Response to : Reasons for Nonviolent Protest
Practical Reasons for Nonviolent Protest
* Nonviolence is safer (but not completely safe) - fewer casualties overall- helps keep violence from escalating.
If it creates change, not safety, should be the criteria for judging an action.
*The "authorities" have all the firepower. If they choose to use it, we will almost always loose
This is why we use gurilla tatcis instead of conventional warfare, history demonstrates that a band of determined revolutionaries can succeed against a superior force.
* Nonviolence undercuts authorities rationale for responding to our action with violence.
They are perfectly capable of doing this whether or not we use violence, the reapeated tasering of a student at a peaceful, nonconfrontational protest here in Eugene demonstrates this.
* Nonviolence keeps interaction with authorites on our territory
* Nonviolence keeps everyones adrenaline low- we're less likey to strike or provoke violence
What if we don't care if violnece occurs or not?
* Nonviolence is brings the best out in the opposition, violence tends to bring out the worst response.
Our goal is not to "bring out the best in them." Our goal is to win.
Strategic Reasons for Nonviolent Protest
* Nonviolence crystallizes and dramatizes the extent the status quo is mantained by violence and force.
This can be done with violence as well, ie the police overreation to anarchists smashing windows in Seattle during the WTO protests.
* Nonviolence re-defines "power"—demonstates that the power of violent sanctions wielded by elites can be challenged while emphasizing the power of consent and dissent.
* Nonviolence is leaves space for the opposition to back down or see the matter in a new light.
Our goal is to overthrow the opposition not to "let them see things in a new light".
* Nonviolence helps make it safe for the opposition and bystanders to resist in their own ways
Safety is not our goal, victory is. Besides who says that either of these groups will resist or that they could not resist when we use violence?
* Nonviolence keeps our issues in the forground not our behavior
As long as we do not allow them to frame the debate in terms of our behavior this will not matter. Unruly behavior will also draw the media like flies allowing us to spread our message. This statment shows an ignorance of the medias role in promoting apathy by not reporting on issues of substance in the first place.
* Nonviolence focuses attention on the opposition policies and actions and our gevances with them
Which can also be acomplished with violence, so the question then becomes: which works to help us achieve our goals in this particular situation?
* Nonviolence gains respect and understanding from neutral observers and news media
Viewing people causing a visible cange in the pysical landscape can be a very empowering experiance, the newsmedia should be assumed to be hostile, given who owns them. Also if we based our actions on how the media percives us how would we funtion under a totalitarian regieme?
* Nonviolence demonstrates an alternative to current violent society
Violence is not nesisarily a bad thing, destruction is after all part and parcel of creation.
I recently came across this pamphet and found it highly unconvincing, there seems to be a lack of information about why people engage in in violence for political purposes, wheras there is a dirth of propaganda for belivers in nonviolence. I hope this pamhlet can be a part of correcting this and bringing down the religion of non violence.