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Violence in self defense

so, i'm wondering, when we are having peaceful protests, and the police come in and start swinging, why shouldn't we be swinging (or shooting) back?
now, i'm not suggesting anything to anyone, merely presenting an open question or thought. why shouldn't protesters or any one being harrassed by the police fight back in self defense? what do we have to lose? oh, maybe we'll get arrested? that happens regardless. maybe we'll get shot or beaten? that is pretty much guaranteed too, resisting police or not, as we have seen in sacto, seattle, and our home town. the pigs don't care about us. they are out to get us, period. sure, they may be nice people if they are not wearing a badge, and you meet them in a social situation. cops can even be friendly if you are in the good citizen role, but as soon as you show up at an anti-establishment rally, they see you as the enemy, even if they personally don't see you as the enemy, they are ordered by their masters to, and like good nazi foot soldiers (after all, they were just following orders too, right?), they do as their told and ignore their conscience.
when they put on the riot gear and start swinging, i see that as a direct physical assualt. as such, perhaps we should consider defending ourselves. i think the Black Panthers had a great idea. show up to marches legally carrying rifles and weapons. after all, that is a guaranteed constitutional right courtesy of the republicans, right? and carrying a rifle is different than carrying a pistol. you have to get a permit for carrying a handgun, but any redneck with a pickup can have a gun rack. i wonder how differently police would treat a group of protesters when they see a bunch of people carrying shotguns and hunting rifles? the cops fuck us over because they know we won't do shit about it besides bitch and moan and maybe have a lawsuit which will never win, and if it does, will never indict the actual cops themselves. if the cops actually see that we are armed just like they are, i think it would level the playing field. they won't be so quick to come out swinging if they see that they may encounter serious resistance. i mean, come on, locking hands and forming lines to take over intersections only works till the cops show up, then its broken skulls, pepper spray and paddy wagons. they may be a little more polite if they see a few rifles or swords or baseball bats or sharp gardening implements, whatever. i believe as long as you are not weilding them in a threatening manner, than you could legally bring possible self defense implements to a rally. after all, non-violence is just getting our asses kicked. i'll look into the laws on carrying weapons more closely and write a follow up to this.
spoken like a patriot 26.Jun.2003 03:41

juan

amerikkka has a long tradition of armed self defense. the book Strike! goes into it in detail. humans seem to be the only species that will go into a violent situation and not defend them selves. and it's not that this comes natual, but it is a learned behavior. the trick for us now is unlearning this behavior and start to stand up for ourselves. we can legally carry guns, but we don't. why?

An Outdated Approach 26.Jun.2003 06:14

Z

Perhaps the reason why the local cops are so vicious is that they CAN"T kill.

In the 40 years since Malcolm was photographed looking out a window with rifle and tie, the militarization of local police has been very effective. By adopting the methodology of Christian Militias, white supremacists, and their ilk would be like throwing chum to sharks (apologies to the vegans, but the metaphor is too apt). They would love to trade in their rubber bullets for something more lethal. It certainly would save them on overtime watching resistors, wouldn't it?

And we should remember that the Department of Homeland Security probably has this very scenario ( highlighted with smiley faces) in their domestic pacification warbook. We have seen that pre-emptive strikes by the US Government has become order of the day. In short, death squads.

In those 40 years, in Africa, the Middle East, parts of Asia, Central AMerica and South America we have seen the effectiveness of armed resistance. It has made arming the juntas in power very lucrative. That is how the game is now rigged. Play the gun game, and win even more suppression of rights in this country. Is this movement willing to go outside the US and buy arms from supporting countries? Being pragmatic, that costs money. Willing to give up finacially supporting those overseas to afford playing the game?

It's an outdated approach. But do I have an answer? No, but this is a great place to find one.

Slither Back to Your S.P.I.K.E. training camp off-white snake 26.Jun.2003 07:02

quill

What the hell are you talking about? How many of the Black Panthers are now DEAD, murdered by those in power who felt threatened by the gun-toting behavior of the male leadership in the group, as well as the community-building work done by the women leaders... which was even more threatening, and probably actually incited the murders even more than the overt weapons-bearing. Because when the people band together to help provide for the needs of the community, the government feels real threatened then...

Just like when FDR struck up his "New Deal" to set up the welfare system to replace the community building work that was being done to address the serious situation of hunger and escalating unemployment similar to what we are experiencing now... only back then it was a worldwide economic depression...Wonder what role corporate greed played in that crash though... Now it is a worldwide economic OPpression and a system that spends the money of the american people on waging war with other people, and on attacking dissenting americans. Not much has really changed, and all forms of oppression are thriving in this economy where everyone is fighting over the scraps left over after the death machine spends the big bucks on war toys.

And in case you haven't noticed, the 2nd amendment is seriously eroded.

