Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anatomy of A High Risk Contentious Performance: Evaluating the Ninth of July

My my.....ape cita orang Malaysia! 

Happening gilebabs siut...
The former Bersih deputy chairman stressed that “not one flowerpot will be knocked down, not one brick will be thrown” if the police helped the election watchdog’s supporters march to Istana Negara to deliver a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He pointed out that in “less primitive” Indonesia, demonstrations occurred almost on a weekly basis but NEVER got out of hand because the police there were on hand to assist the people exercise their right to assemble.
The Jakarta police chief, for instance, will appear on television to inform the public of a protest in the capital the next day and the route it will take, Mohamad said.
“‘I hope they (protestors) will come out early.’ This is the Jakarta police chief... And us? ‘Those who leave their homes we will arrest earlier’,” he said to laughter and jeers from the crowd. More here

Yo Mat Sabu


Go here and here I don't like to put up pictures of the event (this was last year's demonstration turned evil gile babeng kat Tangjung Periok which left hundreds injured, a few dead and massive damage to property)

Is it Election issues that you are trying to push or Is it the Right to a Peaceful Assembly?
mmmmm....come to think of it.........Peaceful?

For real....why don't you add another item on your demand then...

The very act itself is Contentious

Charles Tilly in 2008 Contentious Performance wrote   
Contentious performances are contentious because they concern claims that bore on someone else’s interests—often governments; they are performances because they follow some learned and historically grounded scripts, but like any performance there is room for innovation, mostly in small ways. Such performances, Tilly argues, clump into repertoires of claim-making routines that apply to the same claimant-object pairs: workers tend to strike against their bosses, citizens tend to march against their governments, and anti-globalists tend protest against meetings of transnational organizations. Repertoires vary from place to place, time to time, and pair to pair. But when people make claims they innovate within limits set by the repertoire already established for their place, time, and pair. Repertoires vary in terms of their rigidity from absence of any repertoire to rigid repertoires that repeat the same routines over and over as exactly as they can.
 Street demonstrations are examples of contentious performances. Tilly positions the origin of the street demonstration in Great Britain between 1758 and 1834. It became the performance staged by social movements; it soon became a multi-purpose tool rather than an instrument oriented to some single goal or political inclination. By the 1830s British activists had learned to mount all three variants of the street demonstration that are still familiar today: the disciplined march through public streets, the organized occupation of a public space, and the combination of the two in a march to or from a public meeting. Roughly hundred year later street demonstrations made it into France to become the major means of advertising political identities and programs in France after World War I. In the last two decades of the 20th century the number of demonstrations in Paris alone increased from 200-400 per annum to 1.000-1.500 per annum
Let us understand further the mechanics of these Contentious Performance..

Bert Klenderman in Contentious Performances: The Case of Street Demonstrations tried to understand how characteristics of nations, mobilizing contexts, and demonstrations influence who participates, why people participate, and how participants were mobilized...

