How do we decide on tactics? Who gets to decide? (Boundaries to Protest II)

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Le T Le T's picture
How do we decide on tactics? Who gets to decide? (Boundaries to Protest II)

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Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
Mind you, none of that (voting, candidacy, etc.) is terribly effective if nobody agrees with your platform, and so we still have "direct action" for those nutjobs who are simply never going to get any traction for their ideas by legitimate means

Yes, I mean after the colonists got the right to vote that pretty much ended the need for any kind of direct action. Do you mean "Nutjobs" [ableist] like those who fight/fought for the end of slavery, unions, civil rights, indigneous rights, queer rights, and a couple hundred other things using direct action?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Do you mean "Nutjobs" [ableist] like those who brought the end of slavery, unions, civil rights, indigneous rights, queer rights, and a couple hundred other things won through direct action?

 

No, I'm thinking more of our current crop like ELF, Earth First, ALF, the Encana bomber, the majority of anti-choice "activists" and so on.

 

Sorry, but Rosa Parks they ain't.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The quote above implies that the first American civil war was a polpular uprising.  It was a business cable that PAID for the mob.  After the "revolution" there was still no right to vote except for landowning white men. Before the mob burnt down all the Loyalist presses the same people had the right to vote and the same people were being oppressed by th landowners. The American revolution was about keeping the Home Office's cut of their ill gotten gains.

Boston in 1755-58 was also known for its ethnic cleansing of Acadia so forgive me if I don't believe they were fighting 25 years later for anything but their masters self interest.

Jingles

I'd like an example of an occasion where "peaceful" (that is, conforming to the boundaries allowed by the very state whose actions trigger protest. "Free speech zones", for example) has actually accomplished anything of substance.

MLK's protests were met with violence, and it was the calling out of the National Guard by the federal government that forced the changes. 

Ghandis protests were met with machine gun fire, but the people of India, with nothing to loose but their chains, and facing and increasingly bankrupt occupier, could face it. It may well have gone on to this day had not Britain not faced annihilation themselves. It wasn't the Indians who gained independence so much as the British finding a way to outsource imperialism through new worldwide financial mechanisms.

What leftys seem to forget is that the forces we face have no problem whatsoever with using the most extreme violence to protect their power and privilege. The right has control the state apparatus of violence (police, intelligence agencies, the military) and they have no qualms about exercising and maintaining their monopoly on its use. Letting the opposition walk around in circles for hours shouting slogans is welcomed by the state as a needed safety valve. As long as the people are painting signs, they are easily controlled. That's why millions marching peacefully have no bearing whatsoever on policy. Even breaking a few windows at a protest are welcomed, since it gives the state the opportunity to demonstrate to those good law abiding citizens what can and will be unleashed upon them should they step out of line. It is even better when "peaceful" protesters become the target of the police's wrath, since it again demonstrates the willingness of our "protectors" to turn on their fellow citizens should the order come. Little old ladies being shit kicked by the police is good for the state since it demonstrates to those watching at home that the beast is barely in control, so don't push it. The boundaries are set by those possessing the most firepower.

If Black Bloc wanted to be effective, there are far better tactics they could use, and far more effective targets for their anger. However, as assuming as we all must that Babble is under surveillance by our multibillion dollar secret state security apparatus, I will refrain from spelling them out. Any "revolutionary" true to the name doesn't need my input.

Those protests that have been effective at forcing change (Venezuela's coup and Ukraine's orange protests) have an important difference to those nice saturday marches up here: the state had lost control of the apparatus. 

If you don't have the army on your side, you can run around screaming all you want. The state will watch, and humour you until it starts affecting business. Then, they'll bust your skull. Because they can. Because its what they do.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

I'd like an example of an occasion where "peaceful" (that is, conforming to the boundaries allowed by the very state whose actions trigger protest. "Free speech zones", for example) has actually accomplished anything of substance.

 

How do you differentiate between the failure of a "peaceful protest" because it's peaceful (ie: the tactic is to blame) and the failure of a peaceful protest because the message simply doesn't resonate with the populace?

