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The Logic of Political Violence - Book release and talk by Craig Rosebraugh

Craig Rosebraugh will be releasing his new book and giving a talk at Laughing Horse Books in Portland, Oregon on Friday, December 12 beginning at 7:00pm.
Within Westernized societies, particularly the United States, there has been a near universal acceptance that nonviolent action has been the foundation on which the progress and/or success of political and social justice movements has been built. Yet, contrary to popular beliefs held by many in the United States, political violence has played a crucial role in advancing historical justice struggles. In this breakthrough study, Rosebraugh examines the historical roles that both nonviolence and political violence have played in social and political movements both in the United States and internationally. His profound and well-researched conclusions advocate the necessity of a political and social revolution in the United States, using any means necessary. The Logic of Political Violence: Lessons in Reform and Revolution is an excellent resource for those contemplating social and political change in the United States. It is a must read for everyone involved in U.S. social and political movements, especially for those wondering why single-issue justice pursuits rarely, if ever, are ultimately successful. Challenging the predominant societal norms on the social and political change process in the United States, Rosebraugh has made an important contribution to the struggle that may very well become the new American revolution. Craig Rosebraugh will be releasing his new book and giving a talk at Laughing Horse Books in Portland, Oregon on Friday, December 12 beginning at 7:00pm. Laughing Horse Books is located at 3652 SE Division Street.

homepage: homepage: http://www.arissamediagroup.com
phone: phone: (503) 972-1143
address: address: P.O. Box 6058, Portland, OR 97228

Gandhi was a narcissistic ruling-class attention whore 16.Nov.2003 09:38


Gandhi was a ruling-class upper-caste defender-of-landlords who opposed workers strikes in the Indian independance movement. The Indian independance movement was quite violent, despite the BS sold to you by Hollywood and the establishment, and funny how as the movement shoved Gandhi to the side and became overtly violent is when the British left. Gandhi was a good speaker and a uniter of people, but he lacked any real leadershipo skills and he had complete lack of respect for the class struggle, as evidenced by his preaching against violence, which is the only avenue for change left to the working class.


Middle-class activists everywhere hold Gandhi up as the prime example of how effective non-violence can be, which only shows the recreational nature of their activism and theor almost total lack of research.

The state has NEVER yielded to anything other than violence. Tokens do not count. No real changes have ever been made by the ruling class in any other way than under the gun. The ruling class would have to have a conscious in order for nonviolent tactics to work, and the ruling class's lack of conscious has been displayed time and time again.

Nonviolent tactics are a middle-class self-help technique, the height of patting oneself on the back, ineffective reformism that reeks of privilege and lack of concern for the real problems caused by the state. Read your history. You may not like it, but violence works. No one wants it, but it's better than a murderous, unjust peace.

Live some life 16.Nov.2003 12:07


To . : To get repect you have to give respect.

To Gringo : Although millions of Indians will disagree with you, what with Gandhi's movement being responsible for ending the tyrannical British rule and such, my comment was about Rosebaugh, got nothing on that I see.
Violence doesn't do a fucking thing. Ask the Weather Underground, Black Pathers, SDS, what up. Twenty years later their acts ain't nothing but chapters in books.

leave your fantasy world of "benign, respectful leaders" 16.Nov.2003 13:33


Nonviolent activists have been giving a LOT of respect to the ruling elite for centuries. It has gotten them DISrespect instead of respect. The amoral rulers see it as a sign of weakness, not respect.

Actually, millions of Indians agree with me, that Gandhi was a protector of the status quo, yet a protector of the Indian rather than the British status quo. Gandhi was openly against untouchable rights, counseling them to scavenge to the best of their ability instead of asking for equal rights. Millions of Indians are also fully aware that without the violence of teh Indian independance movement, the british would feel safe enough to still rule India today.

The establishment-supported myth of effective nonviolence, hyped by Hollywood fantasies, is still in effect it seems. Violence IS effective. ask the German Nazis. They were defeated by political violence. Ask African-Americans, who would still be legally enslaved if not for the political violence which freed them.

