If a Canadian came to me and asked for advice on how to prepare to resist government aggression, we would have to sit down and talk. I can't do a brain dump and give years of experience to someone else, and giving them a checklist of things to do is really setting them up for failure with a false sense of security. What I would desire to see in my hypothetical Canadian friend is the ability to think about the problem, come up with solutions, and choose a solution that balances risk with reward.
In the history of warfare, there have consistently been two types of
thinkers. Those that believe they can reduce the art of war to a list
of actions, flowcharts, and create a precise science of legalized
violence (this can lead to fighting the plan instead of the enemy). These were great men like Clausewitz and de Jomini.
Then there are those who problem solve. The problem solvers take a look
at what they have to work with and then they work the problem. These
are the most effective leaders in a rapidly changing tactical/strategic
situation. Patton, Rommel, and Ridgway come to mind.
Some lessons are best taught as analogies. When two boxers square off in the ring and nobody gets knocked out, who wins? That is a decision of the judges. It seems highly technical to me, based on number of punches thrown, number of punches that land, who was more aggressive in a round or something like that. I don't care for fights that are won by decision, and most good boxer's will fight to win by knockout if they can get there.
Lets look at the "Rumble in the Jungle" between Ali and Foreman. Foreman was the better hitter in my opinion, but Ali was the smarter boxer. Had the "rope a dope" strategy failed Ali he would have lost on a decision. He took a gamble and it paid off. John Mosby recently wrote about why going on the defensive against a Superpower is a bad idea http://mountainguerrilla.blogspot.com/2012/04/defensive-considerations-for-resistance.html.
On the flip side, just like Ali, sometimes you are in the ring with a guy that will knock you out in 5 rounds if you fight on his terms. Trying to outpunch Foreman in his prime is a losing proposition for just about anybody. As a British Officer noted after the defeat at Dunkirk, "Wars are not won by evacuations." But instead of a complete and utter defeat Britain stayed on the ropes. Twenty miles of sea, a few pilots, and a strong fleet saved Britain from being crushed by the German War Machine. Britain got lucky because of geography, something that France did not have. Britain's strategy in WWII was the same as Ali's, stay in the fight long enough that you can exploit some weakness.
As I have said before, insurgents need outside support to be successful. The French Resistance was quite active, but largely inconsequential to the outcome of WWII. However it must be noted that for every act of sabotage and assassination pulled off by resistance fighters it was that much quicker and closer to victory for the allied forces (including the godless Communists being bled white on the Eastern Front). But the OSS saw fit to give all the support they could to the Partisans as they were value added to the effort. By fighting they gained assistance which allowed them to fight more, which encouraged foreign governments to give more assistance.
In the movie "Alamo" there is a series of scenes where Dennis Quaid playing Sam Houston says nothing but "Break Camp" over and over, moving his insurgents into terrain unfavorable to the Mexican forces. His men don't like it, they want to fight, but Sam Houston knows that he can't fight Santa Ana on his own terms, he needs to get the Mexican army strung out and unable to bring artillery to bear. The strategy works and Texas wins.
So, for the bulk of any given war, the resistance is on the ropes. Teaching "maneuver warfare theory" to resistance fighters is largely academic, solely to flesh out an operational understanding of warfare. In maneuver warfare theory their is an identifiable "forward line of troops" and lines of advance and retreat. The "jab and thrust" of this type of maneuver warfare works well with the "rope a dope" strategy that Ali made famous. Getting your opponent to overstretch himself has worked for Russia against Napoleon and Hitler, and then Russia did the same thing during the Cold War. Russia fell because it was preparing for a war it never wanted to fight and couldn't sustain the economy needed to sustain a useless army. Even when there aren't front lines such as in an occupation, a resistance can temporarily create such a line, and then just as quickly abandon it and go back to life as normal.
In an occupation, there is none of that on the macro level, and at the tactical level if you manage to create a "line" of "us v. them" then the "them" will call for long distance assistance and come at you from every possible direction. Helicopters and artillery will really screw up your day. I've written before on the power of the defense in small unit tactics, here, here, here, and here. Everything I wrote is still true, but none of it is "the answer" to everything.
Now that is all good at the "macro" or "theater/campaign/engagement" level of
planning. But how do you "jab and thrust" at the "resistance cell"
level? Instead of going against the "Desert Fox" or "Old Blood and
Guts" you are going against "Lieutenant Tentpeg" or "Sergeant
Beltbuckle" who have been tasked to occupy your neighborhood and "provide security" and "conduct COIN operations." At that level you can't afford mistakes that get you killed. Your number one goal is to stay in the fight, even if you are never highly effective at fighting.
So how do you stay in the fight? The same way the VC, the Partisans, the Taliban, even Hammas, all stay in the fight. With pinpricks. With propaganda. By winning the hearts and minds. Every Doctor that gives free medical care to a village and speaks approvingly of the resistance gives more legitimacy to the resistance than any large scale assault on an occupier stronghold. Right now you are thinking, "That sounds an awful lot like the COIN operations we tried to run in Iraq and Afghanistan." Good for you, that is exactly right. COIN is the flip side of insurgent activities. Carrot and stick, winning hearts and minds and building lasting political and combat power.
Think of "good works" as ammunition for propaganda. Every kid that gets a teddy bear, every housewife that gets assistance with her garden, every pile of firewood that gets chopped for an elderly couple, is one less person supporting the occupiers. Imagine how useful it would be to simply leave a calling card with three black lines drawn on it to let someone know you did a good deed?
Think. Time spend planning it time well spent. Once you have a plan, go into rehearsals. A couple rehearsals will quickly bring to the front any deficiencies in your plan. It may be true that no plan survives first contact with the enemy, but a good plan allows flexible thinkers to arrive at the desired end state even if everything else goes to hell. Use your time on the ropes to gather intelligence and use that intelligence to refine your plan, and always be looking for opportunities that you can exploit.