 

If I and some friends were to stage a very peaceful demonstration to promote Prohibition ("No More Beer!!"), I would expect it to fail spectacularly. Because it was peaceful? Or because our message just doesn't make sense to the populace?

 

I don't think it's for nothing that the people who feel they "need" to embrace direct action typically have fringe politics that, quite simply, don't have a support base. The Black Bloc aren't "forced" into balaclavas by a repressive state that won't tolerate their grassroots groundswell, they're forced into it because the vast majority of Canadians disagree with them and aren't going to agree no matter what they do. They're a desperate fringe minority, not a persecuted majority.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

...another thread snerted upon.

This is the continuation of a thread begun last November. It is not about the 'Black Blockheads', it is about tactics for progressives. But thanks for nothing but negativity, once again.

 

Snert Snert's picture

It was actually Michelle who introduced the Bloc into this discussion.  If you absolutely must do nothing but ferret out trolls and moan about the conservatives, at least do it accurately.

Jingles

Quote:
They're a desperate fringe minority, not a persecuted majority.

They may very well be. Who knows? Who cares? The point is that it doesn't matter. The state, and their apologists, will always denigrate and dismiss any protest, black bloc or raging granny, as "fringe" right up until the point the last helicopter leaves the presidential palace.

Arguing over whether smashing windows at an otherwise peaceful protest is legitimate or not misses the point entirely. As far as the state is concerned, they are both harmless outlets for the hoi polloi to vent their frustrations. Those actions span the range from merely impotent to mildly annoying. Otherwise those in power, those whom control the security apparatus, can operate with impunity. Their goals will always be met, whether the streets are filled with placard wavers or balaclava wearers.

It is when real direct action begins that the state gets nervous. Then we'll see what it feels like to be beaten with the baton bought with our billions of tax dollars. 

When Castro was marching towards Havana, Batiste was still saying they were no threat, a minor group of terrorists that his army can defeat at will, a desperate fringe minority. Then he fled for his life.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

redacted

Michelle

Snert wrote:

It was actually Michelle who introduced the Bloc into this discussion.  If you absolutely must do nothing but ferret out trolls and moan about the conservatives, at least do it accurately.

Gee, thanks, Snert. :D  That post reminds me of the story of the two campers walking alone through the woods.  One was worried about bears and the other one wasn't,  The worried one asked the calm one how he could be so unafraid since there was no way either of them could outrun a bear.  The calm one said, "I don't have to outrun the bear.  I only have to outrun you!"

Jingles

I will concede an example of direct action, or "smashysmashy", that was effective, if in a very minor way. 

It wasn't the Raging Grannies that forced the G-8 to Iqaluit for their summit last month. It was an understanding that these heavenly meetings of the rich and powerful deciding our fate were not being met by fawning love from the people. If every time you meet, you must call out your expensive mercenary army to protect you, people might start to question your beneficence and godly wisdom. It's best to meet in secret when you are carving up the spoils.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
The majority has been rendered incapable of analyzing the repressive actions of the ruling elite, let alone demonstrates a level of awareness which would permit even the most basic objections to the heinous acts undertaken by this power.

 

Ah, of course. BRAINWASHING!

 

That must be it! There can be no other reason why the populace could reject something as well thought out, and frankly, as perfect as anarchy!

 

Gimme a break. You don't need to resort to mind control to explain why radical politics don't appeal to the majority.

thanks

Thinking of direct action in the public services thread, as in some earlier intentional communities in North America, and in reading these threads on tactics, the image came to mind of the monks and nuns who hammered on nuclear warheads. They didn't use masks.  They faced and accepted arrest and long, repeated imprisonments.

Indigenous communities and activists facing military forces directly have chosen very different approaches in very different situations.

I also thought of the decades of organizing opposing tsarism before 1917, by people of many races within and without soldiers' ranks.

 

Some involved in the Vancouver window-smashing wrote anonymously at the mostlywater.org (linked from Boundaries to Protest 1) that they could be relied upon to "attack" corporatism.

If some want to 'attack' corporatism, they perhaps might be more useful joining and organizing within the Canadian military.

