VIDEO: Anarchist Organizer Reveals WTO Riot Tactics

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Lisa Fithian, collective anarchist organizer.

Portland State University hosted well known AnCom community organizer Lisa Fithian on Feb. 17th, 2014. The event was entitled “Building Our Power: Organizing For The Long Haul“,  presented by the PSU Student Union and the group Students For Unity.

The program centered around direct action, which is sometimes referred to “non violent direct action” (*wink wink*, yeah right), and Miss Fithian went over numerous tactics that she has developed and employed over the years.

One such successful strategy was the way the 1999 Seattle WTO protests/riots were staged. Seattle was divided into “spokes” on a map, and several different “affinity groups” took responsibility for organizing their own protest in each spokes area, separate from every other group. No one knew what any other group had planned, all they knew is that ever sector of the city would have an action of some sort taking place. This made it impossible for police to find out exactly what was going to happen, because there was no master plan.

In the video, posted on YouTube by LaughingAtLiberals, Miss Fithian goes on to explain how they also had roving groups of people who could add bodies to any spokes area when needed.

Screen shot of the official webpage for Students For Unity on the Portland State University website.

Screen shot of the official webpage for Students For Unity on the Portland State University website.

From the Facebook event page:


Lisa Fithian has been working for nonviolent social change since the mid-1970’s. Over the years she has been a student, labor and community organizer on a broad range of issues. From environmental justice to student and worker rights, from peace and global justice to immigration and housing, Lisa continues to use a wide range of strategies and tactics and encouraged nonviolent direct action as one of the most effective strategies for change. Most recently, Lisa trained hundreds of people on facilitation, group process, consensus decision-making, and direct action during Occupy, and was instrumental in helping OWS take the horizontal shape that it did.

Lisa will be speaking about her experiences working in coalitions, how to build unity between diverse groups organizing for power together, and building durable, non-oppressive structures for that empowerment.“

Miss Lisa Fithian has also been seen in a video from the Chicago Teachers Union strike, orchestrating who is going to get arrested at a demo. Fithian was also caught calling conservative journalists “violent” at trainings for the #Ferguson protests.

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