The Four “P’s” of the Anti-Registry Movement
By: Derek W. Logue, ARM member
Registered Citizen Activists are well aware of the use of the three “P” words often misused and intended to dehumanize us (pervert, predator, and pedophile), but at the Anti-Registry Movement, we have four “P” words that Registered Citizen Activists across the country should embrace.
If you want to see change, being a virtual couch potato is not going to bring the change. While the ARM is grateful for the few people outside our cause who volunteer their time, energy and talent to help Registered Citizens and their loved ones fight back against the laws plaguing us, we recognize we are our own best resource. There are almost 850,000 Registered Citizens in the US; that is a larger population than South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, District of Columbia, or Wyoming. If only 1% of the registrant population participated in repealing the registry, the registry might be abolished by now.
Participation does not always mean front lines all the time; there are many ways to incorporate everyday activism into your daily routine without spending a lot of time or money. You can contact your legislators, write your local media, print out brochures and leave them in random places, and even promoting the cause online. The most important thing is that you get involved. While money is always needed, manpower is needed just as desperately. Imagine how much difference we can make by filling up a legislative subcommittee room with registrants, their spouses, their children, and their friends! If we want people to SEE change, you must BE change.
The protest has been a traditional way for spreading the message of people seeking change, and should not be discounted in our current society. Technology is great, but there is no greater way to promote solidarity, as well as creating a visible presence for our message of abolition, than by standing in unison with fellow activists to protest the bad policies of our government.
The Anti-Registry Movement believes in taking on our adversaries in bold yet innovative ways. Public demonstrations need not always be traditional marches or rallies in opposition to bad legislation; we can support legislation, or we can even hold public events that are both entertaining and informative. Gimmicks, themes, or memes should not be discounted. We can be BOLD and AGGRESSIVE with our message without engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
The 1st Amendment guarantees our right to “petition the government for a redress of our grievances”; this grants us the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one's government, without fear of punishment or reprisals. This means more than complaining to our legislators or the courts; we can create real initiatives and petitions to bring about change.
In a number of states, citizens not currently in public office can create a “ballot measure,” also known as “initiative and referendum (I&R), voter initiatives, propositions, citizen initiatives, or questions.” Ballot measures require a certain number of signatures from registered voters, and unlike online petitions (which are practically worthless, easily manipulated, and easily ignored), ballot measures require people to collect signatures by hand. This is a great way to spread our message of abolition! It provides opportunities to engage the public one-on-one, thus raising awareness.
“Politicate” is a portmanteau of the two words “political” and “educate.” To the Anti-Registry Movement, politicate has two parts—we educate ourselves on the role politics plays on our movement and how best to approach our legislators, and in turn, we become more effective educators to our legislators.
Americans love to blame politicians for many social ills, and at times, it is for good reason. We know that every system has flaws, mostly as the result of the people we choose to run the systems. But at the same time, many politicians have good intentions and many are simply ignorant of the effects of legislation they sign and simply don’t have time to read all the bills. Legislators rely on lobbyists, special interest groups and concerned citizens to help them decide how they will vote on a bill. That means YOU.
In order to properly educate politicians, you must educate yourself. Study up on them and know how they lean. Understand the difference between political alignment (radical, liberal, moderate, conservative, and reactionary) and party affiliation (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Tea Party, Green Party, etc.). Set up a time to meet with your legislator and prepare the relevant facts that caters to the political alignment of that legislator as possible. Study up on your talking points and practice your talking points with a fellow ARM member.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Remember—If you want to SEE change, you have to BE change. You do not have to be a great orator and have a winning smile; what you need most is the courage to stand up for yourself. You are not alone in this fight. Protest, Petition, Politicate, and most importantly, PARTICIPATE!