 

Slumberjack

Snert wrote:
The Black Bloc aren't "forced" into balaclavas by a repressive state that won't tolerate their grassroots groundswell, they're forced into it because the vast majority of Canadians disagree with them and aren't going to agree no matter what they do. They're a desperate fringe minority, not a persecuted majority.

The majority has been rendered incapable of analyzing the repressive actions of the ruling elite, let alone demonstrate a level of awareness which would permit even the most basic objections to the heinous acts undertaken by this power. The continuous campaign of propaganda which serves to anaesthetize questions and responses, works rather effectively through the administration of massively distracting doses of fear and stupidity. And where the anesthesia no longer works, this malignant order, while wholly deserving of having united against it all the reasons for revolt, tries to dissuade people through terror, the terror of economic collapse and the supposed terror of besieged malcontents and enemies, anyone who provides an indication of having reached the obvious conclusions.

B9sus4 B9sus4's picture

The most effective way to "smash the state" is to go to college.. get a degree in economics and/or political science.. join the Con/Lib bivalve pseudo-democratic political party.. work assiduosly for "neo-liberal" and "libertarian" "reforms".. fight to kill all property taxes.. vote to transfer huge amounts of public money to the .1%, ie., the bankers.. then when disaster befalls, do all the wrong things to "fix the economy".. transfer more wealth to the .1% (hoping to thrive on scraps from the groaning board of loot).. buy many pounds of gold and silver.. work to "privatize the workers' pensions".. point out that "we" are broke and must therefore, in order to "reduce the deficit", fire all the unionized government employees .. destroy all social programs.. 

Aw, shit.. you get the point. There is already an extensive program underway to "smash the state". Violent "protesters" are nothing (in THIS country, at THIS time) but another arm of the Neo-Liberal/Neo-Fascist/Synarchist project to destroy democracy. The aim is to delegitimize dissent and drive the citizens deeper into the clutches of the right. 

Violent "protest" here and now is totally ahistorical. The fact that it's occuring is symptomatic of the aims of the fascists. AND, looking at things, it seems to be working. The citizens are appalled. They sneer at dissent with contempt. They are driven deeper into the clutches of the right.

Good on you, boys. You're doin' your bit for the Reaction!

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
Aw, shit.. you get the point. There is already an extensive program underway to "smash the state". Violent "protesters" are nothing (in THIS country, at THIS time) but another arm of the Neo-Liberal/Neo-Fascist/Synarchist project to destroy democracy. The aim is to delegitimize dissent and drive the citizens deeper into the clutches of the right.

Violent "protest" here and now is totally ahistorical. The fact that it's occuring is symptomatic of the aims of the fascists. AND, looking at things, it seems to be working. The citizens are appalled. They sneer at dissent with contempt. They are driven deeper into the clutches of the right.

Good on you, boys. You're doin' your bit for the Reaction!

 

 

Yes obviously neo-liberalism is anarchists fault. Social Dems have a secret plan. For years (decades really) they wil support neo-liberal/proto-facist policies of the state. Then, when the conditions are right, they will sweep to majority rule in all provinces and we will have an NDP prime minister and they will shed all that neo-liberal camo and usher in a utopia of freedom and equality.

RosaL

Snert wrote:

Gimme a break. You don't need to resort to mind control to explain why radical politics don't appeal to the majority.

 

Well, Snert, how do you explain the various things people have believed throughout history? The majority has - at different times - believed in slavery as necessary, legitimate, and benevolent, the divine right of kings, the necessity of torturing and killing heretics, the inferiority of women, the necessity of burning witches, etc. etc. Now (in some sections of the world) they believe in capitalism. 

I wouldn't call it "brain-washing" (that's far too simplistic) but there are reasons people think the way they do and the fact that something doesn't appeal to the majority hardly means it's wrong! 

I'm not sure how smashing things is going to help the situation, though.

Sometimes I wonder if young 'middle-class' male activists understand what life is like for people who are in one way or another vulnerable. For vulnerable people - and young middle class males generally do not feel themselves vulnerable - this kind of unpredictable violence can be very frightening. I know the revolution isn't a tea party but this isn't the revolution. When we start smashing things, we want the weak and the trampled down to be with us. 

remind remind's picture

Well said RosaL......and an excellent example jingles.....which actually should be added to Erik Redburn's thread on what has been accomplished in the last 20 years....

