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E-M:/ Hog Stench

Enviro-Mich message from Michael Boyce <birder@voyager.net>

In his book Rules for Radicals (1971 - 196 pp, now unfortunately out of print) Saul
Alinsky presents a unique plan, or set of rules, for ethical and justified action
in a repressive society - emphasis on action.  In one example listed in his book,
underprivileged citizens had been unable to have their issues seriously considered
by the towns social and political elite.  Sound familiar?  Having seemingly
exhausted all other options, the common folk decided to raise a big stink.  And big
stink is exactly what they raised.  Pooling there resources, the group bought as
many tickets as they could afford to a special symphony concert held for the towns
elite.  These tickets were distributed free of charge to members of their loose
knit group.  Before the concert, they had an all you can eat free dinner for the
concert attendees who received the free tickets.  The dinner consisted of beans,
chili, and every other bowl gas forming ingredient they could come up with.  The
result was literally a big stink at the concert as attendees expelled the gas
formed by their dinner, not to mention a few loud gaseous bellows.  Needless to
say, they finally got the attention of the social and political elite who now
agreed to sit down with them and deal with their issues.

Alinsky worked and fought for the rights of the poor and underprivileged for over
40 years. He published this classic "primer" a year before he died in 1972. It
hasn't suffered at all from age. If anything, Alinsky's rules have become all the
more crucial to concerns at the cusp of the new millennium. Written as a sort of
antidote to Machiavelli's Prince, for the Have-Nots instead of the Haves, the rules
form a unique plan for ethical and justified action in a repressive society-
emphasis on action. The first rule of tactics compresses volumes of psychological
techniques of coercion into a single maxim: "Power is not only what you have but
what the enemy thinks you have."  I highly recommend this book for everyone willing
to "walk the walk" and not just "talk the talk.".

I think a similar (perhaps even more drastic) tactic to the one in the example
above would be in odor... er ah order, at future legislative hearings dealing with
hog factory stench problems.  Any thoughts?
Michael Boyce
Baker Sanctuary Resident Manager
Co-chair., Environmental Action Committee
Michigan Audubon Society

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