L. Neil Smith's
Number 61, December 15, 1999
Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Seattle and the Lessons Learned

by Bruce Elmore

Special to TLE

           Well, the Circus In Seattle appears to be winding down, and upon close examination of the events that occurred there, I have gleaned what I feel a number of useful tactics which I feel will be necessary for Freedom lovers to use sooner or later.
           It must be obvious to all but the most completely stupid among us that the protesters won this battle. While I personally disagree with this band of Luddites, I must admit that their tactical and strategic planning was completely successful.
           Smart people learn from others, whether they agree with them or not.
           I believe there are many useful lessons to be learned from the protesters in Seattle.
           I will attempt in my own way to elucidate those lessons here.

General Observations

           First off, the "mobs" won this round. That fact is indisputable in my opinion. The array of groups who assembled in Seattle had as their goal the disruption of the WTO talks. This goal was accomplished in a rather spectacular fashion in spite of the forces which were arrayed against them.
           Forget about what you saw on your television sets. What is important to remember is the fact that a bunch of citizens managed to shut down a meeting of Government Officials from over 100 nations in a major American city, and they did it without resorting to the use of any weapons at all.
           Think about it. Not one foreign dignitary was killed, and the only people who carried, displayed, or used any firearm of any type was the Seattle Police Dept.
           The Seattle Police Department knew well in advance that these people were coming to protest the WTO meeting. In fact, the City Fathers of Seattle had issued "permits" allowing some of these protests to occur. They were warned well in advance that "trouble" would probably occur. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were allocated to deal with anticipated problems, yet still, the protesters managed to accomplish their goals of shutting this conference down. And they succeeded!
           How did they do this?
           My sources tell me that this feat was accomplished quite easily, and I will tell you, my gentle reader, how they pulled this off.


Strategic Communication

           Sources indicate that the protesters took advantage of a number of means of Communications technology. All of these means are available at little or NO cost to you.
           First, the protesters made contact with a number of persons of like mind via the Internet. They then set up (relatively) secure means of E-Mail communications using any number of free E-Mail providers and using the simple and free encryption program known as PGP.
           Their planning was done via E-Mail and was encrypted using this very powerful tool. The leaders of this bunch located and used maps of the downtown Seattle area which they also located and exchanged among themselves using the Net.
           Maps of ALL major cities are available on the internet. They are incredibly detailed. Yahoo.com < http://www.yahoo.com> will give them to you for nothing. All one needs to do is log onto their site, and follow the simple instructions and these maps can be printed out on your PC at home. From there it is a rather simple matter to identify choke points, rally points, and other tactical information. They then communicated this critical information to other like minded groups and individuals via (relatively) secure E-Mail.
           I mentioned PGP. Allow me to explain.
           PGP <http://www.pgpi.org> is a very simple, and very secure method of encrypting private communication over the Web.
           Without getting too complicated, PGP renders ones E-Mail almost unbreakable to all but the most dedicated of opposition. Some readers will no doubt be familiar with this incredible piece of technology and point up that Government can indeed "crack" PGP encrypted E-Mail. Those people are correct, but cracking PGP requires a very large commitment to decipher even ONE E-mail. Using the most recent versions of PGP it would take (by some estimates) almost 2 weeks to decipher even the most simple of E-Mail messages, even using the most sophisticated of resources of the NSA.
           In this case, there were hundreds of people exchanging their plans using this amazing tool.
           The Seattle Police Dept. never had a chance against a dedicated group using this form of secure communications technology. [See also: HushMail <www.hushmail.com>]

Tactical Communication

           The tactical communication methods used by the "protesters" appear to have been fully integrated with their strategic methods. All of these methods are available to any U.S. citizen for a very small investment.
           The Press made mention of the fact that two way radios were "banned" during the uprising. This "ban" appears to have made little or no difference in the outcome of events in Seattle.
           My research and sources have revealed that at least 3 and possibly 4 methods of tactical communications were used by the "protesters". I will detail them here.

