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Forum Post: Should carrying weapons be associated with a nonviolent movement such as OWS?

Posted 2 years ago on March 14, 2012, 11:02 p.m. EST by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am a supporter of the Occupy movement requesting input whether carrying weapons is fundamental to a nonviolent movement?

The reason is because in my community the local Occupiers are pursuing open-carry of firearms and knives as a part of their Occupy movement.

Please take a few minutes to give your viewpoint.

104 Comments

104 Comments


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[-] 4 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Weapons and nonviolence, no matter what the rationalization those two don't go together. Once you've brought a weapon with you, you've admitted there are conditions under which you will use violence. You become as dangerous as what your fighting and you've lost.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

"You become as dangerous as what your fighting and you've lost."

Not logically correct. The framers of the Constitution provided the 2nd Amendment so that the citizenry has the tools to protect itself against government abuse.

Having said that, I understand the power of nonviolent protest and support that. It's just that we need a different argument than that one.

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

My reason for non violence is based on my opinion. You may well need your own reasons. I don't know what was in the minds of the framers of the constitution, their words seem to have been twisted to mean whatever anyone wants them to mean at the moment.

The constitutional methods of altering the government and the right of the people to employ force to change government would depend on the size of the group. There is no right for a few hundred people (or even a few million in a country of over 300 million) simply saying they represent everyone to take up violence.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

I've thought about the whole thing and have changed my stance. I had a brief discussion with EPA1NTER, a few posts up that did the trick.

My stance was based on being able to excessive our 2nd Amend. rights in a lawful manner. But it seems that the people in question in Flint weren't doing that.

"There is no right for a few hundred people (or even a few million in a country of over 300 million) simply saying they represent everyone to take up violence."

Carrying a weapon in a legal manner (that implies doing it responsibly) of itself is not equivalent to 'taking up violence.'

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I never said the two were equivalent. Anyone is entitled to do anything they want within the law. To clarify my original statement, I believe that anyone that feels the need to carry a weapon in a non-violent protest is showing a belief that the weapon is needed. This, to me, is an admission that there are conditions under which that person believes he/she will need or use that weapon. Carrying a weapon is an exercise of your rights, but also a demonstration that you are willing and able to engage in intimidation or violence.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

"Carrying a weapon is an exercise of your rights, but also a demonstration that you are willing and able to engage in intimidation or violence."

The legal use of a weapon is not through intimidation but self defense in a life threatening situation to yourself or others. I have lived long enough to see people die in demonstrations, by the hand of groups that oppose the cause... not counting in the authorities.

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

You can exercise any rights you wish. I have a different view of non-violent protest. It's civil disobedience, I see it as seeking an overreaction by the authorities. The possession of weapons by the protestors for any reason simply provides the opposition a justification for it's own use of force. Both now and in the future.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

JenLynn, we at occupyflint have come to consensus decision months ago that our "members" would not carry any weapons in cases where civil disobedience would be happening. However, at protests where all laws are being followed there is no reason to "ban" weapons other then to alienate a huge chuck of possible supporters....IE that part of the 99% that does not vote democrat every election

[-] 2 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I simply gave my opinion, I'm not in a position to force it on anyone nor do I desire to. It's wise for any group involved in political actions to know and observe local laws.

In a way I'm glad the decision isn't mine. I'd find it difficult to compromise my position on weapons for the sake of having more warm bodies at a demonstration.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

I respect the opinion, I am replying cuz I just don't want everyone in the movement to be looking at us like we all a bunch of crazy violent gun toting mf'ers who are gonna help create a myth that occupy in general has weapons on it all times....

We are trying very hard to walk this thin line, I see the problems on both sides.

I think it has been interesting working on the same issues with people who I would assume are on totally different ends of the spectrum from the typical occupier(including myself). Hoping we can help make 99% a real goal rather then a pipe-dream.

[-] 3 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

An armed non-violent protestor? That has an oxymoronic feel to it don't you think?

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

Carrying a weapon is your constitutional right. Do what you want. It's supposed to be a free country. As long as they are non-violent, there is no problem.

[-] 2 points by Skippy2 (485) 2 years ago

If someone wants to carry a firearm they had better totaly understand all the applicable laws in their jurisdiction. Also, professional training would be needed. If the person with the firearm is not 100% with in the law or misuses the firearm through lack of training, the result will be criminal or civil liability. Loss of all current and future money, loss of freedom and possibly loss of own life may result. WHEN YOU CARRY A GUN YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED TO BE BROKE, IN JAIL OR DEAD.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

When someone says "I am a supporter of the Occupy movement ...", then that is sure sign to start being sceptical and start closely analysing the post / comment in question. Doing just that here and in the total absence of any corroborative evidence / links, leads us where ?

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

I understand your skepticism shadz66, but if I went through my academic career believing in only half of what I read - I would have failed out of college by now.

With my posts - what you see is what you get and some typos too.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Are we simply to take your ASSertions at face value ?

WTF kid of "academic career" did you have, exactly ?!

The very point here is that re. your post : We Can See NOTHING !!

Geddit ? What 'Guns' ?! Whose Guns ?!! WTF has 'Guns' got to do with OWS ?!!!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

1.) Yes shadz66, that is what trust is all about.

2.) I am a Biochemistry major.

3.) http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/03/man_asserts_open-carry_rights.html

4.) Then after the article a few members of Occupy Flint and myself debated the "weapons in Occupy Flint" issue.

https://www.facebook.com/attorneybankert/posts/411093262237354?comment_id=5743558

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

So, 'RoyerJ' :

1) Blind Trust to strangers posting strangely is NOT my thang dude !

