Network Contagion Research Institute: helping the state fight political infection left and right

Network Contagion Research Institute: helping the state fight political infection left and right

A new “anti-hate” think tank says anarcho-socialists are almost as dangerous as genocidal racists. This article from Matthew Lyons first appeared on Three-Way Fight.

In the opening scene of Costa-Gavras’s classic film Z, about the lead-up to the 1967 military coup in Greece, the chief of police (referred to as the General) addresses a gathering of senior government officials on the “ideological disease” he sees threatening their nation. “It is caused by harmful germs and various parasites,” such as socialism, anarchism, beatniks, and pacifist tendencies. “Infection from ideological mildew” must be “fought preventively” by “the spraying of humans with appropriate mixtures”—indoctrination via schooling, military service, and leafleting the peasantry. In addition, the General declares, opponents of the left—who represent “the healthy parts of our society” or “antibodies”—must be used to “combat and eradicate all diseases.” As the film unfolds, we learn that the disease eradication he has in mind consists of physically breaking up leftist gatherings, beating up anti-war protesters, and murdering their leaders.

I’m repeatedly reminded of this scene when reading the work of the Network Contagion Research Institute, whose very name depicts harmful politics as ideological disease. The NCRI aims to “track and expose the epidemic of virtual deception, manipulation, and hate, as it spreads between social media communities and into the real world.” One of the institute’s “Contagion and Ideology Reports” characterizes disinformation and distrust as “a virus that knows no race, that consumes the poor and rich, that infects and kills people of any political persuasion.” Another report warns that “viral ideologies infect mainstream communities” and urges the use of “information vaccines” as protection. Costa-Gavras’s slightly fictionalized police chief would have been right at home with this discourse.

To be sure, the NCRI has given Costa-Gavras’s General a 21st century upgrade: The think tank doesn’t endorse non-state violence, and the “unhealthy” ideas it aims to stamp out emanate from the right as well as the left. But in other ways, the two are strikingly similar. Like the General, the NCRI is a mouthpiece for the state security apparatus and its commitment to defend the established order. Like the General, the NCRI uses the language of epidemiology to strip threatening ideas of both political content and historical context, reduce people who embrace these ideas to passive vessels, and give its own political project a false veneer of scientific objectivity.


NCRI maps the dissemination of slurs and memes with charts similar to this social network analysis.

Anti-hate politics meets big data

The Network Contagion Research Institute was founded in 2018 and is based at Rutgers University under the directorship of Princeton psychologist and neuroscientist Joel Finkelstein. The institute studies how so-called political extremism spreads and develops via social media. The NCRI hosts webinars, offers a college-level training program in “cyber social network threat detection and strategy,” and has published a series of reports on topics such as COVID-19 disinformation, anti-Asian and anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, the Militia and Boogaloo movements, QAnon, and “militant anarcho-socialist networks.”

The NCRI uses a variety of research techniques, but its special sauce is large-scale quantitative analysis of slurs, memes, and code words. With data sets that consist in some cases of tens of millions of social media posts, institute staff and fellows track the frequency with which specific terms appear on various platforms over time. They correlate these patterns with real-world events, measure the spread of hateful ideas from fringe platforms such as 4chan to mainstream ones such as Twitter, and map associations between different frequently used terms to highlight changes in rhetoric and perhaps ideology. For example, the NCRI’s report on COVID disinformation used such data analysis to argue that in early 2021 conspiracist opposition to vaccines and public health restrictions was being subsumed into a larger, overarching conspiracy theory about a tyrannical New World Order government—and also that anti-vaccine protests tended to occur in counties where intimidation was used against Black Lives Matter protesters.

I’m not a data scientist, and I’m not going to comment on the NCRI’s quantitative methodologies. Yet despite the institute’s seeming technical sophistication, its underlying analytic framework is quite crude and weak. The NCRI uses the “hate” framework that has been promoted by the Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, and others. Kay Whitlock offers an incisive critique:

“In U.S. progressive politics the hate frame has four main assumptions: First, that hate is rooted purely in irrational, personal prejudice and fear and loathing of difference. In fact, it’s also rooted in ideologies and supremacy, in a historical and cultural context. Second, that hate is hate, and the specificities don’t matter. Third, that the politics of hate is about that crazy irrational feeling, which is caused by personal prejudice gone amok. In this view, hate is not about structures, not about power hierarchies, not about institutional practice. Finally, that hate is perpetrated by extremists, misfits, and loners who are violating agreed-upon standards of fairness, and that hate violence is unacceptable and abhorrent to respectable society.

