1. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there is nothing more authoritarian than killing somebody, so if you claim the mantle of “anti-authoritarianism” I fully expect that you endorse political nonviolence as well. Ending someone’s life is the ultimate imposition of outside authority, the total antithesis to the concept of individual autonomy; hell, it isn’t even taking away someone’s autonomy, it’s taking away their capacity to even conceive of it.

    Any revolutionary process will require armed conflict and force; we cannot really imagine one that doesn’t do this. And yet the acceptance of this reality is also an acceptance that some types of authority are okay, as long as the object of this authority is coded “enemy.” These presumed anti-authoritarians will rail against the ideas of discipline, centralism, hierarchy, organization, and social obligation, but wouldn’t hesitate to bash in the heads of their foes because their foes espouse reactionary ideas.

    I’m not even condemning vigilante head-bashing since I think we need a nuanced understanding of the question of violence, I’m merely commenting on the hypocrisy of saying that having collectively-determined labor obligations—or even a structure of project management—is oppressive and authoritarian, while playing God with someone’s entire existence is somehow not.


  2. "The tragic irony of non-violence is that it is willing to sacrifice hundreds of millions of lives in order to not take any lives."
    — Marc L.

  3. When people reference Nelson Mandela as some hero of nonviolence

    I really am astounded that they seem to have no understanding of the fact that Nelson Mandela founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, which set off car bombs at high-profile targets and openly stated its desire to overthrow the apartheid government by force.

    Y’all can have Desmond Tutu, but no, you can’t have Nelson.

  4. elsiemarina:

    It’s necessary to understand who puts violence into practice… if it’s those who provoke misery or those who fight against it. Julio Cortazar

    (Source: lafech, via paratodastodo)


  5. There’s nothing funnier than someone who refuses on principle to use violent force…

    …to achieve political change saying that nonviolence is “nonnegotiable”… like (s)he has some bargaining power or some shit. IF YOU DON’T SUBMIT TO NONVIOLENCE, I’LL PUT A FLOWER IN THE BARREL OF YOUR AR-15. THEN IT’S GAME OVER.


  6. why you shouldn’t buy the liberal narrative on political violence

    An argument that I hear frequently from nonviolence activists is that the state’s agents provocateur engage in violence within popular movements to discredit said movements, which shows that the state understands that nonviolence is more powerful and people will only be alienated if violence is undertaken by the protesters.

    Below is a short step-by-step explanation of why this is bullshit, starting from the premise of agents provocateur trying to discredit a movement through the use of violence.

    1. The state’s agents provocateur engage in rather ineffective and pointless violence/vandalism in the midst of a broader demonstration.

    2. The mass media, right on cue, denounces the violence/vandalism, says that it discredits the movement and alienates people. This is ultimately a self-fulfilling prophecy; because the media tells people that violence alienates them, it convinces people that they are alienated by violence. This becomes painfully obvious when we see how unalienated people are by the violence the United States commits against other countries, largely because of media and state framing of the issue.

    3. State/media promotes the narrative of how only nonviolence can create real change, makes references and overtures to historical examples like MLK, Gandhi, etc. This is where it gets interesting: the state, which is what you are protesting against in some form or another, is telling you which ways are most effective to combat it.

    4. People, particularly leaders, in the movement dig their heels further into strategic nonviolence and bourgeois respectability, and refuse to consider any other options.

    5. The government successfully “discredits” the only effective threat against its existence; i.e. political violence to overthrow the state.


  7. From our comrades at the Bay of Rage.

    "This pamphlet – written by a group of people of color, women, and queers – is offered in deep solidarity with anyone committed to ending oppression and exploitation materially. It is a critique of dominant forms of identity-based activism in the Bay Area and beyond, from  privilege theory to contemporary interpretations of the legacy of decolonization and national liberation struggles. The pamphlet addresses the institutional struggle over the meaning of antiracist politics, and in particular the impact of nonprofit organizations on shaping the rhetoric and priorities of social justice activism. We argue that prevailing discourses of personal privilege and political representation in fact minimize and misrepresent the severity and structural character of the violence and material deprivation marginalized demographics face. White supremacy, according to this politics, is primarily a psychological attitude which individuals can simply choose to discard instead of a material infrastructure which reproduces race at key sites across society – from racially segmented labor markets to the militarization of the southern border."