The US Civil Rights movement had credibility because of the nationwide race riots in most every major city. The South African struggle was violent. As long as you are learning from Hollywood, you are worse than ignorant; you are misinformed.

Violence is a natural result of oppression and injustice. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass believed that when an escaped slave used force to prevent a slave-catcher from forcibly returning him to bondage, he or she was helping to lift slaves up from both their physical and mental bondage. It was the persistent lack of resistance in the face of unremitting oppression that had the most morally degrading influence on the oppressed.

"We cannot but shudder as we call to mind the horrors that have ever marked servile insurrections - we would avert them if we could; but shall the millions forever submit to robbery, to murder, to ignorance, and every unnamed evil which an irresponsible tyranny can devise, because the overthrow of that tyranny would be productive of horrors? We say not. The recoil, when it comes, will be in exact proportion to the wrongs inflicted; terrible as it will be, we accept and hope for it. The slaveholder has been tried and sentenced, his execution only waits the finish to the training of his executioners. He is training his own executioners."
-- Frederick Douglass, 1857

To the commentor calling himself "Gandhi"... the article I linked to above might be illuminating for you.

To "Ghandi" (man I don't even want to 16.Nov.2003 13:57


type that name in relation to you): look, why are you attacking another activist who is working so hard to change conditions in the world? You think you couldn't funnel some of your hatred into bringing Bush down or against anti-environmentalists or corporate greed or factory farms and animal research labs or instituionalized racism or...? Come on, you don't have to like Craig or his methods, but in that case work in your own manner for change. There are many ways to be a revolutionary.

Hum ga rat cha hingi chew 16.Nov.2003 18:21


Sorry I pointed out that Emperor Rosebaugh was not wearing clothes..............He comes off as more of a manipulator than anything else.........The picture of the WTC burning on the book cover shows that.
Political violence in the modern age...lets say from 1965 on has never worked in America. It just framents people, lives, and ideas.
Lalala: you got the Gandhi's spelling wrong and there is no hatred espoused by my words.
Irregardless, no one seems to be sticking up for Craigers except the original poster who is possibly the publicity agent.
There was such a furor over Michael Moore and his book spam, I see no difference in Rosebaugh and his.

to meow 16.Nov.2003 19:14


The main purpose of this article seems to me to be advertising a free event where a guy is going to talk about something and not charge people to hear him. I think that the mention of Craig's new book is to present the "Why" part of the whole WhoWhatWhenWhereWhy thing.

To Gandhi: Not for nuthin', but "irregardless" isn't really a word. It is an illegitimate and unnecessary combination of the words "irrespective" and "regardless". If you want to say "regardless", then just say "regardless" (no "espoused hatred" intended). Of course, on a rapidly-moving public forum like Indymedia, do things like incorrect spelling/grammar really matter when they don't get in the way of understanding? Just a thought.

Not naive 16.Nov.2003 19:35


The "free" event is to promote his product -- a soon-to-be released book which I bet he'll just "happen" to be signing.

About a person. About a book. 17.Nov.2003 11:47

Not a medic

It is appropriate that Craig Rosebraugh or someone writing in his name has responded with a challenge to the "anonymous cowards" who have been infecting Portland Indy Media with attacks on Craig and his writings. That response appears elsewhere.

I want to say a few things here.

First, none of us as individuals is above criticism. None of our ideas or strategies should escape criticism or go without examination.

However, there is criticism and there is just shit-talking. And then there is material that is appearing on this site that is indistinguishable from COINTELPRO operations.

Case in point: "JD" and the submission "Plenty is known abour (sic) Rosebraugh", which appears just above my comments here.

"JD" writes an anonymous post which accuses Craig Rosebraugh of having "perverse sexual habits" and being a "wannabe". "He's been discounted." is the conclusion.