2) So ?!

3) Your link is entitled : "Man asserts open-carry rights after being asked to leave Flint State of the City Address over gun" - Good that he was asked to leave but why didn't you say so before ?!!

4) Your discussions and "debate" with frankly f*ck knows who on "(OffMy)FaceBuk" ... are evidence of what exactly ?!!!

Now get this bit loud and clear 'RoyerJ' and allow me to "boldly repeat", so that you can focus on the crux of the matter :

  • WTF has 'Guns' got to do with OWS ?!!!

Piece of advice 'newby' : Know A Troll By His Worx !! Geddit ?!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] -1 points by MidnightJava (-2) 2 years ago

" Know A Troll By His Worx !! Geddit ?!"

look in a mirror, shadz

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Tr@shy : But at least when I do look in any mirrors, I only see just one person - you lithium-deprived, schizoid half-wit and did you see my last & latest reply to 'RoyerJ', 3 hours ago just a little way below ?!

Further, it'll of course be a cold day in hell before I'd ever have cause to apologise to you, numb-nuts !!

Did you react on auto-pilot and sub-conscious self-recognition when you saw the word Troll ?!!!

Now, for you on "St. Paddy's Day" : The Pogues - "I'm Alone in The Wilderness" ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hsmaOa1RjE&feature=related , geddit ?!!

Of course, this 'moniker' just went on the Trashy-bot list too !

nosce te ipsum ...

[-] -1 points by Reneye (118) 2 years ago

Luv ya shadz !!!!

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

R : Oooh-er !!! For you and also for "St. Pat's" :

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona !

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (27793) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Now who might you be an incarnation of?

MidnightJava

No Profile Information Private Messages

Information

Joined March 17, 2012


Layoff the late night coffee. You really need to get some sleep. It helps the mind stay sane.

[-] 2 points by rayl (1007) 2 years ago

No!

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

We are in America. We have the right to bear arms. As long as bearing arms is done within the confines of the law, this should not be an issue.

As mentioned by others, the Tea Party - which professes to be a nonviolent movement that believes in working within the system, carried arms. It is their right, it is our right, it is every Americans right.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

In fact, it is almost a JOKE to say occupiers can't carry their guns around if there is no CD happening if we claim to represent the 99%, at least 35% of whom are gun owners and 2nd amendment republican types. This is a type we can not segregate from the 35% that already agree with occupy if our 99% slogan means anything in reality. Even the Tea Party has to join occupy if we are going to change anything.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Please everyone, read my long response below. I would also like to add this to the mix. Occupy Flint has not been participating in the same way most occupy's are. Our GA has only taken on one act of Civil Disobedience. Other then that we have been acting within the law. Most occupy's have not had to deal with the gun issue at all, as anyone in their right mind understands that guns and civil disobedience do not mix. (it would not be "civil" at the point guns are brought in)

When you say guns endanger us all, you are thinking of your civil disobedience training that I hope you have went through. Guns are the biggest no-no possible at a CD and since most occupys are almost entirely civil disobedience, of course there are no guns, and probably little discussion has even had to go on about this. It makes sense that you feel endangered by occupiers carrying guns. If "occupier" simply means one commiting cd then you are right, but if occupy has shifted to describe members of this movement whether or not they are in the act of committing cd, then this is a discussion that I think should be had.

As I note in my longer post below, Occupy Flint has came to consensus decision to NOT have any weapons at any CD that we do. If you have weapons it endangers everyone. THe point of CD is that you are committing crime, having a gun while committing a crime is not only dangerous, the legal ramifications are astronomical for those doing so. Of course there has been no armed protection while people are breaking the law sleeping in parks, it would be blatently STUPID.

It should be noted that Civil disobedience is simply a tactic. If the tactic is not being used then guns should be no cause for alarm.

PLEASE READ MY LONGER STATEMENT BELOW IF YOU NEED MY CREDENTIALS TO NOT BE CALLED A TROLL, AND I THINK IT SHOULD SHED SOME LIGHT ON WHAT IS HAPPENING IN FLINT.

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

I agree. It is our right for the reason to protect our democracy. How many of us need to get arrested before we fight & die for what our forefathers were willing to fight & die for? People are willing to fight over such smaller things like road rage but when it comes to the big things like justice no one is willing. Maybe we are just scared to die for what we believe in and with good reason. I want to start a family not go to war.

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

This is the same confusion I ran into with Occupy Flint.

I understand the Second Amendment.

However, OWS clearly states that it is a NONVIOLENT movement.

Weapons are violent, the Arab Spring (protestors) were nonviolent, Gandhi never "carried" and Martin Luther King Jr. also never "carried" and both lead nonviolent movements.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Ghandi and the Arab Spring examples don't logically apply as the participants don't/didn't have 2nd Amendment rights.

MLK does apply and is a good example. My stance is that the decision to carry weapons should be within full compliance of the local law. In NYC the number of people who possess a CCW is very small. Most urban centers prohibit the carrying of weapons, so maybe the argument is really moot.

Perhaps a statement clarifying the OWS position by the GA holding an event, even posted on the homepage here by the NYC GA, stating that the movement is not just Nonviolent, but also 'unarmed' - since this is the Constitutional right of an American citizen.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

THe problem is, Geo, that some idiots in Flint, Michigan decided to start carrying guns to events, including inside City Hall. One person was ejected from that event by the police, and it has already made the news.