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Well, Snert, how do you explain the various things people have believed throughout history? The majority has - at different times - believed in slavery as necessary, legitimate, and benevolent, the divine right of kings, the necessity of torturing and killing heretics, the inferiority of women, the necessity of burning witches, etc. etc. Now (in some sections of the world) they believe in capitalism. 

 

It was once believed that a man's "seed" (semen) contained little tiny, perfectly formed MEN, too small to see. And now we don't believe that.

 

I'm not sure your question makes sense. Or at any rate, I don't think an answer, nor a lack of one, would prove that we're all being brainwashed.

 

Quote:

I wouldn't call it "brain-washing" (that's far too simplistic) but there are reasons people think the way they do and the fact that something doesn't appeal to the majority hardly means it's wrong! 

 

I don't think the concept of "right" or "wrong" really factor into a choice of political systems. There's no "right" political system. I'm not, by the way, saying that they're all equal, nor that I don't have my own preferences as do you.

 

Quote:
Being seen as an apparent beneficiary of the catastrophic order of things has an opiate effect among the masses

 

So you're saying that people make their choices about governance based on self-interest? Blatantly and shamelessly choosing systems they believe will benefit them? Oh, the humanity!

 

 

remind remind's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
What remains largely unrecognizable to most at present is an inescapable decision to pass from paradigm of corporate genocidal governance to a paradigm of living at the price of revolt, or we continue to allow planetary level disasters to unfold under the yoke of perpetual market growth and the protective security apparatus, where the imperial oligarchy and it's complacent plebeian classes coexist until everyone is enslaved and everything is rendered uninhabitable.

 

Good  post all around but this last part went almost to excellent.

 

The only thing I would say in adition is; the "complacent class" are a danger to themselves and the rest of  the planetary inhabitants.

Slumberjack

Snert wrote:

Quote:
Being seen as an apparent beneficiary of the catastrophic order of things has an opiate effect among the masses

So you're saying that people make their choices about governance based on self-interest? Blatantly and shamelessly choosing systems they believe will benefit them? Oh, the humanity! 

You answer your own question with practically every post here.

Snert Snert's picture

That way I get an honest one.

RosaL

Snert wrote:

Quote:

Well, Snert, how do you explain the various things people have believed throughout history? The majority has - at different times - believed in slavery as necessary, legitimate, and benevolent, the divine right of kings, the necessity of torturing and killing heretics, the inferiority of women, the necessity of burning witches, etc. etc. Now (in some sections of the world) they believe in capitalism. 

 

It was once believed that a man's "seed" (semen) contained little tiny, perfectly formed MEN, too small to see. And now we don't believe that.

 

I'm not sure your question makes sense. Or at any rate, I don't think an answer, nor a lack of one, would prove that we're all being brainwashed.

 

It wouldn't prove there were little green people living in the attic either. But I wasn't trying to prove either of these things. My main point was that the things people believe have a history and a context. A secondary point was that "the majority of 21st century Americans believe that capitalism is a good thing" has the same kind of significance as "the majority of 1st century Romans believed that slavery was natural, necessary, and approved by the gods".

ETA: The question certainly makes sense to historians, philosophers, anthropologists, to name but a few.

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Snert wrote:

[...]There can be no other reason why the populace could reject something as well thought out, and frankly, as perfect as anarchy![...]

Are you referring to the punk aesthetic, libertarian socialism, anarchism without adjectives, some other variant of anti-statist thought, or is this just the slur du jour? It is much easier to respond to you if you are more precise.

 

remind remind's picture

"slur du jour"

 

OMG, sometimes my destined to never be achieved love for you is overwhelming....    :D

NDPP

Military, Mounties Trained for the Games - Demonstrations a Greater Security Threat than Terrorism: CSIS

http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2946

"The role the Canadian Forces play in domestic security is not new in Canada but the security plan for the 2010 Olympics demonstrated an intensification of using military strategies to control public dissent...The Olympics also acted as a catalyst for integration with the US, increasing the transfer and training of military and security knowledge and equipment.."

