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Non-violent means can be just as effective

by frank Thursday, Oct. 26, 2000 at 11:07 AM

non-violent methods to shut down any summit

I know there is a lot of division going on right now between the

"violent" and non-violent camps. I know this may bring about

some anger on part of those of us who have chosen to be

more aggressive in our tactics. I really aplaud the courage of

both sides of this divide. I do believe we have the same goals

at heart. That said though, I believe we could have more

courage in our means. This method is only for those willing to

place their bodies in the way of direct physical damage and

we should expect to have limbs broken. If we want to shut

down a meeting of World Bank officials, etc. all we have to do

is march straight into police lines arms linked without a single

act of violence until either one of two things happens: every

single protester is beaten and bloodied in the streets or the

police lines have collapsed from their inability to maintain the

continuous beatings necessary to keep us at bay. Let's see

media try to explain how 10,000 demonstrators are in the

hospital without a single police injury. Either the building falls to

the protesters or the appalling atrocity necessary to hold the

meetings will galvanize the population. We have to be willing

to die for our cause and believe it or not it takes much more

guts to be beaten continuously then it does to throw a few

rocks and run away to fight again and I believe it will be a

100X more effective. If we are willing to go to these lengths

there is nothing the world that can stop us.

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non-violence more effective

by Julia Stein Thursday, Oct. 26, 2000 at 1:40 PM
stein_julia@smc.edu

I think the history of non-violence shows how it is a much more

effective tactic than any use of violence and that violence is

counter-productive.

Hannah Arendt wrote in her chapter "Denmark and the Jews" in her

book _Eichman in Jersualem_ how the Danes succesfully used

non-violence against the Nazis to save the Jews in Denmark. The argument against non-violence was that it couldn't be used against

any group as agressive as the Nazis is simply untrue because the

Danes did just that.

Places non-violence have bee used successfuly have been the American

South use of non-violence to end segregation; Poland where Solidarity

and trade union movement ended with non-violence the Communist

regime; Ghandi's use of non-violence to end British rule in India;

the use of non-violence to end apartheid in South Africa (commentators have said that it was non-violence such as when Africans boycotted white businesses and the international boycott of South Afrian and not violence that were crucial in ending apartheid

in South Afria).

On the other hand, when the anti-Vietnam war movement in the

United States use violence in the late 1960s it lost support, was

effectively isolated and destroyed a part of itself. The American

people by the late 1960s accepted the message of the anti-war

protestors that the war was unwinnable and needed to be ended

but the majority of Americans detested the protestors, in great

part because their use of violence alienated the very people they

wanted to reach. The moral of the 1960s anti-war movement is

that use of violence helps destruct the movement.

Julia Stein

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