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The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs, in a Nutshell.

GET THIS. I heard a reverend-person yesterday lecturing newish activists about their need for nonviolence training, which she was volunteering to lead. She was also offering rubber wristbands for her graduates to wear at demonstrations, so that police could differentiate between protesters. She told us she'd ask officers to scrutinize those not wearing bands as being the potential troublemakers. This, she assured everyone, would make it more difficult for outside groups to waylay the action. I kid you not. And she's a church leader praised locally as something of an activist! HA! That's a RAT!   I recognized the Springs "outsider" buggaboo so I thought I'd relate where it came from in a little piece I'll call The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs. Ready? It won't take long. 45841

The frequently cited St Paul Principles had their time and place: ST PAUL

In my circle they're called "Saint Paul's Principles" because my colleagues think the edicts are Catholic I guess. The St Paul Principles came from St Paul Minnesota, circa 2008, and were formally adopted by the varied groups organizing to disrupt the Republican National Convention of 2008. They've lived on as guiding principles for activists of all ilk. In 2011 many Occupy encampments ratified the StPP as their own code of conduct, indifferent to whether they were applicable or even beneficial. Let's examine the well intended dogma. Do they apply universally? Are they constructive? And how did they work out for St Paul? The last one is easy. As you may remember, disruption of the 2008 RNC failed spectacularly. 42487

Did Kyle Lawrence represent Occupy CS, as its attention-hangers-on assert?

COLO. SPRINGS-- Poor Kyle. Not only is the newly suspected-arsonist in a hospital burn unit with third degree burns, but his until-recent colleagues are now laughing at his clumsiness and are belittling his motives. "What did his vandalism accomplish?" --his advice-givers ask, as if sensing a teaching-moment for their Youtube viewers. Well, if Kyle Lawrence INTENDED to burn down a civic justice building, as his cohort alleges, he accomplished THAT. You can't take that away from him, you polemically-challenged pedants! 30822

Patrick Henry’s priest would’ve favored Give me liberty, or give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Some juxtaposition, don't you think? Patrick Henry's call to arms Give me liberty or give me death mashed up with the Goddamn Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It sure puts passivism into religious perspective. It's the fog of the opiate of masses, with church as enforcer of nonviolence, keeping the people down in advance of the king's Dragoons. What a mockery serenity makes of poor fools eager to feel self-respect for docile servitude. It calls to my mind the impoverished parents who cripple their young so to be more effective beggars. Or who sell their children into slavery. What cretinous vile beings. Their desperation to be pitied of course, but their fate to be repudiated, not accepted with whatever boat-non-rocking serenity. 29426

First they ignore you then they laugh at you, Oakland’s got no further than that.

The brutality of the Oakland Police against #OccupyOakland and Iraq vet Scott Olsen is prompting many to measure their eminent victory with ol' Gandhi's hopeful adage: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Apparently we've reached the fight stage. Yeah no. Sorry folks but teargas and nonlethal measures while dressed in riot gear is still the LAUGH AT YOU stage. You'll recognize FIGHTING. It's what America does to everywhere.

If it weren’t for the nonviolence sneaks

In honor of Oct 2, the International Day of Nonviolence, which hardly any government of the world honors IN DEED, especially the league of NATO and USA's coalition of the killing. I thought I'd perseverate further on the role nonviolent dogma plays in squashing dissent. Here's my theme: If it weren't for the nonviolence sneaks the antiwar movement of the 60s might have deposed the military industrial complex before it became supersized, privatized and above the law. Or not, but NV claptrap certainly got us nowhere. 28051

#OccupyDenver gains speed in spite of counterrevolutionaries hitting brakes

You can point the finger at the angry Anarchists, or at the nonviolence biddies who refuse to mingle, but in the end the Occupy Denver General Assembly emerged unscathed. At issue was the third of the St Paul principles, that activists will not condemn each other over divergent tactics. Of course condemnation provokes... condemnation, so the disruptors succeeded with their divisive interjections, until participants concluded that violence versus nonviolence was a non issue. No one wants or plans violence, why pretend it requires sanction or prohibition? For my part I wonder who says youthful exuberance has anything to learn from voices of experience, experienced at failure? Occupy Together is the common goal. The Denver occupation on the capitol steps is now encamped 24/7 and has organized a permitted demonstration on Saturday Oct 1. Local unions have signed on to march, which mirrors the interest labor is now paying in several dozen cities worldwide, just as Occupy Wall Street garners more and more celebrity and media attention.

