The general revolt or general uprising is a political situation in which a country or state is engulfed by wide-spread insurrection.
Where riots and strikes often occur on a localized level, the general revolt involves a rash of either spontaneous or coordinated insurrections that are loosely connected and together take on a "general" nature. Throughout history, the general revolt has been used to overwhelm a oppressive regime, drain it's resources, and paralyze its ability to act. Some of the best examples have been the 1968 riots in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the general revolts that occurred during the Haitian Revolution.
On a practical level, the general revolt places the repressive administration into a situation where it is forced to put out multiple "fires" occurring simultaneously. These include any mixture of mass protest, rioting, sabotage and worker strikes defused over the entirety of an area. This puts immense pressure on a state's repression machine and leaves it in a vulnerable position for a guerrilla action or government overthrow.
While general revolts can be coordinated in strategic ways, they will not get very far without the spontaneity and free initiative of the people. It is through the people's ability to act freely that the revolt becomes adaptable to changing circumstances and difficult for the administration to suppress.
Where the general revolt's greatest strength is the free initiative of the people, it can also be its greatest weakness if the people are not properly politicized. A general revolt is even more dangerous than a riot and the instigating of one should never be taken lightly.
Step One: Are Conditions Right For A General Revolt?
The political situation must already be at an advanced level in order for a general revolt to take place. There must be wide spread discontent among the people for the current administration. In addition, this feeling must be proliferated in most of the cities and towns across the state or country.
Step Two: Form An Organizing Body
For a coordinated general revolt you will want to form an organizing body of people located in the key areas in which the revolt will take place. You will want people with keen insights into the situation at their respective locations. You will want labor organizers as well as community organizers, insurgents, and direct action activist in the fold to diversify the levels of agitation present in the general revolt. Make sure of course that they are trustworthy.
Step Three: Logistics
You and your group of comrades will want to plan the details of the general revolt. Some will be tasked with inciting riots while others will be organizing workers strikes, marches, blockades, sabotage missions and other such actions. The more diverse and diffuse these actions are, the more damage is caused to the administration. Hash out with your comrades the dates and times in which these individualized actions will occur and how will they be coordinated. The goal of these individualized actions is to get the ball rolling in such a way that the people are inspired to take over the initiative in the revolt and sustain it.
In order for the people to sustain a general revolt, they will need resources and support. It is very important that food and other resources be considered when planing logistics, especially if strikes are apart of the uprising. You will also want street medics and health practitioners available. Ideally, while the people have taken over the initiative in the revolt, you and your comrades can assist in supporting them and getting them resources they need. This can be by looting or other means.
Step Four: Preparation
Preparation for a general revolt involves not only preparing for the coordinated actions, but also preparing the people to revolt on a mass level. For this reason it is ideal for as many people to be politicized as possible. This is best done by making use of pamphlets, zines, and other revolutionary propaganda. The goal is to put into the people's hands the tools they will use to make informed decisions when they take the initiative in the revolt.
You and your comrades should organize a series of escalation campaigns in the key cities and towns in order to prepare the people to revolt. Make clear the reasons for the revolt, the failures of the administration, and the conditions of oppression in detail. You should also impart as much knowledge on insurgent tactics as possible. When the people are familiar with the methods of insurgency, sabotage, and direct action they can organize themselves of their own accord. This increases the revolutionary potential of the people and enhances their ability to act spontaneously.
Step Five: The General Revolt
Organize your group of comrades to get into position at the key locations in which the general revolt will take place. They should be prepared to initiate their respective actions as discussed. At the critical moment when the uprisings have began to build in momentum and scale, you and your comrades retreat from the head of the rising so that the people can take the initiative. You should openly encourage the people's spontaneity where ever possible, while at the same time discouraging reactionary and counter-revolutionary behavior. It is not a bad idea to have your comrades retreat from the head of their respective actions to begin uprisings elsewhere, and so on. This produces a perpetual situation of revolt. At this critical moment, it is often the most opportune time begin an armed insurgency or prepare resources to support the people in revolt.