Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 7, 2012, 12:39 a.m. EST by ZenDog
from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I am an individual of contradictions - I accept that - but it makes discussion of such a topic a bit of a challenge.
Much has been made of late regarding violence and the Occupy Movement. Some insist that we must not accept violence at all. Others insist that while they are committed to nonviolence, they never the less, sympathize with and will not criticize others who feel there is no other recourse. Some use language that blurs the lines between what is violence and what is not, what is or what should be Occupy Policy and what should not.
I approach the issue of tactics, as I do the issue of violence, from a purely utilitarian perspective.
What is violence? When is it useful? Is it inevitable?
These questions must be understood in depth, before one can contemplate on a basis of reason this issue at hand.
At the encampment at City Hall Park in Burlington, Vermont, Josh Pfenning took his own life. He did so with a handgun, in a tent. This act of violence had consequences that rippled throughout the community, far beyond the site of his death. It turned the local business community away from support of the Movement, when before the support was so widespread it was almost universal. It terrified those who heard the shot from their place of employment, across the street from where this act of violence took place. It gave the police department the obligation to take control of the scene, this was their obligation to the community that funds their services, to take control, to gather evidence, to make a determination on cause of death. That is among their various duties to the community. Once they had taken control of the park, the park Occupation was finished.
This was the result of a single act of violence, one that was turned inward.
This occurred during a few days span that saw other acts of violence at two other encampments where death resulted. It occurred when the talk in the media as it pertained to the Occupy Movement included information about the potential health affects on Occupy Protesters in their winter encampments, including the possibility of the spread of communicable disease.
I cannot say that the death of Josh Pfenning was the result of human engineering. But human engineering - getting people to behave in ways they otherwise might not - is a subject I am familiar with - and what I can say is that the technology does exist. It is possible, that this act of self slaughter was the result of careful planning. I should think that the most difficult part of any such planning revolves around the identification of that stimulus that will induce cognitive dissonance. Once identified, induction is simply a matter of replication and exposure. Timing in such cases is everything.
The federal government has resources. Many of these resources lie in the private sector, and are available to it, used by it, whether for their own benefit or to the benefit of the government while providing a layer of complete deniability.
This movement will be divided. It will be divided on the premise that it is best if it is kept small. If it is kept small it will remain controllable. So long as its policy around the issue of violence remains ambiguous, it will most certainly remain small.
If this movement chooses to accept the inevitable, to preempt that which cannot be avoided, it becomes possible to grow beyond the measure of their capacity to control, to manipulate, or to harness to their own ends.
As two groups, instead of a single entity, there is no end of the theater this upheaval of discontent might produce.
As an individual I cannot say, for I cannot predict, what I might, at some point in the future, be driven to by the extremity of circumstance. The future is, to me, unknown.
There can be no question - death is inevitable. It will come to us all one day.
As a current member of the Occupy Movement, I must repeat that opinion that I have held from the beginning:
Those who staunchly advocate violence,
and who will not be tamed by either reason,
love of their own neighbor,
or caution on behalf of the Movement,
must be ostracized and disavowed.