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Trouble #6 Adapt and Destroy: Counterinsurgency and Social War
Date Monday October 09
Time 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Location Details
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorSanta Cruz TroubleMakers

Trouble #6 Adapt and Destroy: Counterinsurgency and Social War

Monday, October 9
Indigenous Resistance everyDay
SubRosa, 703 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Santa Cruz TroubleMakers presents Trouble #6 You Are Being Watched: Movement Defense Against State & Corporate Surveillance. Join us for a screening and facilitated discussion on Monday, October 9, 7:00 PM, at SubRosa, 703 Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.

Despite the unimaginable capacity for violence and coercion that they wield, states are far more vulnerable than they let on. This is not only true of the so-called “failed states” currently plagued by civil war and internal strife, but also the imperialist centers of global capitalism themselves. Their fatal weakness is built into their design; modern states are incredibly complicated and dynamic political constructions, yet at their core they remain what they have always been – vehicles of social organization aimed at facilitating the exploitation of the many, for the enrichment of the few. Without the active or passive consent of the many, the few are in serious trouble.

In order to seek out and manage threats to their legitimacy and authority, states invest a considerable amount of time, energy and resources towards the science of social control. This science, known as COIN or Counterinsurgency doctrine, is nothing less than a perpetual war, waged by states against their domestic populations. Their tactical repertoire spans the gamut from violence and covert assassination, to elections, community police liaisons, and the funding of pacifist non-profit groups. In addition to this, they pursue divide-and-rule strategies, relying on structural institutions such as nationalism, white supremacy, and hetero-patriarchy to fan the flames of reaction and keep us fighting amongst ourselves.

If revolutionaries hope to be successful in our efforts, it’s vitally important to understand the way our enemies view us, and the tactics and strategies that they will deploy against us. In this month’s episode of Trouble, anarchist media collective sub.Media interviews a number of individuals as they explain some of the main principles of counterinsurgency, and identify historical and contemporary examples of how they are put into practice.

In this episode we interviewed JoNina Ervin and Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin of the Black Autonomy Federation, Gord Hill, Author of 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance, Dawn Paley, author of Drug War Capitalism, Peter Gelderloos, author of The Failure of Nonviolence and Kristian Williams author of Our Enemies in Blue.

Added to the calendar on Tuesday Sep 26th, 2017 4:32 PM
§Poster for Trouble #6 Adapt and Destroy
by Santa Cruz TroubleMakers Tuesday Sep 26th, 2017 4:32 PM
Poster is 11 x 17 (.PDF)
§Trouble #6 Adapt and Destroy: Counterinsurgency and Social War
by Santa Cruz TroubleMakers Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2017 5:26 PM
Santa Cruz TroubleMakers

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The Military-Civil Society Suppression Interface.

Interface: a journal for and about social movements
Volume 3 (1): 81 - 117 (May 2011)

The Other Side Of The Coin:
Counterinsurgency And Community Policing

Kristian Williams

(This paper grew out of a lecture presented at the “Econvergence,” First Unitarian Church, Portland Oregon; October 3, 2009.)


This essay outlines the current counterinsurgency model, with an emphasis on its domestic application in the United States. It shows that many contemporary counterinsurgency practices were developed by police agencies inside the U.S., and illustrates the transfer of theory, strategy, and technique from domestic police to the military - and back. The essay also examines the state’s use of nongovernmental or nonprofit agencies, as one element of counterinsurgency strategy, to channel and control political opposition. [emphasis mine -RR] The conclusion briefly considers the strategic implications for social movements, especially as we learn to recognize and respond to political repression.

Introduction: Expect Repression

Oppositional political movements inevitably face - and therefore ought to expect -repression at the hands of the state. But, while quick to condemn the most obvious and violent manifestations of this repression, especially when directed against peaceful groups, the institutionalized left has been slow to grasp the strategy underlying the state’s approach.

We tend to characterize repression as the state’s response to crisis, rather than seeing it also as a means to preserving normalcy. Hence, it has been very difficult to recognize it in quiet times, and when it does appear it seems like an exception, an excess, a panicked over-reaction.

But repression does not always come dressed up in riot gear, or breaking into offices in the middle of the night…."

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