The research came up with a very interesting framework

As for contextual variation, we assume that (1) nation, i.e. the national political system in which demonstrations are staged; (2) mobilizing context, i.e. the demand and supply of protest, and the techniques of mobilization; and (3) demonstration, i.e. the characteristics of the demonstration each influence the characteristics of the (4) protestors. Our central tenet is that a specific national context generates a specific mobilizing context; that the interaction of nation and mobilizing context produces a specific type of demonstration; that a specific type of demonstration brings a specific group of protestors into the streets. We assume that the composition of the group of protestors, their motives and the way they are mobilized result from the interaction of national context, mobilizing context, and type of demonstration 
Contextual variation
(1). Nation. Nations vary in terms of the circumstances they create for political protestThe supply of politics, the political opportunity structure, the openness of the political system for challengers, the access points available for people to defend their interests and express their opinions, the temporal political configuration, are all identified as determinants of the incidence and type of protest (Kriesi 2004; Tarrow 1998; Koopmans 1999; Tilly 2008).
(2). Mobilizing context. The mobilizing context in a country can be described in terms of demand, supply, and mobilization (Klandermans 2004). The demand-side of protest refers to the potential of protestors in a society; the supply-side refers to the characteristics of the social movement sector in a society; mobilization refers to the techniques and mechanisms that link demand and supply (Klandermans 2004). We maintain that the interaction of demand, supply and mobilization influences the dynamics of protest participation.
  • Demand. A demand for protest begins with levels of grievances in a society (Klandermans 1997). More and more population groups employ protest to communicate their grievances (Klandermans, 2001; Meyer and Tarrow 1998). At the same time, migration has made Western societies more diverse (Koopmans, Statham, Giugni, and Passy 2005), resulting in more diverse constituencies with more diverse grievances. Moreover, grievances globalize as well, depicted by a growing consciousness of issues such as global justice or a shared concern for the climate.
  • Supply. The supply-side of protest concerns the characteristics of the social movement sector in a society, its strength, its diversity, its contentiousness. Traditionally, the social movement sector is conceived of as a conglomerate of movement organizations (McAdam et al.1996: 3), which provides the more or less formalized infrastructure on which protest is built (McAdam 1998; McCarthy and Zald 1987; Diani and McAdam 2003). Increasingly, however, we see protest participation rooted in everyday networks of participants and social movement actors involved in diffuse and decentralized networks (Duyvenkamp and Hurenkamp 2004; Melucci 1996; Taylor 2000). At the same time, enhanced ethnic diversity has created ethnically diverge social capital (Fennema & Tillie 2008). Finally, we see the emergence of ‘global social movement sectors’.
Mobilization. Processes of mobilization bring a demand for protest together with a supply of protest opportunities. Globalization, the development of network society and information society has changed mobilization techniques radically. New information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet, e-mail, MySpace, MSN, cell phones have changed the ways in which activists communicate and mobilize. Traditional organizations seem to rely more on information channels such as flyers, and organizational publications targeting their members whereas, in networks the channels employed are face-to-face, Internet, and cell phones. At a general level, demand, supply, and mobilization are supposedly shaped by national context. At a specific level, mobilizing context is further colored by characteristics of the demonstration, esp.the issue. Little is known about the way mobilizing contexts vary, how such variation is
determined, or how it impacts on the characteristics of a demonstration.

(3) Demonstrations. First, demonstrations vary in terms of the issue. Furthermore, they can be ritualized, peaceful, or violent; with or without permit; with or without close consultation with the police. Demonstrations are usually staged by a coalition of organizers, but the composition of the coalition varies. The location and the weather conditions vary and so does the media coverage. As we are lacking systematic comparisons it is difficult to say how these variations impact on protest participation. Obviously, the populations demonstrating differ in size and composition but how this relates to characteristics of the demonstration is far from clear

Protesters: The last step in our model of the dynamics of contention concerns the protestors. Who are they and why do they take part? Also the motivation of protestors is context dependent.The type of demonstration, the interaction of demand, supply, and mobilization, and the national context influence the participants’ motivation. We conceive of motivation in terms of identity, grievances and emotions.
Identities, grievances and emotions
Social psychologists propose identity, grievances and emotions as mechanisms that motivate people to demonstrate. Strikingly, a comprehensive framework integrating these three into a single model was lacking. Jacquelien van Stekelenburg and I have been working on such a model over the past few years (Van Stekelenburg et al. 2009a and 2009b). The model we developed and began to test assigns a central, integrating role to processes of identification. In order to develop the shared grievances and shared emotions that characterize a movement’s mobilization potential a shared identity is needed (see below).

The dependent variable of the model (the strength of the motivation to participate in collective action) results from emotions, grievances, and the feelings of efficacy shared with a group that the individual participants identify with. Grievances supposedly originate from interests and/or principles that are felt to be threatened. The more people feel that interests of the group and/or principles that the group values are threatened, the angrier they are and the more they are prepared to take part in collective action to protect their interests and/or to express their anger.

So folks lets go back to Mat Sabu......

How can he guarantee that there is ZERO possibility of a Schelling Incident?

How guano pokcik buke Duit Sekeleng weh.....

In 1960 Thomas Schelling in The Strategy of Conflict (1960: 90) wrote,

It is usually the essence of mob formation that the potential members have to know not only where and when to meet but just when to act so that they act in concert. Overt leadership solves the problem; but leadership can often be identified and eliminated by the authority trying to prevent mob action. In this case the mob's problem is to act in unison without overt leadership, to find some common signal that makes everyone confident that, if he acts on it, he will not be acting alone. The role of ``incidents'' can thus be seen as a coordinating role; it is a substitute for overt leadership and communication. Without something like an incident, it may be difficult to get action at all, since immunity requires that all know when to act together.
How confident is he considering the current political temperature and the events building up in the shadows?

Not one flower pot? Not one brick?

For real pokcik?

