Use the Power of Ritual


This article is excerpted from Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolutionedited by Andrew Boyd with Dave Oswald Mitchell, recently released by OR Books. The book includes contributions from some 60 activists across the continent, and was launched with a book party [unlike any other].

In my strange career as a prankster and provocateur, I’ve often gone to the well of ritual for inspiration — whether my intent has been serious or comic. I might be leading a procession of hand-made lanterns to lay at the foot of the still smoking ground zero, or posing mockingly-somber at a Billionaires for Bush’s “vigil for corporate welfare” during the Republican National Convention or even staging an elaborate 1000-person-strong exorcism to purged the commodity value out of a bunch of recycled bicycles and thereby liberate them as free anarchist transportation (we do strange things in college)… but in all these cases it’s been the conventions and power of ritual that I’ve been working off of.

So it’s no surprise that the Principle “Use the power of ritual” would be one of the very first pieces I would write for Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. I wrote it in the very early stages of the project when my co-editor and I were doing proof-of-concept of the book’s unusual modular structure. It worked, and subsequently became a model and template for the 140 other modules we were soon to invite 60 other authors to contribute to the book…