Non-Violent Resistance is often confused with passivity. A protest you say? Wonderful! What will it accomplish? What is the tactic, and how will it achieve your goals? It seems that often a few picketers outside of a business or government building with a few signs will suffice. The proper paperwork is filed and the protesters ask politely where they are permitted to stand. We don’t want to disrupt the flow of traffic or the day to day operations of the business. This is the passivity that many see Non-Violence as.
Is a phrase on your cardboard sign going to persuade a Wall-Street banker or a Senator to relinquish their power? We hear Non-Violence and forget to focus on the Resistance part. Where is the resistance? Did the Egyptians step aside to the properly designated protest area when they toppled their government?
The reality is that we are up against a violent force. When entering into resistance or rebellion we must realize that they will come at us. As long as we stay within the boundaries set out by the ruling classes enforced by their armed police men we are permitted to speak out. As long as this does not disrupt the current rule and system it is all fine and legal. Sabotage is a feared word. Throw out the word ‘illegal’ and most will stop at that boundary set by the ruling class.
Non-Violent Resistance Tactics will not be effective if the powers that be set the limits. Changes in society that governments have made have often been made when the people have forced the hand of the ruler. Once submission and compliance have gone the powers that be loose their power.
Here in Kansas City the IWW would hold rallies in the early part of the 20th century. As speakers would begin to speak the Police would arrest them. In response they would call for Workers from all around. Each would get up to speak often getting a few words out before getting arrested. They would continue this until the prisons were overflowing and the police were forced to free their prisoners.
If we wish to make a change we must force the hand. We must not wait for the powers that be to hear what we want. We must begin to shut down the system. Just like the workers would sabotage the work place and production we must do so from the outside if necessary.
If all we can do is block entrance and halt production by denying access then that is a small start. We must continue to build up the new society within the shell of the old, but at the same time we must end the current regime.
Resistance can not be passive. We must realize that the Police and violent force within the state protects the corporations who own them. The politicians and judges they pay for do not work for ‘justice’ they work for the ruling class. We must realize that in order to affect change we will risk freedom, and our safety. We must take that stand where the state will aggress against us. Because of the violent nature of the state this aggression may be harmful to us. They will use tactics that I frankly, find frightening. We must not let the powers that be keep us in a corral outside of interference with the system. Your leaflet campaign or blog will just seem cute to the powers that be, Interference will make an impact. Remember that resistance. We are looking for a third way. Not the violence of the state and not passive compliance, but true resistance.