Ran across this very interesting guide from Jenny Sparks here: http://truthaction.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=62
I'll just quote the whole thing, because it's relevant and thought-provoking, and for all that, obvious.
The reality is, we did none of this at NY 9/11 Truth in the early days, relying on familiarity and a collegial atmosphere, and thrilled to have any movement going at all.
Guess it's timely, considering. Dr. Pepper is right, but knowing there will be distruptors is not enough. We can't get rid of them all, but we can neutralize most of their effects in our groups by doing a handfull of simple things:
1: Get your group organizied. This is a weakness that is coming into more and more focus for me as THE single reason distruptors are able to get and keep their vampiric attachment. Many of us kick ass on our own, but then we start working with a group and things get--weird. People who have no busness having responsibilities strangely do. Reasonable suggestions get panned for no good reason. Does this sound like your group? RUN, don't walk, away and form your own group with other sane people.
2: There are many ways to effectively organize you group along democratic principles, but to survive as a 9/11 activist group, both being effective and uncompromised your group organization MUST have these functions in some clear form everyone understands and is willing to use:
A: Executive authority to pull the plug on any event or member that has become a liability. Whether you do it by vote, or committe, it doesn't matter, as long as the proceedure is known, the circumstances under which you use the proceedure is agreed and outlined in advance, and to use it, requires chain of custody insofar as proving X is a problem. It shouild be as democratic as you can manage AND also not easily used in a simple personal dispute.
B: a common understanding and support of adult behavior and communication. NO FREE RIDES for members who skate on the sympathy for their "issues". The minute their "issues" become a liability, they need to be confronted, and if they refuse to acknowledge their problem and it's effect on your activism, a vote should be taken on whether they get to stay. And even if that vote goes their way, their responsibilities need to be reduced until they can prove they are an asset again.
C: ZERO tolerance for "crazy making, manipulative behavior". Examples from real life:
"I'll help promote the DRG lecture, but ONLY if I get to intoduce him."
After asking for the rest of the ticket sales for a week:"I'll give you those figures, but if I have to, I'm charging the group my shipping fees."
You wish I was making this up.
They will take advantage of any in they can get. Like that ponce Rove, they will do their best to make a strength a weakness. Most of us are all about the openess and free speech--and that is exactly what the slags will try to hit you with when you challenge them on their distruptive tactics. And watch out if you start winning the argument because the facts are on your side--then you'll be accused of "hate speech". You think I'm joking...
The good news is that their play book is old. They're still relying on emotional manipulation and peer-pressure to do most of their work. In a way they're behind the curve, but they won't stay that way unless we get our shite together.
Many of you are finding this all boring. Sorry, chums, but this is the back ground work upon which successful events and movements are built. So run you group through this Fun Quiz(all quizes are "fun", dammit):
1: Do your events seem to be ad hoc affairs that rely more on luck than planning for their success?
2: Are there people who seem to be crazy and/or incompetent but are strangly in leadership roles?
3:Does your group refuse any responsibility for problems even when the factual evidence shows otherwise?
4:When planning an event is going well, does someone try to throw off topic shite in at the last minute, wasting everyone's time and energy?
5:Does your group express sympathy for "space beams" or "mini-nukes" and no one challeges this rubbish? Do you feel if you challenge it you will be attacked?
6: Does you group seem to be clueless to the fact that attacking people for being Jews or gay is a bad thing?
7:Is there a hostility for any attempts at competenmt managment?
Example from real life: "maybe we should test our equipment at the theatre to make sure it's compatable before the event." "Oh, no, no. That's not neccessary. We can do that at the theatre an hour before we show the film." HISTORICAL NOTE: Their equipment WASN'T compatable. The show went on, but only after jury-rigging a mess of cables. This event, a "Press For Truth" showing, almost had to be cancelled.
Add your "yes" answers up:
0 yes's--where is your group and how soon can I join?
1 yes' --your group is possibly salvagable if you have others who share your doubts. Or you could have an issolated incidence of cluelessness. Time will tell. 2 yes' or more--RUN, don't walk, out the door! Cut your losses and form you own group.
Some of you still reading this will say, "But, but, we can't afford to lose allies in the struggle for the 9/11 Truth!"
Snap out of it, luv. We do not need "allies" who are disorganized, crazy making loons who will be a liability later. (cough Shayler!) Nor do we need racist, homophobes. Stop acting like a "battered-activist" for fuck's sake!
Oh, and you also want to have your name registered, and a bank account to manage funds, but you knew that.
Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.