Nonviolent Delusion and the Black Lives Matter Protest Movement

 

 

MLK said a riot is the language of the unheard. Thank you Ferguson and Baltimore, maybe they are starting to listen now. . .

 

Seattle two

Our pursuit for justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner and now Freddie Gray, along with hundreds of others has hitherto existed in a curious paradox when it comes to debating the effects of nonviolent pacifism versus direct action and confrontation. In terms of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, Garner was murdered before Michael Brown. His death was caught on camera for the world to see and the perverse violence and culpability of Daniel Pantaleo’s chokehold is undeniable. In Michael Brown’s case Darren Wilson had the benefit of the prosecutor and law enforcement on his side and no video evidence of what happened. The main difference between the two cases is that in Eric Garner’s death people passively and ineffectively marched and pleaded for justice to no avail by the state. In Mike Brown’s case an entire community rose up, fought back, literally stood their ground, and succeeded in building one of the largest protest movements in recent history. Freddie Gray’s death and ensuing protests have focused the world’s attention back on the U.S. and its racist, militarized police forces. The authorities are running out of fabricated explanations as to why they haven’t brought these thugs in blue to justice and the uprisings and anger, not the pleasantries and marches, are helping to drive this reality home.

Many of the protests thus far have been dominated by activists that are unfortunately victims of the racist, ineffective ideology of nonviolence by any means necessary. It is their go-to tactic to vilify and riot shame anyone that does not adhere to their authoritarian version of passivity in the face of immense violence. They will even do the NYPD’s work for them by becoming citizen cops and reprimand anyone who decides to employ a “diversity of tactics” while protesting. The institutionalized, white supremacist ideology of nonviolent acton is religiously adhered to even by the majority of black organizers. Nelson Mandela did not believe this. Malcolm X did not believe this and even MLK understood the reality of rioting.

The delusion of nonviolence and pacifism stems from the notion that oppressed peoples do not know anything about liberating themselves or fighting back against state brutality. Nonviolence comes from the idea that safe and often times privileged white  intellectuals that have never had to deal with issues of racist cops wontonly murdering them know best how to lead and organize on behalf of the colonized. This is a dangerous road to traverse if we want to truly revolutionize social relations in our society. Nonviolent activists maintain that the “violence” of, say, breaking a window, is somehow commiserate with that of the structural violence of institutionalized racism and imperialism. Furthermore, they cater to the state’s demands, thus validating a system that is predicated on injustice and exploitation . They ask why the protesters are resorting to violence as if we weren’t already living in a society in perpetual violence, both in our local communities as well as abroad where drone strikes seem to operate with the same amount of impunity.

Do these people not realize that it is thanks to the rebellion in Ferguson and now Baltimore that we have even arrived at this inflection point? If Ferguson would have amounted to nothing more than a few marches and vigils similar to what happened after Garner’s murder then we would not have arrived at this moment the way we did. Many people fail to see the effectiveness of the riots and the so called “violence” that the citizens resorted to because the mythology of nonviolence has been so deeply embedded into the national psyche despite the evidence to the contrary.

If oppressed peoples are supposed to be the ones leading such movements then why are we allowing the movement against police brutality to be dominated by tactics that come out of the privileged bourgeois tradition of nonviolence?  Most of the time supporters of pacifism have been afforded the luxuries of have their basic needs met. Oppressed people have no other option other than to take direct action against such abominable oppression.

So if you see any of your brave comrades decide to do something other than hold a sign or walk on the sidewalk please support  them and understand that we are all allies of the same cause with the same goals, some of us believe in using different tactics at different times rather than always adhering to the state’s prescription of nonviolence.

Time to fight back against police impunity!

Justice for all those of police brutality, racism, imperialism.

#blacklivesmatter

Expect Resistance!

Advertisements

From Mike Brown to Eric Garner, the Specter of Revolt is Haunting NYC.

ferguson curfew

“A riot is the language of the unheard.” – Martin LutherKing Jr.

Louie Michel

A specter is haunting New York City, the Specter of Ferguson.

Virtually every major news outlet, member of the black liberal establishment, and authority figure in government has been stressing the importance of peaceful, nonviolent protest to the killing of Mike Brown. They say that rioting is counterproductive and accomplishes nothing. They are wrong. Proof of this can be seen in the local and international response to the deaths of Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in NYC.

– July 27, 2014, in Staten Island, New York, Eric Garner was murdered by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo’s vicious chokehold for selling untaxed cigarettes. His murder was caught on camera by a brave bystander by the name of Ramsey Orta and uploaded for the world to see. Eric Garner’s murder gained some national news in the United States and outcry from various civil rights organizations but soon after fell out of the 24 hour news cycle. Garner’s death became just another black man brutally killed with impunity by law enforcement despite the incontrovertible video evidence, including Mr. Garner himself pleading, “I can’t breath, I can’t breathe” numerous times before he senselessly died. His death was on the verge of being shelved in the rolodex of “another black man murdered by the cops.” Then Ferguson happened. People began to stand up to injustice by doing something other than just march. They began to defy curfews, expose the militarism of the police-industrial complex, and make history rather than be shaped by it.

– August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, Mike Brown is gunned down and killed by officer Darren Willson. The shooting took place not because Brown robbed a helpless person at gunpoint but because he was stopped for jaywalking! As most people in this country now know, Darren Wilson was acquitted by a grand jury that was led by a law enforcement friendly prosecutor, Robert McCulloch. Riots broke out in Ferguson after Mike Brown’s death, as well as when the announcement was made that there would be no indictment of Darren Wilson. These riots sparked protests and mobilizations across the country and spearheaded a 21st century discussion of institutionalized racism, militarism of communities, policy brutality and systemic impunity in the age of Obama.

What did the peaceful protests that took place against the death of Eric Garner accomplish other than a few news pieces and the same old condemnation by the black liberal establishment led by the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? Not many people in this country even heard of Eric Garner before Mike Brown’s death. In the end the few days of direct action in Ferguson created more attention and were more effective than the peaceful protest marches on behalf of Eric Garner.

In Ferguson they torched cars and businesses, resisted the police by throwing their tear gas canisters back at them, refused to disperse and courageously made their voices heard to the world on their own terms and no one else’s. And their resistance instantly gained international attention. From France to Russia to China to Iran, Ferguson was front page news around the world   and it wasn’t because people peacefully marched like they did in Staten Island. No, it was because they employed the tactics of direct action to bring attention to the fact that a unarmed black teenager was killed by a white officer and nothing was done about it.

The monopoly of violence that the state possesses should never go unchallenged, particularly when a great injustice has taken place. There is nothing wrong with peaceful marches and nonviolent civil disobedience, but we must not be fooled into the false narrative that direct action and violence as it is defined by the state is always wrong.

Expect resistance!