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Or simply: "Teach your children".
Looking back at the anti war movement of the 1960s, one can see that Iraq isn't really like Vietnam on the homefront, either.
But some would have it otherwise.
Recently an odd character showed up in the comments on a MilBlogs post about protests in Seattle:
Oh, cool overtly statist assumption. Many of us are against the war, the state's war, against the war of military hardware against children and, more importantly, social guerillas who are not chickenhawks, who can actually fight against the empire, but we are not against all violence. The fight, our fight, is against the coercive authority of governments and capital, against the commodity spectacle and state-military apparatus. More and more of us are beginning to realize that self-defense (from cops, especially) is not violent in the same way as capitalism and statism. We like to call it liberation. How about you haul your overweight, white, tv-addicted [pottymouth! deleted by blog owner] out to the next anti-militarization demo in Tacoma and try to [pottymouth! deleted by blog owner] stop us. Some of us even carry slingshots loaded with epoxy studded with broken glass for patriots like you, mother[pottymouth! deleted by blog owner].Those edits were mine, btw. Turns out the individual was posting from a computer at Oberlin College, "a small, selective liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio". (More on that idyllic spot in the comments that followed.) Shortly thereafter, the same person returned.
Posted by deacon at 0151Z
Time will come when you won't see protesters just laying down and taking punishment from the cops, you'll see the violence of the righteous, the truly free, the war of liberation, to end the wars of nations and postindustrial capitalist bloggers. Seriously, though, even though I am not personally in Tacoma, come on out to an antiwar protest with your protestwarrior buddies, with your flags, beer, whatever, just come on out and have a good time getting hit in the face with slings and axe hafts. This old structure you're defending is riddled with dry rot, and every blow we strike takes us closer to total collapse, which we read as total victory.Now, threats of violence on weblogs really won't get too much of a rise from folks whose jobs involve the application of real violence, and who don't share your romantic illusions about combat. (You'll soon see that described as "the sort of rubbish one would expect from privileged white youth who had no experience of real violence and its effects" - read on.) But the comments from "Deacon" did prompt a couple responses from a couple concerned members of a (most likely) slightly older generation:
PS You should read some contemporary media theory (Baudrillard, Virilio, etc.) and then keep blogging like it even means anything. (Hint: it doesn't really mean anything. You're a [pottymouth - deleted by blog owner] moron.)
Posted by deacon at 0047Z
Seriously, Deacon - on the off chance you might actually be serious - here's some honest advice I've given before. If you're a young college student, your seniors in "the movement" would really like to see you killed while protesting - believing it could really help advance the cause. Don't fall for the line of crap you're sharing above. We've had a few chuckles here at your expense, but I'm really not kidding now.
Posted by Greyhawk at 0335Z
Deacon,It did indeed, and it left those students irrevocably dead.
Greyhawk is right.
The shooting of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen was really a turning point in the anti-war movement in 1970.
But then...the protest involved more then several dozen...more like several dozen thousand.
But the shooting of the students did in fact inflame the nation.
Posted by Soldier's Dad at 0351Z
Folks like "Deacon" are always around. By "Folks like Deacon" I mean young people who've convinced themselves they're willing to die for an actual pointless cause (but believe themselves invincible), and who have elders perfectly willing to facilitate the sacrifice for it's potential advancement of their own ideology. (The very myth that same faction applies to the American soldier young and old.) But the current scarcity of such is another reminder that the desire for Iraq to be "another Vietnam" is still a dream for those same elders, many of whom remember Kent State all too well and fondly, and yearn for the rebirth of a movement perhaps just a few dead protesters away.
Dean Kahler was inspired by one of his professors in 1970:
"We were invading another country. I thoroughly agreed with the history and political science department at Kent who, the next day, on May 1st, buried a copy of the Constitution because they felt that he had overstepped his powers as Commander-in-Chief by sending troops into another country. The mood kind of changed on campus at that point in time."A few days later he would be shot and paralyzed by an Ohio National Guardsman.