“In fact, what is called ‘hate violence’—violence directed at vulnerable and marginalized groups—is not abhorrent to respectable society. On the contrary, respectable society has provided the models, policies, and practices that marginalize people of color, queers, disabled people, and in many respects, women. The hate frame disappears considerations of structural violence and substitutes in their place the idea that there are these crazed extremists, and that’s who we have to go after.”

Hate frame assumptions are integral to the NCRI approach. NCRI draws a neat division between hateful and non-hateful speech, with no concern for the variety of ideologies underlying such speech or the historical context in which it arises. In NCRI reports, for example, you’ll find lots of references to racist expression, but no discussion of the differences and relationships between genocidal white supremacism, Proud Boys-style “western chauvinism,” and Oath Keepers-style color-blind ideology—and certainly no discussion of how all of these are rooted in a system of racial oppression that has always been central to U.S. society.

As Whitlock argues elsewhere, the hate frame also treats violence against oppressed groups as a problem to be solved with more policing and longer prison terms—without addressing the ways that police and prisons are themselves active perpetrators of systemic violence against oppressed groups on a massive scale. This too, is reflected in the NCRI approach, which is largely geared toward bolstering law enforcement. The institute’s report on the Boogaloo meme, for example, urges law enforcement agencies to “develop large scale and data-driven approaches and central information-sharing capacity” to track and analyze Boogaloo-type threats—in other words, embrace the NCRI methodology as their own.

The NCRI’s use of the hate framework is particularly egregious because the institute applies it to the radical left as well as the far right. The NCRI’s report on “militant anarcho-socialist networks” repeatedly uses language that links and equates leftists with far rightists. For example, the report refers to anti-police slogans such as ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) and FTP (Fuck the Police) as “hateful codewords and memes” —putting them in the same category as calls to gas the Jews. The report claims that leftists—like far rightists—demonize and dehumanize political opponents, promote “classic authoritarian narratives,” and advocate “violent insurgency.” A table summarizing their findings asserts that “Anarcho-Socialist extremists” have displayed all or nearly all the same characteristics as Jihadis and Boogaloo: expressing “apocalyptic beliefs,” “utopian legends/narratives,” and “martyr narratives”; using online propaganda and private or fringe internet forums; organizing armed militias; and carrying out “lone-wolf terror attacks.” The only one they’re unsure about is whether leftists have carried out “cell-like terror attacks.”

The equation of right-wing and left-wing violence is fundamentally dishonest for two reasons, as Kristian Williams has argued. First, rightists in the U.S. have carried out far more terrorist attacks than leftists, as the eminently non-leftist Center for Strategic and International Studies has documented. Second, in Williams’s words, whatever tactical or ethical disagreements we may have with leftist attacks, “there can be no equivalency between the violence of a slave revolt and the violence of a slave master, between the violence of anti-fascists and that of the Atomwaffen Division.” The NCRI report on anarcho-socialists doesn’t acknowledge any of that, but its authors do maintain a figleaf of deniability with a footnote cautioning that “This analysis does not suggest that violence from anarcho-socialist militants has yet become as widespread as an organized Jihadi group nor does it have the death toll or historical reach that right-leaning extremism has in the U.S. However, anarcho-socialist bloodshed has been historically substantial on other continents and Western countries.”

The same report also promotes the bogus claim, which has been made by both conservatives and some liberals, that the mass-based riots and violent anti-police activism that followed George Floyd’s murder in 2020 were instigated by a few leftist agitators. The report asserts that small groups of activists such as the Portland Youth Liberation Front were able to “mobilize lawlessness and violence” through sophisticated use of online communication to call up a “network-enabled mob” in numerous cities simultaneously. In other words, a think tank that claims to be combating the spread of harmful conspiracy theories is itself replicating a classic conspiracist myth that has been used to demonize leftists for generations.

