|Sent time:||Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:45:37 AM|
|Subject:||Re: RE: [september17discuss] Re: Open Letter to the Occupy Movement|
We’re not talking about universalpacifism which some might espouse, but shouldn’t impose on the wholegroup. We’re talking, as Dougsays, about strategic use of non-violent tactics, which broadens our base, doesnot substitute the actions of the few for that of the masses, removes theexcuse for police violence (not that they always need it), prevents many beinghurt by a do-your-own thing form
of anarchism, and avoids manipulation by provocateurs.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Doug Singsen
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 20119:54 AM
Subject: Re: [september17discuss]Re: Open Letter to the Occupy Movement
I have no problem withpeople taking back a building and trying to hold it.The problem is that the way they did it--in secret, late at night, with a smallgroup--led to its failure. If hadbeen done earlier, when there were thousands of people in the streets, withlots of support (which would have required organizing it publicly), it couldhave been a great success. Dittowith vandalism. The question iswhether it helps the movement. Whatdoes vandalism accomplish? Does it help our cause in any way? I think theanswer is no. As for self-defense,the most effective self-defense is to have a shit-ton of people with youwhenever you do anything illegal (like, say, occupying a park in downtown Manhattan). You have to take strategy and tactics seriously. Trying to pull off good ideas with bad tactics isa mistake, and I absolutely reserve the right to have a constructive butcritical discussion of what kind of tactics our movement needs in order tosucceed.
On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 11:24 PM, Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Iagree that a serious discussion about the
implications of "diversity of tactics" is important. I strongly agree
that there are certain tactics that can't possibly have a place in a
progressive social movement.However, I think enforcing pacifism on
everyone, regardless of the circumstances, isn't okay.I have
tremendous respect for pacifists past and present that advance social
justice. Facing policeviolence and refusing to defend yourself is
extremely brave! But, it's a personal choice.In the face of police
brutality people should not be condemned or called an agent
provocateur for defending themselves or their friends! Just because
an individual is a pacifist shouldn't mean they can deprive others of
the right to defend themselves or their friends! Of course police
brutality should be filmed and documented, but if people defend their
friends that shouldn't be condemned.
Secondly, I take issue with some of the
discussion about the Oaklandgeneral strike. I really don't think
it's for us to condemn Oaklandmilitants who attempted to expropriate
a foreclosed homeless shelter and turn it into a community center! The
talk of bad press it generated really misses the point.Of course the
media is going to put a ring wing spin on the Oakland general strike.
We're not trying to win over the media, we're trying to win over
working people! Case in point is a conversation I had with my
roommate, a politically inactive DC 37 rank and filer.When I
explained how advanced Oaklandis in the occupy struggle she wasn't
initially impressed: (Loosely paraphrasing)
Roommate: "Okay, so they had a general strike in Oakland and shut
down the port. What exactly do theywant?"
Me: "Well, they're trying to create a free and open society. For
example: they took over an empty foreclosed building and turned it
into a community center briefly but the cops took it back."
Roommate: "Ahh man! That's awesome! They should be doing more stuff
like that. Too bad the cops took itback".
Finally, I take issue with the way some people
seem to blame the militants, who expropriated the building, for
police violence. The blame forpolice violence rest squarely on the
Police and Mayor of Oakland. Period. I find it bizarre that people
would think otherwise. The Oakland police have along history of
violence and terrorism and it's not because anarchists provoke them!
It's because of a brutal system of oppression.I understand this is a
contentious issue and I really wanna keep things comradely. I'm not
trying to troll the list serv, I just want to express an opinion that
isn't getting heard. I know I'm notalone on this.
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