Those who live in the woods defending their own property aren't even safe with guns. Not when it's against law enforcement. Save them for when the government disintegrates and selfish libertarian-type americans end up "defending" whats "ours" from each other... Instead of looking out for each other and helping each other to survive.

Look at Randy Weaver, and his wife, and his son, and his dog... If you're such a Patriot I'm sure you've read all about that. And Waco. Wielding guns just gives an excuse to the governing powers to shoot the gun-wielder. Much as you would like to think that militias are still legal, that nasty little P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act trashed that major hope of "patriots" as well...And the gov't has access to much bigger and better firepower...

Only unity and strength of resolve worldwide to resist oppression in all it's forms will end this insanity. Violence begets violence.

Because you're out armed 26.Jun.2003 07:12

analog kid analogkid@nukevet.com

Hey guys, you want to see bloodshed. Go ahead and try this. Not only would you have the police arm themselves with heavy weapons, but you would also have the owners of the the property you folks always destroy and regular citizens show up to make sure your body count is high.

You are all delusional if you think you'd make your point by arming yourselves. But go ahead and try it. I live between both Seattle and Portland. I'd make it a point to show up at all the rallys. And I don;t stand out like a turd in a bakery like you folks do.

Non_violence brings down Empires 26.Jun.2003 09:02

James Stevens regimechange04@yahoo.com

Imagine what would have happenend if Dr. King started burning down busses instead of the boycott, violence adds more violence, and more importantly turns people of to your cause. The media is already good at it, why give the more of a reason. Most people here think cops are bad violent people, so what does becoming violent make you, aren't you better than them? It brought down the British Empire and changed America, however look at the reaction violence is causing for the Palestinians, imagine if they lined up at check points and the IDF pulled their tactics.

I am not sure were the idea that we need to fight them with violence comes from, how can it be wrong for a mob of racist white people to beat someone, but okay for you? Perhaps instead of flying the flags and stickers of Che Guevara or Chairman Mao, spend some time and figure out who and what they really were. It is out of pure ignorance that Guevara is idealized, to see people carrying around copies of Guerilla warfare is disgusting. He did start out as a decent man, but war, which we all oppose, swept him in, he had no problem executing civilians for political gain. Just because they are a pariah to the Federal gov't doesn't make them a good person or role model. Why not someone like Dr. King or Mohatma Ghandhi, they were far more successful than Che ever was.

1968 Civil Rights Act 26.Jun.2003 09:39

gerry

It's worth noting that the 1968 Act passed as a direct result of the rioting in many large American cities over the previous couple of years. Remember also that the 1964 Act was in many ways "toothless," or lacking enforcement capability of its provisions. Many blacks realized that nothing had really changed, and it wasn't until after the riots and passage of the more potent 1968 Act that some real progress was made (though obviously not enough).

Read History 26.Jun.2003 12:54

Anti-Fa

Violence can and should be used where the situation demands it - for example, armed groups in Latin America defending themselves from the rampaging military, who didn't differentiate between violent or non-violent dissenters - they were all just dissenters. I am thinking of the FSLN in Nicaragua and the FMLN in El Salvador. More interesting than mimicking guerilla organizations, would be to study the way in which the Zapatistas have used symbolic violence, something also pioneered by the Black Panthers (how many cops did they actually kill?)

However, in the current context of the U.S., any sort of armed response to repression would be literal suicide. If you doubt me, do some reading on the history of the "Years of Lead" in Italy. The government, right-wing groups and the secret services had little compunction about exploding bombs and blaming them on leftist militants (the famous "strategy of tension"); murdering militants; opening fire on demonstrations; imprisoning people on shoddy evidence; and other means which were used to crush the movement. While it was inevitable that the Italian government would go after Autonomia sooner or later, the presence of armed organizations like the Red Brigades facilitated their job as they could dismiss all of Autonomia, armed or unarmed, as terrorists who needed to be rooted out and crushed.

At this point, the majority of Americans have little sympathy for even the moderate left, so people on the far left going around killing cops and blowing up police stations would only end with the militants dead, and the rest of us in jail.

VIOLENCE pushed the British Empire out of India 26.Jun.2003 13:13

GRINGO STARS

James Stevens, do not use Hollywood as a historical source (they lie). Although the oscar-winning GANDHI was a good story, it only had elements of truth in it.

