be doing activism differently in the 2020s:

Ecology: the final mobilization

The 2020s will be defined by the collective race to drastically reduce global carbon emissions by 7.6% a year, for ten years, to avoid climate chaos. This practically impossible task will require a suspension of the status quo in order to facilitate tremendous collective actions, such as planting one trillion trees.

There will be widespread acceptance that only an alliance between social movements and elites is capable of mobilizing sufficient numbers of people, and equipping them with resources to carry out the necessary transformation of everyday life.

The class conflict between rich and poor will be superseded by a civil war between those who embrace change and those who resist it. …

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From Hong Kong to Iraq, Bolivia to Spain, Lebanon to Chile and Ecuador, 2019 has been a year of widespread anti-government unrest.

It’s happening again: Revolutionary fever is infecting the social body. The people of Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, Iran, Iraq and beyond are mobbing the streets in massive numbers. These movements are achieving a level of militancy not seen in a decade.

Spectacular street violence has toppled Bolivia’s former president, Evo Morales, while elsewhere governments hang on, deploying riot police in Iraq, closing the border in Colombia, disabling the internet in Iran. The frenzy of protest appears contagious. Elites and activists in stable countries are rightly wondering if the virus might infect their neighbours, too.

At first glance, today’s unrest is remarkably reminiscent of the events of 2010 and 2011, when the Arab Spring initiated a wave of global protest culminating in Occupy encampments in 82 countries. …

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This dropped into my inbox a minute ago and given what’s going on in Hong Kong right now, I thought you ought to see it.

Looks like a new form of protest on the blockchain plus a way to covertly fund real activists in China.

Exciting development that signals an escalation of the popular revolt. Here’s the direct link:

How long will this remain up before China shuts it down? Will we see militant activists in Lebanon, Chile, Ecuador and beyond replicate this tactic?

I’m optimistic that the protests happening now are qualitatively different than the protests we saw in the years since Occupy. …

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Micah White with Amir Taaki in Osaka, Japan at DevCon5

I recently chatted with Amir Taaki, a legendary activist and programmer known for developing darkweb marketplaces and joining the Rojava revolution in Syria. We spoke about “Crypto for Activism”—the revolutionary potential of cryptocurrencies and what the crypto community can learn from activism. Watch our conversation and read the transcript below. May this inspire your crypto-activism!

Click to watch full video of Micah and Amir at DevCon5


Micah White: All right. Hello, my name is Micah White, and this is Amir Taaki. And we are doing a session on crypto for activism. I want to explain first the format that we’re going to do. It’s going to be a little bit more interactive than some of the sessions that you’ve had so far. So I’m going to give a 10 minute brief introduction to some ideas about activism in crypto. Then, Amir and I are going to have an on-stage discussion for about 20 minutes. And then we’re going to have questions from the audience. And so while we’re talking, think of your question, and then line up at this mic and we’ll just kind of go into a free-flowing discussion. I also have copies of my book for free. At the end of my talk, just go grab them over there. They’re in a stack. …

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dETH is a Halloween experiment on the blockchain: a new token that represents the death of ether.

Put simply, dETH is a provably dead token.


ETH sent to this smart contract is irrevocably killed and removed from the
economy. It is not just burned, it is dead.

This is accomplished by transferring ETH to Hades, a self-destructing
smart contract that sends ETH to itself during self-destruction. The dead
eth isn’t just inaccessible, it literally ceases to exist.


Get dETH by sending .01 ETH or more to 0xF1ADc3C1cfD4181312185D9Ef3fbe3CE1a7cdE4e

Important: include a gas limit of least 150,000.


The price of dETH increases by .1% with each purchase from this smart contract.

This simple bonding curve incentives destroying large amounts of ETH in each
transaction to lock-in the lowest possible price. …


Micah White, PhD

I am the co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, author of The End of Protest and founder of Activist Graduate School. Learn more and get in touch at

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