There is a post on the December 21st IMC calendar concerning an upcoming protest against a gathering of neo nazis scheduled for that date. Apparently, it is the intention of those who posted this calendar item to interfere with this activity and prevent them from "publically organizing."
In a subsequent e-mail exchange with a spokesman for the group, I was told, courteously, that, "preaching Aryan revolution should not be protected by free speech." I don't want to quote extensively from the e-mail, because it was sent to me privately, and publishing it without first contacting the author, in my opinion, would be inconsiderate. But, the author goes on to say that the counter demonstration could get violent because it is their intention to stop the neo nazis, one way or the other.
Please check out the post for yourself on the IMC calendar for 12/21/01, and contact them yourself.
But also, I think it would be beneficial to get a dialogue going on the newswire about this. Their intentions bring up some important questions, at least it seems so to me. In this case, how far should one go in protesting the actions of another? At what point do ones actions begin to merge with the actions they seek to discourage?
Martin Luther King's words seem extremely pertinent here: The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil,it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot
murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot
drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
It seems to me that this attempt to prevent Volksfront from publically organizing would publically blurr the line between Hate groups on the one hand, and those who purport to champion basic human rights and equality on the other. And whether successful or not, this intrusion would be wholly to the advantage of the hate groups.
Abhorance for any philosophy, if taken to the point of interfering with anothers constitutionally guaranteed rights, dilutes and threatens to overthrow that Constitution and errode the rights of us all.
To act violently, or evenmerely to prevent lawful assembly and free speech, of the neo nazis, however odious one might consider their philosophy and activities, renders one, at least to some degree, indistinguishable from them, both in philosophy and action.
I can't see any difference, philosophically, between the Nazis rights to PEACEFUL assemby and free speech, and the same rights of anyone else to do likewise, say, those who rally and march PEACEFULLY in opposition to the war in Afghanistan. Both threaten the position held by the majority. Both outrage positions held by a particular status quo.
This is not to say that those who object to their philosophy aren't duty bound to protest their activites; I am saying that it is the action to prevent the exercize of their right of assembly and free speech runs the risk of blurring the distinctions between these two groups.
Hate triumphs to the degree we respond to any given situation with hate; as tyranny and oppression triumph to the degree one responds to threats with the erradication or abridgement of the liberties of another.
These are my views; I'm sure that their are many other perspectives out there. The IMC newswire is the perfect forum for us to publish some of these viewpoints. There are many good reasons to loathe and detest hate mongering and racism, but do these reasons properly authorize us to violently interfere with their constitutionally guaranteed activities???