“Nonviolence means refusing to work with the police”


Violence is often a sticky topic in progressive organizing, with many preferring to espouse “non-violence.” However, Kit Harrington has some serious questions about what exactly that entails:

To put it simply: In my years of activism and journalism, it’s become quite clear to me that the single biggest purveyor of violence at protests are police. Police come to peaceful protests armed for war (literally, with military surplus gear), and police are better at turning a protest into riotous violence than any other group.

The physical violence they inflict is bad enough, but the subtle damage that cops do to justice movements is a form of violence too. In their love of protecting the government and corporate property and profits, police will infiltrate your movement, entrap your members, and do everything they can to tear you apart.

Arrests of activists ruin lives. Even charges hanging over a person can ruin their mental health — just ask any of the J20 defendants who have spent the last year wondering if they’d be spending decades in prison — regardless of the final outcome of the trials.

Cooperating with police ruins lives. Police and the Feds in Charlottesville have been charging left activists who previously assisted their investigation into nazis.

Police will show up at your protest whether you want them or not. But don’t cooperate with them. Don’t thank them for being there. And as any sensible lawyer will tell you, never talk to the cops.

Getting a permit for your march is just asking the state to commit violence on your behalf. So is asking them to arrest activists you disagree with. Protecting you is not the job of the cops, especially not at a protest. Their job is to maintain order and the status quo, and your permit won’t change that. They will attack you as soon as they feel you’re making a difference.

Read more here.

-Shiv

Comments

  1. says

    Howard Zinn had some interesting and important things to say about when civil disobedience is not just an option – it’s a requirement. There are some great quotes by him, and I have decided I am going to start posting chunks of Zinn on a regular basis.

    That is exactly the point of civil disobedience, of a politics of protest – that it is an attempt to bring about revolutionary social changes without the enormous human toll of suicidal violence or total war, which often fall on a society unwilling to go outside of accustomed channels. (Disobedience and Democracy)

Leave a Reply