Perhaps it was a more innocent era:
The fact that the Guard members carried live ammunition shocked the protesters and students covering the protests as journalists, along with many people across the nation.Perhaps that poli/sci prof believed the weapons were merely phallic symbols, too.
Or perhaps not.
Philip Caputo is a Vietnam vet, USMC. He returned to the U.S. in 1966, and left the Corps to began a career in journalism, reporting for the Chicago Tribune. An early assignment to Kent State would lead - years later - to his book 13 Seconds: A Look Back at the Kent State Shootings.
In the spring of 1970, I was a 28-year-old general assignment reporter for the Chicago Tribune, three years out of the United States Marine Corps, with which I had served a tour of duty in Vietnam. In March, the paper had sent me to cover a student protest at the University of Illinois in downstate Champaign-Urbana.
Before reporting in to the city room Monday morning, I got a call from the day city editor. The disturbances in Kent had grown serious over the weekend. Store windows had been smashed in town, radicals had burned down the ROTC building, firemen had been driven off by mobs slashing hoses and throwing stones, and the Kent city police were unable to cope with the situation. The Ohio National Guard had been ordered in and were now occupying the university. The national desk wanted me to get there immediately. Evidently my coverage of the University of Illinois demonstrations the month before qualified me as the paper's campus protest correspondent.
What happened at Kent State is unintelligible without placing it in the context of the times, and Caputo does so quite thoroughly. In the book he explores the genesis of "the Movement", from the early days of Students for Democratic Society (SDS):
The New Left, as it was called, was led by the SDS, and the SDS had been hijacked by its most extreme elements. They emerged at the SDS national conference in the summer of 1969. Formed in 1960 at the University of Michigan as the student arm of an old-Left organization, the League for Industrial Democracy, the SDS had been involved in civil rights causes and in inner city community organizing projects during the early sixties. Tom Hayden, a leader of the Democratic convention protests, later a California state assemblyman and one of Jane Fonda's husbands, had been among the SDS's founders. It might have remained a small, obscure band of quasi-socialist idealists had it not been for the galvanizing effect of the Vietnam War. By 1969 it had grown to one hundred thousand members in three hundred chapters across the country.That backdrop created the environment in which the Kent State tragedy occurred:
At its national conference – another Chicago event, by the way – a factional fight erupted among the SDS mainstream, a Marxist group called Progressive Labor, and the Revolutionary Youth Movement, putative revolutionaries from middle and upper-middle class backgrounds and with long histories of student activism. In love with romantic rebels like Che Guevara, these white, disaffected undergraduates issued a manifesto called "You don't need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows," a title borrowed from a line in Bob Dylan's counter-cultural anthem, The Subterranean Homesick Blues.
The manifesto expressed disdain for the SDS's policies of peaceful protest (though we have seen that their demonstrations were not always peaceful), rejected Progressive Labor's call for an alliance with the white working class, which the authors considered too conservative and pro-war, and called for a campaign of "exemplary violence" by planting bombs in symbolic targets like the Pentagon, ROTC buildings, military bases, and other "imperialist" bastions.
The idea – or perhaps notion is the better word – behind these tactics was to "bring the war home," in the words of a prominent RYM leader, Mark Rudd, and to provoke a violent overthrow of the U.S. government, which in the RYM's view was the only way to change the system. Utterly divorced from political reality, they believed America was ripe for such a revolt.
Reading an account of the conference in the Chicago papers, I recall thinking that as a political theory, "exemplary violence" was the sort of rubbish one would expect from privileged white youth who had no experience of real violence and its effects – ragged bullet wounds, headless torsos, dismembered and eviscerated corpses, pain and grief.
The group changed its name to "Weathermen," and led by charismatic and photogenic figures like Bernardine Dohrn, William Ayers, Kathy Boudin, David Gilbert and Bill Flanagan, staged its first example of exemplary violence in Chicago in October, 1969. It was called the "Days of Rage."
