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View Diary: Report: U.S. Gov. And Corporate Security Companies Collude to Bring Down Social Justice Groups (216 comments)

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  •  Nonsense (8+ / 0-)

    I was watching some mainstream television episodes on netflix the other day, and in both of the popular series, watched by millions, the script used the "1%" meme generated by Occupy.

    This notion that protests and direct action don't work is a tired old attitude generated by weary social democrats whose purpose was and is to channel all effort into the electoral process. So they discourage at every opportunity direct action.

    Protests do work, and throwing the wet dishrag on them isn't helping. When the electoral process is so dominated by the wealthy, we must support other avenues of action.

    This doesn't mean creativity can't be introduced. But consider that Romney might well be president if not for his answer to the "1%" accusation leveled by Occupy, when he raised the issue of the 47% that rely on government for support. He failed as a result.  

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 10:22:10 AM PST

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    •  They do work. If you study the leaks (7+ / 0-)

      documents about the actions of the police state you'll notice the focus on thwarting protest actions.

      My next diary is going to be about this...  

    •  Conflating the two is a mistake. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, ZhenRen

      Occupy worked because people didn't go to a rally on Saturday afternoon and leave when the permit expired.

      It wasn't a protest.  It was Direct Action.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 01:05:48 PM PST

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      •  Okay (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Ray Pensador, lostinamerica

        I see protests (but not all protests) as a form of direct action. I define direct action as an action initiated directly by the people, without intermediaries (which exists in electoral politics, and top down organizations).

        Direct action does not seek:

        1) Permission from the state

        2) Permission from Party officials

        3) Permission from any external authority or organizational hierarchy.

        Voltairine de Cleyre says this very well:

        Every person who ever thought he had a right to assert, and went boldly and asserted it, himself, or jointly with others that shared his convictions, was a direct actionist. Some thirty years ago I recall that the Salvation Army was vigorously practising direct action in the maintenance of the freedom of its members to speak, assemble, and pray. Over and over they were arrested, fined, and imprisoned; but they kept right on singing, praying, and marching, till they finally compelled their persecutors to let them alone. The Industrial Workers are now conducting the same fight, and have, in a number of cases, compelled the officials to let them alone by the same direct tactics.

        Every person who ever had a plan to do anything, and went and did it, or who laid his plan before others, and won their co-operation to do it with him, without going to external authorities to please do the thing for them, was a direct actionist. All co-operative experiments are essentially direct action.

        Every person who ever in his life had a difference with anyone to settle, and went straight to the other persons involved to settle it, either by a peaceable plan or otherwise, was a direct actionist. Examples of such action are strikes and boycotts; many persons will recall the action of the housewives of New York who boycotted the butchers, and lowered the price of meat; at the present moment a butter boycott seems looming up, as a direct reply to the price-makers for butter.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 01:23:37 PM PST

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        •  A protest is direct action if the goal is to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, WB Reeves

          secure the right to protest. If not then it's symbolic action. I think that symbolic action can be very useful but it isn't direct action.

          •  A protest is direct action (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, AoT, lostinamerica

            if it is directly initiated by the affected persons, with no intermediaries or permission from authority.

            But you're welcome to your own definition. Any differences we have are minor here.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 01:31:25 PM PST

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            •  A direct action is the opposite of a symbolic (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, Ray Pensador

              action. It is an action meant to directly bring about the change sought. I think it's an important distinction because the term is increasingly used to mean any action that can be made to appear as being radical. I see a similar drift in regards to the term "Civil Disobedience" which is increasingly used to mean "An action where someone plans on getting arrested."

              I know we're generally on the same page on these things, but this linguistic creep is part of the recuperation of effective protest tactics. I make an effort to dispute the drift because it's important that we have a way to discuss these things in a way that hasn't been retooled by the powers that be.

              •  Okay (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Ray Pensador, lostinamerica

                But I see this as a spectrum, ranging from mild to rather strong, and I laud anyone who does any act to stand up to power, regardless of what it is called.

                For some individuals, standing on a street corner yelling is direct action, if they are breaking through years of conformity and restraint, disobeying the authoritarian voices in their heads.

                I think de Cleyre nails this kind of free, unfettered behavior when she says, "Every person who ever in his life had a difference with anyone to settle, and went straight to the other persons involved to settle it, either by a peaceable plan or otherwise, was a direct actionist."

                If the intent is standing up to power, it is always seeking change, or a person would not be doing it. The difference is that in so many events, the entire process is strictly dominated by a few elites, and they don't even bother asking the people they would lead for input, and this is rather weak and symbolic, and certainly not directly acted upon. Protestors are thus not in control, and simply following orders.

                I was never big on getting bogged down in semantics... unless it is a serious breach of meaning. I do understand what you're getting at. My particular beef is with the historically wrong use of anarchist and libertarian by the right wing.

                But if the word protest bothers you and Jesse, I will consider what you've said. Thanks for taking the time to explain your view.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 02:03:32 PM PST

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        •  More on Voltarine de Cleyre (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Ray Pensador, lostinamerica

          For anyone interested:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 01:28:52 PM PST

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      •  I'll think about this Jesse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        I have a lot of respect for you, brother, and your perspective matters to me.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 04:13:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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