Radio Communications, Short and Long Range

           There are a number of types of two way radios available to the general public without license, and almost all of them are completely untraceable to all but the most sophisticated of adversaries.
           By most accounts, the "protesters" were using rather primitive means of radio communications which included the following:

FRS-Family Radio Services

           This type of radio communication is available from a number of sources for minimal cost. It utilizes the FM band and uses 14 different discrete frequencies and has a built in "privacy" option which "scrambles" the signal to anyone who isn't in the "ring" designated by the users of the devices. It is by no means perfect, but it does work, and has a range of almost 2 miles under ideal conditions. My sources indicate that this particular "band" of radio communication was used extensively by the protesters.
           FRS radios are extremely small, about the size of a package of cigarettes. They can be purchased from any number of sporting goods outlets for less than 150.00 dollars per pair. There are options which allow them to be completely concealed on the user's body so they can be utilized without anyone noticing that they are in use unless one is right next to the person using it.

Citizens Band-or CB Radio

           CB radio became very popular in the 1970s. They are inexpensive, and both hand held and vehicle mounted units are widely available. CB radios have a range under ideal conditions of almost 5 miles, and have 40 discrete frequencies or "channels" available for use.
           If one avails oneself of an ideal location for the placement of an antenna, CB radios can have a range of 30 to 40 miles using a "base" unit. It doesn't take much to see that this could have been a very powerful tool for coordinating the actions of a dedicated cadre of "protesters" such as those in Seattle.
           There are also devices, which while "illegal", are widely available, that can boost the range of CB radios to almost 100 miles, although I have no evidence that these boosters were used in the particular case of the protests in Seattle.
           I do however believe that such devices were indeed used by the leaders of the "protests" in Seattle as part of an integrated communications protocol. I believe that Freedom Lovers should be prepared to acquire and use such devices.

HAM Radio

           I have no hard evidence that this particular type of radio communications was used in Seattle, but I feel it merits a mention as it certainly could have been used. HAM has an almost PLANETARY range in the hands of experienced users.
           All of the evidence I have seen indicates that only the first two types or radio communication were used by the protesters in Seattle, although all three most certainly could have been used.

Cellular Phones

           These were definitely used by the protesters in Seattle. While "Two Way Radios" were "banned" by the City Fathers of Seattle, no mention was made of Cellular technology, and for good reason.
           Almost everyone owns or has access to a cellular phone these days, and the Seattle Police would have had no opportunity to jam, shut down, or confiscate such a widely available piece of communications technology without a massive reaction on the part of the citizens of Seattle.
           My sources indicate that Cell Phones were used quite extensively by the protesters and their leaders!

Personal Protection For The Protesters

           The most dedicated of the protesters seems to have made rather sophisticated plans for their personal defense, and by this I do not mean firearms. Not one single Seattle Police Officer appears to have been injured by the protesters. If they have, I have been unable to locate any evidence of it.
           My analysis indicates that all of those who inserted themselves between the "rank and file" protesters and the "Law Enforcement" who were dispatched seemed to be very well prepared for the encounter.
           Gas masks were worn by many of those who seemed to be "in charge" of things. The persons who were wearing gas masks also seemed to be wearing a lot of very heavy clothing. This make a great deal of sense. Gas masks (which were "banned" by order of the City Fathers Of Seattle) protected the leaders of the protests from the chemical agents which were used for "crowd control" by the Seattle Police. The heavy clothing protected the "protesters" from the variety of "non lethal munitions" which were used by the Seattle Police.
           I personally saw a protester take a "non lethal" round fired from a 12 gauge shotgun fired from almost point blank range into the protester's chest have no effect on that protester.
           By the way, that was after that particular protester took a steel toed boot into crotch.
           That was most instructive indeed.

Lessons Learned Overall

           In my opinion, the most important lessons of Seattle is that this monster we know as Government can be stopped by citizens!
           While I in no way agree with the philosophy (if they even have one) of the mob who shut down the WTO Meeting in Seattle, I feel it critically important that their tactics be analyzed logically.


"I would just like to see bigger thighs on television. Short skirts are OK, but with bigger thighs. The world would be a happier place."
-- Cybill Shepherd, erstwhile presidential candidate and alleged actress
Source: http://www.news.com.au/news_content/state_content/4340305.htm

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