Forum Post: IF YOU WANT TO FIGHT BACK and truly win, here's how. A few very smart people left us the PLAYBOOK FOR ACTIVE NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE. It is powerful and it is the only way. Read on to find out how we can turn the tide and win this....
Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 29, 2012, 9:46 a.m. EST by therising
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If you have a brave heart that yearns for true resolution after seeing the militarism, repression, oppression and injustice in recent hours, days, weeks and months, then read this entire post and challenge your assumptions. We can win this if we follow the incredibly powerful PLAYBOOK that was left to us.
Look: We have to get real and face facts. The powers that be can shut down this movement pretty easily and quickly if we get violent. They know what to do with violence they, themselves, have a thorough PLAYBOOK for that and will always win..
However, they don't know what to do with active non-violent resistance. We have the PLAYBOOK to engage in non-violent direct action but they don't have an effective PLAYBOOK to counter that active resistance. Non-violent direct action is the stuff that successful revolutions are made of. Read books by the world renowned Gene Sharp. Dictators around the world have despised him because his tactics directly threatened their leadership and had the power to take them down nonviolently.
Here's the deal: In the U.S. especially, the powers that be just look terrible no matter how they react to active nonviolent resistance -- whether they drag a young middle America looking protester off after zip tying them or they stand by helplessly as the entrance to Congress or Goldman Sachs is blocked by protestors effectively shutting down the buildings. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't..
We must reread and remember the history of Gandhi and King to remind ourselves just how powerful nonviolence is. It is not just that it helps you win. Additionally, in taking a truly nonviolent approach, there is a beautiful side benefit. True nonviolence, as Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, requires that one love their oppressor so much that they want to help set them right.
There is a move in the martial art Aikido that goes like this: An aggressor or attacker comes at you. Instead of resisting, you take a slight step to the left and move WITH the momentum of the attacker. With a bit of non-lethal leverage in the right spot at the right time, you then help the attacker to the ground where they'll be safer. The entire maneuver is done in the spirit of helping the other person who is out of control. This maneuver is somewhat akin to what nonviolent direct action can do in turning the tables while keeping a mindset of love.
Nonviolence is about creating tension. Martin Luther King, Jr. (who clearly borrowed from Gandhi's play book) put it like this in his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail". As you read this, think about King sitting in a jail cell in a jean jacket, an occupier from back in the day, an occupier for the same cause of justice that is being pursued today::
"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.
So how do we fight back nonviolently? Here's one example of how: http://occupywallst.org/forum/fresh-thread-forum-post-below-received-over-2000-c/