    "Our pamphlet argues that the history and legacy of struggles teaches us that, in stark contrast to the rhetoric used by many social justice nonprofits and activists in the Bay Area today, struggle cannot but put us in danger and increase our vulnerability to violent repression. The moment our struggle is even slightly effective, we are in danger. The choice is not between danger and safety, but between the uncertain dangers of revolt and the certainty of continued violence, deprivation, and death. There is no middle ground."


  8. Vandalism =/= Violence

    this. is. not. that. complicated.


  9. One important aspect of the debate over “diversity of tactics” (i.e. the decision whether to be exclusively nonviolent) in the Occupy movement relates to mounting evidence of the role CIA and Pentagon-funded foundations and think tanks play in funding and promoting nonviolent resistance training. The two major US foundations promoting nonviolence, both overseas and domestically, are the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) and the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Both receive major corporate and/or government funding, mostly via CIA “pass through” foundations. While the ICNC is funded mainly by the private fortune of hedge fund billionaire (junk bond king Michael Milken’s second in command) Peter Ackerman, the AEI has received funding from the Rand Corporation and the Department of Defense, as well as various “pass-through” foundations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the US Institute of Peace and the Ford Foundation (see The Ford Foundation and the CIA),which all have a long history of collaborating with the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA in destabilizing governments unfriendly to US interests.

    This is a strategy Frances Stonor Saunders outlines in her pivotal Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. According to Sanders, right wing corporate-backed foundations and the CIA have been funding the non-communist left since the late sixties, in the hope of drowning out and marginalizing the voice of more militant leftists. It’s also noteworthy that the governing and advisory board of both AEI and ICNC have been consistently dominated by individuals with either a military/intelligence background or a history of prior involvement with CIA “pass-through” foundations, such as NED and USAID.

    Gene Sharp, the Fervent Anticommunist

    Much of this debate focuses around America’s godfather of nonviolent resistance, Gene Sharp, the founder and director of the Albert Einstein Institution. Sharp’s handbooks on nonviolent protest were widely disseminated in the Eastern Europe color revolutions, in the Arab spring revolutions and in the Occupy movement in the US (see Nonviolence in the Service of Imperialism). Unfortunately Sharp has become a decoy in this debate, deflecting attention from the larger question of whether the US government is actively financing and promoting the work of the AEI, the ICIC and other high profile organizations that promote nonviolent civil disobedience. The question is extremely important, in my view, because it possibly explains the rigid and dogmatic attitude in the US progressive movement regarding nonviolent civil disobedience. In other words, I think it explains the knee-jerk rejection of more militant tactics, such as smashing windows and other property damage that don’t involve physical violence towards human beings.

    Is Military-Intelligence Funding Compatible with Progressive Politics?

    The institutional nonviolence clique has cleverly refocused the debate on whether Sharp, who is 83, is a CIA agent and whether he actively participated in US-funded destabilization efforts in Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iran and elsewhere that resulted in so-called “Arab Spring” revolutions. The obvious answer to both questions is no. For me the more important question is why the alternative media and “official” progressive movement embrace Sharp unconditionally as a fellow progressive without a careful look at his past or his ideological beliefs. Sharp has never made any secret of his fervent anticommunist (and antisocialist – he shares the US State Department’s animosity towards Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez) views.

    Sharp makes no secret of the funding he has received from the Defense Department; the Rand Corporation; CIA-linked foundations, such as NED, the IRI and the US Institute of Peace; and George Soros’s Open Society Institute. All this information is readily available from the AEI website. Sharp himself states, “I have been arguing for years that governments and defense departments – as well as other groups – should finance and conduct research into alternatives to violence in politics and especially as a possible basis for a defense policy by prepared nonviolent resistance as a substitute for war.” (SeeThe living library: some theoretical approaches to a strategy for activating human rights and peace, George Garbutt, 2008, Southern Cross University).

