When preaching ‘nonviolence’ promotes violence

The division in Denver amongst groups supposedly building protests at the Democratic Party National Convention offers us a prime example of how excessive preaching of ‘nonviolence’ in a religious manner can actually encourage police violence against the protesters who are the most critical of the dominant political establishment.

Groups allied with the United For Peace and Justice coalition split off from Recreate ’68 claiming that the leaders were not sufficiently committed to being nonviolent. By doing so, they gave the police rhetorical backup for anything they might do at the DNC to protesters that come to protest the politics as usual agenda of the Democratic Party. This split was a divisive blow against having a united Left political organization focusing on advocating Progressive ideas at the big event, which the DNC represents in the US, and those who arrive to protest will find themselves in the streets with a split organizing leadership, all due to the rather sectarian religious rhetoric of the ‘nonviolence’ preachers.

The truth is, the Democratic Party tied leaders of the United for Peace and Justice don’t really want that much of a real protest at the DNC because most of these UFPJ leaders’ are tied to the philosophy of voting for the so-called lesser of two evils. They plan to encourage people to vote for the Democratic Party candidate. The non-violence issue has allowed them an excuse to make the protest against the Democratic Party smaller, divided, and inconsequential. Further it allows them to label their political opponents in the Peace Movement, those not tied to the Democratic Party like they are, as being unreasonable agitators who want confrontation, which is actually how the corporate press of this country wants to portray all protesters.

The reality is that there are no members of the Recreate ’68 coalition that are violence prone, and everybody wants the protests at the DNC to be nonviolent. However, the ‘I am more nonviolent than you’ preaching from the Alliance for Real Democracy crowd has obscured that, something that can only help create greater police violence and not less.

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3 Responses to When preaching ‘nonviolence’ promotes violence

  1. Avatar tony logan says:

    The following about UFPJ is an excerpt from

    Choosing the Lesser Evil is Still Choosing Evil … Jerry Garcia Meets Barack Obama

    It seems he (Jerry Garcia) understood that once one makes an allegiance with evil–even the lesser one–they risk becoming part of that evil themselves. The more active the allegiance, the greater the risk. Just look at the major national antiwar organization United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and their public stance regarding the desire of organizers of the protests at the upcoming Democratic convention to stage a large antiwar march at the convention. According to a recent press release from some organizers of the march, Leslie Cagan of UFPJ told some Denver organizers, “We don’t think it makes sense to plan for a mass march that might not end up being all that mass!” In other words, UFPJ is refusing to help build support for the march.

    There can only be one reason for UFPJ’s stance. That reason is UFPJ’s allegiance to the Democratic Party. This allegiance is not an allegiance found among the grassroots of UFPJ but at the top. It involves a political misunderstanding of the Democrats’ role in maintaining the US empire and a fear of losing funding from elements of UFPJ that are tied to the Democratic Party. Ignoring the fact that it is the Democratic Congress that has kept the Empire’s wars going, UFPJ continues to call the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “Bush’s Wars.”


  2. Avatar Yaakov Watkins says:

    If R-68 was committed to non-violence, why did their website start of in February by recommending body armor? Why did they choose the name R-68? If R-68 was committed to free speech, why do they have Churchill speaking (he is part of the group that wants to deny free speech to Italians on Columbus Day)?

    The fact is than many members of the left would love violence (if they themselves aren’t hurt) because it will (in their eyes) prove their point. Their rational is that they will be able to end the war sooner if a few people die at the DNC.

  3. Avatar tony logan says:

    Churchill wants to deny free speech to Italians per your opinion? ‘Yaakov’, you are a rather strange specimen of ‘Leftist’ to be talking about who is seemingly violence prone, and who is not?

    The Recreate 68 organizers are not looking to lock horns with the police but they correctly expect that the police will beat up on them and any protesters out there in the streets outside the DNC.

    You, and organizations like UFPJ and ARD, provide the police with Right Wing rhetoric in the liberal sheep’s clothing guise of supposedly being out there promoting ‘non-violence’. You should be ashamed at yourselves and the role you guys are playing in actually covering up for the very real police violence that pervades our society almost everywhere these days.

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