[News] a-plea-for-captain-john-brown

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 18 18:59:15 EST 2011

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by Gary Hicks

in the occupy movement, just as in every major social upheaval 
leading to social progress - going at least back to the abolitionist 
movement - always the question of violence versus nonviolence has 
been raised. even before we touch upon the question of violence, let 
us note clearly that the established order invokes pleas for 
nonviolence every time there is trouble in the land, anger in the 
air. and at that, they then try and define what is legitimate and 
non-legitimate nonviolence.

it's ok to stand in line, hold out your hands, and calmly let the 
police officer place plastic handcuffs on your wrist. but to lock 
arms en masse - that's beyond the scope of nonviolence. and the 
hypocrisy of it all stinks to high heaven when those expecting 
nonviolent civil disobedience from us are dropping bombs and shooting 
bullets on peoples around the world. and then they wonder why 
desperate people in our country get violent, when they have become 
the role model
as to how disputes get settled.

this is not to disparage nonviolence, but rather to point out its 
limitations when we are expected to engage in establishment 
prescribed nonviolence, and not dr. king's creative tension aiming 
toward the beloved community.

as to the question of violence, let us simply state that the decision 
to use such in the political arena is an exceptionally serious thing, 
and should not be left in the hands of juvenile nihilists [yes 
nihilists, not anarchists, who have their own strengths and 
weaknesses, but wannabe nihilist terrorism is not to be found amongst 
these categories].

Malcolm X stated on several occasions that those commited to 
revolution had best study the example of the abolitionist john brown. 
and before all the negative stuff about him is allowed to come to the 
fore, let me invite you to read what henry david thoreau had to say 
about john brown, at a town meeting in concord massachusetts, a 
couple of weeks after brown's ill-fated raid on harper's ferry in 
october 1859.


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