Chicago G8 protest planners offer city guarantees of usual ineffectual actions

Organizers meeting today to plan against next year's G8 summit in Chicago hit the ground running --backward. On Friday a spokesperson for one of the coalition partners offered this assurance to the Chicago Tribune: “Our goal is a legal, permitted, family friendly march where people can come and have their voices heard in a safe environment.” Interesting. The objective of successful past anti-globalization protests has been no less than to shut the undemocratic summits down. 27093

Organize, but think outside the school

I love this graphic, it's clever, it's instructional, sort of. It offers at least the illusion of parity in a big fish eats little fish world. Because you know, it's not going to work unless one of the little fishies is packing a spear gun.

Uncle Sam wants you to pledge you’ll only resist his violence nonviolently

At Juneteenth this weekend, I saw the local Justice & Peace table being manned by young graduates of its "Peace Camp." I resisted asking them if their religio- pacifist training was being extended to corporations and oligarchs, or was nonviolence a prohibition for just them, the social-justice-minded, idealistic youth? How convenient for an increasingly deaf leadership to require that even the most desperate, urgent protestations remain toothless.

Nonviolence works, but Jesus saves

How is an antiwar message advocating a metaphysical ideal any different than saying that My God is better than Yours? My pacifist colleagues have distilled their protest slogan to "Nonviolence Works" which I believe is as provable as "Jesus Saves." Neither ideology can reduce beyond the afterlife. My god says love your neighbors. So what? Mine says kill my enemies. And what's more, God forgives me, particularly what I do in His name. To assail American Christian crusaders with with the logic of moral superiority is to argue that my god can lick your god. Believe me, God America is kicking Muslim ass on that front every day. Beside which, at best you're telling someone who wants to believe 2 plus 2 equals 3 that 3 & 1/2 is close enough.

In the struggle for Middle East land, Palestinian violence will always win

Israel can build all the new settlements it wants, take heart, it only takes one horrific Tate-Labianca-like crime scene to curb the Zionist homecoming charade. Israel can terrorize Gaza to smithereens, the Palestinians have nowhere to flee. American Jews on the other hand, are not going to leave comfortable digs, to relocate to Jerusalem where their 11-month-old might be slashed to death in her crib. Such dastardly strategy comes at a price of course, against a military willing to defy international law and exact collective punishment for the deed of one zealot, but Israel knows that even its US billions in weapons cannot compete with one Palestinian knife that finds its mark. 23456

Egypt’s protesters are owed 302 lives

After Hosni Mubarak did his best last night to bite his thumb at his gaping-mouthed subjects, the heart of humanity aches in anticipation of the potential of angry bloodshed Friday in the streets of Cairo. Egypt's JAN25 organizers have so far held steady to a winning strategy of nonviolent protest, in spite of the tremendous state repression, and as yet it's only moved them forward. But Mubarak has proved that the success of demonstrations is not judged by public opinion. Revolutions very traditionally involve an overthrow. Despotic torturers rarely capitulate to appeals to their conscience. Before the revolutionaries can ensure the universal support of the Egyptian people, they will have to commandeer the state's propaganda machine. Hopefully sympathetic employees will turn it over without forcing the demonstrators to compel its silence. While it might be prudent to guard against provocateurs inciting mayhem, public audacity wanes without momentum. Let's not discount the gains which the brave youth of Jan25 have won with violence. Tahrir Square would not have been gained without wave after wave of assaults against the ranks of riot police. Returning the thrown stones was the only action which kept Mubarak's goons from overtaking Tahrir and slitting everyone's throats.

Power already knows the truth

As the election nears, I recall Ward Churchill's rejection of a modern activist's purported objective, "speaking truth to power," as left-leaning voices speak up to validate the Democratic Party's inherent claim to represent what the Republicans do not. As if the corporate status quo doesn't know very well the reforms it is resisting. Speaking truth to power is not tilting at windmills, it's flapping your arms in a charade, to convey your divination of a windmill's function, to responses of shoulder-shrugging at the omniscience of power, literally. Democrats have absolutely nothing to offer except lip service. What else is new. So why are even stalwart leftists calling this horse race like they've got a candidate in the running?

