How to Stage A Coup

How to Stage A Coup

A coup is an organized overthrow of a government or administrative structure. The coup aims to uninstall an oppressive and exploitative regime in order to put a new structure in place. There are many examples of non-violent coups throughout history. For instance, the Philippine Revolution of 1986 forcefully removed the repressive regime of President Ferdinand Marcos with out any bloodshed. However, given the nature of repressive governments, many times coups do require the use of armed force.  

Coups must always be popular movements supported by a large majority of the people. If a coup is not supported by the masses it is not morally sound. Many unpopular coups have been supported by the United States government in order to usurp democratically elected administrations and install puppet governments. Such actions are counter-revolutionary and can expect to come up against resistance from the people.    


Step 1: Identify the Reasons for the Coup

Begin by building a case for the insurrection. Outline the failures of the current administration, the corruption and the repression in detail.  Highlight the ways in which the repressive government has violated the rights of the people. Also, highlight the ways in which the repressive government refuses to concede its power and therefore leaves the people with no other option. The case for the insurrection should be easily accessible to the people.    

Step 2: Build Popular Support for the Coup

The most important step in this process is to build out popular support from the people. This would involve the organization of rallies, actions, assemblies, and anti-government campaigns. Popular support can also come in the form of resources. When one has exhausted all forms of non-violent protest and has built a considerable base of popular support, all of the pieces are in place to begin with the organizing of the coup.        

Step 3: Make Clandestine Preparations for the Coup  

Meetings for the actual planing of the coup should be underground. Make sure people invited can be trusted. Scrutinize all information received. Obtain detailed information of all the administrators and the floor plan of the administrative building if possible. Have this information ready yet do not rely on this information. Identify if weapons will be needed and at what capacity. Set possible dates. Finally, agree to leave the fate of the new governmental structure to the people. Do not plan to install into power any member of the planing group. Assume that the current administration already knows a coup will be taking place. Plan accordingly. Have an exit strategy.         

Step 4: Organize a Campaign of Escalation  

Organize a series of street protest designed to escalate the situation between the administration and the people. Each street protest in the campaign is meant to build momentum and maximize the popular support already in place for a coup.

Step 5: Conduct the Coup

On the very last day of the campaign, rally the people to storm the streets of the administrative building. Lead the people to enter the building if possible. If not possible lead a separate group that can enter from a different entrance. Rush the administrators and remove them from power