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A call to EFFECTIVE resistance

We are facing an enemy that is more powerful and more dangerous than any human force in history. We need to pursue action that will make a real difference rather than the superficial and ineffective means employed so far.
This is some of what we are up against: 1) we are living in a fascist empire. Face it. This isn't just a recent development in which the right wing has gained the upper hand temporarily. The history of the USA is this: a country rises to global dominance based on three epic campaigns of genocide - eradication of over 95% of the indigenous population of this land.... enslavement and murder of 400,000,000 or more people from Africa... and the current pogrom of economic and military war against the poor of the world (including, but not limited to, the killing of 2,000,000 or more people in South East Asia from the 1950's-1970's, the use of death squads and paramilitary campaigns to maintain US hegemony throughout this hemisphere, repression of anti-colonialism in Africa, "humanitarian intervention" in Bosnia and Kosovo, Afghanistan, Indonesia, The Philippines... and Iraq). 2) This is truly a bipartisan effort. If you are pinning your hopes on the Democratic Party to save you, then you are waiting in vain. Democrats are just as complicit in all those crimes against humanity as are the Republicans. Both parties have the same philosophy of global dominance and both will use and have used all repressive forces at their disposal to ensure that trend continues. They work together folks. The only difference is perhaps this: in recent history it has been the Republicans who push the boundaries of what the empire can get away with, and when they meet resistance at home the democrats will step in to calm everyone down long enough to consolidate the power that has been gained. 3) The stakes in this fight could not be any higher. While these fascists plow forward with their global piracy, they are ignoring very real problems or actively sabotaging struggles to overcome them. Two big items come to mind. First is the spiraling global ecology. The empire's mad obsession with black gold has led us to brink of runaway global warming. Combined with that is the mass extinction event rivaling the end of the dinosaur age that is currently ongoing and unarguably our fault. Second is the end of the oil age. Rather that pursue real alternatives to fossil fuel as the lifeblood of civilization, the empire has decided to stave off oil starvation by conquering any and all nations with oil reserves.

So how have we been fighting this monster?

Well there are the street marches and protests. I've been there with you. Has it helped? No.

There have been the political campaigns. John Kerry. Get out the vote. Did it help? No. George Bush never had any intention of allowing a change of power. And I question whether the Democrats ever wanted to win either. First they chose a figurehead in John Kerry who is as status quo as you get, then he concedes the election as fast as possible, well before the votes are even counted.

Now it's the Recount. Recount! Recount! Recount! Do you really think that is going to help either? Can you imagine George Bush saying, "Gee, it looks like there really was a lot of fraud going on here. Maybe I should do the decent thing and hand over the presidency." Meanwhile John Kerry sits on $52 million rather than use it for legal battles.

We're spinning our wheels here people. We are well past the point of being able to reform this Beast. The time for that was 200 years ago. I advocate real revolutionary change. Not guns and masks, or rocks and bricks. That would be just as futile. The enemy has nukes and tanks and bombers. Besides, history has shown that violent revolution only results in just another brutal regime. Without exception. As I see it, there is one and only one solution. Massive, non-violent Gandhi style revolution. But let's face it, right now the masses are too blind to see what is going on. Maybe... maybe when the goon squads start rounding up millions of US citizens, then they will start to wake up. Right now they are content to think of those who have been rounded up as deserving of it. So what am I doing in light of all this? The only thing I can: live as ethically as I can, inform myself as much as possible, help others to do this as well.

Meanwhile this is what I really see happening: the empire will eventually collapse under the weight of its own hubris. The dollar is collapsing. The mighty US military is not as mighty as it would like to believe. The rest of the world is quietly lining up against the US. This week, Russia, China, India and Brazil formed a coalition together that can be seen in no other terms than an anti-US alliance.