The Indian revolt against British rule was anything but nonviolent. Gandhi's tactical ideas, moreover, had serious limitations as a guide to struggle. Movements that began under Gandhi's sponsorship often ended in premature retreats or escalated into physical confrontations. And the final ouster of the British in 1947 can't be counted as a victory for Gandhi's methods, since India's independence came as the movement was shoving Gandhi and his nonviolent philosophy to the political margins.
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/14/Gandhi.shtml\

James, would you protect yourself against a violent aggressor or would you let him kill you? Would you allow the rape of your mother or would you repel the rapist with kind words perhaps? Are you interested in revolution or are you interested in conflict management? If you are for "peace" then you are staunchly for the status quo, and are essentially defending the ruling elite with your impotence.
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/24/pacifism_war.shtml

There are two issues here. 27.Jun.2003 16:26

AA

The prospect of defending ourselves from overzealous, militant civilians (the police) at demonstrations is very apealing to me. The thought of standing our ground and showing the world that we true patriots mean business and are willing to defend our rights and responsibilites as American citizens gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Gun though... hmmm A few of the posts here have stated the obvious; that the police would start really shooting people. But.... self defence and toting a firearm are really tow different things. Yes it is our right to bear arms. Yes it is our right to defend our person and property. But we can do it while still adhering to our principles. What if people started using peperspray against the police. It's not a gun and it would be hard to justify shooting people for using the same less leathal tactics that law enforcement (other citizens) are allowed to use. WHat if people showed up in armor or riot gear of their own. There are things called boffer-weapons which are basically a PVC pipe or rettan bamboo stick wrapped in foam and duct-tape. These are very effective blunt weapons and do not hurt anyone... especially when they are in armor themselves. But they do make an impact and can be used to drive the pigs out of an area when they are unjustly or illeagly detaining people, oppressing our rights and being all-round bitches.
What about caltrops for the horses, bikes and ATVs? Jacks for the horses so you don't hurt the horse and something a little more sharp for the rubber tires and feet of police. What about fireworks? The effects of hundreds of people with roman candles would be amazing. Bottle rockets and smoke bombs.
I feel that the trick is not to hurt the policce but the scare the shit out of them and take back what is rightfully ours. They are people too, they just don't know it yet.

Another Idea 27.Jun.2003 16:44

Negri

Another idea to study are the blocs of activists along the Ya Basta!/White Overalls/Wombles model.

good in theory, AA, but not in practice 28.Jun.2003 15:07

GRINGO STARS

I like your ideas, AA, since they wouldn't hurt the piggies, but unfortunately I've seen how bacon-people react to various things, and over-react might be a better word. Keep in mind that with Kroeker's Killers here in Pee-town, if a cop kills an unarmed, unthreatening civilian, that cop(s) doesn't get in trouble for it. Despite public outcry, the cop(s) receive MEDALS for it instead - just think of Poot or James as the most recent examples of this.

Cops aren't paid too well, usually by the hour just like a fastfood employee (explains why so many are corrupted by gangster cash), and the psychology behind them is that they will shoot when in doubt, then figure out specifics afterwards. They don't want to die yet they have legal authority to kill, which makes things horrible.

When they get peppersprayed, they will draw and shoot real bullets. They figure that once blinded, they will be killed, whether that is actually going to happen or not - it's just the cops' assumption. When they see fireworks coming at them, they will shoot you dead. When people wear armor at protests (and they have) then cops single out and swarm over the armored people (and especially armed people, even if it is a "boffer" weapon), beating them well past the point of submission. They seek out those who are the greatest threat and "neutralize" (stupid coptalk) them first. Just like when they see gasmasks, peopel wearing the gasmasks are attacked first, gasmasks ripped off, and eyes liberal;ly toasted with pepper. The cops motto should be changed from "To Protect and Serve" (haha) to "That'll teach em!" which seems to be their credo. NO use of force is too great for a cop to and his organisation to justify. They are motivated by fear, and will kill you if they FEEL threatened, regardless of whether they really are threatened or not. "Scaring the shit out of them" is equivalent to giving them a (convoluted and inaccurate) "reason" to kill you.

Furthermore, cops are not at all civilians. They have many of the same legal protections as soldiers. They are essentially about as (un)intelligent as a soldier, and even act like soldiers. The militarization of the police is almost total. When they shoot and kill, and then ask questions later, they are not only legally protected but often given medals.

Cops are nothing more than security guards for the rich - shock troops in the class war, fighting against non-rich people.

They don't play. And we can't play either.

It's good that people are brainstorming creative ideas on how to deal with cops. We need every tool possible, and the unexpected is always an advantage, tactically. But we must realise which actions are suicidal and which are merely risky.

violence is not the way 28.Jun.2003 16:51

James Stevens

Go ahead have your revolution, I am sure you will martyr as you die in downtown Portland. Think about your stance before you put it in action. WHether we agree with Zapatistas and their claims they are still having civilians killed in crossfire, so was Che, Subcommandante Marcos is very appealing and charismatic and the Mexican gov't is represseive but it doesn't make him right.

without a revolution, we are doomed 28.Jun.2003 18:10

GRINGO STARS

Spoken like a true collaborator, James. I see that, like cops, you are a fear-motivated human. Guess what? The class war is being waged RIGHT NOW, whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not. What is YOUR plan?

Look at history; revolutions have been successful. Don't buy what they're selling, James.