Back to basics #1: Intervention


The purpose of this site is to share news and analysis of the social and class clash in Bloomington and surrounding region. Our emphasis is on posting events, report-backs and communiques, and we’re thrilled when news comes in from unexpected and “apolitical” sources.  The radical minority is an element of the struggle, but hardly the most important one.

Generally, we only post events that are local, autonomous (outside of the electoral process and excluding politicians of every stripe) and self-organized.  For us, the revolutionary process is simultaneously creative (of new ways of being with others and of the new world) and destructive (of the old world), and we share updates reflecting both poles.  Write us with news or contributions at rififi (at)

We have received a request to step outside our normal posting rhythm in order to share basic tools for struggle, and we’ve accepted this proposal.  The goal is to cover the fundamentals of subversion: intervention, direct action, agitation, organizing, confrontation, etc.  These will be interspersed among our regular news and announcements.

Notes on Intervention:

by Red (for more of his writings, visit

-Speak for yourself. If you are a small group, describe yourself as that (Friends of Black, for example). The thing to avoid is trying to represent yourself as any kind of “voice of the movement.”

-Be willing to provoke and advocate. If you are speaking for yourself, there’s no reason not to say “I think we should do this.”

-The strategic stance should be to interact, to provoke and to inspire. Don’t recite a fixed set of principles but instead show how the critique of capitalism matters to the conditions that people find themselves in.

-We must understand the spectacle as a real opponent and not irrelevant abstraction. Thus we should avoid any strategy which attaches our activity to any spectacular symbol. Instead, we need to attack both spectacular forms and spectacular symbols along with our efforts to attack particular institutions and practices. This is just an extension of not representing yourself as “the voice of the movement” and not dumbing down your ideas.

-Look at those struggles which have the capacity to bring large numbers of people together, which directly affect people’s lives and which allow people to take collective power. Transportation is one effective target here. Large factories might be another in places that still have them. Think flexibly.

-Think about a well-executed intervention as a rolling series of actions, interventions and opportunities to learn as well as influence people. If you’re not learning from people, you aren’t fully engaged with the process.

-An important part of our “theoretical work” is learning to express our positions as a completely open framework. Getting rid of things we don’t need to say is as important as saying those things that need to be said. Part of this openness is that we expect that in any evolving, rebellious situation, we should be learning much more than we are teaching. We aren’t here to talk about anything and everything, but to just talk about a few, unavoidable points.


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