 

remind remind's picture

no worries next year Canada will be where the Greeks are today.....and the fascist corporations will have more control.

Di

 

I'd like an example of an occasion where "peaceful" (that is, conforming to the boundaries allowed by the very state whose actions trigger protest. "Free speech zones", for example) has actually accomplished anything of substance.

Jingles wrote:

A few examples I can think of are the online labour actions, Avaaz.org's successes, and the protesters at Clayoquot Sound who were peacefully arrested -- and were schooled in how to do this beforehand.  Also the educational campaigns around that time by WC2.  By exposing people to the wilderness that could be logged, they sensitized the general public about what they could lose.  These actions are and were successful because they were carefully thought out, empowered ordinary people who are concerned but don't know what they can do and produced meaningful results.

It would be great to see the discussion move to how we can define our goals, and come up with strategies to help us attain them.  Part of the goal is to gain public sympathy and support (which the smashysmashy stuff doesn't). 

Assuming that the masses are stupid diminishes our causes.  A lot of the general public haven't been exposed to what we have, and I find that when I explain my point of view respectfully to a friend, often they thank me afterwards for putting an issue into perspective.  What they hear through the media is so boring and confusing that they tune out, but once they see what's being lost and why they often become activists.

Polunatic2

Quote:
I'd like an example
How about the US civil rights movement which raised non-violent resistance to a principle in order to bring down the legal pillars of white supremacy and segregation? 

WingNut

Whoever would argue that radical politics don't appeal to the majority has never paid attention to the CBC. Or lives in a bubble. I dunno.

But to answer the question of who gets to decide what is an acceptable form of protest, the media. Or, snert: white, middle-class, male, and happily married to his life of entitlement and privilege.

But Wingy, you might ask, how can you say such a thing? I can say it, my dears, because I do pay attention to the CBC (which for this pleasant discussion shall stand in for the MSM/corporate media/whores with word processors/your preference). What I have discovered through my many, many years of careful research supported through Hostess Potato Chips and Moslon's Export, is that the CBC loves, just loves, political violence, radicalism, and even terrorism. Just as long as its conducted within states not on the White House christmas card list.

For example, the CBC has reported breathlessly and approvingly on radical politics and violent protest in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Myanmar, Venezeula, etc ... Likewise, The CBC has seldom condemned state terrorism when conducted by the US (drone attacks, massacres, Fallujah) or Israel (Gaza, assassinations, kidnapping, torture, the targetting of civilians, massacres) or Colombia (disappearnances, rape, murder, dispossession, massacres).

And the reason for all of the above is that political protest at home is often geared at altering the status quo that keeps snert warm at night while political protest and terrorism conducted abroad is often geared at shoring up that very same status quo.

A person could cause his or her brain to implode trying to figure out why peaceful protest at home is always ignored, or minimized, while legitimate protests that turn violent are always demonized as are the protestors. And the same is true for protests anywhere, peaceful or not, when they are conducted by those who provide snert with his warm jammies and happy, happy smiling TV faces whether in Palestine, or Peru, or Baghdad, or Vancouver.

To know whether the CBC will sternly report on a violent protest or cheer with the gasps of the near orgasmic, ask who benefits or doesn't from the perception of political instability and the calls for political change? If it is workers, indigenous peoples, or democracy as a whole who might benefit, sterm reporting. It it is international finance, global corporations, energy corporations, US interests (a combination of the three) who might benefit, near orgasmic panting reporting.

snert's contention that the majority don't support radical, violent politics is as valid as the contention that the majority wouldn't drink a toxic, acidic brew if we called it Coke or Pepsi. It's all in the marketing and the CBC is nothing if not a marketing company for Bread and Circuses Inc. -- Killing is our living.

NDPP

Excellent discussion of 'Heart Attack' protests and diversity of tactics  by Vancouver Media coop's Dawn Paley on Rabble TV frontpage:

http://www.rabble.ca/rabbletv/program-guide/2010/02/features/vancouver-m...

Fidel

Pogo wrote:
King's notion of nonviolence had six key principles.

