Protests: The case for Non-violence, Leadership, and Clear Goals

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posted on Nov, 7 2011 @ 04:09 PM
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Non-Violence

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 violence.
Source

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 "issues."

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 force.

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 understand this.

Clear Goals

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.
Source
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.

Leadership

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)




posted on Nov, 7 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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Precisely. Without organization, direction, and self-control, an angry mob is only that - an angry mob. They can be herded like any other group of unthinking beasts, and that is never a good thing for the herd - the ultimate end of the drive is the slaughterhouse.



posted on Nov, 7 2011 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 


The part I think is most overlooked is the fact that the demonstration is just a phase. You have to have real, actionable goals. So far all we hear is "just wait" or something to that effect, but there has to be some sort of plan if you want to be successful movement.

Not to mention they need to kick out rabble rousers.
edit on 7-11-2011 by GringoViejo because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2011 @ 07:03 PM
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reply to post by GringoViejo
 


What concerns me the most, perhaps, is what it is they hope to accomplish in this phase preparatory to the next, which will translate to more action. So far, they seem to be long on simply building anger, and very short on focusing it. When the pressure is built up sufficiently and they poke the hole to let it out, which of the gazillions of issues will it be aimed at?

Will it even be aimed at any of the issues they are using to build pressure, or at something else entirely?

Every day that goes by where they don't concentrate on a concrete issue is a day that makes me wonder at the real objectives more and more.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 


Well, so far they take the stance that they have no leaders and need no leaders, they can operate by concensus, when historically protests hardly have an effect without a leader. And I don't think they'll be able to focus anything until they realize this.



posted on Nov, 8 2011 @ 04:24 PM
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Additionally, wouldn't it be a better idea to just throw out the poeple whpo are breaking laws and whatnot instead of trying to convince everyoine they don't represent you. Anyone who is part of the group represents the group! If they are making you look bad throw them out! Don't let them represent you.

Like the author says, you have to win the battle of the living room.



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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Even more interesting is that people who support OWS are avoiding this thread. Its one of the only ones I can recall that is designed to help them.

The ideas in the articles I posted can do nothing but good.



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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This head line

Are You Smarter Than a Wall Street Occupier?


Now go to the source and check out the answers, I think many people will be surprised.
Source: nymag.com...

What Do The Occupiers Really Know?


New York Magazine went out and asked some questions of the OWS protestors with the following results:


What is the Dodd-Frank Act? 84% didn’t know.


What is the SEC? 68% didn’t know.


Does the government spend more on health care and pensions, education, or the military? 94% said the military. Actually, the military is 20% of the budget, while Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and education account for 44%.

Does any of this Surprise YOU? Public School Education,,, Rearing It's Ugly Head!

Know who your adversaries are. When the OWS protestors went uptown to protest outside of the houses of some wealthy businessmen, they walked right past George Soros' home (Wall Street) and went to protest in front of Rupert Murdoch's (media) and David Koch's (fertilizer) home. If they wanted to protest against those who really had a role in this mess, why aren’t they protesting in Lafayette Park, across from the White House? After all, President Barack Obama raked in more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history, and he was the one who actually bailed out the Wall Street guys.

Source: www.policymic.com...
edit on 9-11-2011 by guohua because: Spelling and links



posted on Nov, 9 2011 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by guohua
 


Yeah, I just read the article. I can't say I'm surprised.

One ows camp even has its first leader, a border collie
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Nov, 10 2011 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 


I guess some of them are heading to DC now. I'm eager to see how this takes shape.



posted on Nov, 15 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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In light of the rising tension in OWS camps, I'm going to bump this thread.

I can't stress enough the importance of these tactics.



posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 01:20 PM
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Again I'm going to bump this.

Violence is being called for more and more people are willing to support it.

Its truly shocking that this thread has been avoided by ows and their supporters like the plague

These strategies can only help you out! Why the hell won't you listen?



posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 01:36 PM
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From the first post:

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 violence.



A perfect example would be whats going on in Seattle!





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