The Weathermen's intent was to transform themselves from bourgeois kids into revolutionary street fighters by taking on the Chicago police in hand-to-hand combat, and through their actions rally others to their flag. In the event, they proved no match for Irish, Italian and Polish cops who had learned street-fighting in first grade. Things got off to a rousing start on October 6, when Ayers ( prep-school graduate, son of a utility company executive raised in the affluent suburb of Glen Ellyn) and a few others blew up a statue in Haymarket Square dedicated to police killed and injured in the 1886 Haymarket Riot.
The "official" Days of Rage protest began two days later. I was on the re-write desk and took dictation from Tribune reporters on the street. The Weathermen had expected thousands to show up, but mustered a mere five hundred. They were armed with brass knuckles, clubs, lead pipes and chains, and were garbed in goggles, gas masks and football helmets (thus turning an iconic image of the all-American jock on its head). The inversion was carried further in the stadium cheers they yelled as they ran down the streets: "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win!" and "What do you want? Revolution! When do you want it? Now!" A bank window was shattered, and that started a bacchanalia of glass breaking. The cops waded in, and in less than an hour had shot and slightly wounded six Weathermen, arrested seventy more, and clubbed an unknown number.
The next day, those Weathermen not in jail or too seriously hurt to continue tried again. This time the battle lasted only half an hour. Some two hundred were taken in, bloodied and bruised. The only casualty on the-establishment side was an over-eager city official who was paralyzed from the neck down when he dove to tackle a protestor and crashed head-first into a brick wall.
Thus ended "The Days of Rage." It was almost comic. Mike Rokyo, the great columnist for the Chicago Daily News, told me over a beer in the Billy Goat tavern that the Weathermen weren't capable "of fighting their way out of Polish wedding." He used the line in his column the next day.
In March, 1970, the Weathermen – now re-christened the Weather Underground – resurfaced in spectacular, if self-destructive fashion. One of their cells, which were called "focos," had hatched a plot to plant a nail-bomb at a dance in the officer's mess at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Had this act of exemplary violence occurred, it would have killed and injured not only army officers but their wives and dates as well. Fortunately for the intended victims, the Underground was as inept at bomb-making as it was at street-fighting. The device blew up in the Manhattan townhouse in which it was being constructed, killing Ayers' girlfriend, Diana Oughten, and two other Weathermen. Ayers, Rudd, Dohrn, et. al. ended up on the FBI's most wanted list and went on the lam.
So far they had succeeded only in killing themselves and in alienating the rest of the SDS. As one SDS member at the University of Wisconsin remarked, "You don't need a rectal thermometer to know where the assholes are." Nevertheless, their aura of outlaw glamor had drawn some flattering profiles in the press, while their violent rhetoric and actions had won them a number of admirers and copy-cats in the anti-war movement, among whom an idea, a feeling took hold that no anti-war demonstration could be authentic if it wasn't violent, that civil disobedience should be as uncivil as possible.
Before reporting in to the city room Monday morning, I got a call from the day city editor. The disturbances in Kent had grown serious over the weekend. Store windows had been smashed in town, radicals had burned down the ROTC building, firemen had been driven off by mobs slashing hoses and throwing stones, and the Kent city police were unable to cope with the situation. The Ohio National Guard had been ordered in and were now occupying the university. The national desk wanted me to get there immediately. Evidently my coverage of the University of Illinois demonstrations the month before qualified me as the paper's campus protest correspondent.On return to Chicago, he visited Northwestern University
My first question was, "Where the hell is Kent State?" I had never heard of it. Informed of its location, I booked the next available flight to Cleveland...
No problem finding a parking space. I walked to the practice field, where I'd spotted a civilian, the only one around. He was young, in a jacket and tie. Not a student, in other words. I went up to him, thinking he might be a faculty member. He turned out to be another reporter, John Kifner from the New York Times. A newspaper super-power then as it is today, the Times did not regard a regional power like the Tribune as competition. Still, I thought Kifner was quite generous to give me a thorough fill-in on what had happened. That will be described in more detail later in this narrative. For now, I'll confine myself to a summary of what Kifner told me.