I think the largest issues right now in both Canada and the USA are the collapse of neoliberal ideology in the economy, and phony war. In America the two issues are directly related. Harper has committed Canadian taxpayers to spending on US-style military buildup in Canada forward to the year 2020. That's a lot of money and resources to waste in a country that can't afford it with the massive debt they're dinging up now same as Mulroney. They will spend billions of dollars as before, and most Canadians will never see any benefit from it. And we are continuing to send troops to an illegal war and NATO military buildup on the other side of the world. HEL-LO frozen hosers? And some large minority of Canadians have swallowed hook, line and sinker the American inquisition's raison d'etre for waging phony war in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The 9/11 Truth and anti-war movements seem to be divided somewhat in both countries, but these are already existing anti-imperialist grassroots organizations with some fairly significant and credible people already backing both of them. I think the US bipartisan war parties worked together to create Al-Qa'eda/Al-CIA'da some time ago. And in lockstep, Canada's mirror image bipartisan war parties have shadowed US government policies in Afghanistan and Iraq from the time of both Bush's, Clinton,  and now Obama. Whatever Uncle Sam says goes as far as Canada's two old line parties are concerned. And Canada's Liberal and Tory parties are only concerned with fulfilling their colonial administrative duties and completing tasks assigned to them by their imperial masters in Warshington. If the left united on this, we could turn this war of disinformation against the US and Canadian right, and use it to destabilize the plutocracy like they've worked to achieve in so many other countries around the world. This could eventually develop into revolutionary change, and not just for Canada but in the heart of the vicious empire itself where real change, whenever it does occur in the U.S.,  seems to radiate outward like spokes of wheel to the rest of the western world.

remind remind's picture

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee wingy you goooooo....................!

Slumberjack

I'm kinda partial with the cut of that jib at #30 as well.

Di

WingNut wrote:

What I have discovered through my many, many years of careful research supported through Hostess Potato Chips and Moslon's Export

You eat Hostess potato chips while researching protest on the CBC?  Interesting that you would support a multi-national through your consumption while doing this -- not exactly voting with your wallet, are you?

Slumberjack

From experience, the process of growing potatoes in the backyard and attempting to process them into a reasonable facsimile of the ubiquitous snack food is a fairly time and labour intensive process, where the end result never quite captures the desirable essence that one looks for in a potato chip.

Michelle

I think he was being sarcastic. :D

BTW, you're not using a Windows or Apple computer to discuss this, are you? ;)

Slumberjack

Snert wrote:
 That must be it! There can be no other reason why the populace could reject something as well thought out, and frankly, as perfect as anarchy!

Being seen as an apparent beneficiary of the catastrophic order of things has an opiate effect among the masses, even in the midst of an openly declared class war upon those who are accustomed as a result to a more skeletal existence. As long as people are willing to trade away the dignity of others for the economic security of the few, as long as they tolerate massive layoffs so long as it doesn't affect them, the police beatings, the multi-billion dollar tax rip-offs, the division of entire groups of humanity into threat assessments, one may never come to decide that such a system, even if voted in by an apparently democratic election, has no ethical reason to survive when everything else must bow to its will or perish, and only merits being dismantled.

What remains largely unrecognizable to most at present is an inescapable decision to pass from a paradigm of corporate genocidal governance to a paradigm of living at the price of revolt, or we continue to allow planetary level disasters to unfold under the yoke of perpetual market growth and the protective security apparatus, where the imperial oligarchy and it's complacent plebeian classes coexist until everyone is enslaved and everything is rendered uninhabitable.

Di

I only mention it because this discussion just seems so far removed from tactics.  Voting with our wallets can be really effective, and it's frustrating that there's so much ranting going on and so little discussion of effective tactics.  Some of the other means of non-violent protest Gandhi used were economic -- like making his own salt instead of importing it from Britain, and weaving his own cotton. 

The big corporations are all about profit, so we should try to address that.  It doesn't take much.  If you shop at Walmart, why not shop at the Sally Anne instead?  Or buy local or fairly traded. Or buy as little as possible (which is easy in this economy). Or move your money from a bank to a credit union, or put your RRSP funds into something environmentally friendly, and let other people know why.

