--- On Fri, 11/18/11, Gary Hicks <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: Gary Hicks <email@example.com> Subject: a-plea-for-captain-john-brown........henry david thoreau To: "Revolutionary Poets Brigade listserv" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Friday, November 18, 2011, 7:27 PM
in the occupy movement, just as in every major social upheaval leading to social progress....going at least back to the abolitionist movement....always the question of violence versus nonviolence has been raised. even before we touch upon the question of violence, let us note clearly that the established order invokes pleas for nonviolence every time there is trouble in the land, anger in the air. and at that, they then try and define what is legitimate and non-legitimate nonviolence. it's ok to stand in line, hold out your hands, and calmly let the police officer place plastic handcuffs on your wrist. but to lock arms en masse....that's beyond the scope of nonviolence. and the hypocrisy of it all stinks to high heaven when those expecting nonviolent civil disobedience from us....are dropping bombs and shooting bullets on peoples around the world. and then they wonder why desperate people in our country get violent, when they have become the role model as to how disputes get settled.
this is not to disparage nonviolence, but rather to point out its limitations when we are expected to engage in establishment prescribed nonviolence, and not dr. king's creative tension aiming toward the beloved community.
as to the question of violence, let us simply state that the decision to use such in the poitical arena is an exceptionally serious thing, and should not be left in the hands of juvenile nihilists [yes nihilists, not anarchists who have their own strengths and weaknesses, but wannabe nihilist terrorism is not to be found amongst these categories]. malcolm x stated on several occasions that those commited to revolution had best study the example of the abolitionist john brown. and before all the negative stuff about him is allowed to come to the fore, let me invite you to read what henry david thoreau had to say about john brown, at a town meeting in concord massachusetts, a couple of weeks after brown's ill-fated raid on harper's ferry in october 1859.