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.