Democracy Spring protestors at the US capitol

Even if you agree that America needs a change, there’s still the question of how to make it reality.

Convincing others of our beliefs is the easy part- most Americans share the core belief needed for a revolution: our government is not ours. The hard part is mobilizing the people, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, Human beings are slow to destroy a system that they’ve grown accustomed to, no matter how tyrannical.

So before the revolution gains enough popular support to capitulate the government, a small group of the most fiery-hearted patriots will have to show them that it’s possible. Our top priority to should be to insure that violence is never excused; while the government will go to any length to prolong its reign, we must remember that our cause is equality for all, if you treat your enemy as your ally, they will become your ally.

With that in mind, specifically what actions should we take? The mainstay of modern political movements are unorganized sit-in protests and marches, but to defeat an enemy like the riot police often deployed to these protests, we need objectives and organization. We need to treat the protest like a battle.

Standing outside a town hall, in the end, doesn’t accomplish much aside from wasting the police’s time. The objective could be to seize control of the town hall, a building built with the taxes of and for the people, that belongs to the public. Of course the police will not agree with this, and stop at nothing to keep the building. To win, the protestors need training and equipment to counter-act the crowd control techniques used by modern police. Shields to block rubber bullets, masks to filter tear gas, discipline to hold the line, and leadership to take initiative.

Only lethal force can stop a non-violent protest of organized and equipped protesters, and the moment it’s used, the battle is already won. This brings us to our greatest advantage: Intelligence.

Citizen surveillance is a tactic already widely employed by black lives matter supporters to great effect, capturing the brutality and violence of police in the face of peaceful resistance is the key to victory. Any protestor can utilize their personal smartphone to record or live-stream the battle, so that the people can watch and hold accountable either side for their actions. In addition to this, communication through smart-phone networks can keep protestors organized and informed about their place in the conflict, and allow leaders to direct action across the line.

But protests are only the public face of a revolution, to truly strike a blow against the government, small, highly educated teams must perform precise acts of resistance against their regime. From hacktivism, exposing the government’s secrets about their true intentions, to sabotage of government infrastructure, undermining the government’s authority in the eyes of the people will inspire the wary to action and reduce their effectiveness in quelling resistance.

However, action means nothing if it can’t be sustained. The base of the revolution will reflect the ultimate goal of universal equality; supply houses and rest stops distributed throughout the country among the people. Volunteer hosts will retrofit their homes or workplaces to be meeting points and storage areas for the movement, where revolutionaries can go to rest, share information and supplies, and find transportation.

These tactics taken out of the playbook of the American revolution and Arab spring, as well as future innovations, will allow us to fight back against the government and win, peacefully, but not passively.