A barrel, a bat and a sly sense of humor. Who’d have thought that these would be the ingredients of a civil resistance tactic? If you’ve already met Ivan Marovic, one of the founders of Serbia’s Otpor movement, then you wouldn’t be surprised…

During this session, Ivan shared his “A Barrel of Laughs” story to preface his presentation on strategies and tactics of civil resistance this morning. We’ll leave it up to the video to recount the story, but the punchline — at least the one with educational value for activists and movements — is that dilemma actions can be an effective civil resistance tactic. Using creativity and humor, movements can carry out public actions that make the police second guess what their chiefs are asking them to do to repress protesters (i.e. arrests, beatings).

So…. you try!

Take-home tip: Some movements link dilemma actions to holidays to boost publicity; for example, organizing a sit-in on Christmas and participating dressed as Santa Claus and elves. If arrested, it looks like police are arresting Father Christmas and his do-gooders.