    Less well known is the role military and intelligence figures have played in helping Sharp set up and run the AEI. I think most progressives would be extremely disturbed by the major role played by the military-intelligence establishment in funding and running the AEI. I think they would find it even more troubling that progressives who refer to any of this on so called “independent” or “alternative” media websites and blogs have their posts removed.

    To be continued.


  10. Recently, Chris Hedges wrote a piece in truthdig called “Black Bloc: The Cancer in Occupy” in which he condemns what he refers to as “Black Bloc anarchists.” In the wake of the police attack on Occupy Oakland and the following debates over strategy and tactics in the Occupy movement, Hedges’ arguments have generated much controversy. We are posting one response below because it touches on the key contradictions raised by Hedges’ piece.  It was originally written as a note on Facebook.

    By SKS

    I do not want to repeat what many have said, more eloquently or timely. Any repetition will either be unconcious or inevitable – but I do try to bring some fresh perspectives, or at least accents. So bear with me.

    Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    Ever since the Oakland Commune came into national conciousness with their successful strike in November, liberals who initially became infatuated with OWS as a possible liberal Tea Party have been launching increasingly virulent attacks against OWS, and in particular, its most militant element.

    Naomi Wolf was perhaps the first notorious salvo of the liberal commentariat, when going all in with her arrest cred called OWS protesters against NBC (a corporation) “fascists”.

    While debate is healthy, and diversity of opinions and views is both inevitable and one of the refreshing things of OWS as a movement – the interventions from the liberal camp have been increasingly totalitarian, undemocratic, and full of factual and historical inaccuracies.

    They have moved from honest, concerned, disagreement within the movement, to dishonest hit pieces worthy of the worse dirty politics.

    And this is something we predicted – we knew that the primary contradiction within this movement would be the need of liberals and the Democratic Party machine to turn this movement into a huge astroturf to counter the successful cooption of the Republicans of the Tea Party – of sheer importance if Obama is to be re-elected.

    This has been done with a carrot and stick approach: the carrot has been the apparently open arms of labor unions and non-profit organizations, not to mention several elected officials of the Democratic Party.

    The stick has two sides: one is represented by poster child of all-that-is-wrong-with-the-Democrats Jean Quan and her Swine Corps of the brutal and brutalizing OPD – an OPD she ran on an unfulfilled promise to reform and transform.

    In fact, it is in Democratic cities were the police repression and police action have been the strongest – Chicago even took the opportunity to institute surveilance and free-speech limitation ordinances worthy of 1984. Of course, aside from a few febble protests from the ACLU, this largely has happened with the silent consent of the liberal commentariat, and when not silence, with ineffective chatter coupled with “critical” support for the elected officials promoting these things.

    The other side of the stick is the concerted effort of the liberal commentariat. At first rather benign, starting with the mantra – a sheer lie – that the movement had no goals, and with disingeneous criticism of liberal We foretold this: even at the very earliest most commited OWS activists knew this was coming.

    We did not know how, but we had an idea, which is why we refused giving these commentators special status in the movement – we knew instinctively that they would turn on us come 2012 and the presidential election. Now it is upon us. Chronicle of a death foretold. None of this should come as a surprise, but buyer beware: you might think you agree – after all, the black bloc can be insufferably cocky and elitist, but you do not. Your legitimate tactical concern and strategic considerations are quite different from Chris Hedges’.

    Pathologizing the Other: what abusers and represive regimes can tell us about Chris Hedges

    As a large body of literature demonstrates, repressive regimes throught history have used this very technique to throw political opponents into jails called “mental hospitals”. Abusers – be them bullies or domestic – routinely try to smash the self-esteem of their victims by questioning their mental health. “You are crazy” is a favorite phrase of the abusive spouse or partner, of the abusive boss, of the abusive authority figure. Fear of being labeled “crazy” is in fact one of the most poweful ways of social coercion and social discipline know. Even good parents tell their kids they are being “crazy” when they do things they are not supposed to do.