Toward a centrist anti-hate coalition

Although the NCRI is a relative newcomer to the extremist-monitoring field, its institutional credentials and impressive-sounding methodology have given it a prominent “expert” status for major media organs such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. The NCRI describes itself as “a neutral and independent third party whose mission it is to track, expose, and combat misinformation, deception, manipulation, and hate across social media channels,” assuring us further that it has “no political agenda, profit motive, or university reporting obligations.” A more honest description—based on its list of staff and advisors—would be that NCRI represents a convergence of academia (mainly psychologists and artificial intelligence experts), big tech (notably Google’s director of research), and security agencies (with current or former people from the U.S. military, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency, New York City Police Department, and private firms).

In addition to Rutgers, the NCRI lists “affiliations” with three entities: the Anti-Defamation League, Open Society Foundations, and Charles Koch Foundation. The ADL is one of the most prominent watchdog groups monitoring the U.S. far right, but it’s no friend of the left. The organization has long misused the charge of antisemitism to attack Palestinians, Palestine solidarity activists, anti-racist activists, and others. In the 1990s, it was revealed that the ADL had spied on a wide range of progressive organizations for decades; as recently as 2017 it publicly urged the FBI to spy on antifa groups, a call it later retracted.

The combination of Open Society and Koch foundations is pivotal to the NCRI brand. Open Society (George Soros’s grant-giving network) figures in countless right-wing conspiracy theories while Koch is one of the most hated capitalist names on the left, so by listing the two together the NCRI declares that it transcends political divisions by bringing together staunch liberals and conservatives. Put slightly differently, the combination of Soros and Koch support evokes an attempt to foster a broad—but anti-Trump—coalition within the ruling class. (Contrary to what some leftists have claimed, the Koch network never supported Trump and rejected his positions on both immigration and trade.)

The NCRI’s approach dovetails with centrist efforts to woo hardline conservatives away from Trumpism, as witness the institute’s recruitment of former Republican Congressmember Denver Riggleman to its advisory team. In Congress Riggleman was a member of the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus, but he lost his 2020 re-election bid after officiating at a same-sex wedding. Last month the New York Times profiled Riggleman as a courageous opponent of conspiracy-mongering under the title “One Republican’s Lonely Fight Against a Flood of Disinformation.”

Complementing its recruitment of Riggleman, the NCRI has recruited former leftist Alexander Reid-Ross as a senior research fellow. He is the lead author on the NCRI’s COVID disinformation report and a contributing author on at least one other of the institute’s studies. Reid-Ross, who teaches geography at Portland State University and used to moderate the Earth First! Newswire, has had significant influence on many liberal and leftist antifascists with his 2017 book Against the Fascist Creep and numerous articles on related topics. Although he has raised important issues, such as collusion between sections of the left and fascists, his past work is a mixed bag; one 2017 review of Against the Fascist Creep rightly faulted Reid-Ross for using guilt by association, name dropping, and just plain bad writing. In any case, by signing on with NCRI he has repudiated the left, yet his background helps burnish the NCRI’s image as an inclusive home for anti-“hate” scholars of every persuasion.

Larger trends

The Network Contagion Research Institute’s rise reflects larger trends. One of these is the drive to apply big data analysis to the study of political propaganda and social media. There’s a growing body of academic articles based on such studies, most of which have been published in the past five years, and there are other outfits besides NCRI supporting comparable work, such as the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. In principle this approach could yield valuable insights, but its potential is radically compromised when it is based on an analytic framework that shields established systems of power and oppression from critique. Such political bias seems unlikely to change, given the technical and institutional infrastructure required to support big data analysis.

Another trend, in the wake of Trump’s downfall, is the drive by a resurgent centrist establishment to harness anti-bigotry and anti-fascism to its own ends. As Faramarz Farbod recently outlined, the resulting top-down “liberal/centrist anti-fascist discourse” poses a number of dangers: blaming Trump without explaining the conditions that made him popular, reproducing the myth that the United States is a democracy, ignoring the far right’s roots in U.S. society and the establishment’s own complicity in the rise of violent reactionary forces at home and abroad, and expanding the powers of the national security state. The NCRI is rooted firmly in this discourse.

