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Violent or Peaceful Protesting

by Caleb-Dain Matton Thursday, May. 30, 2002 at 11:11 AM

Is Pacifsm Flawed???



Henry David Thoreau once said, The question is not about the weapon but the spirit in which you use it. It is important to note that as a protestor I see peace as the ultimate ideology but the use of violence as an inevitable means to get us there.

Before I dwell into the absolute justifying of violent protesting over peaceful protesting, I feel obliged to make you aware that I am peaceful by nature. I am kind to all living things and treat all life with respect. However I cannot tolerate the scum that corrupts our world. And that is where I draw the line.

So how did I come to the conclusion that violence against the establishment is warranted? Well, I am one in a rare and exceptional few who have that kind of love towards the tens of thousands of humans who die daily that makes me unable to endure patiently the mass of evil and suffering. This may be misjudged and misinterpreted in connection with propaganda by the media who points to protesters as being thugs and troublemakers. However, the media makes no attempt to say that starving someone to death or forcing children to work in sweatshops is where the true violence lies.

I believe in God so I have thought real long and hard about my violent use towards whom and what I believe to be evil and I have found that Christians have long supported force for what they believe to be moral ends. From the time of the Theban Legions through the Crusades and right up to present day when Bishops bless nuclear submarines. The Bible recounts the story of David and Goliath and Jesus anger as he flipped over the tables of the moneychangers in the temple. These are all accounts of Christianity justifying force. Even the Vatican and Pope reaffirm the standing teaching that armed rebellion is indeed morally justified in case of prolonged and stubborn tyranny. Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. -- Thomas Jefferson.

The great pacifist Ghandi was stumped when asked a question during the Second World War. He was asked what course of action should the Jews take while Hitler aims to exterminate them all. His response was inevitably non-pacified. He said that the Jews should conduct a mass suicide! What a violent solution! But what else could Ghandi have said? There is no passive response to a tyrants actions.

My beef against peaceful protestors began while at a demonstration. I saw a protestor smash a bank window (smash Capitalism). Out of the blue a peaceful protestor came over to cry about it and was yelling and ranting to the window-breaker. I rushed over and told the peaceful protestor that this lousy bank window was not worth demoralizing this human being over. That it was just glass, nothing more. I then threatened to break some windows myself and asked him what he would do about it. Walk away was all he could do. See that is the thing about peaceful protesting. Peaceful protestors are automatically thwarted into a dilemma.

As an analogy of dilemma lets say your neighbour is a mean person who frequently comes over and beats the shit out of you. You take these beatings because of your passive ideology but one day you see your neighbour hop the other side of his property and begins to beat the shit out of his neighbour. What would a peaceful protestor do if he couldnt call the police? He cant pull his neighbour off. That is direct action. Does the peaceful protestor just hope that the beaten man is passive as well and can handle this beating? At any rate the peaceful protestor has a decision to make whereas I dont. I would hop that fence in a jiffy and do some serious ass-kicking. No dilemma here.

It wasnt hard for me to become active with a jump-started violent attitude when it comes to protesting. I think I used the simple logic that if there is a rock on the road, you cant ask it to leave, you have to pick that little sucker up and physically move it. I sometimes wonder when watching BraveHeart how effective William Wallace would have been if he held a sign that read, English, Please Leave

The funny thing about peaceful protestors is I watch them sit in one place and then the cops simply charge into them and they all get up and move somewhere else to sit. At least try to follow through on your passive resistance and stay in one place, dying if you have to. Watching you run and sit, and run and sit just makes me dizzy.

Also, peaceful protestors get clubbed and pepper-sprayed like crazy and think that people at home are going to sympathize with them if they dont fight back. Get it through your heads. The image of you being beaten and not fighting back has already been showed. It isnt going to save the world. These people at home are a waste of skin who are cozy playing golf and could give two shits about what happens to you; peaceful or not.

But I know for a fact that people who do want to join the cause would more likely fight to defend their lives, rather than allowing themselves to be beaten and punished.

The established elitists can be compared to a child. They will try to take what they want. They will touch things that are not theirs. They need to be reminded who the parent is. When a child touches something he shouldnt and you respond with saying No for the first time, this child does not know what that word means. There has been no corresponding action to the word so he has nothing to fear from hearing it, hence all your colourful signs at the protests. It isnt until you say No and show some kind of punishment at that instance whether it be a light tap on their hand or some time out that the child will then be able to recognize the implication of the word No. Now that the child knows that the word No displeases his motives will they finally begin to take your plea seriously. You have to treat those with reckless power in the same manner. They need to be scared. They need to be intimidated. They need to know what No means. One million people carrying signs walking in circles outside my house would not scare me but one million people charging into my house about to kick my ass would. Can you correlate the difference?

I bleed, bruise and get battered for what I see is ethically and morally right to my standards. I do the opposite to what my enemy says. If he says he will only tolerate a peaceful protest, I make sure to give him the most violent protest I can muster. The politicians cry for peaceful protest and say they will only tolerate this. Do you really expect this will change their heart? Would you even trust any ruling power which is wise enough to make sufficient arguments on how you should or should not protest against them be wise enough to know that something in their structure is obviously wrong to be protested against in the first place? Peaceful protestors give them exactly what they want: Song and Dance and No Fight!!

It seems that the effectiveness of non-violence is enhanced when it stands out in sharp relief against a backdrop of actual violence. In other words non-violence needs violence in the same way that stars need the night sky to show themselves off. Non-violence is too simple. It is an easy way not to get yourself hurt or sacrifice pain for others. It is a scapegoat in having to not get your hands dirty. Anyone sitting at home watching TV can claim they are non-violent advocators. As history dictates itself, experience has shown that evil left unchecked does not eventually defeat itself or go away you either fight it or feed it.

I choose to fight it in a world where action speaks louder than words and I will continue my absolute style of violent protest.

I realize not everyone can fight such as old ladies and those who are disabled and we need a voice that co-exists with their punishment so as long as you choose to remain peaceful, I ask that you dont knock my ability or try to stop me in the middle of a protest.

On a final note, I dont dislike peaceful protestors. After all, we are working for the same cause. I do disagree with your absolute peaceful methods just as you mine. But I feel secure in knowing that in time after being constantly ignored but beaten and constantly unnoticed but bruised you too will inevitably fight back. Caleb


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Thoughts on Violence v. Nonviolence CC Friday, May. 31, 2002 at 4:31 PM

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