    Chris Hedges, in his hit piece, does several things of this sort: first he patologizes “violence” – using prose worthy of a pulp novel with Fabio on the cover they sell in supermarket lines. Then he claims the black bloc is “hypermasculine” – a ridiculous term pulled out of the same kindergarden infantislism that gives you a whole range of funny, yet unnecesary, superlatives. Without getting into this rather old and extensive debate, many feminist voices have eloquently countered the presumption – gendered and sexist in itself – that violence has a gender, lets just say that this confuses an important discussion on tactics with an ad hominem intended not to discuss, but to rally the liberal troops for an attack. In other words, exactly what he describes as “hypermasculinity”.

    Unlike Hedges, I do not have a romantic, nihilist violent self buried inside. My views on violence are rather concious – do not initiate agression, but defend yourself from it. This basic human instinct seems beneath the elevated Hedges, whose superior god-like peace elevates him above us mere mortals.His god-like powers allow him to bury his violent instincts deep in his psyche.

    (See what I mean about pulp prose?)

    In pathologizing the political, Hedges is re-establishing the patriarchal and racial supremacy of White male hetero-normativity: those who disagree with him are not normal like him, they are crazy, they must be excluded from normal society.

    He is calling out his wayward children, like all good patriarchs do. Very hypermasculine.

    Interestingly, his pathologizing doesn’t stop at mental health. It gets even worse.

    As the title “Cancer of Occupy” explicitly tells us, the crazy children are not just crazy, they are a cancer.

    Well, the use of “cancer” – and other body diseases – in political speech has a rather interesting origin that Chris Hedges either overlooked, or conciously deployed: Nazi eugenics and racial hygene. “Jewish bacillus,” “the Bolshevist poison,” “the Jewish plague,” “the Jewish parasites,” and the “Jewish cancer.

    These are the ripped from the headlines terms of Hitler and the Nazi propaganda machine. Unlike Naomi Wolf, I only call fascists those who are actually fascist – I do not cheapen the word by using it to attack everyone that irks me – but it is indeed telling about the way Chris Hedges mind works that he chose this term.

    What is the cure for cancer? Chemotherapy, radiation, extirpation, all which are extremely violent – and much less successful than what we would like them to be.

    So Chris Hedges implies – in contradiction with his argument – that this cancer must be cured. He leaves the question open – but the emotional response in the reader, and this is by choice, is to respond as we all do: kill it with violence. No one loves cancer. No one thinks of the feelings of cancer. You try to kill it, or it kills you.

    That is one from the Nazi playbook: its how a whole country was mobilized to destroy the “Jewish cancer”. Hitler did not need to order them what to do. We all know, intuitively, what to do with cancer. Hedges joins a proud tradition.

    (Ironically, in the channer culture that gave birth to Anonymous “cancer” is also used to describe newbies to the culture – and if there is a hypermasculine place in the world, it is channer culture – Hedges does have a lot of self-hating to do)

    And it is ironic too, that in purporting to be part of this movement, Hedges has no article calling the Democrats cancer. After all, the black blocs have yet to kill someone, but the Democrats have killed millions – often at the push of a button.

    So lets pathologize – just to not combo break

    That brings me to my title. A little flair of my own pathologization. In my defense, it is the game field Hedges presents.

    So why Stockholm Syndrome? Well, as we might know, this syndrome is the apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them*.

    A lot of the response to so-called “black bloc violence” smacks precisely of this phenomenon. Chris Hedges is either a victim of this syndrome, or an enabler of its suffering.

    He makes a storm in a teapot on so-called “black bloc violence” – justifying the violence of the OPD, of the State, of our captors – of the very State and repressive forces of the dictatorship of the 1%. He is not one of them, yet defends them and justifies and covers their crimes.

    A few broken windows are nothing compared to the hundred of extrajudicial killings on the part of police, or dozens of excecutions, not to mention overseas.

    Let’s have a sense of proportion. Let’s break out of the Stockholm Syndrome. The violence that matters, the true violence, is that of the State, not the black bloc. We do not need to be uncritical of the black bloc – but to hide behind their actions to call for inaction when much greater crimes are being commited, on a daily basis and using your tax money, is to cower in fear in front of power.

    Just like a hostage in front of their captor.

    We are hostages to the 1%. Do we justify them or do we fight for freedom?

    Violence, non-violence, and disingeniousness

    Are we the 99% or are we Democrats?

