Question the Status Quo and the Fear of Governments to People Assignment Write one paragraph of at least 150 words reacting or responding to the reading. You could write about something that shocked you, something that made you want to learn more, something that you related to, something that moved or disturbed you, something that inspired you, etc. Please don’t plagiarize. No need citation for this reading response. Here is the doucuments that you need to read. RULE 994
SHIT ITS PANTS
Those who have power need to live in fear. In fear of the peo-
ple. Meet the main characters of this chapter: power, courage,
laughter, joy, belief, and risk. The main characters may well
also be inspiration, fairness, struggle, heretics, witches, dig-
nity, faith, masks, and mischief.
Think back 120 years ago, when workers in this country
were forced to work seven days a week, fourteen hours a
day…. Think about the childrenten, eleven years of age,
losing fingers in factories, and what the working people of
this country said. Sorry, we are human beings, we are not
beasts of burden. We are going to form trade unions and
BERNIE SANDERS, SPEECH IN CARSON, CALIFORNIA,
MAY 17, 2016
This is why is important to remember that the New Deal
od not come only from kindly elites handing it down from
og but also because those elites were under motive
NOM LEIN, QUOTED IN HUFFINGTON POST
5 MAKE YOUR GOVERNMENT SHIT ITS PANTS
DECEMBER 3, 2003
really has no clothes,
Question The sTaTuS QUO
Your job is to ask annoying questions.
Elites don’t enjoy resistance, and they respond by getting an-
gry and taking revenge. By not accepting their rules, we cause
them greater damage than their revenge causes us, because it
starts to dawn on everyone in your vicinity that the emperor
We must reclaim language and ideals that the government
has stolen from us. Those in government claim to be the real
patriots,” but they lie, cheat, and steal. They claim to care
about religion, but they break every commandment. They say
they represent the people, but they care only about their own
wealth. They judge, condemn, and kill. “It is important for peo-
ple to consider that authoritarianism, though it claims all the
national symbols, is not patriotism,” notes the historian and
approach people on the street to ask them, “What is life, dig.
Socrates did it. He was a bizarre bearded creature who’d
ning and love?” These were fair questions, but the government
didn’t feel like letting Socrates do his thing. The government
rarely approves of the sort of dangerous, subversive ac.
tivity that’s called thinking. The government always feels
Yale professor Timothy Snyder.
Pussy Riot started doing political punk because our state
system was rigid, closed, and dominated by castes. In Russia,
suspicious when someone behaves like a free person. And
Socrates ended up being sentenced to death and forced to
There is power in asking simple questions. Dear Mr. Presi-
dent, if you’re so powerful, rich, and smart, why are your peo-
ple living in poverty? Why is the snow in my hometown black?
Did journalists who report on pollution deserve to be beaten
current policy is dictated by the narrow corporate interests of
a handful of officials to such a degree that the air itself hurts us,
making us feel as if we had been skinned.
What we were looking for was real sincerity and simplicity,
and we found them in our punk performances. Passion, can-
dor, and naïveté are superior to hypocrisy, deceit, and feigned
modesty. Take childish, anarchic freedom with
life carries you. Take it with you to the streets, take it to dusty
prison cells. Humor, buffoonery, and irreverence can be used
to reach the truth. The truth is many sided, and many different
people lay claim to it. Challenge your government’s version
of the truth, tell your own, and if you can, damn the conse-
Their goal is to make you believe that it’s in your best in
terests to maintain the status quo. Your goal is to make them
scared. Force them to share with you what they have-power,
capital, and control over natural resources,
DONT Talk Baby Talk
We looked around us and did not see a willingness to sa
to be humble to be aggressive and fight, that combination
me and dissimilar states of being in whose absence
woulder brede from tapeworms. We examined the
world where I had expected to see madness and the search
for the absolute. We found hundreds of people leading a com
Grabie stence, people who knew how to do nothing except
ply being bohemians without being real bohemians (if the
suchenticity of bohemians is measured by the degree of their
memal assent, their anguish, and the sharpness with which
% MAKE YOUR GOVERNMENT SHIT ITS PANTS
a high-voltage charge.
We taught ourselves to evade the police by rolling under a
car in three seconds. We could jump into Dumpsters while on
the run and cover ourselves with garbage at one fell swoop.
We were ready for the eventuality that when we climbed the
government’s six-meter-high fence, we would be zapped with
About eight hours before the practice run, we realized that
most of the participants had wimped out. One person had di-
arrhea; another was having her period. Someone was found
drunk. We had to find people to replace the wimps. We split
into groups and began combing the city.
I asked students at a contemporary art school, the Rod-
chenko School of Photography and Multimedia. It was my first
time there. I approached a group of students sipping tea on the
they perceive reality)
So if it didn’t exist, we sought to create something that can
have at least the tiniest resemblance to what we were looking
for in the art world
Here are a few of the earliest actions.
TEST OF THE WHITE HOUSE, NOVEMBER 7, 2008
LOCATIE RUSSIAN WHITE HOUSE
SIZE OF THE SKULL PROJECTED ON THE RUSSIAN WHITE HOUSE: 60 x 40 METERS
We have our own Russian White House. It stands on the banks
of the Moscow River. In 2008, Putin, who was then the Russian
prime minister, controlled the White House, the seat of the
Russian government. We set ourselves a goal. On Revolution
Day, November 7, we would project a gigantic Jolly Roger, sixty
by forty meters, on the White House with a laser cannon, and
then a team of us would storm the White House by climbing
over the six-meter high fence surrounding it.
“Who is going with us to storm the White House today?”
“What would we need to do?”
