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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?

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.

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?

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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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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…

@meloo
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@meloo
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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:

We are defending ourselves against climate change, air pollution and unsafe drivers.

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.

We’re taking this action because governments and politicians have failed to protect us from these huge vehicles. Everyone hates them, apart from the people who drive them.

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.

We want to live in towns and cities with clean air and safe streets.

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.

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Very clearly inspired by Malm’s stories in “How to blow up a pipeline”. You love to see it.

This community exists as a sister community/copycat community to the r/fuckcars subreddit.

This community exists for the following reasons:

  • to raise awareness around the dangers, inefficiencies and injustice that can come from car dependence.
  • to allow a place to discuss and promote more healthy transport methods and ways of living.

You can find the Matrix chat room for this community here.

Rules

  1. Be nice to each other. Being aggressive or inflammatory towards other users will get you banned. Name calling or obvious trolling falls under that. Hate cars, hate the system, but not people. While some drivers definitely deserve some hate, most of them didn’t choose car-centric life out of free will.

  2. No bigotry or hate. Racism, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, homophobia, chauvinism, fat-shaming, body-shaming, stigmatization of people experiencing homeless or substance users, etc. are not tolerated. Don’t use slurs. You can laugh at someone’s fragile masculinity without associating it with their body. The correlation between car-culture and body weight is not an excuse for fat-shaming.

  3. Stay on-topic. Submissions should be on-topic to the externalities of car culture in urban development and communities globally. Posting about alternatives to cars and car culture is fine. Don’t post literal car fucking.

  4. No traffic violence. Do not post depictions of traffic violence. NSFW or NSFL posts are not allowed. Gawking at crashes is not allowed. Be respectful to people who are a victim of traffic violence or otherwise traumatized by it. News articles about crashes and statistics about traffic violence are allowed. Glorifying traffic violence will get you banned.

  5. No reposts. Before sharing, check if your post isn’t a repost. Reposts that add something new are fine. Reposts that are sharing content from somewhere else are fine too.

  6. No misinformation. Masks and vaccines save lives during a pandemic, climate change is real and anthropogenic - and denial of these and other established facts will get you banned. False or highly speculative titles will get your post deleted.

  7. No harassment. Posts that (may) cause harassment, dogpiling or brigading, intentionally or not, will be removed. Please do not post screenshots containing uncensored usernames. Actual harassment, dogpiling or brigading is a bannable offence.

Please report posts and comments that violate our rules.

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