Posted 8 years ago on March 7, 2012, 7:49 p.m. EST by therising
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Martin Luther King, Jr. was a radical. He was not the sanitized guy we roll out every MLK day when only a few lines of the dream speech are trumpeted. Oh no. He was a radical through and through.
King's preferred method of change was to help foster a crisis. Yes, a crisis.
He put it like this in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail:
"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood."
"The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation."
Here's the entire "Letter from the Birmingham Jail": http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html . It's a treasure and is as timely as ever.
Direct action with large numbers of people can make a real difference. Consider this other quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., an occupier from back in the day:
"A delegation of poor people can walk into a high official’s office with a carefully, collectively prepared list of demands. (If you’re poor, if you’re unemployed anyway, you can choose to stay in Washington as long as the struggle needs you.) And if that official says, ‘But Congress would have to approve this,’ or, ‘But the President would have to be consulted on that,’ you can say, ‘All right, we’ll wait.’ And you can settle down in his office for as long a stay as necessary."
What we're talking about here is pushing from the outside AND the inside. . . forcing the hand of congress nonviolently as has been done before. Gandhi and King's tactics work. Let's use them.
Let's grow our numbers and, if the GA's approve, let's do this on Saturday, August 4th: http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/fresh-thread-forum-post-below-received-over-2000-c/