Tony, David Barsamian says hello

The local Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission found a little more between the lines than they may have counted on from visiting scholar/lecturer David Barsamian. Although he preached the habitual Gandhian nonviolent civil disobedience, and putting faith in reforming electoral politics, some heresy emerged from the mix. Asked how he could cite 1984 with the authority of scripture, three times, but overlook how Orwell derided nonviolence as a tool of totalitarian control, Barsamian reminded the audience that Orwell joined the Spanish Civil War against Franco, believing that Fascist threat justified armed struggle. Barsamian then clarified that neither of the sainted NV Big 3, Gandhi, Mandela or MLK, completely eschewed violent resistance. 19917

Religious nonviolence is a death cult

Reading about the media/police snap to judgment on the Palmdale CA, Queen Marisol Girls prayer picnic, I had to wonder what behavior defines a "death cult." Trotting off to the park to chant prayers and submit to a rapture sounds exactly like the nonviolence zealots I know. Pray fast and furious, but for God's sake, don't stay the sword!

Nonviolence is the refuge of cowards

I say this with the full authority of my own personal experience: nonviolence is for cowards. When push has come to shove, I stepped to the sidewalk but I am so full of admiration for those who stayed in the line of fire. Today much of the world commemorates Bastille Day, France's unique independence day, because it launched the French Revolution. Not just a revolution for the masses of humanity, but their Enlightenment. Storming the Bastilles was no small transformative event, and the sans-culottes were not led by urgings to keep it nonviolent. The monarchy took heed, as it had for every historic concession, because the citizenry had it scared to death. 16127

Which was more awesome: power of nonviolence, or right of self-defense?

Give praise to Allah where praise is due   As the Freedom Flotilla made its slow approach last week, a popular Huffpo article pronounced the convoy a testament to the awesome power of nonviolence. That sentiment went about as viral as activist-geeks can get. But the blockade running denouement proved something of the opposite, didn't it? I hope the sanctimonious pacifist will be brave enough to admit it. The Muslim Brotherhood bravely charging the Israeli navy was surely the definition of martyr, if anyone has ever earned it. Without pushing the IDF to bare its authoritarian fangs, there would have been no story, no outrage, the end. An entirely compliant convoy would have been led by the nose to Ashdod and diplomatic compromise. Neither Gandhi nor King nor Mandela gained without a massacre they didn't provoke. It's a slander to their legacy that nonviolent movements have been co-opted by religious purists who subordinate social justice to self-fulfilment, generally in the guise of your post-earthly reward. Labor organizers used to curse the industrialists' first line of union busters, the churches which practiced appeasement and promised "pie in the sky when you die, by and by." 17721

Thinking outside the bomb, in the box

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOMB is a clever antiwar appropriation of Taco Bell's inventive twist, but since when does imitation break from a box? And does "the bomb" mean what it used to? By the look of their logo, the TOTB activists are not talking about the A-bomb, nor bunker-busters, nor smart-bombs, nor predator drones. Intentionally or not, they're invoking the proverbial cartoon explosive, wielded by anarchists or other insurgents, the only means by which social uprisings have ever transcended the box. 15183

Martin Luther King Day marks his death

MLK 2010- The memory of Martin Luther King Jr. has been cuffed and confined as well as if it had been assassinated. The dream he had of empowerment for the powerless is frozen now en memoriam, neutralized, the masses left only to hope for an end to racism and oppression. It's an ideology for simple folk, isn't it? We can all have equality and justice, so long as we want to possess it only vicariously, in our dreams. Asking for it, nay demanding it, is to commit violence to the decorum of our betters. Pragmatism has meant codifying King's ideals to the liking of his adversaries. MLK Day is theirs. It should be celebrated on April 4 to mark his death.

Sticks and stones can hurt Berlusconi

Wounded premier kept for four days in the hospital. At a young age we're taught to pretend that words cannot hurt us like sticks and stones. Later we accord to words more power even than paper, scissors, rock --those of us for whom violence is only a surreality. 12939

Pacifism versus Resistance, facing death

Who can begrudge Palestinians for resisting annihilation ? Our PC ideal would be to resist with nonviolence, bare your chest and dare the IDF soldiers to kill you. But they will, and as Israel has forbidden foreign cameras, who will be moved by your sacrifice? 6111

Will the Biden-Obama plan to ethnically divide Iraq into 3 parts lead to peace?

Joseph Biden is a long time proponent of creating 3 separate ethnic enclaves in Iraq so that the Pentagon can better dictate Iraq's future. Essentially, Joe Biden is the actual architect of current Bush Administration strategy in Iraq, which is based on ethnic cleansing and separation. See the report US Senate votes to divide Iraq for a peek into the background information about this. 5521

American death squads and torture in Somalia

Why are Americans so uninterested in what their government does in their name in Somalia? We certainly have shit loads of good liberal folk running around in circles demanding that the US government intervene militarily in Sudan, do we not? But we have a virtually total silence about what the US is doing to the Somali people. More blowback from the war on terror Why is that? 4970

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