Saturday, February 04, 2012

Delivering a Message

Explain to me the how the interests of public safety are served by a gang of black clad thugs showing up swaggering about and shoving people for a while, sucker punching one person and throwing another to the ground and then getting back in their cars and driving away?


Are the people holding the banner some kind of direct and proximate to safety or public order that I'm missing and if so why, after committing acts of intimidation and violence against these threats to public order, do the police suddenly drop everything and walk away and leave them still standing there holding their banner?

Is the perceived threat more an existential one?

Is this plain and simply about delivering a message?

The civic responses to the Occupy movement and by extension all economic protests as those against school fees definitely are, deliver a clear message. With their blatant and unambiguous coordination and collusion between media, politicians and police.  The 99% protests after all are explicitly and directly targeting powerful entrenched forces and their control over our society.  Did we think they would just roll over?

The 99% movement only accomplishes any of it's goals if support for it at least approaches a plurality of that 99%.  The monoculture construction we live in created and maintained by the economic power elite will defend itself and a majority of the population still believes there is no viable alternative.

But as the contradicitons become more blatant, as more and more people realize the system is increasingly stacked against them, as we watch Caterpillar continue the elite assault on the concept of the middle class, as corporate citizens annihilate the concept of informed democracy, as those who care about the environment are described as enemies of the state  and students are beaten for standing up for equal access to education the entire structure begins to display its structural weaknesses.

To everybody.

So yes, this kind of deliberately oppressive policing does in fact deliver a message, just not the one intended.  Intended to display power and authority it instead displays weakness.  It displays a huge stupid animal starting to notice pinpricks of opposition and retaliating stupidly and brutally against those threats. 

 First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.       -Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

4 comments:

Rev.Paperboy said...

the time is going to come when demonstrations like that one no longer embrace nonviolence as a tactic. One day, and I don't think it is more than a year or two away, some screwhead cop is going to mace a bunch of protesters for the crime of standing in front of him and they are going to swarm him and kill him before his backup can pull them off.
The day is going to come soon, when the cops are not going to be met with slogans and banners when they start to kettle protestors, but with a hail of paving stones and petrol bombs.
I'm not saying that I hope it happens, but you can only push people so far before they start to push back. That goes for demonstrators as well as police officers.

Cliff said...

That, and slightly lest volatile black bloc tactics now are an undisciplined response and play into the hands of the powers that be so completely you have to assume it is the acts of provacateurs when it does happen.

Non-violence isnt just and ethical and moral imperative it is a tactical one with the very clear goal of creating martyrs. Martyrs to violence or martyrs to worse.

Would the American Civil rights movement have gotten as far as it did without firehoses, attack dogs and beatings on nightly tv? Without dead voter's rights activists?

Would Ghandi's campaign have won so decisively with out widespread revulsion in Britain over the Amritsar massacre? Non-violence works because it forces people to pick sides when one side is being passive and the other violent.

Of course it only works in a basically open society and thats why censorship and media concentration are such threats.

thebanana said...

Yes, we were talking about stainless steel grills, after all. This is what I hate about the interweb.

Cliff said...

Yeah I missed some comment spam - gone now.

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