The NCRI’s efforts to lump together far rightist and radical leftist politics into the same “hate” category embodies an important theme of centrist anti-fascism. We see a similar approach in a recent threat assessment report on “domestic violent extremism” by the U.S. director of national intelligence, which President Biden requested shortly after taking office. The DNI’s report divides “domestic violent extremists” into five categories: “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists,” “Animal Rights/Environmental Violent Extremists,” “Abortion-Related Violent Extremists,” “Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Violent Extremists” and all others. Kristian Williams comments:

“The most striking thing about this classification system...is its perverse refusal to divide between left and right, instead grouping opposing sides together under other categories. Right-wing militias, sovereign citizens and anarchists, for example, are all listed under ‘Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Violent Extremists.’ Racist and anti-racist violence is compressed into ‘Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists.’

“‘Abortion-Related Violent Extremists’ includes both those ‘in support of pro-life and pro-choice beliefs’—despite the fact that the FBI cannot point to any pro-choice violence that escalated above the level of online threats, while anti-abortion fanatics have murdered 11 people and attempted to kill 26 more since 1993.”

These categories don’t reflect intellectual sloppiness, but rather a deliberate distortion of reality to demonize leftists and protect the established order. It’s an analytic approach we need to expose and critique, along with the Network Contagion Research Institute’s pseudo-objective ideology and the state repression agenda it serves.

Posted By

R Totale
May 12 2021 08:00

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  • For example, the report refers to anti-police slogans such as ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) and FTP (Fuck the Police) as “hateful codewords and memes” —putting them in the same category as calls to gas the Jews.

    Matthew Lyons

Attached files

Comments

Red Marriott
May 12 2021 10:43

A. Reid-Ross has been shown to distort history to suit his own ideological agenda, as seen in this article and the debate below it here:
https://libcom.org/blog/anarchosyndicalism-against-fascism-response-rece...

Also interesting that the 2nd Int. marxist kingzog, another participant in that debate who also unconvincingly tried to show a correlation between fascism and anarcho-syndicalism, was a few months later reported to have 'correlated' himself with the far-right:

Quote:
admin - the poster 'kingzog' on this thread was banned due to their comments on it. They have continued their slide to the far right and were recently seen participating in a public outreach action of Identity Evropa's. IE is an American fascist/neo-Nazi organization started by Iraq War vet, Nathan Domingo. https://libcom.org/forums/news/migrants-sexual-violence-19042016

jc
Jul 11 2021 20:11
Quote:
the NCRI has recruited former leftist Alexander Reid-Ross

OMG what???? Just the other day I was looking back over the Schmidt fiasco. Thinking "yes Schmidt was a wrongun but it feels like there is something deeply wrong about the way ARR went about it...". Not sure whether to dismiss myself as crazy, and then THIS comes out!

He didn't warn any of the black people in proximity to Schmidt, didn't do anything to help organisations reeling from the news. Instead he released his evidence in a parts, like a TV-series that ends each episode on a cliffhanger. Sensationalising the whole thing and making sure his name was all over it, of course.

At first I thought this was just self-promotion. Another middle-class academic out to sell copies of his book. But there were hints that there was more to it than that. Dragging African anarchist organisations through the mud. His choice of targets - discrediting anarchism that includes class in it's intersectionality (class was central to the original idea ALONGSIDE race and gender - but is increasingly being left out). Not only that, but an anarchism that was showing real promise of international mobilising in the midst of austerity and crisis. In my opinion he tacitly encouraged people to see this as a critique of all kinds of syndicalism and communist anarchism.

Then there is the context, the other things happening in those years which this needs to be seen in light of. The splits in the CNT and IWA. The TERF movement in the UK, which was timed almost perfectly to fracture organisations like AFed. I'll point out that while people who supported the TERF intervention at the London Anarchist Bookfair have all been named, I've never once seen the instigators come forward. Curious, isn't it?

In the period before this, probably from 2009-2014, there was another constant drama. This time, driving a wedge between "insurectionary" and "class struggle" anarchists. I have no doubt that the state played a hand in that one. A lot of indymedia comments, later pulled up by different sides as "evidence" that the other was terrible, could easily have been written by the police. Iirc UK Indymedia had positive proof that some of the comments on their site came from government IP addresses. Another example is "Aufhebengate", which I never once saw a shred of evidence for, only rumors among insurrectionaries that libcom and others were somehow collaborating with the state (!!). This culminated in the 2014 repression in Bristol, which in a way was a spectacular failure - it's the first time I saw an anti-repression campaign there that openly came out and said blaming other anarchists is not on and we need to stand together against the police. (Unfortunately it was too little too late, and the squatting movement was already in a decline spurred on by the police and the council. But that's another story for another time...)