It could easily mean the death knell of the movement, as it gives the police across the country license to crack down as hard as they desire with no public opposition. If this movement is to be successful, it must win the hearts and minds of the masses. The word "anarchism" is already viewed with great suspicion and misunderstanding by the population. Add to that the word s"armed and dangerous" and whatever nascent support there is will instantly evaporate. It is not a matter of rights, but perceptions.

These guys (and they are guys, not women) in Flint are a bunch of yahoos, more invested in making a macho name for themselves than working to further the cause of the movement.

IT is a very serious turn of events, in my view, and the NY GA must do something, and something forceful to prohibit such actions.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Inside City Hall? Now I wonder if they were plants... Regardless, I see your point.... and I agree. If this gets nipped in the bud, I don't see it as the death of the movement, but things will get rougher.

The violence in Oakland has already left a bad taste, and hasn't killed the movement. I don't condone this. But I understand your point now.

Thank you... peace and solidarity

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

epa, it is legal to carry a weapon inside city hall. His rights were clearly violated and if he decided to pursue legal recourse he would certainly win.

This link should shed some light on the situation, news article from local corp paper: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/03/flint_police_violated_mans_ope.html

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Hey, moron, it is not a question of legal rights, but of the success or failure of the Occupy movement. What he did was utterly narcissistic and selfish. THIS IS NOT THE TEA PARTY!!!!!

The movement is based on non-violence, not intimidation or latent threat. The fastest way to not only lose support, but give the police an excuse to kill this movement is by being armed.

IdioT!!!! Do you not care what happens to OWS?

[-] -1 points by BLOWCHUNKS (43) 2 years ago

It's okay when people burn the flag, but when they carry a gun, something is wrong.

And one gun toter doesn't speak for all of Occupy, but one speaks for all of the Tea Party.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if—

(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118 (e)(3); and

[hr 357(http://occupywallst.org/forum/discourse-on-liberty-tyranny-and-death/#comment-666120)

[-] 2 points by go99ers (31) 2 years ago

Of course not!

[-] 1 points by PopsMauler (182) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

Source, or it never happened.

Hearsay is as worthless as space it takes up.

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 2 years ago

I'm a firm believer of the 2d amendment. However, as a practical matter it is really too dangerous to have people walking around with guns especially in situations where tensions and emotions run high. A gun may go off accidentally and all hell will break loose; who knows what the outcome will then be. Gun toting is simply not worth the risk.

Guns should only be carried by those very well trained, qualified, authorized, and disciplined to handle one; and then only in very controlled circumstances with authorized supervision. And even then look at all the trouble that happens.

Though I love guns, I don't keep any anywhere near my house.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Here is a link to a preety good article about occupy flint in our local corporate paper: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/02/occupy_flint_camp_survives_win.html

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Ok. First I would like to say I am a participant in occupy flint. I have been a member in peoples movements my entire adult life. Since I see there are questions of trolling and whether or not in reality people are members of this movement or not I will give you some links to my credentials.

My name is Brian Morrissey also known as BMO GREEN. I am a well-known medical marijuana activist in my pre-occupy days.

Here is a link to my facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/bmo.green Here is a link to my twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/BMOGREENA

I have been noted as a "Freedom fighter of the month" in High Times print magazine here is a link to the article with my photo: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/310_28122270867_649265867_1147034_6153_n.jpg

I was a "leader"(we made a horizontal democratic structure, our board had no power other then to keep than paperwork) in students for social change (SSC) at the University of Michigan Flint during my school days there. A quick internet search will see some of the occupy related projects we worked on nearly 10 years ago.

Enough for my credentials? Need more?

You can do a search on MLIVE.com which is the local news paper for my name and occupy flint, you will see me pictured a couple of times working on green energy projects and occupying city hall's front lawn on the day of our mayor election.

I was a leader of FlintNORML for many years. Check the web. I ran “Million Marijuana March” in the area.

I am a pacifist-libertarian-socialist.

I voted for Nader 00, whoever the green cantidate was in 04, Mckinney/Clemente in 08. I don't do democrat or republican.

I am an artist and my art has been featured on "the activists" revolutionary blog for the past 4 days("appreciate america" on the sidebar is one of mine).

I would like to note that this gentlemen, who posted the initial post, Jeremy Royer has been active in Flint City General Assemblys. His concerns are real and heart-felt and not intentioned to bring down the movement as some of you have suggested. I will vouch for this as I have had many conversations with him.

I am going to say some things here that will most likely piss a few people off on all sides of this issue, I'm sorry about that, but I call it like I see it.

As a pacifist, I do not carry or even own a weapon.

OK.....I am done with my preface, now down to occupy flint and the situation at hand.

I will start by sorting fact from fiction.

Do people who live at the occupy flint camp carry weapons? Yes, some do. Did 2 “members” of occupy flint get arrested for open carrying a knife at a protest? Yes 2 did. Did one “member” of occupy flint get escorted out of city hall for open carrying a pistol to a city meetings? Yes this happened. Has there been discussion at General Assembly about weapons and votes taken on the issue? Yes

Here is some pertinent background info on occupy flint.

We have been “camping” out on a privately owned piece of land in a poor section of our city for 5 months now. We were the only Occupy camp in Michigan to make it through the winter due to our choice of private land for our campsite. We have participated in only one civil disobedience in which we camped out on public property (city hall). During this civil disobedience there were no weapons present. Our members understand that you want to minimize distractions and variables when committing an act of civil disobedience.

