posted on Nov, 7 2011 @ 04:09 PM
Here is an exerpt from an article on the importance of non-violent tactics:
The problem with the use of violent confrontation strategies is that
they quickly escalate to the point where the parties' only concerns are victory, vengeance, and self-defense. In these cases, the moral arguments of
people who are being unjustly treated become irrelevant. What matters is that they have used violent strategies and their opponent is, therefore,
justified in a violent response. This problem is complicated by the fact that both sides are usually able to argue that the other side started the
As the author states, the quickest way to alienate your base is to use violence as a means to an end. It also deflates the importance of your
From the same source:
Non-violent resistance strategies, such as those pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King are designed to avoid
this trap by absolutely refusing to be drawn into a violent confrontation. Far from being cowardly, this is a strategy that requires tremendous
courage, self-control, as well as a willingness to endure pain and sometimes even death. The strength of nonviolence lies in its ability to
dramatically reduce the moral legitimacy of those who persist in using violent strategies against non-violent opposition. This loss of legitimacy can,
in turn, contribute to coalition-building efforts leading to widespread condemnation of parties using violent strategies and often the imposition of
sanctions by the international community. In essence, non-violent resistance is a strategy for countering the power of violent force with the power
of the integrative system. Many non-violent techniques ca also be effective when used against illegitimate uses of legal, political, or other types of
This is why, even though there will people at any large protest that support violence, it is important to establish a clear set of guidelines that
remind everyone that the road to success is non-violence and discipline. It is important that even the supporters of violent actions are aware and
Demonstrations only set the tone for negotiations that take place behind the scenes. You really can't craft a consent decree on the picket line,
nor can you increase the consumer membership on a governing board of an organization in a demonstration. Demonstrations are only a tool, a method for
accomplishing other things. They are not an end, but rather a means. Demonstrations are a method for trying to accomplish something. But, sometimes
that something is not clearly understood. Thus, there is the need to begin by looking at goals. In demonstrations there is a continuum of goals and
goals are always mixed. Individuals within a group may have different goals from the group's stated goals. This dynamic of multiplicity is always
present in demonstrations.
The importance of having clear goals, objectives, is to help keep people away from focusing on fringe groups or people that are just there to party,
cause problems, etc.
From the same source:
So, demonstration strategies must include an assessment of goals and methods. If the first goal is information-based--to make people understand your
point of view--then you do not want a lot of confrontation, at least not initially. You want a well-ordered demonstration. Good signs and people who
are well-dressed and clean help make a positive presentation. This will appear on television in the living rooms of the American public. Thus, this
appearance can create a sympathetic reaction to demonstrators and their cause. You do not want the general public to say, "What a bunch of nuts!" If
this happens, then you have lost at that level.
Non-violence is key here, since the objective should be, at first, to avoid conflict. I would suggest trying to throw out people who taunt police or
other citizens, or use other rude and confrontational tactics.
Also, however shallow it may be, appearances mean a lot. Propaganda is a useful tool, and not always disengenious.
From the same source:
A good deal of responsibility falls on people who lead demonstrations. It is hard to maintain demonstration strategies that
do not involve escalation. This seems to happen because after awhile the press loses interest, other people lose interest, so there is a desire to "up
the ante." This may or may not be useful. But, one of the things that happens when you up the ante is often you lose control of the least-controllable
group. I don't know whether or not the Right-to-Life demonstrators in Florida wanted their members to shoot a doctor or not, but certainly what they
were doing encouraged that kind of behavior. It seemed inevitable.
"Humanizing" is very important when demonstrating and dealing with enemy images. Demonstrations are all too often built on the idea that one side
is absolutely right and the other is absolutely wrong. With this type of dichotomy it is very easy to move from peaceful, nonviolent action to
violence when frustration occurs. Escalation can result in things like someone throwing a firebomb at a clinic or shooting a doctor. A bit more
escalation results in things like bombing the World Trade Center in New York. Therefore, public protests and disputes need to be put in the context of
goals, methods, and strategies, not in terms of abstract and absolute right and wrong. Perhaps one of the more scary things in our world today, is
that we find ourselves all too often in that abstract, absolute right or wrong mode.
I don't know if i really have anything to add on this. I think if protests are bieng made in multiple cities at once, that it would be a good idea for
prominent people from each city to be in touch with other movements. I think leaders need to emerge in a protest, at least as a unifying body.
Well, what do you guys think?
edit on 7-11-2011 by GringoViejo because: (no reason given)