And then in come reformist organisations in the UK like Corbyn's labour, to mop up all the people tired of this, stringing them along in a wild goose chase for political power. It was all very convenient.

What I'm trying to say here, is there have been attempts over many years to fragment the anarchist movement into smaller and smaller pieces that could be picked off one by one. And willing or not, ARR was complicit in that. It was subtle, and he was probably right about Schmidt, but the way he went about it did a lot of harm to the movement he was "defending". Now he has taken this job, I have to wonder if it was deliberate all along.

I'm not saying any of this is coordinated - only that it's the oldest trick in the book, which isolated police units and careerists are sure to have decided on independently (it would be a surprise if they DIDN'T!)

In the UK, what's next? If I had to guess, there are two fronts we'll be hit on. Firstly, separating people involved in the Kurdhish struggle from the rest of the anarchist movement. Occalan's criticism of anarchism was (in my opinion) very fair for the time it was written, given that he was imprisoned at the time and unable to go see for himself - but the rigid way it mischaracterises the movement today could be worked on to manufacture a sense of discontent with UK anarchism.They may push people to apply tactics used in Kurdistan uncritically without adapting them to our own situation (eg "People in Turkey vote for the HDP, so we should vote for Labour!"). If they play on the PTSD of people returning from Rojava to create a sense of isolation then I think this could be very effective. Class struggle organisations here should make more effort to have good connections with Kurdish solidarity groups to stop this from happening, and we should try to emphasise the flexible elements of democratic confederalism like self-criticism and adapting politics to real situations, as much as possible.

Secondly, I see people being funneled into membership organisations that have radical *members* but practise reformism like encouraging people to vote. There's two problems here. The first is that this puts all our eggs in one basket, and these organisations can be broken overnight by spreading rumors and going after a few people. That could drive away the mass membership, if the timing was right. They would wait until all the smaller and more radical organisations have disappeared, then strike. Before driving wedges between people internally, they will cause divisions and resentment between organisations. This is already happening, when the bigger groups refuse to work with or acknowledge smaller more radical unions. This could escalate into seeking and exploiting internal divisions: the drive to keep "purists" out could easily push them in a more reformist direction, or else lead to splits on political issues that bubble beneath the surface. If we are going to head that off, there needs to be more emphasis on building a MOVEMENT of tenants and workers, rather than calls like "join this union and it will fix your life". We need to emphasise that this is bigger than any one organisation, we need to work together and get comfortable with organising people who will never join an organisation. After all, some of the most important disputes in trade union history weren't part of a formal union! If we shift the focus to movements rather than memberships then it becomes harder to divide people based on perceived grievances, and easier to build new organisations from the ashes when one dies or goes reformist. One organisation may die but the social relationships we built along the way will live on. An informal workers' movement is the base we should be seeking to build first and foremost.

Red Marriott
Jul 12 2021 12:13
jc wrote:
Another example is "Aufhebengate", which I never once saw a shred of evidence for, only rumors among insurrectionaries that libcom and others were somehow collaborating with the state (!!).

This shows your complete lack of understanding of Aufhebengate and so casts doubt on all your other speculations. This article was written by, not insurrectionists, but people actively engaged in trying to create the "informal workers movement" you desire; http://libcom.org/library/profression-movement
Here's "a shred of evidence" you never saw:

Quote:
Dr John Drury, from the University of Sussex, led an investigation into the early phases of the riots in Tottenham Hale and Haringey.
Speaking the British Science Festival at the University of Brighton, he said: "This riot saw traditional post-code rivalries melt away in the face of a common enemy in the police, and the emergence of a new shared identity. Our research shows for the first time how that happened.
"Police forces and others may feel that they understand how gang mentalities work but our findings show that at times like this, a fresh sense of community can break down existing loyalties.
"We're talking to police forces and councils about what our research shows. We hope that those responsible for law enforcement and keeping communities safe will take stock."

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/london-riots-were-fueled-by-a-warp...