Our camp is on Martin Luther King AVE, (as you probably know MLK ave is traditionally put in poor parts of town in every city) in what could be considered a “warzone” full of abandoned and burnt houses in a city known nationally for being THE MOST violent city in the nation, with the highest per capita murder rate. Gunshots can be heard less then 3 blocks from our camp any night of the week. Our safety is a REAL issue, and prevents many “white people” from coming to the side of the river that we are on (yes Flint is one of the most segregated communities in America, divided by race at a river, north is black, south is white).

Here is a question I pose to the movement, again remember that I am a pacifist who does not own or carry a weapon of any kind: Obviously we are made up mostly of disgruntled democrats too afraid to vote for anyone other then Obama; so we ain't even that disgruntled. How is it that we can claim to represent 99% while we will clearly never make it past 38% if we only accept members who dislike guns and would get rid of the 2nd amendment if given the chance? There are LOTS of poor people who's main beef with democrats is that they will “take away our guns”....particularly in Michigan and other states that have managed to preserve a little bit of wilderness and people actually hunt for wild game. (where Flint happens to be located)

I also considered this man to be a “nut” at one point early in the movement. However, after many hours around a campfire (YES WE HELD DOWN A CAMP IN MICHIGAN ALL WINTER, AND HE WAS A MAIN REASON WE WERE ABLE TO DO SO, mostly due to his survivalist training), I have came to the conclusion that this man is not a plant. I may disagree with this man about his need to carry a weapon, but he has agreed not to do so during acts of civil disobedience, he is not a nut, just someone I disagree with on a very fundamental basis. I respect him. He is a solar tech as his career, installing solar energy all over the state of michgian, including donating expensive solar panels and expertise and batteries to occupy flint so that we had electricity this winter. Sure, he was out with the Tea Party and flies a Gadson Flag when they were doing their thing, this does not make him part of the 1%, just part of the 99% who many of you seem to feel should be segregated from the 38%.

Now I would like to throw some metaphorical punches at some of the understandable but ridiculous comments I have heard made on this message board with regards to this issue:

“WTF DO GUNS HAVE TO DO WITH OWS”?

WTF does anything other then financial issues have to do with OWS? Are we saying take your womens issues elsewhere, take your prison industrial issues elsewhere, take your military industrial complex issues elsewhere, take your LGBQ issues elsewhere? NO, anyone who is this far into the movement must have some idea that all this stuff is tied together. Black men going to prison has EVERYTHING to do with OWS, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with OWS.

“The New York GA had better do something about this, and quickly.” Uh....did I miss something here? Did anyone catch the document that OWS put out early on that called for groups to come together and make democratic decisions autonomously of OWS?

“Yahoos in Flint” Again, thanks for making fun of the most beat down city in America, I'm sorry that we are not all college educated, I am the only person who actively sleeps at occupy flint with a college degree. Most are VETERANS and POOR PEOPLE who have been educated in one of the worst education systems in America.... punk

“know a troll by his werkx” Again, this dude is not a troll, this gentlemen came here for help for something he had a real issue with and all you yahoo's can do is attack him? GROW UP. Next thing you know people are going to call me a troll despite my impeccable record of working in peoples movements. I'll add to it at this point, I was at a OWS-like campout in Detroit 3 years ago when we were protesting the world's economic leaders having private meetings dealing with our futures in the top of the General motors building.

“A person should be able to accept the consequences...” and “know where he can and cant carry” This person in question clearly had his rights violated, search MLIVE for the article if you want to understand what I mean, he could easily win a lawsuit if he decides to press one.

“However, OWS clearly states that it is a NONVIOLENT movement.” Yes, and this person in question who was kicked out of city hall the other day is in my opinion as non-violent as they get, despite arming himself.

ALL OF THIS I HAVE TO RESPOND TO ON ST. PATTY'S DAY, I AM AS IRISH AS THEY COME WITH THE LAST NAME MORRISSEY! GRRRRR (ok not really yelling, just felt like making you guys feel bad ;) just kiddin with ya'll there....hope your day goes well. I will post more on this later, but would like to drop these thoughts and organize mine again, this post is getting entirely toooo long.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I reject, categorically, that carrying a firearm complies with the idea of non-violence. Most people in the US feel the same. You don't want to divide, to keep people out? Guess what? The proximity of firearms does that far more than making sure 3 individuals don't carry weapons.

I don't have a single issue with second amendment rights. I have an issue about giving the police an excuse to tar OWS a terrorist organization, or at least deem it dangerous. It gives them the perfect excuse, not simply to shut down Occupy Flint, but every Occupy encampment or activity across the country. I am also EXTREMELY concerned about what this does in terms of PR. Yes, PR. It might be a dirty word these days, since it has been used to manipulate on behalf of the 1%, but even Martin Luther King made sure public relations was as good as it could get. Right now, Occupy has only 38% of Americans supporting it. That is down from previously as a result of very minor violence in Oakland. If nothing else Occupy is a hearts and mind campaign. Media images of "gun toting anarchists" as they are inevitably to be tarred, will alienate FAR more women and far more people on the moderate left than just about anything I can possibly think of.

