In a development that may portend extended disruptions, veteran street organizer Lisa Fithian, previously dubbed “Professor Occupy,” recently trained Ferguson protesters how to “simulate chaos.”
Fithian is a legendary organizer who once announced she seeks to “create crisis, because crisis is that edge where change is possible.”
She was one of the luminaries of the Occupy Wall Street movement and was a lead organizer in the infamous 1999 Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization that descended into violence.
The 1999 WTO event in Seattle devolved into widespread rioting in which more than 40,000 protesters, some using violent tactics, descended on the city, prompting police to use tear gas and rubber bullets. The clash became known as “The Battle of Seattle.”
According to Discover the Networks, Fithian specializes in aggressive “direct action” tactics.
Prior to the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting case, Fithian was interviewed Nov. 14 on NPR.
NPR host Emanuele Berry stated Fithian was “leading a training session for demonstrators, instructing a hundred people to shuffle through a small lime green room in the back of a nonprofit office, simulating chaos.”
Foreshadowing chaos that she herself may have helped to provoke with the training, Fithian warned, “Now does anybody think that when this non-decision comes down that it might be a little crazy like that out there?”
Discover the Networks, meanwhile, notes Fithian previously provided training and support for the controversial ACORN group, National People’s Action, the new version of the Students for a Democratic Society, among other radical organizations.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.