Heh, this was posted on tribe.net somewhere, I thought this was neat enough to repost. ACTION 30: Bring Your Own Security WHENEVER MAJOR politicians come to town, they bring their own security, which makes it difficult for activists to get close enough to ask questions, engage them in a conversation (with a puppet?), or offer them a big cheque for services (not) rendered. So the trick is to bring along your own security personnel.We did this in 2001 when the federal Liberal Party held a convention in Edmonton. The main item on the agenda was planning for the following year’s G8 summit, to be held in Kananaskis, Alberta. The delegates included the prime minister. Three of us drove to the Mayfield Convention Centre in a 1980 Toyota Corolla hatchback. When we emerged from the car we were in complete security apparel: a suit, dark sunglasses, shiny shoes, and a fake earpiece. We had also brought along a safety vest, which we left in the car for the second half of the action.Leaving one person outside, two of us walked into the centre and positioned ourselves on either side of the main door. For some reason—perhaps due to the large security presence, bad communication, simple ineptitude, or because we really played our roles well—we didn’t arouse suspicion, at least at first.We started by nodding at the delegates as they passed, periodically fingering our fake earpieces. As we began to feel comfortable we were able to stop delegates, pull them aside—we even frisked one—and give them information on the G8. After what seemed a long while we noticed a bit of a buzz going around about our legitimacy, and we knew it was only a matter of time before our cover would be blown and we would be removed. We escalated our action, asking delegates to declare any weapons of mass destruction and leave their terrorist legislation at the door. We did this only after we knew the media was watching; otherwise it could have been dangerous to our safety. As delegates passed we said, “Please proceed in, the other terrorists are already inside.”The scene lasted only a few minutes longer before we were escorted out. Before we left, we made a final statement about the so-called “anti-terrorism” legislation that had been passed in the wake of 9/11.Once outside, we went back to the car, put on our safety vests, and proceeded onto the street to guide traffic, at first diverting vehicles around the building and then simply getting them to slow down so we could give them information. We were able to do this throughout the day and eventually gave out over a hundred pamphlets about the G8. A variation: big brother. For your own public forums, events, and rallies, bring your own security. In Edmonton, for instance, at public debates, rallies, and events protesting legislation that would pave the way for private, for-profit health care in the province, two activists dressed up as security personnel with the words “Big Brother” printed on the backs of their jackets, and then wandered around amongst the crowd. This small action effectively pointed out an emerging security culture. Why bring your own security?People have a strange attachment to listening to security guards or anyone with the veil of authority. Depending on the degree of your acceptance, pretending to be a security guard can allow you to gain ground on the establishment. If you are accepted by security authorities, what you can do is pretty wide open: you can stop delegates, enter the meeting, frisk people, stop vehicles.The problem is that when you are discovered—and you will be discovered unless you get in and out very quickly—security personnel don’t take kindly to people impersonating them, and they may treat you rudely (to say the least) if you don’t have protection; and by protection, I don’t mean Mace or a Taser stun gun, I mean the media. For this action you need to know where the cameras are and position yourself accordingly. Then you can get your message out when the time comes, and you will also ensure that you are not manhandled in the process.It is also important that you leave the premises as soon as you are asked—but not before you get your message out to the media. You don’t want to get charged for an offence, and if you leave as soon as you are asked, that is less likely to happen.If you are not accepted as legitimate security guards, your focus can shift to making fun of the police state surrounding political officials. Make your actions larger than life—just making it known that the prime minister has to be protected by an army of police officers should, in itself, raise alarm bells. What you needAll you need for this action is some moxie and a security outfit. You need to act like you belong. The more you sweat, fidget, or feel like you are out of place the greater the risk that you will be caught. We are constantly being surprised about how far a little confidence will take us. Be friendly but stern. Try to act like the security guards you see protecting the president in movies, or mimic real-life examples.For your outfit, a suit and tie from your local thrift shop can do the trick. Don’t go with a plaid or anything too strange—a nice solid black or dark blue is perfect. A big walkie-talkie can help give the illusion of legitimacy, especially if that is what the other security guards are carrying. An earpiece is a must—mostly just for the humour of it all. You can get one by buying the “undercover officer” kit at your local toy store. The kit will give you most of the gadgets you need for the operation.You should also plan the message you want to deliver after you are discovered, and have some information ready to give to the press or any other individuals about what you are doing and why you are there. Solid, critical information is always key to a good action.