Last night

Great discussion last night with Ted Rall about the potential for violence in the Occupy movement. As Ted points out (and I concur), it’s not as if either of us thinks non-violence is a bad thing – only that the power of the state makes violence inevitable, and that we should prepare for the possibility.

Even sadder, I think, is that it’s controversial to even have the discussion. That rubs us both the wrong way, so I hope you’ll listen here.

And here’s a little stroll down memory lane to remind you about the G20 protests in Toronto:

This is called a “snatch and grab,” where they identify protest leaders and grab them:

And here’s the sonic cannon they used at the G20 protests in Pittsburgh:

10 thoughts on “Last night

  1. Using violence is always a “bad thing.” Always. But then some people, like Hitler, agreed with Benito Mussolini who said, “You know what I think about violence. For me it’s profoundly moral, more moral than compromise and negotiation.” Others take the side of Malcolm X who said, “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts a hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” Gandhi was personally ambivalent about the use of violence. Although he never sanctioned anyone in his movement using violence for any reason. Talking about violence in the abstarct makes for an interesting intellectual exercise. But using violence as a real life tactic can never be justified or rationalized. As the old Arab proverb goes, “You can’t wash out blood with blood.”

  2. I know that if a cop hits me, I’m fighting back. It’s not even a conscious decision, it’s just a reflex from growing up with three brothers.

  3. susie, anything learned can be un-learned. Even a negative reflex like striking back. There is no shame in the flight aspect of “fight or flight.” As a matter of fact it may be the seen as the superior, the more civilized, response.

  4. In the civil rights movement they used to say, if you cannot remain non-violent in the face of provocation, do not come to the demonstration. Remaining non-violent in the face of violence is a very powerful tactic, with a solid record of success.

    I am all for fighting back, I just reject violence as a way of doing that. If a cop hits me on the head he/she can expect the lawsuit from hell.

  5. I know. Certain history books are filled with the battles of white men against the motherfucking people that were already here.

    I guess that’s all I have to say right now.

  6. Even though I have given up on all music for all time and all people for all time—susie, I need some music right now.

  7. An important discussion. Thanks to Ted and Susie for doing this interview.

    I think the state has such overwhelming force today that we must be open to new ideas. We should think of the possible, and not be tied to the ways of the past.

    The police and the military would turn and support a legitimate, well planned, well organized, and popularly supported movement that was prepared to take control because this movement had formed a valid alternate temporary federal government leadership that could would replace the current one.

    We need the Capitol Hill police to arrest the current government and escort our government inside and start protecting us instead of them. This may seem unbelievable but it is quite possible, if we organize such a movement.

    This movement must be based upon justice, and cannot be too extreme – left or right – or it will not gather the popular support needed.

    Both left and right must be willing to examine their own pet beliefs and to judge them by the rule (standard) of justice in order to determine the movement’s policies are just.

    People who are on the extremes of either end of the political spectrum will, if they are honest, discover they are currently clinging to certain unjust pet policies.

    Like I said, we need not be bound to the past; neither in tactics nor in politics.

    A nonviolent revolution is possible, if we can gain the support of the police and the military.

    When people act out of anger and passion they are using violence; but when people act to uphold the demands of justice they are using force.

    The police are not out enemies, the police represent the law properly enforced. Today, because justice is not upheld, the police often become the guardians of the law-breakers (e.g., Capitol Hill police), but tomorrow they can become the upholders of law and justice.

    I would suggest you investigate a true grassroots movement that is now organizing: Summer of Justice 2012 DC – especially our philosophy and plan of action, which will show up in search results.

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