“We are going to go to the White House, project a skull and
crossbones on it, then climb over the fence onto the grounds.”
“Has this been cleared with the administration?” a female
student asked me.
“Of course not. That’s the whole point.”
The students remained silent and continued to suck on their
tea. I threw on my coat and headed for the door.
When and where do we meet?” said one
of them, suddenly approaching me. His springy gait, like that
of a wild animal, gave him away as someone who had physical
training and stamina.
“Come with me now.”
calling a restaurant Oprichnik is like naming a nightclub Ausch-
ropes. This reign of terror was called the oprichnina. In Russia,
He left the Rodchenko School together. I traveled to the
White House with this guy whose name was Roma. That er
people who managed to get over the six-meter-high fence that
ning we gave him a new name, Bomber. He was one of the
might and after dashing across the grounds of the Government.
House, successfully disappeared amid Moscow’s courtyarde
White House was flooded with green rays from the roof of
Ar four in the morning, the dark canvas of the Russian
che Hotel Ukraina, opposite the White House on the other side
of the Moscow River, and the Jolly Roger was traced on the
building. The group of shock troops ran across the porch of
the Government House and, after jumping from a height of six
3 MAKE YOUR GOVERNMENT SHIT ITS PANTS
witz in Germany
garages and snowdrifts.
We practiced welding doors in the tank-strewn back alleys
of Victory Park in Moscow. Day by day, a handful of people
learned how to weld in the freezing December weather amid
Our activist collective had split into two parts.
The first was the industrial workers. We were in charge of
the physical work-finding a huge pile of metal and welding
it to the door of our restaurant. We had a wide range of en-
gaged citizens: anarchists, social democrats, feminists, advo-
cates for transgender rights, and those who simply shared our
general irritation with Vladimir Putin. Weirdly enough, years
afterward I found out that one of those anti-Putin activists
meters, fled the scene.
Several minutes later, burly government security guards ap-
peared on the grounds of the White House, scouring every
thing in the vicinity with long-range searchlights looking like
dozens of pillars of light bustling around the building.
CLOSING OF THE FASCIST RESTAURANT OPRICHNIK, DECEMBER 2008
LOCATION: THE MOSCOW RESTAURANT OPRICHNIK, OWNED BY PRO-PUTIN,
ULTRACONSERVATIVE JOURNALIST MIKHAIL LEONTYEV
The restaurant Oprichnik opened in Moscow. We immediately
set ourselves the goal of closing it by welding a metal plate to
the front door. Why?
In the sixteenth century, Ivan the Terrible used the opri-
chnina to advance his policies in Russia. To wit, he stabbed,
hacked, hanged, and poured boiling water on his enemies. Ivan
and his oprichniks used red-hot frying pans, ovens, tongs, and
was secretly super-conservative, and the nature of his disap-
proval of Putin was that Putin was not tough enough. Well,
The second half of our group was a distraction group. Their
role was to enter the restaurant and play a drunken crowd to
attract the attention of security workers. The action was to
happen at the end of December, close to New Year’s eve, so the
distracters were dressed as bunnies, kitties, and Santa Clauses.
We rehearsed a song that our crew would start to sing when
welding started. They had to sing super loud, otherwise secu-
rity would hear the welding and prevent the action.
Finally, one more activist, a prominent organizer of LGBTQ
prides in Moscow, had to stand on the street corner, close to the
restaurant, to hand passersby stickers on LGBTQ issues. His
mission was to distract potential secret or not-so-secret polis
char shameful restaurant. We came back there after the action
And you know, we did it, we did it successfully-we dones
at night, after a few hours had passed, to take a look at them
trying to tear our welded sheet of metal from their door and
Now the restaurant is completely gone. Sometimes I walk
down that street and wonder whether that’s connected with
through your backpack?) and set it off. A layer of colored foil
during a performance without stopping the show to rummage
and paper covered stunned passengers, who pressed the “re-
cord” button on their phones and pointed them at us.
Nearly every performance ended with our being detained
after we descended the scaffolding,
We looked really strange at police stations, wearing torn
bright pantyhose and white lace-up Doc Martens and lug.
ging huge hiking backpacks with bundles of cables poking
out of them. Bored cops would come out of their offices to
– MAKE YOUR GOVERNMENT SHIT ITS PANTS
our action or not.
ANT IN ACTION
gawk at us.
The urban environment is highly underrated as a venue for
exhibiting artworks. The subway, trolleybuses, store count-
ers, Red Square. Who else has such colorful and spectacular
We debuted with a tour of public transport. We discovered
Once, while we were rehearsing “Putin Has Pissed Him-
self,” the speakers started to burn and smoke. This apparently
was a sign from above that he really had pissed himself.
that the best times for performing on public transport are
the morning and evening rush hours. We performed under the
arches of the Soviet underground and atop trolleybuses. With
all our equipment (guitars, microphone stands, amps) in tow,
we clambered atop scaffolds that had been erected to
lightbulbs in the middle of subway stations.
In the middle of a song. I would rip open a pillow, and feath-
ers would rain down on the subway station, then be wafted
upward again and again by the currents of air that accompany
the trains in the underground tunnels. I would pull a large
firecracker filled with multicolored confetti from my panties
(Where else can you store it if you need to pull it out quickly
PUTIN HAS PISSED HIMSELF
A column of rebels heads to the Kremlin
Windows explode in FSB offices
Behind red walls the sons of bitches piss themselves
Riot proclaims, All systems abort!
Dissatisfaction with male hysteria culture
Savage leaderism ravages people’s brains
The Orthodox religion of the stiff penis
The patients are asked to swallow conformity
Hit the streets
Live on Red Square
Show the freedom of
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