The Yes Men are great tactitians -- actions that make people think about what they're doing and providing alternatives is a big deal. Reducing it to violence/non-violence misses so much.  It would be great to see a discussion about effective/non-effective action.

 

Polunatic2

@ Di - I provided a response to your earlier question - wondering your views on the thesis that civil rights movement used non-violent means to successfully achieve its objectives. 

Michelle

No Difference Party, that is an interesting clip and I just watched it and she made some good points.

I had to laugh at the end, though.  She just got through telling us that the mainstream corporate media lies and distorts.  And then at the end, she complains that all they did was "feast" and "gorge themselves" on shots of the broken windows.

Well, what do you expect?  Yes, that IS what the mainstream media does.  So why hand them such images on a silver platter?  It's just poor strategy.  Complaining about the fact that they don't report the "so much information" that you're putting out is pissing into the wind, if you are giving them something much juicier to focus on instead by breaking windows.  Anyone who works in media knows that in an 8-second soundbite world, your "so much information" isn't going to get onto the television news, and that if you smash a bunch of windows, that WILL get onto the television news.

Yes, I agree that police with assault rifles are ridiculous overkill, and I agree that calling them "peace officers" is Orwellian.  But that's beside the point.  I agree that CTV and VANOC and the police are in cahoots and feeding each other.  So in that case, when you're protesting something so popular that 84% of Canadians who were watching television during opening ceremonies were watching the opening ceremonies, why use a tactic that will completely alienate everyone who watches it?

remind remind's picture

Did it achieve its directive? Or is it my imagination blacks in the USA  are  poorer than whites by far, and are in jail in larger numbers?

 

Or are we only looking at Oprah et al these days.

 

As it seems that would be like us saying that First Nations,  are successful and thriving  from when they got the right to vote too, plus a bag of chips.

 

 

Slumberjack

Di wrote:
  Reducing it to violence/non-violence misses so much. 

The reduction to violence, which is monopolized by the corporate state through its own self serving laws, is routinely wielded against citizens who extend themselves beyond window dressing forms of protest, and for some, it can materialize as police intervention for the impudent act of using a sidewalk.  Justified self-defence can be expressed through a variety of conceivable reactions.

NDPP

"All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop  wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance..."

Chris Hedges: Zero Point of Systemic Collapse

http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/88/chris-hedges.html

WingNut

Di wrote:

I only mention it because this discussion just seems so far removed from tactics.  Voting with our wallets can be really effective, and it's frustrating that there's so much ranting going on and so little discussion of effective tactics.  Some of the other means of non-violent protest Gandhi used were economic -- like making his own salt instead of importing it from Britain, and weaving his own cotton. 

The big corporations are all about profit, so we should try to address that.  It doesn't take much.  If you shop at Walmart, why not shop at the Sally Anne instead?  Or buy local or fairly traded. Or buy as little as possible (which is easy in this economy). Or move your money from a bank to a credit union, or put your RRSP funds into something environmentally friendly, and let other people know why.

The Yes Men are great tactitians -- actions that make people think about what they're doing and providing alternatives is a big deal. Reducing it to violence/non-violence misses so much.  It would be great to see a discussion about effective/non-effective action.

 

In all seriousness, I couldn't agree more. You see, it's all about the power of the individual. You. Me. Us. Together but apart as grouped individuals representing real power. Purchasing power! I can feel it! Even as I ... I ... type ... OH MY GOD!... it feels sooooo good ....

I'm sorry. I'll get a grip, no I mean a hold, no I mean I will calm down, get into my happy place, think nice thoughts, icecream, sunny days, yellow flowers ....

Okay, so, back to where I was. I couldn't agree more. There is in fact an entire philosophy built around the very ideas you are expressing.  You can read more about it here. I like to think of it this way: let's say we all vacationed at a Florida time share with a swimming pool. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, there were 12 couples, with shared domestics, for a total of 30 people. Now let's say, further, we shared in common a swimming pool. Now let's also say six of us routinely urinate in that pool. That would piss the rest of you off (no pun intended but it works) ; especially assuming we all pay equal shares.

Now there are two ways you could go about addressing this: the communist way, and the freedom way.