Whatever happens, this is my one hope: that if we (the human species) can ultimately and collectively pull our heads out of our asses, that it won't be too little too late. That there is still an atmosphere to breathe, a food chain that hasn't been permanently broken by habitat destruction and bioengineering, and more selfishly, that my two children will survive me .
Ghandi Chastity Belt 18.Nov.2004 10:40

jklo

Yeah, that's right, lie back and think of Ghandi. It is not rape if you just think of Ghandi hard enough.

RPG7s, homemade bombs, mortar rounds, and AK-47s are having so little effect in the hands of Iraqi freedom fighters! Just look: www.jihadunspun.com

Remain chaste. We must remain chaste. We are the decendents of Puritans. We must not get our hands dirty with freedom fighters' weapons.

Lie back and think of Ghandi. Ignore the searing pain in your rectum. Think of Ghandi.

Remain chaste. Marty King, Dalai Lama, Ghandi - sway to the chant. Let your eyes glaze over - Drink the Kool-Aid...

I don't argue against self defense 18.Nov.2004 11:04

Lacuna

But you and your AK-47s - if indeed you have any (nutjob), won't make the world a better place. You will only make it a bloodier one. Yes the Iraqis have every right to defend themselves agaist US imperialism. And I wish them success.

Consider this though. Bush and company are using guns to try to make the world a better place. You are advocating the same thing.

Lacuna 18.Nov.2004 12:10

jlii

Thanks for the post. Non violent non-cooperation will have a tremendous effect. After all everything has a weakness in the case of the Americans it is their greed, the driving force behind it all, is greed. Make it cost them something everyday. The individual here can have a decentralized effect, unlike demonstrations which fall on deaf ears, disrupt the profit this is economic warfare. Buy nothing all the time, this will be noticed, in China in a way.

As to the guy 'with' the guns sounds just like every other American you will ever meet. All they do is say might makes right and then arrest snipers - go figure?

People take so much for granted Americans have no backbone look at what they elect. They will tire much faster over being inconvenienced than by a moral argument for peace.

divorcing myself from the global economy 18.Nov.2004 12:10

resist

Lately, as much as possible, I'm not giving them my money. They will collapse without it, everybody. I've urged my family to buy for X-mas this year only locally made items or nothing at all for me. I can do without the Eddie Bauer plaid shirts I get every year. I'm getting my groceries from People's Co-op. Better still would be growing my own food, as the transportation infrastructure still benefits from the transporting of goods to the co-op, but that's not practical right now.

Figuring out how to get all your needs met without the corporations would be the most powerful thing you can do. Here in Cascadia, we have fertile soil, great growing conditions, and plenty of water / other resources. We can exist independently, without any outside interaction whatsoever. Right now we can, for example, get dumpstered fabric, clean it, and make clothes with it. Eventually, we can spin out own fabric from crops we grow here.


Some resources:

Chinook Book:
 http://www.chinookbook.net/index.asp

Portland Green Pages:
 http://www.sustainableportland.org/greenpages/default.htm

Guide to buying recycled in the Portland area:
 http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm...

ReDirect Guide:
 http://www.redirectguide.com/index.html

People's Food Co-op:
 http://peoples.coop

In his context, Ghandi's tactics were necessary 18.Nov.2004 12:53

Jemma

In his context, Ghandi was (obviously) effective. But Please don't stop there. Let's look at what Ghandi's context was: militant resistance to the British acting in concert with Ghandi's movement, British imperialism being weakened by conlicts outside of India, and Ghandi explicity endorsing self-defensive violence. To paraphrase, he said something like, :to do nothing to effectively stop violece is intself a form of great violence".

The main point of this article is that we need fundamental change in this country. That we need a revolution that changes our society and form of government as much as India's liberation did for India. I agree completely.

What is not clear is how you think that Ghandi's context translates to OUR context. How can the tactics of non-violence be employed to effectively end to reign of the greatest imperialist superpower in the world? If you can show me, I'll understand and believe it. I prefer not to live in a world of violence.