Flint is known, thanks to efforts of people like Moore, to many around the country. As a town it has experienced more tragedy than any town should have to bear. But those who carry guns to Occupy are indeed yahoos. Not the citizens. The wielders of weapons. This solar panel installer you mentioned is indeed being utterly selfish and stupid. I believe you when you say he has helped you out. But he is acting out his survivalist macho fantasies when he carries a gun in your midst, and he is hurting the movement as a whole as a result. Let me reiterate: I have no issue with the second amendment (other than believing that guns should be regulated at least as much as cars) and my condemnation is not about breaking the law. It is about putting the movement in such a bad light that we will lose tens of millions of potential supporters. And it is about giving the authorities exactly what they want, and doing so on a silver platter.

Non-violence has a specific tactical purpose. In fact, as a method of civil disobedience, it is not non-violent at all. Instead it relies on the violence of those who it is demonstrating about. The violence is perpetrated on the protesters, shaming the protested in the eyes of the world. That is one of its most effective tools. But those that commit violence on armed people receive no condemnation from public, but relieved applause. And although you may believe Flint's Occupy movement is local and autonomous, the world is watching, and what one occupy group does is reflected on ALL of occupy. The world sees either complete lack of discipline or a condoning of violence of the entire movement across the board. Declaring autonomy is simply myopic.

I appreciate your response. I see that it was written in good faith. But I cannot SCREAM loudly enough that your conclusions are WRONG, and that you are potentially damaging the Occupy movement irreparably but permitting guns in your midst. These people who are carrying may have helped you camp, but they are sowing the seeds for the destruction of our movement. PLEASE, I BEG you, really BEG you, tell them to keep their guns at home.

On a side note: As a practical matter, look up the statistics of carrying guns and the issue of increased safety. You might just be surprised about just how much they do the opposite. http://bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence/gvunintentional

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Here is an interesting link from a source I think you will respect questioning the tea-party as a non-violent movement. Interesting thinking, it does not totally support what I am saying, and it does not totally support what you are saying, it is an interesting extension of our conversation here: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2010/11/is-the-tea-party-a-nonviolent-movement/

I agree with you on the tactical purpose of non-violence in civil disobedience, and all of our weapon carrying members have agreed to stay far away or leave weapons at home when we have commited civil disobedience, and when we will in the future.

I will reply to the rest of your letter later. But wanted to drop this point out.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

And here is a photo of the man in question who was kicked out of the city council meeting, in clear violation of his rights, with me working on a bicycle generator, behind us is our wind turbine that will be functional soon.

The man is an amazing tech and has been instrumental in our movement here in the city.

[-] 1 points by ChelleJohnson (3) 2 years ago

I want to give you guys some background info that puts this fella's question in context. The last surviving Occupy camp in the state of Michigan is located in what has been published in a magazine as "The Murder Capital". The city of Flint. It's got the highest per capita murder rate in the country. The camp is located, much like the camps in other cities were, right downtown where a LOT of criminal activity takes place.

The state of Michigan has Open Carry laws and the camp is guarded day and night by two or three people that have their permits and carry the guns legally and out in the open. This was something that I believe was approved by the GA and everything. Before entering the camp there is a huge sign that states that the camp had armed guards. I believe at one point they even had a copy of the Open Carry law posted. The fact that there are people exercising Second Amendment rights has never been hidden from the local police or anyone wishing to visit the camp.

I personally don't like guns, but I think we don't get to be picky about which constitutional rights we're going to say people are allowed to exercise, and I don't think someone carrying a gun legally is violent or incites violence or threatens violence.

[-] 1 points by mchilleary (1) 2 years ago

The event Mr. Royer refers to was not an Occupy Flint Event. The State of the City speech was attended by Occupy Flint Members. The person that was asked to leave,not kicked out, has carried a side arm legally on previous occasions in the City of Flint Counsel chambers with no issues. In fact was caring earlier in the day of the speech with out incident. It is Mr Royer's belief that Occupy Wall Street is an overarching authority on all Occupy organizations. He seeks to force Occupy Flint to completely. Mr Royer has be informed of the General Assembly process to address his concerns but has yet to avail himself of them. Those members of Occupy Flint who choose to exercise their second amendment rights are very knowledgeable of their responsibilities. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 2 years ago

It is not fundamental, but it is a right. And if the government has become against it's people, then you can't expect the police to be non-violent.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

Well, you can carry firearms as long as you have somebody across town carry the ammunition. Do the blades come off of the hafts? Same thing.

Is this idea part of a desire for euthanasia?

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

It has been well documented that in the past, the Occupy movement has been in confrentation with authorities that resulted in violence

All weapons should be left at home.

Open carry is a right that everyone has except in those designated locations so ordered by local state or federal agencies.

However a person should be prepared to accept the consequences of their actions without later whining about it and wondering why they are going to be sent up for life should they kill someone

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

I will note that no one has or is planning to carry weapons in the event of civil disobedience at occupy flint.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Are you sure your local occupiers are government plants? I only ask because that will be the fastest and surest way to bring an end to this movement.

Then again, who are YOU?

RoyerJ101

Joined March 14, 2012

No Profile Information

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Yes, there are no government plants at occupy flint. At least among regular's, who all 3 men in question are. I will vouch for them with 95% certainty.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Please direct those idiots to this site and this thread. , Especially to me.

[-] 1 points by bmogreena (19) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

epa1nter, I hope you will view my post above , it is the super long post

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

epa1nter - could you please explain what you are asking because your post does not make total sense to me.

I apologize for not being able to participate physically in New York or for being a forum member for just a week. But this is the best I can do for now.

https://www.facebook.com/RoyerJ101

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

THe issue of weaponizing OWS is perhaps the single fastest way to destroy the movement. ALL law enforcement would get the immediate backing of the citizenry to squash it immediately. The cry would be "anarchists with guns!"