    For liberals of the Naomi Wolf and Chris Hedges brand, revolutions are something that happens elsewhere. Regimes that need changes are overseas – preferably in countries with long histories of “authoritarian regimes”. In their twisted wordview – and one that gets fed to us as somehow radical – what problems exist in the USA can be resolved in the framework of civil liberties provided by the constitution, the institutions being  neutral servants of the common good. Such lofty ideals fly in the face of the actual realities of life in the USA, in particular for the 99%. The USA has, for example, one of the highest rates of extra-judicial killing and death penalty in the world.

    A significant percentage of this country’s population express support for this appalling situation. So did, for that matter, a significant percentage of Egypt’s population before the Revolution threw the doors open to true dissent, rather than fear. Transformation is about critical masses, not simple majorities.

    We cannot be both for regime change and for the Democrats, who are part of the regime.

    The Democrat’s main funder is, consistently, Goldman Sachs – one of the worse criminals of the 1%.

    In Chris Hedges’ view – Goldman Sachs is an upstanding citizen that makes mistake – a person worthy of our democratic respect. The black bloc is cancer.

    He serves his masters well.

    Curiously, the way that he speaks of violence vs non-violence echoes the same way that the current Regime in Egypt speaks of the Revolution – and we see this world-wide: the “good” protester versus the “bad” protester. Even in Syria, there is the opposition that meets with the Regime, and there is the Free Syrian Army. It is not a new argument.

    Now, I also have a sense of proportion – we are far from living in a situation where we need a Free America Army. But the black bloc is not that. Its worse violence is a few broken windows – if that.

    To begin with, there is much conflation here: the black bloc is not responsible for all the so-called vandalism or violence. The poster child for the liberals, the Whole Foods vandalization in Oakland, was by all accounts the work of a few individuals against which even black bloc members intervened.

    The black bloc however, has been responsible for successful evasion, even de-arrest, of activists – of protective, defensive, non-violent tactics, such as the use of shields, the lighting of bonfires (which clears tear gas quickly), and providing first aid and med evac. They have intervened against sexual and criminal predators in occupations, serving as stalwarts of discipline in a chaotic environment. This is the reality of those of us who actually are the boots in the ground. Yes, there is much to be critical of them – but lets leave that for another time: much better commentary is floating around in this respect. They are not cancer – they are part of the body that is maturing, and causes growing pains.

    So why the fuzz?

    There seems to be a problem of definition in which non-violence is equated with non-resistance. This flies in the face even of Ghandi’s and Dr. King’s tactics: non-violent resistance is still resistance. It is non-compliance with orders from the powers that be. “We shall not be moved”. All those water cannon that Dr. King endured were a result of his movement’s steadfast refusal to obey orders from above – to force change.

    We can agree that throwing a rock is violent. But is throwing a paint bomb (which obscures police visors) violent? Are shields and grenade nets violent? I do not think so. They are forms of non-violent resistance, practiced by the black bloc – that protect the movement from the inevitable onslaught of the police.

    This is not trivial: I understand the need to be non-violent as a tactic, but when non-violence gets reduced to picketing in circles in a “free speech zone” there is no resistance – we are not following Gandhi or Dr. King, we are following the instructions of the regime. No regime has fallen when people obey it. They only fall when people cease to obey it.

    Hedges and co-commentators miss this point. Entirely. They equate any resistance with violence.

    And without resistance, how can we Occupy? Its says it right there in the name.

    Diversity of Tactics and Unity of Strategies

    What will kill OWS is not violence, but the people who want to have meetings and voting drives instead of actions of resistance, occupations, and protests. Do not get me wrong, we need meetings – but with a purpose. As for voting, I voted for Obama and all I got was a lousy t-shirt, which I had to pay for.

    With protests and occupations, with masses of people out in the street, will come repression. And on the edges, so will want to fight back by means we might not agree with.

    Its worth the price, no matter what the anti-resistance commentariat tells us. That is the lesson of Tahrir Square.