The communist way would require all the gays and socialists to go away, form a committee, and return with rules that would include denying us pee-ers access to the pool and maybe even denying us our time shares. That kind of big government, draconian, tyranny-of-the-majority thinking is what's ruined this country. And the USA. too. It's turned us all into a nation of  milquetoasts pissing in toilets and lowering the seat when we're done. We used to be real consumers. Git 'er done, we would say to each other as we marched ourselves to the Home Depot. It's a damn shame is what it is.

With the freedom way, each one of you would exercise your God given right to ostracize me and my fellow liquidators. You'd leave us to the chemically pure water of the pool and our deviant practices secure in not only being politically righteous and ideologically pure, but that in being shunned through the act of individual choice, we will eventually recognize the errors of our ways and conform to individualistic norms. God bless ya. 

So long as you're not using the pool you don't mind if I swim naked, do you?

Fidel

WingNut wrote:
With the freedom way, each one of you would exercise your God given right to ostracize me and my fellow liquidators. You'd leave us to the chemically pure water of the pool and our deviant practices secure in not only being politically righteous and ideologically pure, but that in being shunned through the act of individual choice, we will eventually recognize the errors of our ways and conform to individualistic norms. God bless ya.

[url=http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2009/grades.cfm]ASCE Report Card for America's Infrastructure[/url]  C- grade for parks and recreation, and  D grade overall

The freedom way in America has been to lower taxes, dreg'ulate and privatize just about everything in sight since Ronald Raygun. Public swimming  pools and Olympic sportsplexes across the USA began resembling that of the former USSR years ago except sans cold war embargoes and dirty wars to point to as an excuse for the failed ideology. In fact, the USSR wasn't as bankrupt by 1989. The city of Vancouver's waterworks need repairs and upgrades worth billions of dollars. Money for circuses but not clean water and sewers. It's busted, Jim.

WingNut

Fidel you old, Cuban, bastard, you ... I hear ya. I really do. I just don't care. I'd like to, if only for old time's sake (you're old, right?), but I just can't summon the will. I feel it. I just can't do it. You understand.

j.m.

WingNut wrote:

Fidel you old, Cuban, bastard, you ... I hear ya. I really do. I just don't care. I'd like to, if only for old time's sake (you're old, right?), but I just can't summon the will. I feel it. I just can't do it. You understand.

It's the power of capital. It has that effect on people.

Fidel

WingNut wrote:

Fidel you old, Cuban, bastard, you ... I hear ya. I really do. I just don't care. I'd like to, if only for old time's sake (you're old, right?), but I just can't summon the will. I feel it. I just can't do it. You understand.

E.D. and change of life seminars are down the hall on the right next to neoliberals anon. ha

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Di wrote:

I only mention it because this discussion just seems so far removed from tactics.  Voting with our wallets can be really effective, and it's frustrating that there's so much ranting going on and so little discussion of effective tactics.  Some of the other means of non-violent protest Gandhi used were economic -- like making his own salt instead of importing it from Britain, and weaving his own cotton. 

The big corporations are all about profit, so we should try to address that.  It doesn't take much.  If you shop at Walmart, why not shop at the Sally Anne instead?  Or buy local or fairly traded. Or buy as little as possible (which is easy in this economy). Or move your money from a bank to a credit union, or put your RRSP funds into something environmentally friendly, and let other people know why.

The Yes Men are great tactitians -- actions that make people think about what they're doing and providing alternatives is a big deal. Reducing it to violence/non-violence misses so much.  It would be great to see a discussion about effective/non-effective action.

 

C

Yes indeed, finding ways to hit the corporations in their wallets is almost always a useful tactic.    Much more useful than smashing a few windows.    Speaking of which...(Windows that is), I figure I hit Microsoft in the wallet every time I install a GNU/Linux operating system on someone's computer.   It means that they're on their way to computing with community built software instead of monopoly corporate software. Microsoft...one of the most profitable corporations in the world doesn't like me very much ;)

 Edited to add:   Microsoft happens to have an 18% interest in MSNBC..a major part of the NBC empire ... the folks who have the Olympic games rights in the US.   So wanna hurt NBC?  Organize an Olympic-sized GNU/Linux install fest.

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