If your local brach is even considering such a tactic, I don't doubt that it is being pushed either by A) complete fucking idiots or B) government infiltrators out to destroy OWS.

If it is the latter, you yourself fall under suspicion especially as this is your first post here. This website has been up since the movement started, and it is beyond incredible that you haven't known about it until now. Yet your first post since joining only yesterday is to report something that would induce fear or demagoguery.

Perhaps you are innocent. But this movement has lots of enemies, infiltration has already been documented, and I'm not inclined to believe your support of OWS so quickly. The timing of your joining this website is simply too suspicious.

If, however, I am jumping the gun (pun intended) about you, tell your peers that only if they want to instantly destroy this movement should they ever consider carrying guns. Guns are only about violence. They serve no other purpose, not even in terms of self defense. And OWS has embraced non-violence from its inception, if for no other reason than the threat of violence does nothing but create instant, forceful, and universal backlash. The forces arrayed against OWS would like nothing more that to create that backlash.

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

epa1nter,

The reason for participating here and now is because I was focused 100% in what Occupy Flint was doing along with volunteering in my community and being a full-time student does no leave much time for me to participate in OWS.

And I wanted an outside opinion to the discussion between O.F. and myself because the debate was going nowhere. So, what a better place to discuss an Occupy issue than OWS' forum?

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Do you understand my sense of alarm, and what would make me suspicious?

If you do, and I mean REALLY do, you will go back to your occupy group and tell them to go to hell if they decide to carry guns and knives to events. It would take ONE SINGLE incident to destroy this movement. It would take ONE SINGLE photograph of a gun, even without incident, to harm it irreparably. This movement depends ENTIRELY on winning hearts and minds. Gun carrying yahoos have the opposite effect, and further, gives law enforcement the excuse they need to kill this movement in its infancy.

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Yes, I understand your sense of "alarm", that is what I am here asking questions.

The same sort of "alarm" went off in my head when debating Flint Occupiers who are weapon enthusiasts.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Tell them to keep their hobbies out of OWS. Who ARE these idiots? HAve they even bothered to check with the NY GA to see if they are aligned at all with its goals? Are they some sort of breakaway group that only calls itself Occupy and doesn't give a shit if they destroy the movement? Do you know these people well? Have they been infiltrated?

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

I have spoken up and told them how weapons and nonviolence do not correlate. Then I was cursed at, called a troll, told not to post anymore and there was no acknowledgement of how weapons hurt nonviolent movements.

And the few members of O.F. who were participating in the debate said no one was going to disarm the camp because they need to protect themselves, their community and their civil liberties.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

@ "RoyerJ" - I apologise for insinuating 'Troll' !!!

I'm not American and find all this 'Gun Talk' confusing, irritating and frankly 'weak' - but hey, what do i know ?!!! I mean you no lasting personal disrespect (despite the evidence of my statements to you !) and express contrition herewith for any offence taken. I also refer you to my reply to 'epa1nter' below.

Good luck with your studies and I respect your engagement on this forum post. I wish you well in all that you do in future, tho' negativism is not particularly attractive or useful.

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] -1 points by MidnightJava (-2) 2 years ago

Interpreting this post into proper English and putting in notes where it it not consistent with prior postings , here's what it reads:

I'm apologize for insinuating 'Troll' !!! (this was not insinuated, it was clearly stated)

I was born somewhere other than America, and don't understand what people are talking about when they talk about guns. I am irritated by my confusion, and find people who talk about guns to be weak (minded or by physical strength?). I know more than you, but want to speak facetiously and hurtfully and imply that you are calling me stupid. I won't disrespect you forever, although every thing I have said says that I will, and feel guilty that you have taken offense. Finally, please look at my reply to someone else. Good luck with your studies and I respect your engagement on this forum post. I wish you well in all that you do. [something written in Latin so I look cool and educated, even though every sentence I type is pure anger and ignorance]

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Tr@shy : Oh dear and awwwhh :-( Are you upset about something ?! Still using your (x) as a hat ?!! Still unsure as to exactly who you really are ?!!!

Now read your drivel again. Ever heard of 'Projection' or 'Transference' ? 'Prefer Greek ? 'Gee Damnit' ... tch, Tch, TCH ..

Gnothi Seauton .

[-] 0 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

How are they affiliated with OWS? Are they are breakaway group? The destruction has already started. 7 hours ago a photo of an FInt Occupier carrying a gun was put up on the web. It was a good close up of the gun.

This movement is over.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

"This movement is over" ?!!! WTF ?!! Is that wishful thinking or something ?!

I've logged on specifically to apologise to 'Royer' (for implying 'Troll' - cos I thought about your comments about him and I reflected and now see that you probably have a point !) AND to withdraw and show contrition for my "Et tu ..." comment to you above, to which you asked "What do you object to in terms of my concern ?" - well what I object to is the sharing and encouragement of weakness, soft headedness and a soft spine !!!

Gun control is a very big ask in 'Gun-Obsessed, U$A' - so how is OWS to impose this nationwide ? Of course 'Non-Violence' is The Only Way - but does the actual or implied or threatened 'violence' of one or two 'nutters' mean that "This movement is over." ?!!!

NO ! Non !! Nein !!!

Crazy Yanks and their f*cking Guns & Ammo & all round BS !!

Sometimes even I ... despair !

