Phase I: Networking & Mobilization
Preamble: In phase one, resisters focus on organizing themselves into networks and building cultures of resistance to sustain those networks. Many sympathizers or potential recruits are unfamiliar with serious resistance strategy and action, so efforts are taken to spread that information. But key in this phase is actually forming the above- and underground organizations (or at least nuclei) that will carry out organizational recruitment and decisive action. Security culture and resistance culture are not very well developed at this point, so extra efforts are made to avoid sloppy mistakes that would lead to arrests, and to dissuade informers from gathering or passing on information.
Training of activists is key in this phase, especially through low risk (but effective) actions. New recruits will become the combatants, cadres, and leaders of later phases. New activists are enculturated into the resistance ethos, and existing activists drop bad or counterproductive habits. This is a time when the resistance movement gets organized and gets serious. People are putting their individual needs and conflicts aside in order to form a movement that can fight to win.
In this phase, isolated people come together to form a vision and strategy for the future, and to establish the nuclei of future organizations. Of course, networking occurs with resistance-oriented organizations that already exist, but most mainstream organizations are not willing to adopt positions of militancy or intransigence with regard to those in power or the crises these people face. If possible, they should be encouraged to take positions more in line with the scale of the problems at hand.
This phase is already underway, but a great deal of work remains to be done.
- To build a culture of resistance, with all that entails.
- To build aboveground and underground resistance networks, and to ensure the survival of those networks.
- Operations are generally lower risk actions, so that people can be trained and screened, and support networks put in place. These will fall primarily into the sustaining and shaping categories.
- Maximal recruitment and training is very important at this point. The earlier people are recruited, the more likely they are to be trustworthy and the longer time is available to screen them for their competency for more serious action.
- Communications and propaganda operations are also required for outreach and to spread information about useful tactics and strategies, and on the necessity for organized action.
Most resistance organizations in this scenario are still diffuse networks, but they begin to extend and coalesce. This phase aims to build organization.