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"Protesters clashed"

As always, who's doing the clashing?

The elite wants violence. It's how they think, it's what they expect, and they're fully equipped to deal with it. Besides, it excites them. Personally, I'm not with Lord Rust: I don't believe in doing what the enemy expects and attacking them where they're strongest. But YMMV!

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Submitted by jawbone on

Looks like he's trying to cause a world of pain.

But...aren't the police getting wage and benefit cuts, along with the others? (Except those who get paid off the rolls, who have ways to get their wealth out of Greece....)

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Looks like the cop facing us is trying to restrain his partner.

Problem with events like this is that it gives some folks the idea to indulge their inner asshole. Some of those folks will inevitably be cops.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

But I also agree with Ian Welsh: if I'm in a protesting crowd and some paramilitary thug starts shooting at me, I'm not going to stand still and sing kumbaya. Every person is entitled to the defense of their own life.

Submitted by lambert on

That is:

A reputation for non-violence is a strategic asset.

This question is probably the biggest question facing the actual left today ("actual" as opposed to the career "progressives" who could never be bothered to mention Dr. Margaret Flowers getting arrested in Max Baucus's hearing room [#196]).

Ian's posts on this topic strike me as uncharacteristically sloppy. I think he confuses the tactical with the strategic, and subordinates the latter to the former. A moment's reading of my posts on Tahrir Square will show that I didn't call out the protesters surrounded by thugs in Tahrir Square, for example, when they tossed back the petrol bombs that were thrown at them. Nor did I condemn them for attacking the Ministry of Information! That's because they already had enough non-violence on the balance sheet to afford that, built up in months and years of previous work. Who on the left in this country has that amount good will? I doubt very much that the "black clad youths" in Athens are doing their cause much good by firebombing MacDonalds.

I also think you're as confused as Ian. You write:

I'm not going to stand still and sing kumbaya. Every person is entitled to the defense of their own life.

First, I think you're confusing being entitled to act with acting. Everybody's entitled to shoot themselves in the foot, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Second, suppose the civil rights movement had acted as you recommend, and fought back against Bull Connor's dogs. Would they have been nearly as successful in getting support for their cause? I don't think so. It seems to me that you're treating your feelings as far more important than the goals of the movement.

Third, as in Ian's case, I think sloppy and tendentious language is the sign of a bad case. Ian called Western non-violence advocates "effete," after which I took a break from his blog (MLK; Gandhi...) Anyhow, if throwing a brick through a Starbucks window makes a man a manly man, no thanks. (And no thanks, for that matter, to slaughtering millions to no purpose, as other revolutionary vanguards have done, several times, in the 20th century). In your case, "singing kumbaya" is the sign of the same bad case.

I just want to win, that's all. Call me crazy, but I don't think doing what the enemy wants, when they want it, and how they want it, is the way to get that done.

NOTE All this said, every situation has to be evaluated on its merits, on the ground. However, I think that Ian's desire to appear "effete," as your desire to avoid "singing Kumbya," are terrible, asset-squandering metrics for evaluation.