Get A Grip 'epa1nter' - you've a good heart, now sort your 'head' out ... please .. pretty-please with a cherry on top, but try to do it soon.

dum spiro, spero ....

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

If you read what I said, You would realize that I was expressing a fear that these Flint people would destroy the movement, not a reality that they already have. But if they continue their gun wielding knife wielding ways, they play directly into the hands of the 1%. They have been WAITING for something like this. They have been goading us onto it.

Nor is this "one or two" independent people carrying guns. I went to the link and saw the discussion. It looks like there are many people there doing so. They are either stupid beyond measure or they have been infiltrated. There is no third option. And it does have the potential to stop OWS in its tracks. A single incident will do two things: It will turn public opinion against us permanently. Even without incident, images of gun-toting assholes making there way into the newspapers and TV evening news will as well. The very mild violence that swept the event in OAkland is something the movement still hasn't recovered from completely in terms of pubic perception. Second, it will, however unreasonably, give law enforcement the PERFECT excuse to invoke sweeping powers to be deployed against us, and the will NOT be objected to by the general public.

My head is sorted out. I am a Yank, and know how things tend to go down here. America is a reactive country, not a thoughtful one. Reason doesn't rule, emotion does. OWS must send a no-compromise message to Flint telling them that them MUST disarm their camps, or be publicly disowned. OWS CANNOT AFFORD to be associated with guns and knives. It simply can't. And the leadership is creative enough to find ways of making clear to its members that this is unacceptable and intolerable. The question is if they are smart enough to do so or will they get stuck in an absolutist interpretation of their theory of lateralism. Finally, ethically, if OWS does stand up to defend its own principles of non-violence, it effectively abandons all of its principles. Principles are meaningless unless acted upon. And a movement devoid of active principles is doomed to failure for the simple reason that it stands for nothing, and SHOULD fail.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Big Sigh ~{:-\

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

I am and always have been a supporter of Occupy Flint. We, O.F. and myself, have worked together in workgroups, petition drives, general assemblies and sharing information. However, when it comes to weapons in a peaceful / nonviolent movement - I disagree and will consistently speak-out against weapons.

Just this week O.F. and myself had a very transparent disagreement when if comes to associating weapons with the movement. Two members of O.F. were arrested in early 2012 over carrying knives and just this week a third member of O.F. had been kicked out of a state address in Flint because he was carrying a gun. All of which are counter-productive and violent in nature. So, I took a stand and debated the carrying weapons issue with a few of O.F.'s members.

https://www.facebook.com/attorneybankert/posts/411093262237354?comment_id=5743558

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Please supply links, or other coroberation with such assertions.

You got here yesterday, and . . . troll?

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Not a "troll" post - this is a mediation request.

Please check out my link below.

And I am a supporter of OWS - not a suppressor.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20443) 2 years ago

This is a b.s. troll post.

[-] 1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I don't know, but it sure as heck isn't part of a deterioration of rationality and excessive anger in American politics like it was when people showed up at Tea Party rallies with guns!

[-] 0 points by Ray1 (22) from Chardon, OH 2 years ago

and since OWS cant get Lawyers (that actualy agressivly sue people and put cops in jail),Guns(right to bear arms is deterance to dictatorships) and Money(starting a foundation for the future in a Swiss bank account) this movement is going nowhere fast. Libya was overthrown by guys in Pick Up trucks using anti-aircraft guns.

[-] 0 points by Ray1 (22) from Chardon, OH 2 years ago

Um...The Founding Fathers smoked hemp and were armed to the hilt. Cant have a revolution without lawyers,guns and money....

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Thanks go99ers, JuanFenito and Mooks,

Here is the latest news story regarding the local Occupiers.

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2012/03/man_asserts_open-carry_rights.html.....There

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago
[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

There's no Occupy story on that site. Check your link.

[-] -1 points by mediaauditr (-88) 2 years ago

While I agree with the right to open carry/concealed carry, in the case of OWS, I disagree. Mainly due to many examples of its rowdy history. I know I'm being as asshole for bringing up the TP, but I feel comfortable at a TP rally with open carry, mainly because the attendess respect their surroundings. At the tens of thousands of TP's over the past 3 years, they leave their surroundings in a nicer condition than when they arrived. In the case of OWS, there has been many examples of destroying property, and acts of violence. It would not be smart to add weapons to an OWS rally.

[-] -1 points by mediaauditr (-88) 2 years ago

And for the shooz and and zendogs out there who will attack my post above, I ask you to open your eyes to reality, rather than hide behind ideologies that are nothing but enriching our politicians. If you agree that open carry is a smart idea at an OWS rally with vandalism happening, you're out of your mind.

[-] -2 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I bet if that girl at Occupy New Haven carried a gun she would not have gotten raped.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (27793) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I think you should remove this post as it has nothing to do with Occupy OWS or 99% movements against the corruption in this country. Peaceful legal movements.

I do not support violence nor does anyone that I know

To even suggest that it is OK is just wrong.

Take down the post and if you know of anyone planning violence then you should alert the proper authorities.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

He ain't gonna do that, 'DKAt' ... he came to get a rise and to troll, so let him contemplate and reflect upon the spanking he's getting here.

Also Happy St. Paddy's Day mate ;-)

pax et lux ...

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I just confirmed, Shadz, that it is what has happened in Flint. An Occupy Flint man was just ejected from City Hall carrying a weapon. It was in the news. I also went on the the Occupy Flint website and there is a mention (small but still there) of people at the very first GA talking about carrying "to feel safe".

