It’s a #directAction #activism initiative that deflates SUV tyres in urban areas and has upset some motorists.
dear fbi, i’m posting this so lemmings know what terrorists to avoid
Here’s a copypasta so y’all don’t have to click the link and join me and angela merkel on the nsa target list.
Locate an SUV. In towns and cities, you won’t have to walk far to find one. Target posh / middle-class areas. Unscrew the cap on the tire valve. This is usually very easy to find on the wheel. Usually, you turn the cap to the left to unscrew it, right to tighten it. Remember: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. To get the air out of the tyre, there must be something pushing down on the pin located in the center of the valve. Drop a small bean (we like green lentils, but you can experiment with couscous, bits of gravel, etc) inside the valve cap. Replace the cap, screwing it on with a few turns until you hear air hissing out. Even if it’s only hissing out a little bit, that’s enough - it will deflate slowly. The whole process should take about 10 seconds. Print this leaflet (at home, in an internet cafe, at the library, wherever) and leave it under the windscreen wipers, so that the owner is aware that the car is unusable and gets an explanation as to why this has been done. When you’re done, anonymously let the local press know what you’ve done, where you’ve done it and why. You can use a free secure email service like Protonmail or Tutanota. Send a report to email@example.com so we can keep track! Tell us roughly where it happened and how many SUVs you have disarmed. Join the Telegram group for updates. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Here’s a video demonstration.
If you like, practice on a bicycle tyre first. Work under cover of darkness. Bring some friends. Split into pairs to avoid conspicuously large groups. Hybrids and electric cars are fair game. We cannot electrify our way out of the climate crisis - there are not enough rare earth metals to replace everyone’s car and the mining of these metals causes suffering. Plus, the danger to other road users still stands, as does the air pollution (PM 2.5 pollution is still produced from tyres and brake pads). Avoid: Cars clearly used for people with disabilities, traders’ cars (even if they’re large), minibuses and normal-sized cars.
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I haven’t read much about them and personally, I’m not sure I condone this method, namely because it actually makes the car situation worse by damaging tires and rims if the rim presses against the ground (which will then be thrown in landfills and replaced), and a fuel guzzling tow truck might need to be called, and it really doesn’t contribute to less cars in general. And as another commenter pointed out, this could even reduce the legitimacy of anti-car movements, which IMO is a valid concern.
But according to Reddit, they might as well be running a puppy and kitten slaughterhouse. It’s kind of fun to watch them seethe and completely lose their facade of giving a shit about the environment whenever a picture of this group’s handiwork gets posted. But it also makes me concerned for the activists’ safety because so many people say they would beat them up or kill them if they ever caught one of them.
I’m not attacking you, I’m just going to ask purely out of my pursuit for inspiration.
What would you consider to be a better tactic that is as low risk for the activist, such that about anyone can do it, as the tyre extinguishers’ approach and that has the same potential to be decentralized and widespread as the previously mentioned group’s tactic, but that does not suffer from the shortcoming of severely antagonizing a significant amount of people and which actually has the potential for instigating change?
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I never claimed that the practice of deflating tires was any good. The question is: how do you attack the industry and motivate others to join you in your cause, and keep the industry from recovering?
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How do you think should cars and traffic be reduced?
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Writing your representative(s) about e.g. downtown restrictions of vehicular use (within reason); heavier tax on SUVs than on regular passenger cars; or if they are hybrids/BEVs, make them exempt from things like tax incentives if they happen to be SUVs and/or beyond a reasonable mass limit.
None of these things are activism, with maybe a carve-out for writing your elected representatives depending on what political culture you are in.
What we’re asking is what kinds of activism can help mitigate the damage or change the trends of car use in urban areas?
That is a very hard hitting question that I don’t think I’m qualified to answer. You’re basically asking for the holy grail of activism, which very smart people have written entire textbooks about without getting to a definite answer. The answer also changes wildly depending on circumstance, culture, societal and socioeconomic factors, etc.
I have a lot of conflictions about this personally. On the one hand, fuck cars! Especially the stupid big pickups that can kill an elephant. On the other hand, they removed the loudest whenever the are inconvenieced the slightest, and it takes away validity from the overall object of fewer cars. What are other people’s take on this?
This is inner-class warfare. If you are late to work because your tire was deflated, you have to work those hours as overtime. You have to fix the car on your dollar (not everyone has the equipment to fix even such a simple issue on their car, or the knowledge).
You might say people that buy SUVs are wealthier on average, but SUVs are pushed on consumers because there’s a higher margin for manufacturers. And it’s well known working class people buy more expensive cars (in the higher mid range like Hyundai or BMW) for status purposes. So the brand is not indicative of social class.
The message is good but the target is wrong. With that said I am partial, for example, to blocking roads which creates outrage and thus action. But deflating random peoples tires, I don’t see how that would achieve anything towards climate change. Even if “I” admitted my car is a gas guzzler, would I get rid of it to buy a smaller one? Lose money on a trade just because some rando thinks I’m hurting the environment? That’s how people will think about this.
Now if you wanted to key a Porsche or Ferrari…
I got one suggestion! If you see Elon getting out of a vehicle that he is the driver off, game on!
Probably best comment on this thread, target Porsches and Ferraris
I actually read the website you shared (I’d heard about this group before and mostly rehashed what I said back then), and honestly after reading that I can’t come out of it thinking anything other than they are self-serving individualists pretending to do some common good.
I’m not gonna do the boring thing and take their manifesto line by line, but two things jumped out at me:
How are SUV drivers unsafe? What is the metric? + if you want to fight air pollution fight corporations that pollute, don’t fight the consumer.
Then take action against the governments and politicians that have failed to protect you, not against people
Are we gonna blame the consumers for everything they do? Don’t buy new furniture, just keep the one you have, why do you want new furniture anyway? Don’t buy Coke, they hired death squads in 1998. Don’t buy BMW, they are actually a big polluter and their SUVs are bad. But Ikea, Coke, BMW? Yes please keep producing, we will win you over with our wallets you’ll see!
This is the most ineffective, self-serving type of “activism”. The liberal type.
Somehow I think the people behind this group are proponents of more police funding. Just a feeling.
And finally their whole thing about SUVs being polluters… well, yes, all cars are polluters. Do they think we magically fix CO2 emissions by switching from SUVs to sedans? People will still drive their cars just as much. You want real change, get SUVs banned. I am 100 behind that (they don’t even have 4WD anymore, not that you’d need it in urban areas).
+ their sources are hastily put together + L + ratio.
This is a bit nitpicky of me, but I think the average liberal would be opposed to this kind of direct action.
Very clearly inspired by Malm’s stories in “How to blow up a pipeline”. You love to see it.