There's much talk about "violence" of protesters, even though 15,000 people demonstrated peacefully for over 18 hours on the 2nd.
Here is my beginning post:
I think we need a huge critical thinking discussion about violence and what it is. It seems to me that, like everything else in our society, the meanings of words – including “violence” are determined by how much they support the existing paradigms.
For example, we accept as “normal” and not “violence” men (mostly) dressing in black steel-toed, hard heeled boots that can be lethal weapons, dangling lethal nitesticks from their belts, donning armored breast plates, slinging high-powered automatic lethal weapons from their hips, wearing thick black leather gloves that can also be used as weapons, let alone all the other a sundry of weapons – against unarmed and unarmored human beings.
We accept as “normal” and not “violence” that these men are set up to repress, control, arrest, and torture black, brown & indigenous & poor communities, in their quest to assure those that “have” are protected from those that “have not”.
If we REALLY want to confront violence, we need to be chanting “DISARM, DISARM” whenever a police officer arrives; we need to refuse to negotiate anything else until we have negotiated their removal of these violent weapons while meeting with unarmed people. We need to refuse to participate in this violence against our communities so robbed of even the privilege of escaping police brutality and the racist prison industrial complex.
Another example, we accept as “normal” and not “violence” the “austerity measures” that caused the closure of the Traveler’s Aide building; the drones bombing at least 6 countries that we know about; our military occupying bases in over 135 countries; the “wars” we’ve declared against over 25 countries since the end of WWII – all but one being countries filled with people of color.
We also tend to not only accept the men who have been trained to and have most likely committed the greatest act of violence, the taking of another human being’s life, but hold them up under the hubris of “supporting our troops” and honoring our veterans, those that have chosen to “serve” the private interests of our corporations by being will fodder of and engaging in warfare.
I, like Becky, would most likely probably never take a baseball bat to a window but not because I honor and value “property”, private or otherwise – I do NOT honor property and think we need to do away with the entire concept.
I would however, never condone or support the harming of a human being, hopefully no matter what he has done to me or my family or my loved ones.
I think the biggest, overriding discussion is what are “appropriate” responses to this fucked up, crazy, most horrendous, horrific, appalling society/country we exist in and participate in by the mere fact of our existence?
What are “appropriate” responses to the dire violence of drone warfare? And all warfare? Racism? Sexism? Misogyny? White Supremacy? Patriarchy? Classism? And all that???
What are the “appropriate” responses to the atrocious attack on our Mother Earth and all life on this planet?
What are the “appropriate” responses to babies starving to death every 7 seconds in our world while we of this country consume up to 60% of the world’s resources?
What are “appropriate” responses to this upside down crazy country we live in?
Maybe we can make agreements that everyone thinks carefully about the action she or he is choosing to engage in – which I think is understood but maybe needs to be said – & we can trust that agreement.
Maybe we can make agreements that we critically challenge each other, sharpen & improve our actions. And we trust those agreements.
Maybe we can make the agreement that we honor diversity and trust that everyone will not support each and every action but, after critical thinking and discussion, will step out of the way of the actions others decide to do.
Maybe we can make the agreement that if the action is one that is not acceptable by consensus of the entire group, that the people who are doing the action will remove themselves from physical proximity of the group to do their action to make it clear that it is their action and not the entire groups action.