The New York GA had better do something about this, and quickly.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

'ep@1nter' : So, what have you confirmed that the links below do not ?

And again "WTF has 'Guns' got to do with OWS ?!!!"

Also, re. your "The New York GA had better do something about this, and quickly." What do you suggest ?

How is a lone nutter with a shooter (in a country awash with both 'nutters' and 'shooters' !!) the business of The NYGA ?

What are you really trying to say ?

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Occupy Flint has apparently green lighted the carrying of guns to events. On Monday, one of the occupiers walked, as a part of an occupy event, into a city hall meeting, with a gun in plain view. He was ejected. It made the local news in Flint.

I don't frankly know what Occupy Wall Street can do about this. But Occupy started here. This is the main locus of the movement. If MUST do something. Occupy Flint must be called on the phone by the leadership (and there really is a leadership, even if dispersed) and let them know that they may not call themselves "Occupy" if their policy is to allow people to show up at events with guns strapped on. They need, at least, to make a very public, very loud statement denouncing the behavior. passive resistance can NOT include guns.

We are NOT the Tea Party. The movement was founded on principles of non-violent civil disobedience, and there is no way around it, guns are about one thing only: violence. They create a latent threat. They make for more dangerous conditions. One single accident would create a backlash that would destroy the movement in a heartbeat. One or two IMAGES can do harm, even in the absence of any incident.

We have a hard enough time gaining support because of the anarchist structure. The word "anarchism" is enough to make people wary, since they don't understand it. Imagine what the idea of "Armed Anarchists" going to public places where there are children would do. How effective, even without incident, does this make OWS's hearts and minds campaign. Does carrying guns to events raise consciousness about making a better world? Or does the image of that make OWS look like a bunch of threatening yahoos, willing to intimidate those who disagree with them?

Guns have NOTHING to do with Occupy, and is MUST remain so. The yahoos in Flint could effectively end this movement.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

"The yahoos in Flint could effectively end this movement." !!! WTF ?!!

Et tu 'epa1nter' ?!

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

C'mon, Shadz, I am no Brutus, and you know it.

What do you object to in terms of my concern? Believe me, I really want to be wrong about this.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 2 years ago

Okay. But one guy carrying a weapon is a lot different than what RoyerJ101 says in the OP about how "the local Occupiers are pursuing open-carry of firearms and knives as a part of their Occupy movement." That's a misrepresentation of what is going on in Flint. It was one guy.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I don't know, I believe him. I don't think it was just one guy carrying. I think it was one guy caught. And the fact that he was carrying openly, and that it was permitted by his fellow occupiers speaks volumes.

This is very worrying. All it takes is one incident, just one, and Occupy is over, finished. , This is foolishness and grandstanding macho bullshit to the Nth degree. In a hearts and mind campaign, there is nothing that will make support evaporate faster than the notion of anarchists with guns. It is as reckless as the behavior of Wall Street that we are protesting.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20443) 2 years ago

I agree with you there. OWS should quash all violent acts and work toward promoting non-violence.

But, I still think this is a troll post because of the way it is worded. Why ask the stupid question: "I am a supporter of the Occupy movement requesting input whether carrying weapons is fundamental to a nonviolent movement?" Fundamental to a non-violent movement? That's pretty ridiculous. So, just sayin'.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

The answers I got from the poster convince me that he is essentially a scared kid. His wording was bad, but I think he was looking for support against carrying guns, as he has argued against them in Flint and was berated for it.

Perhaps this is overblown: I wasn't there and don't know. But since an occupier has already been ejected earlier this week by the police from an event in which he had a gun strapped on, and could hardly have been carrying in plain view without the consent of his fellow occupiers, I think this kid is more right than wrong about his concerns.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 2 years ago

Could be. I guess with so many trolls, I've become wary, but you may be right about this one. Well, he's getting an education here, to say the least. LOL!

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Nope, he is not a troll. I went to his link and confirmed everything he was saying. There is a real problem in Flint. Many occupiers are indeed carrying guns. He did try to talk some sense into them and was excoriated by Occupy as a result. He came here for help.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20443) 2 years ago

That's cool. He's got plenty of support here, then, and can arm himself with it if he goes back to that Occupy group.

[-] 1 points by RoyerJ101 (18) from Flint, MI 2 years ago

Thank you epa1nter.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (27793) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Same to you may the road rise to meet your feet. Good to Hear from you shadz66.

I just do not like anyone trying to promote violence or imply it's association.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Aye 'DKAt' "Slàinte" mate ;-) & re. "anyone trying to promote violence or imply it's association" - THAT is exactly what he is trying to do, I think ! So, IF he wants to dig ... lets hand him a spade, I say !!

pax, amor et lux !!!

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (27793) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes but narry a pint. Twould be sich a weast.

Letem dig holes aye.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 2 years ago

"Peaceful legal movements?" The right to "bear arms" is a legal right. It doesn't mean that you want or intend to use them, anymore than the police.

Are we up against a tyranny or aren't we?? if we aren't, then there's probably no need, but if we are, you're going to look like simple hippies complaining and not taken seriously, and possibly just thrown into jail like ants.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (27793) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Tell you what you carry a gun when they start hunting you with guns. You carry one before hostilities are declared by the powers that be - and you are on your own. Don't know you do not want to know you.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 2 years ago

I'm just exploring the idea. I think I see your point, not carrying a weapon is a kind of quirky subversive tactic against a hostile force. I can see the possibilities, but you better have an argument to make in court, otherwise it's a complete waste of time.