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On Monday, a previously unknown network identified as A15 Action launched what they described as an “economic blockade” seeking to “identify and blockade major choke points in the economy, focusing on points of production and circulation with the aim of causing the most economic impact” in order to “disrupt and blockade economic logistical hubs and the flow of capital.”

Disruptions took place at Chicago O’Hare and Seattle Sea-Tac Airports, where travelers were forced to abandon vehicles and run to catch flights. Key roadways were also blocked, including the Golden Gate Bridge, which remained closed for multiple hours. Major businesses were disrupted, including defense contractors that provide arms to the Israeli defense forces, but also unrelated businesses such as Tesla’s Fremont, California factory. Businesses, roads, and ports were also disrupted in multiple countries including Australia, Greece, and Ireland.

While the actions were conducted in support of the Palestinian movement, evidence indicates that the organizers were from an anarchist or Antifa orientation, and the network’s site linked to a bail fund, which played a key role in supporting the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, funded by what The Washington Free Beacon described as the “left-wing dark money behemoth” known as the Tides Center. One can thus expect future large-scale disruptive actions tied to other left-wing causes in the near future.

Most people tend to believe that these occasional protests like blocking of roads, ports, railways, and businesses are intended to produce media coverage to highlight the protesters’ political speech. But A15 Action represents a growing trend in which the disruption is itself the strategic purpose, as the organizers themselves stressed in a tweet from the network’s account, which read, “The call was a reorientation from symbolic protest to material economic blockade.”

What is the true purpose of such national and even international days of disruption? How should Americans respond?

To begin, realize that these simultaneously orchestrated national or even international campaigns have proven effective around the globe at creating the appearance of mass or widespread opposition where it does not exist. What you see are highly interconnected networks of relatively small groups of trained demonstrators, amplified by astute use of social media, not a genuine expression of popular will.

Elected officials should remember that what looks like a massive uprising is a shadow-puppet display, intended to stampede them into making rash decisions. Citizens should understand that while it may look like the whole country is falling apart, these incidents are probably not representative of their immediate neighborhoods and communities.

These acts are not intended to convince but rather to shut down the delicate but extensive infrastructure of everyday life to which normal people have become accustomed. Port blockades mean packages that aren’t delivered. Airport demonstrations result in flights missed and important business meetings canceled. Roadblocks can be frightening events that turn already-stressful commutes into multiple-hour claustrophobic nightmares. The goal of such protests is not to convince you of the righteousness of the cause but rather to condition you to accept any outcome that will make the discomfort stop.

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Kyle Shideler

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