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Forum Post: Letter from an Occupier IN JAIL

Posted 2 years ago on March 24, 2012, 3:20 p.m. EST by therising (6643)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

When an occupier from back in the day (Martin Luther King, Jr.) was locked up in jail in Birmingham, Alabama, for peacefully protesting, he wrote a letter. The contents of that letter quickly spread around the world.

In one section of the letter, he said this: "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.

It means as much today as it did nearly 50 years ago.

12 Comments

12 Comments


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[-] 1 points by Quark2 (109) 2 years ago

Sweet understanding. Solidarity!

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Cheers!

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

MLK wrote: "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."

What issue is the most important? Is that the last one that should be ignored?

Do we know what we do not know?

Do we want to know what we do not know?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago
[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

Okay, but there are some critical semantical aspects from the beginning.

The thread title.

"What do those involved in the Occupy movement WANT? What are we for? Let me take a crack at articulating it. . ."

Ummm, this is about needs. People are dying all over the place and there is no good reason. Occupyers are trying to alleviate the conditions that violate prime rights AND protect their futures, everyones futures.

A NEED is freedom of speech. A forum free of censorship. We do not have what we need to carry the needed discussion.

Determining what is most important requires freedom of speech here where everyone is, or was. They are so disgusted with the artifical obsufuctory trivia diluting the forum, or the outright psyops posting designed to trilialize issues, most have left.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Certainly lots of paid trolls. But they can't win. The truth will break through. We must be vigilant.

[-] 2 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

Correct, and thanks for your vigilance!

I've been reading at the Article V forum about the perceptions of the same problem but in another forum yet.

Weird that leadership NEVER (so far) allows reasonable dissent and the group to agree on strategy, then direct the group in a FUNCTIONAL direction. From their point of view, this relates to people being able to identify Article V as the only legal process comprehensive to solving the problems we all know.

[-] 2 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

I'm all for pushing from both the inside AND the outside.

[-] 1 points by rayolite (461) 2 years ago

Yes, vigilant, but that does not replace understanding.

Without understanding effective action can not be comprehended and taken. Censorship can preclude understanding and prevent truth from "breaking through".

Accordingly, those who actually want to understand, something they need to do IF they need change . . . need to go where there is no censoring of facts critical to understanding and assemble online there.

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

What would your letter from jail say?

[-] 1 points by therising (6643) 2 years ago

Beautiful and raw. Perhaps it relates somewhat to this other message about what we want: http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-does-those-involved-in-the-occupy-movement-wa/