Anyone familiar with the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. will recognize that the FBI wrote a similar anonymous note to King during Hoover's long campaign to discredit King in the 1960's. It mixed sexual accusations, claimed that King was losing influence and suggested that he quit or commit suicide.

Hmmnn. Could it be that the same FBI which has led several raids against Rosebraugh and his co-workers, which has brought Rosebraugh before grand juries several times (where he has refused to cooperate), which has had Rosebraugh under surveillance for the last five years at least....could it be that the FBI is recycling old tactics? Could it be that since it is not able to arrest or imprison Rosebraugh they would attempt to discredit him?

Nah. JD and others who are engaging in personal attempts must be authentic activists or revolutionaries who merely want to raise legitimate criticisms of Rosebraugh's theories and feel the best way to do this is to talk about his "perverse sexual habits" (by the way, what exactly is 'perverse'? Interested readers are curious to know.)

For those readers outside of Portland who are wondering why Portland Indy Media allows such slimy attacks to remain on this site, let me say that Portland activists and those with revolutionary politics wonder also.

Without going into my criticisms and disagreements with Rosebraugh's writings and strategic approach, let me say that it is necessary to defend him first when so much garbage appears. Only then can we begin to have the fruitful debate that he is asking for.

So here, for those who know little about Craig Rosebraugh is a short biography, unauthorized. Craig is a respected organizer and activist within the Portland community and on this continent who became political during the Gulf War anti-war organizing in 1991. Since then he has participated in a number of political campaigns, notably in forwarding messages received anonymously from the ELF and ALF. But he has continued to support and work alongside other campaigns and organizing efforts. He was singled out by Portland police during a Free Mumia demonstration in Portland in 1999, when he was forcibly arrested and his arm broken. His living quarters have been hit by the FBI numerous times. He has been forced to appear before federal grand juries and the U.S. Congress under sub poena and threat of arrest and has never given up any information. His speech to the committee threatening him with a jail sentence for non-cooperation is a model of resistance.

Because of those actions and numerous others as an organizer, I think he has earned the right to be heard.

If any of the anonymous posters wish to appear publicly, well there is a forum coming up soon. I may show up to disagree with some of Craig's presentation. But only after separating myself from the anonymous cowards.

As always, I would be happy to meet anyone in person to discuss my comments. I can be contacted through Black Cross Health Collective, which is never responsible for my positions.

re: Not a Medic 17.Nov.2003 12:38


Some of the comments have been hidden such as the one by JD... Part of the problem with doing so, is that an excellent reply like yours shows up referencing the comment by JD so taking it off can make yours seem nonsensical... in this case it does not because you quote the JD comment so the context is not lost... once a bunch of comments are up, it is really not easy to deal with and leave behind some coherent progression

Please let me know which other comments you would remove at this point... should we be really heavyhanded and delete all comments that are not on the topic? Even your comment, as good as it is, (glad to see someone supporting Craig and the courageous and excellent work he has done) is only a response to the baiting comments and does not address the arguments put forth by Craig

I am certainly interested to know your suggestions... I am no more pleased to see the sort of attacks that serious people face than you are. Obviously I have been the focus of many of them on the site as well... I've left many an idiotic comment about myself up when I was sorely tempted to hide it...

My main concern is for this site to be as effective as possible.