Schelling put forward his view on Reorientation of the Game Theory go here  one of his students Michael Kinsley, Washington Post Op Ed Columnist, summarizes the professor's  Theory as follows:
"You're standing at the edge of a cliff, chained by the ankle to someone else. You'll be released, and one of you will get a large prize, as soon as the other gives in. How do you persuade the other guy to give in, when the only method at your disposal -- threatening to push him off the cliff -- would doom you both?"
"Answer: You start dancing, closer and closer to the edge. That way, you don't have to convince him that you would do something totally irrational: plunge him and yourself off the cliff. You just have to convince him that you are prepared to take a higher risk than he is of accidentally falling off the cliff. If you can do that, you win."

Apemacam .....are you all willing to dance with Mat Sabu to the edge of the cliff?

It is always a numbers game folks....and this is where Agent provocateur or the Entrepreneur plays its key role

For a riot to begin, it is necessary but not sufficient that there be many people who want to riot and who believe that others want to riot too. One more hurdle has to be overcome. Even in an unstable gathering, the first perpetrator of a misdemeanor is at risk if the police are willing and able to zero in on him. Thus, someone has to serve as a catalyst--a sort of entrepreneur to get things going--in Buford's account usually by breaking a window (a signal that can be heard by many who do not see it).
In civil rights, anti-war or anti-abortion marches, it is probably pretty common to find participants eager to expose themselves to arrest in exchange for the chance to optimize the desired impact of their protest. This sort of self-sacrifice is certainly rare in ordinary riots, where potential rioters' behavior is consistent, we suppose, with something like the following calculation: ``If somebody else gets the riot started, I can participate without much risk. But if I stick my neck out and nobody follows, I'll be the only one arrested. So I'll wait for somebody else to go first.'' If every would-be rioter reasoned thus, nobody would cast the first stone, and the riot would not ignite. This is a typical free-rider problem, as economists have called it. It is usually sufficient to prevent riots from occurring, even where there is a plentiful supply of disposed participants. Riots await events that surmount the free rider problem.
The entrepreneur will throw the first stone when he calculates that the risk that he will be apprehended for doing so has diminished to an acceptable level. The risk of arrest declines as a function of two variables--the size of the crowd relative to the police force available to control it, and the probability that others will follow if somebody leads. This latter point could potentially be tricky, because as we have noted, crowds will generally be inhospitable to the commission of violent acts

So where do we go from here?

On one side we got BERSIH, PERKASA and UMNO YOUTH...

Now we got wannabe sidekicks some Mahaguru pulak nak turun gelangang...

Pakcik oi please la spare us the kasi kirim SANTAU baik punye on Ambiga pun orang dah cukup happy .....parang terbang out of nowhere would be quite nice oso.....

And the best part of all of this is semua nak eksyen lebih...

Big Time Performance complete with rehearsals and all tuh beb......

The heat is on folks.........

I hear some DAP Feimui is instigating Religious Issue now ........

Auntie don't la itu betul berani mau turun padang ka?

But if you insist may I suggest on the 12th of July please....more drama Auntie....

Cause that's the date the court will decide on whether Syed Hamid Albar will testify for the Jill Ireland Allah CD case refer here 

The proximity of the events are way too close.........

The act of defiance by the key players will continue and stupid common folks will keep on wearing  Yellow as a symbol of tak puas hati...

Pre-emptive actions taken will build the Motivational Strength of the masses....

Let us see whether folks are willing to go down that path......ada brani?

Monkey shall watch from "less primitive" land...

Mat Sabu apekelancau u mean by less primitive?

BTW peaceful protests achieves NOTHING dude...

Social movement scholars have identified public protests as one of the activities in social movements that can possibly increase the likelihood of the group to achieve their agenda. Scholars offer various perspectives on the impact of protests on social movements, depending on how they measure such. Della Porta and Diani (1999) define the use of social protests as one out of the four characteristic aspects of movements. Although distinctive, it plays a marginal role in political and cultural change.Buckman (1970) and Giugni (2004) call attention to a gap between protest rhetoric and reality, in that social protests have little impact on policy change. Giugni uses statistical measures in his study on the impact of anti-nuclear, ecological protests and peace movements on policy changes in the United States and Western Europe and found no direct effect. However, studying the success of protests by measuring policy change is not a thorough evaluation. To Buckman (1970), protests are methods used by the neglected in society to be visible. Turner (1969) offers five possible reactions from the dominant group, ranging from from surrender, ignorance, suppression, symbolic acceptance, to conciliation. Gamson (1995) measures the success of disruptive tactics through the acceptance of the challengers’ legitimacy and the attainment of new advantages for the group.

Technical Notes

  1. Reform, Resistance, and Empowerment: The Transformation of Urban Activist Groups in Jakarta, Indonesia, 1998-2010 go here
  2. Contentious performances: The case of street demonstrations go here 
Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. -Lord Thomas Dewer