But I am very skeptical of the efficacy of a "purely" non-violent struggle to create revolution in the USA. I can see things like tax resistance, draft resistance if it comes to it, shutting down the infrastructure of war- being effective to create a context of struggle here. But what happens when non-violent protesters are massacred, or shut away in prison for life, and their communities are methodically decimated? We live under the PATRIOT act, and homeland security, both of which are very effective at dividing any potential mass-movement. I'm not saying we shouldn't have mass movement- It's completely vital to have the majority of people involved in some way. But to shut down the infrastructure of war and imperialism, we need to be able to get away to fight another day. Property destruction is considered on par in our society with murder.

Self defense and community defense often includes violence. And yet they are necessary to our survival and the survival of our communities. How does this fit in with in with pacifist strategy?

On the one hand, you are saying that we need to do what is necessary to make change- instead of rehashing the same tactics over and over. But by limiting the scope of potential tactics, will we still have the ability to do what is necessary? How could we define that at this early and disorganized state of our struggle for liberation from imperialism?

Unplugging is not enough 18.Nov.2004 13:11

DJ Shadow

I don't think unplugging, or divorcing from the global economy will do it. First of all, lots and lots more people would need to do that before the pretty resilient system crumbles. And secondly, you are not truly unplugged--for example, if you shop at People's (which still is a good thing to do) you are STILL supporting the system. Maybe not as much as when you buy Coke at Wal-mart, but some of the money you spend at People's will go to things like gas (someone has to deliver those vegan sandwiches, right?), aome money will go to the government (from the workers' taxes). I'm sure some of those companies making the stuff you buy at People's are slightly, if not completely plugged in to the global economy as well.

Unplugging is not enough. The system does not really need you, and your divorce from it might stop it from growing that much, but it will not do much to slow it down.

I think it is more important to struggle against the system--and there are zillions of ways to do that. My personal preference is organizing a stronger movement capable of making real change. Building democratic organizations that are challenging the system, and winning real victories is what I do, and what I recommend to others.

Maybe other people have ideas on other ways to resist, or ideas of local organizations doing good work.

use all the tools in the toolbox 18.Nov.2004 14:24

empire slayer

we have debated this issue many many times on this site, and elsewhere all over the world. while i think there is value in learning from history [such as lacuna points out with references to ghandi, and jklo mentions in references to the iraqi resistance], we can not let ourselves be LIMITED by any reference to the past or to other cultures. we, here in the u.s., are dealing with a much different culture than that of india or iraq. for one, we have ALL grown up with much, much more relative abundance and privilege than the average person in those societies. the u.s. population is the fattest, laziest mass of sheeple this planet has ever seen. those of us considering resistance tactics are not only facing the murderous facist regime of the federal government, but we must also deal with a general population that is sleepwalking, very willing to tolerate ANYTHING the facists can dish out as long as they can still drive their cars, suck down fast food, watch cable t.v. and browse the internet. and we are part of that, in a million different ways. the issues are very complex, and none of us have the answers. but i do know this, we MUST start being more disciplined, and building our local communities. and i want to have all the tools at my disposal, including weapons. this illusion of comfort will not last in this society, and when it crashes, will you know where your food, water and shelter come from? will you trust your neighbor or will you be up on your roof with a gun? will you even know who the enemy is? we must embrace the paradox of being the decentralized nodes of resistance that are difficult to destroy, while at the same time strengthening our communities. ready or not, the clock is ticking...

Thank you for your responses 18.Nov.2004 14:39

Lacuna

It seems that I've hit a nerve here. Most of us are doing some soul searching to figure out what we can do to really make a difference. I've seen some very valid ideas here. Thanks for the posts.

I probably overstated it when I said I thought non-violent revolution was the only option. There are many things we can do. My main interest is that we look for things that are effective and lead us toward positive change.