R Totale
Jul 12 2021 18:58

Interesting comments, a lot to take in there - virtually a whole article in its own right. A few thoughts:
I think the bar for accusing someone of being a state agent should be set very high and I don't think ARR's pre-NCRI work meets it. I think his bad decisions are pretty much all explainable by being a careerist rather than anything else, which in turn means that there's arguably parallels between him and the good Dr JD - both would-be radicals who are also trying to build public brands in a field that rewards liberalism.

Not sure what you mean about the terf intervention at the anarchist bookfair, I thought the person handing out the leaflets was always fairly open about their identity (at the time she was a Green Party aspiring politician, she's now been kicked out).

On Aufhebengate, I think that as RM says the basic facts about the central person's work are pretty clear. Although I suppose there's room for interpretation as to how much significance people place on those facts and the wider lessons they draw.

On current state repressive strategy, rather than write anything long about it now, here's threads about two ongoing cases that I think are worth paying attention to:
https://libcom.org/forums/news/mi5-operation-against-new-ira-21092020
https://libcom.org/forums/news/nostatenet-server-seized-dutch-police-060...

Fwiw, I've seen virtually no discussion in the anarchist milieu about either of those cases, unless it's being had privately and I've just missed it? The Issam Hijjawi prosecution sounds very dodgy indeed from what I've seen:
https://www.sacc.org.uk/press/2020/sacc-statement-arrest-issam-hijjawi

jc
Jul 17 2021 23:11

Thanks for your replies R Totale and Red Marriott

I'll have to eat my words re Aufhebengate! No idea how I didn't find that article before, or something like it. It turns out that the best way to answer a question is to make wild accusations on the internet tongue

Same re the TERFs at the bookfair, though it's true I never saw them named by anarchists before (maybe I missed it?). It IS interesting that this one was Green Party though, and seemingly went to the anarchist bookfair to create a reaction.

Looking back over articles and comments as I write this I'd forgotten how bad it all got. Overall though, it looks less like a case of manufactured conflict, and more like pre-existing conflict was expanded and pushed further. I want to think it was all the state that did that, but there ARE people who just cause trouble for the sake of it.

Maybe we need a new way to see all this? As well as state-infiltrators, we also have class-infiltrators. People who are essentially middle-class, and end up acting in all the ways that police spies do, to further the interests of their own class. It doesn't have to be deliberate or even conscious, there are ways we unknowingly promote our own interests too. All these academics, whether that's ARR or JD, could be seen in that light. The same with the Green Party candidate who sabotaged the anarchist bookfair. We could even expand the concept to gender. Abusers and rapists use the exact same kind of divide and rule as cops. In that case, it's often completely deliberate. What I'm saying is, if we can find some way to shut down that behavior - no matter whether it's done to promote a book or to spy on the movement or cover up abuse - that can only be a good thing.

I'd better start with some self-critique though, because I'm being a hypocrite now. I shouldn't have implied that ARR may be a state agent, and I drifted into the realm of conspiracy-theory in my last post.

Looking at the way Aufehebengate was able to spread, that was a total mess - from "this one academic is bad" to "aufheben is bad" to "libcom is bad" and even in one case "libcom is just a front for solfed, so solfed is bad too". ARRs exposure of Schmidt could have gone the same way (and maybe it did?). How do we stop that? No matter whether it's state-run or accidental it's clearly going to happen again so we should be prepared for it.

Re those server seizures, if it IS linked to that article you posted from the Hereford Times, then presumably it is still part of an active court case? If that's so, then I think it's understandable that there hasn't been any public discussion about it.

Back to ARR and all the chaos at the time - *could* the state & security services have had a hand in it, or is that just my wishful thinking, wanting to see a movement that went to shit in a better light than it deserves?

EDIT: I'll add to that - we are facing another crisis right now, or about to. That is the ICL/CIT prosecuting syndicalists in the CNT-AIT, trying to get them sent to jail. This collaboration needs to be acted on clearly! But at the same time, we can't let it turn into the shit-fest that every other problem in our movement has become. How do we come out of it stronger? Should other organisations distance themselves from the ICL/CIT to contain the fallout and ensure they aren't brought down with it? What steps should IWA/AIT members take to make sure it's acted on quickly, but also acted on in a way that doesn't bring down half the movement along with it?