    Its time we stop lying to ourselves, and realize that his regime – regardless of what party is in power – is repressive regime, based on war profeetiring, a racist prision industrial complex, extrajudicial violence, and destroying the ability of people to achieve their dreams by concentrating wealth and power on the 1%. Dictatorships do not fall on their own.

    We live in the dictatorship of the 1%. The time for regime change is long overdue.

    That is the stark reality that faces us. If for you a few broken windows are too much to oppose the regime, then it means that for you, windows are more important than the millions who have their lives destroyed and extinguished by this regime – in the ghettos, in the prision industrial complex, overseas, and in the soul-killing petty dictatorship of the workplace.

    We need to have real solidarity – the more militant of us need to consider that not everyone is willing or able to, emotionally and physically, to deal with the outcomes of militancy. Those who advocate non-violence out of true principle, need to understand that the deep emotional commitment this requires – while noble – is not for all.

    Honest diversity of tactics is a strenght, not a weakness.

    But we need to be united on the strategic goal of regime change – of transforming the dictatorship of the 1%. And there are those, Chris Hedges and his ilk, who hide behind the language of non-violence to bambozzle and split the movement: he is pretty happy supporting a government that breeds war – while he can speak against it and sue it in court- supporting real violence perpetrated by this regime. He remains silent as police murders people extrajudicially – the very real violence of the State.

    What is worse, as argued, he uses the age old tactic of abusers and repressive regimes throught history: he pathologizes those he disagrees with,  calling into question their mental health and treating them as a public health issue that needs a hygenic response – in the tone of the Nazi racial hygene. Chris Hedges and his ilk, defend the regime in deeds and words- they are at best a loyal opposition content with commenting rather than transforming. Do not join them.

    Join the resistance: the path is long, the path is painful, but the path is righteous.

    Refuse and resist!


  11. "A boycott is a passive act. It is the most passive political act that anyone can commit…no sort of antagonism. Dr. King’s policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for black people in the United States. His major assumption was that if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That’s very good. He only made one fallacious assumption. In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none."

    Stokely Carmichael, 1967

    Black Power Mixtape

    (via mydearestlola)

  12. By Kerie Campbell

  13. aflameoffreedom:

    How Nonviolence Protects the State, Peter Gelderloos interview


  14. I proposed that we urge Occupy Oakland to officially endorse non-violence, train monitors to non-violently restrain violence-oriented demonstrators, and appeal to the majority of demonstrators to support these monitors to restrain the violence-oriented ones. To my shock, the clergy voted that down. They were only willing to endorse a resolution saying that they themselves supported non-violence, but they objected to the notion that they should call upon OO to share this same orientation.

    Not surprisingly, then, a few days later when one of the participants at OO suggested a resolution for non-violence … the people who agreed with him felt silenced after some part of the crowd actively booed when he mentioned Martin Luther King Jr​. and Mahatma Gandhi​’s commitments and teachings for non-violence.

    Tikkun’s Michael Lerner

    The hypocrisy of ideologically-nonviolent people astounds me. On one hand, they want to impose their ideology over the entirety of the movement and have hegemony over the tactics of struggle, as we can see here by the proposal to “officially endorse non-violence” and to “non-violently restrain violence-oriented demonstrators.” On the other, imagine how they would react if ‘violence-oriented demonstrators’ did the same thing to them, and “non-violently restrained [non]violence-oriented demonstrators” because they didn’t adhere to a violent tactical approach!

    The fact that this writer is horrified that people don’t want a strategic dictatorship imposed upon them by pacifists is laughable. Oakland knows these types, the same ones that went on televised PSAs to calm down city residents before the Oscar Grant verdict, the same ones that blamed the people for getting “violent” against inanimate objects at demonstrations instead of blaming the pigs for killing an innocent kid. They’re hacks who will sell out the struggle as soon as it fails to conform to their standards of ‘acceptable’ conduct. No matter that the only reason Grant’s murder was investigated in the first place is because Oakland exploded into riots. They weren’t planning on doing a damn thing until a few windows got smashed, but I imagine they put dude on trial out of the goodness of their hearts, right?