That brings me back to violence as a means of change. I can not deny that there are times that violence is defensible. If someone broke into my home and started attacking my children, you can be sure I wouldn't try reasoning with the attacker. But violence as an overall strategy for social change seems rather hallow. After all history is filled with people trying to do just that - change society through the point of a gun. There was the war to end all wars... and the war after that. As I stated before, George Bush is trying to change the world with guns... making us all safer, he would have us believe. What is the predictable result? He will generate more enemies. He will breed more warfare and contention and leave a trail of desperate, starving, furious people in his wake. In short he will foster the very conditions that make people want to wage war in the first place.

Whatever you chose to do, whatever action you chose to take, make sure it is effective and that the consequences will have your desired effect. It's not my intention to make you feel powerless or desperate. We have one thing on our side that the fascists don't - and never will. We have the moral high ground. That may sound like meaningless consolation, but it is not. To paraphrase Sun Tsu in the Art of War, no army has ever won a war without the fury of righteousness on their side. The US army does not have this. They are fighting to enrich oil tycoons. And they know it. The US lost this war before it ever began. Personally, though, I don't think anyone ever emerges from a war as the victor. We're all losers.

One more thing. I feel that community is absolutely vital. Find ways to build networks within your community. Build community. We need each other more than anything. If you have business, make it responsive to the community. If you have a home, that is an asset. A bicycle is an asset. Two legs or a wheelchair are assets. Think about how you can be useful to the community that you want to foster.

I wish you all success

COALITION OF FREE STATES NOW! 18.Nov.2004 17:51

Michael b-------------a local anti-imperialist

It's clear, the ways in wich we are polarized against each other. Do you know your enemy? Do you know the ways in wich red communities are devided? What does this movement have to offer any potential allied struggle? Is not our unity, a radical form of political power, or capital? I don't mean capital in the sense that we must only take from our solidarity, or "bargain" with it. I mean it in the sense that it like all things is a kind of power, and we can leverage that power for the benefit of us all. Like how a tree that is watered will grow to shelter you from the wind.
How can we polarize this struggle in a way that will bring our people together to stand for our comonalities, and deleniate us from the facist leadership in both parties?

Principles. We need to gather to our political affinities, and determine what key changes we want for our personal struggle. We need to do this in a way that does not exact vanguardist control over the struggles of our allies. No one struggle should come to this expecting that "My way or the highway." will be well recieved. Stand against such behavior. This sort of polarization will kill this struggle. Chauvanist endorsement of random and un-strategic acts of violence will turn away allies, and get us killed. Chauvanist cries that pacafism is the ONLY answer, period, will see us broken and brutally destroyed. It will guarantee that libraterians, civil libriterians, and rural americans will not support us. They will also have needs that must be addressed. Civil liberties must expand for all parties concerned. We need to address how this can happen.

Localization. Government power is based on centralization and co-opting of communities power. TAKE IT BACK! There will be a many nay sayers, and haters, remember your home. Remember your family, declair my friends, that you are more than a cog in the machenery of facism!

Unity. We must excercise our power in a way that builds it. Just as a march that has a clear message, and draws clear distinctions, will grow, so must we.
By acting together, as a body we can exert a force greater than any single cell, or political affinity.

We need A COALITION OF FREE COUNTIES! Cascadia need doesn't need
to be an all encompasing state. If we are alone we will fail.

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Violent, NonViolent, Irrelevant 18.Nov.2004 22:05

Dorothy

Until we know what those words mean, choosing either or both is irrelevant, probably nonsense.

Until we read what each other writes, until we respond each to what the other actually wrote, instead of sowing discord, instead of snaring each other with cheap rhetorical tricks, there is no point at all in going through the motions of discussion.

yes, yes 19.Nov.2004 00:51

heh heh

anything would be effective if it were just more massive ...

easier said than done

been there, tried that 19.Nov.2004 00:55

didn't work

buy nothing all the time and you're just another homeless person

you're at the bottom of all social ladders, scum even in the anarchist community, tolerated only if you don't get in the way too much, and the only reason the larger world notices is if it has to pay to kill you or lock you up