Jan 23rd - Feb 2nd 2008
*Gandhi said it's better to resist violently than to use nonviolence to
hide your passivity. Meanwhile, Bono, the Burmese military, and 9 out of
10 humanitarian NGOs agree, peaceful resistance is the best!*
is strong when it comes to violence, we need to attack them where they are
weak! Everyone working for social change is familiar with the cliches of
pacifism. And to many people it seems that using more radical, illegal,
or violent tactics is naturally isolating. But what if it's actually our
supposed allies, or our own revolutionary practices, that are isolating
us? What if violence is something diverse, undefinable, a hopelessly
broad category that encompasses institutions that perpetuate oppression
and actions that can empower and liberate us? What if we are all cogs in
a violent system, and what if pacifists are tools of a violent system?
People working for social change face plenty of difficult questions, but
sometimes matters of strategy and tactics receive low priority. Among many
activists, the role of nonviolence as the default mode of struggle bears
little scrutiny. Even as it pretends to contain moral strength,
nonviolence is a major obstacle in global movements for social change.
Nonviolence is based on a number of historical falsifications that enforce
an inaccurate understanding of revolution, it protects white privilege and
the privilege of the Global North, it can reinforce patriarchal dynamics,
and it makes anti-authoritarians complicit with the authorities,
preserving the State monopoly of force.
Ultimately, nonviolence is created and encouraged by the State, and
antithetical to anarchist revolution.
Wednesday 23rd Jan @ Kebele Social Centre (Bristol) starts 7pm
14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6JY
Tel: 0117 9399469
Thursday 24th Jan @ PAD (Cardiff) starts 7.30pm
118 Clifton Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff, CF24 1LW
Friday 25th Jan @ Next to Nowhere (Liverpool) starts 7pm
96 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HY
Tel: 0151 703 6806
Sunday 27th Jan (Venue tbc)
Tuesday 29 January @ Star & Shadow Cinema starts 7:30pm
Stepney Bank, Newcastle, NE1 2BB.
Thursday 31st Jan @ Common Place (Leeds) starts 7pm
23 - 25 Wharf Street, Leeds, LS2 7EQ
Tel: 0845 345 7334
Friday 1st Feb @ Cowley Club (Brighton) starts 6pm
12 London Road, Brighton BN1 4JA
Tel: 01273 696104
Saturday 2nd Feb @ Ramparts* starts 7pm
15 -17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Tel: 07050 618445
*Ramparts is under eviction, please keep checking Indymedia for updates.
For more info on the tour see: www.wombles.org.uk
Meeting House, Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh.
There will be book stalls, free info stalls etc.
If you wish to stop a fellow anarchist or other political ally from committing a violent act and you feel that your only option left is to report to a state authority, then not only are you morally wrong but you have been deeply indoctrinated by the state. It would seem that, according to the anarchists present, that there is a line that you can draw when it comes saving a human life, be it a child or fully rounded adult. This seems to suggest to me that there is a belief that human life is expendable for a political cause if by the way of saving it means going to a state authority. This is an incredible notion. Does this not make you as bad as the oppressive state, who believe human life to be expendable an a day to day basis?
If saving a human life meant that I was going to grass up my friends, family or political allies by informing a sate authority because I deemed it my only option, then I would gladly take on the label with pride.
It seemed the meeting’s ramblings and hypothetical debates did not address the topic or answer any of my questions. How would the state react to a violent resistance? What would be the implications for our civil liberties? Perhaps more importantly what would happen to the movement behind the cause?
The sate would inevitably come down hard on any violent resistance and possibly use it as a further push for ID cards, more heavily armed police and harsher tactics. With that in mind our civil liberties would greatly suffer and the movements would become even more divided and fragmented then they are today.
The over simplified view of peaceful protesters was quite infuriating, we are not all pacifists and I would hope that people where intelligent enough to see the difference between having the privilege to protest peacefully here in the UK etc, and the need for others, in more violent situations, to use a more violent resistance.
I would suggest that the way forward would be to utilise the non-violent forms of protest that we have now, organisation it the key and the lack of it is where our movements have failed, mass civil disobedience is excellent if executed flawlessly. There is also a need to draw attention to our non-violent protest and highlight the states blatant, accepted, violence from state authorities.
To me, non-violent protest is a form of protest that has many other values than sending a message to the state. Surely empowering, educating and reaffirming people about your briefs, views or cause is fundamental to any movement and this is hard to do in a violent manner.
I liked the argument that State violence can be used to win some types of campaign.
A reform can be won where a change of law is implimented by the System.
There are some reforms which the police would never implement.
Some of those who would loose out from such radical reforms argue that only "non-violence" is legitimate.
is not important