    Ideologically-nonviolent activists have been running the show in this country now for decades, and they want to act like they’re being repressed and “silenced.” The fuck outta here, really? I’m glad people are booing your nonsense Gandhi-talk, we’re been swallowing up that garbage for too long with nothing to show for it. At the very least, it’s time to have a dialogue with all options on the table, something which these types still consider unacceptable.

    Long live the great city of Oakland and its rebellious people!

    (via barticles-deactivated20140505)


  15. mohandasgandhi:


    They’ve raided your tents, stolen your belongings, and used violence to deescalate your right to protest. If we don’t fight violence against violence we aren’t going to be taken seriously. Seriously America, stop letting the government and police force treat you like animals. This is exactly how they want you to be treated in order to keep you back on track. Standing around and chanting words hasn’t shown the intensity of the situation. I’m a human being and I would want to be treated like one, as opposed to being shoved, maced, arrested for no cause, and thrown around… We need to fight violence against violence to sweat the government as a warning that they have no control over us anymore.

    What made you think the government would just roll over and concede to the demands of protesters after only 2 months of moderately organized action? Change rarely comes about quickly and especially in cases such as this where we’re dealing with widespread issues firmly ingrained into our system. It’s naive to think this fight would be won easily.

    Furthermore, nothing discredits individuals more than when they resort to the use of violence. Those in charge have a much easier time vilifying and discrediting protesters and this has been evident since the dawn of time. When the people (or protesters) use the force of violence against their government, they’re not viewed as rational credible beings but rather, as “animals” who are only able to know or recognize the use of force, further validating additional violence onto them. If you’re seen as an animal, you’re going to be treated as one. Don’t give them a reason to treat you poorly and if they inevitably choose to do so anyway, they undermine their legitimacy themselves.

    What has happened thus far has been the inevitable. Those in power are not going to give up their power or fix the system that benefits them easily or quickly. To be shocked and outraged because law enforcement hasn’t been completely hospitable is again, extraordinarily naive and to conclude that after only 2 months of protesting, violence is the only option left reflects a vast lack of worldly understanding, not to mention, creative thought.

    This is only true if you ignore than dozens of examples where the revolutionaries armed themselves and became heroes for resisting an oppressive system. I’m not saying that we’re at that point because we clearly aren’t, but to suggest that the use of violence necessarily discredits individuals and movements is completely ahistorical.

    In fact, the overwhelming majority of third world countries won their independence from colonialism through armed struggle and almost every revolution, successful or otherwise, since World War II has involved the use of violence by anti-government movements. In Iran, guerrillas fought back loyalists and assisted in the defeat of the massively unpopular Shah. In Nicaragua, a people’s insurrection defeated the National Guard and brought a widely popular revolutionary government to power. In Uruguay, the Tupamaros fought an urban guerrilla war against the military dictatorship and are now the largest party in the nation’s largest political coalition. In Vietnam, the people fought a decades-long war against foreign intervention and won. In Venezuela, the people of Caracas erupted into riots in 1989, bringing a revolutionary government to power 9 years later that celebrates the people’s heroic resistance during the “Caracazo.” In Nepal, Maoists fought a ten year people’s war to overthrow the monarchy and emerged as the most popular party in the country. In India, adivasi tribal peasants are taking up arms against the incursion of multinational corporations onto their lands. In Greece, revolutionary youth are fighting in the streets with police, not ‘delegitimizing’ themselves in front of anyone but the IMF. Millions upon millions rallied, and continue to rally, to the cause of armed and not-nonviolent people’s movements; why is it wrong to even consider that as an option here?

    Simply put: I refuse to concede the monopoly on the legitimate use of force to this state, to this government, to this police force, something which you appear all too willing to do (as is to be expected). The people have the right to resist this unjust, vicious, inhumane system, and we have the right do so with arms, rocks, or bats if we so choose. It is obscene that the US military can drop bombs in Pakistan, can shoot civilians in Afghanistan, and can beat up protesters in Oakland while we are forbidden to spraypaint the wall of a multibillion dollar company because it is “violent.”

    Fuck that noise. Chairman Mao said that it is right to rebel, and as is often the case, he is right. Those who spend their time denouncing the people for being “violent” in response to the violence of the state are either traitors, cowards, or both.

    (Source: caughtinaparadox)