to deva 17.Nov.2003 18:38



political violence is suicide; try something more practical 17.Nov.2003 18:47


Oh, forget all the arguments about how violence is 'morally wrong'. There's a much more compelling reason why activist groups shouldn't use it as a tactic toward change.
How many of you think you can collect enough firepower to gun down the US army? Now think about how you are going to eventually protect yourself against tank artillary, missile attacks, including nuclear weapons, etc. I'm not kidding. Any less defense is just going to get you 'blown away' by the army.
And no, I don't think when push comes shove that the government would have any qualms about blowing away americans by any means(and taking along alot of innocent americans as 'collateral damage' to get to the 'terrorist'). True you could whine all you want to the media about being 'oppressed' but since the media is owned by the enemy I doubt it's going to get aired anywhere. Most people in this country still get their opinions formed through the media. In fact, most people, even the ones who want change, don't want to put themselves at too much risk for a cause. So any talk of violence is bound to scare them off.
In fact, violence short of a complete government takeover is just going to give the government an excuse to go after you more vigorously. You think FBI infilitration is bad now, wait till they get a whiff of you contemplating violence. Then you've just handed them on a silver platter a really good reason to watch and arrest your band of 'terrorist'.
But most of all, if your target is the government, all you would be targeting is a SYMPTOM of the problem, not the real CAUSE. The cause is the power of corporations who OWNED the government (and the media). Yet I don't hear anyone talking about going after the corporations (maybe because activists like buying their mochas from Starbucks?).
In fact, going after corporations doesn't even require violence. It requires cutting off their 'life-blood' by NOT BUYING FROM THEM. If you want to see real change, you have to stop 'feeding the monster' that prevents you from getting change. And you can go a long way by helping others ween themselves of 'corporate dependency' for goods and services.
Right now, I would love to boycott all corporate goods but I'm having a hard time doing it because there isn't enough of everything that can be bought either 'used' or though a non-profit organization (or local business even). I know there's some anti-capitalist collectives but I have yet to hear from them about being able to buy goods from them. I would be nice if some of the anti-capitalist groups weren't so hung up on 'direct-action' (which isn't really direct or generates much action) and more on helping people move away from corporate products. This would be more damaging than any violent act they could conjure up because the corporations are going to have a hard time buying off the government if they don't have any money to do so. Just keep in mind, they get their power from YOU, the consumer.
This would also pull in a broader spectrum of people which is needed in order eventually get change. Right now, I would like to be a part of a 'anti-capitalist group' but so many of them seem to be more interested in protesting and 'smashing the system' and not looking at whether any of this does any good.

Turning the people twards change. 17.Nov.2003 22:01


You think the "majority" is fighting a sucsessfull guirilla campaign against the us government in Iraq? You think the Majority is turning iraqi people against the US occupation? Many people there as here had/have just reason to see the existing political regiem toppled. It's a LIE to claim that the us occupation was/is uniformly unpopular. In fact it is beieng made unpopular by a minority using targeted political violence to realize thier political agenda.
Very similar guerilla tactics can and should be used for social liberation. To refuse this is to close your eyes to history- and the reality of the days in which we live.
SMALL dedicated forces can bring down large ones. This applies to more than just occupied territories. It's a question of tactics and determination. A MINORITY OF PEOPLE control the reigns of power in this country. A minority that lives, breaths and bleeds just like you and me. The difference is we don't own a private military (cops) to defend us and our modern slave plantations (prisons) -wherehousing millions. We don't own a massive military to conquer foriegn lands in the name of our "interests." We need to break the united states governments monopoly on political violence.

We do however have the ability to learn to make weapons- and fight to liberate the living, breathing, people in those prisons, and under the grip of imperialist us occupation.

If fighting and potentially killing some thousands of political and corperate leaders could free MILLIONS from a living death in cages is this not justice? If it will keep this government from even having the political resources to kill another 500,000 iraqi kids- is this not justice?

Is justice not the aim of our "struggle"?

If not what meaning does this word have?

Infighting? This gets us nowhere 17.Apr.2004 17:01


"Change must come through a barrel of a gun" - Mao Tse Tung

Regardless of the popular view towards violence as a vehicle for change, it is the only way to initiate significant reform. Unfortunately, they've got all the guns.

What strikes me as positively revolting, is the petty politics and in-fighting with the people who are trying to make positive change. You all just want to hear your own arguments agreed with, and if they aren't, you go for verbal violence. No wonder the left can't succeed, were all too busy mouthing off to one another.

As to the answer to the debate?

Revolution is by nature violent. It's evolution that doesn't have to be violent, but how the hell do we speed up evolution?

If you can answer that, then we've got hope.