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Salon disses non-violence

Jefferson Morley auditions for MoDo's perch at Izvestia with an appalling and insulting article on the Keystone XL protests. Start with the headline:

In front of the White House, genteel protests with real results

Sure, "real results" are good. I like that. But "genteel" as the adjective of choice for non-violent protesters? Ghandi? MLK? Heck, ACT-UP? Genteel? Heck, why not go the whole way and call 'em nellies? And the article is like that all the way through:

... dutifully sat their fannies on the sidewalk ... the demonstrators, seemingly chosen for their excellent posture, sat in front of Barack and Michelle's windows [Oh, first name basis?], looking like they were in church: dutiful, solemn, satisfied. ... as the sympathizers chanted encouraging slogans ... more civility than disobedience, holding out their wrists to be cuffed ... the ritual of middle-class martrydom ...

Dear Lord. Insider disdain is on full display, isn't it? Not a pretty sight. When Morley goes to jail over an issue instead of to lunch, he can write like that. Worse, our feral elite wants violence, is prepared for violence, believes they can win using violence, and enjoys violence. Why the opponents of Keystone XL -- and rentier-driven extractive economy projects generally -- should attack where they are expected has never been clear to me, but it is clear to me that they should not do so simply to provide Versailles popinjays like Morley with a spectacle.

One word on the class aspects: One reason all the revolutions, revolts, and insurrections around the Mediterranean got as far as they did was that "all walks of life" could participate. That's what's happening with these protests. That's also why developing a reputation for non-violence is a strategic asset; that's why Morley is concerned to devalue it.

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