Several hundred demonstrators had gathered on the Commons at noon for a scheduled anti-war rally. Several hundred more were cheering them on or merely watching them and a troop of National Guardsmen posted nearby. The Guardsmen were ordered to disperse the crowd and did so, firing tear gas canisters.
After clearing the Commons, the Guardsmen marched to the practice field. Protestors were gathered in the Prentice Hall parking lot, others stood in front of Taylor. More tear gas was fired, to which students responded by throwing stones and shouting obscenities.
The action was over in five or ten minutes. Protestors and spectators began to straggle off. An officer ordered the soldiers to return to the Commons area. As they did, some students continued to hurl rocks and four-letter words. Suddenly, a line of Guardsmen wheeled, and making no distinction among active demonstrators, bystanders and students merely walking to class, knelt and fired, killing four, wounding nine.
Kent townspeople generally supported the Guard's actions. As in most college communities, there was a "town-gown" conflict between Kent's 27,000 citizens and the university's 21,000 students, but it was warped into outright hostility by the events of the previous week and by the temper of the times. Many Kent citizens hated the students, regarding them as an alien race. You could hardly blame them for their anger – stores and businesses downtown had been vandalized for no reason.
I found red flags of revolt hanging from the windows of dormitories, frat houses and classroom buildings. At strike headquarters, on the third floor of Scott Hall, coeds were painting signs calling for an end to the war – as their mothers or older sisters might have painted signs urging the NU Wildcats to beat Wisconsin. Sound trucks blared rock music. In front of the Technological Institute, physics professors sold black armbands to symbolize mourning for the dead in Ohio. One, Dr. Martin Block, hawked them with a sense of humor: "Armbands. Armbands. Any contribution will do. Help a physics professor." The light-hearted pitch belied his emotions. "The protest movement in the academic community got going again with the Cambodia involvement," he told me. "The Kent State incident was like a bomb going off, and the echoes of that explosion are being heard across the country."Something everyone who dreams of the glory of slings and axe hafts should read.
The scene could have been lifted from a Delacroix painting of the French revolution. A young man stood atop a barricade of furniture and cars and saw-horses, his long hair tousled by the Lake Michigan wind, one hand grasping a pole flying a red flag and an upside-down American flag (a distress signal) as he exhorted some twenty-five hundred students massed behind him to "Strike! Strike!"
Suddenly, he was interrupted by a burly, black-haired, middle-age man dressed in a workingman's khaki trousers and a flannel shirt. Mounting the barricade, he tried to wrest the flag pole from the student. "That's my flag!" he yelled. "I fought for it. You have no right to it."
The young man jerked it away and leaped into the crowd. The older man jumped after him and a tug-of-war took place, accompanied by shouts and epithets. Some dissenters threatened to break his jaw, others urged, "No, no. Don't sink to that level."
After some struggle, a few students managed to take the angry man aside to engage him in a dialogue. He said something about fighting on Iwo Jima and that he was an electrician. One undergraduate said, "We can talk to you, man. We can talk to each other." It soon became apparent that they could not. The students argued that the man, as a member of the working class, was a victim of capitalism. Students and blacks were also victims of capitalism. Therefore, he should join their movement.
The Marxist language sounded incongruous, if not absurd in that setting – Northwestern was the most affluent school in the Big Ten, Evanston an aviary for capitalists – and the member of the working class was having none of it.
"The hell with your movement," he said. "There are millions of people like me. We're fed up with your movement. You're forcing us into it. We'll have to kill you."
"Like they did at Kent!" screamed several students, almost in unison. "Like they did at Kent! You want to kill us all."
"Kent is the logical outcome of what you've been doing for the last five years," he shot back. "What else did you expect?"
I stood taking notes. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought this bit of street theater, so illustrative of the passions dividing America, had been staged for my benefit.
The electrician put his hands on his hips, shook his head, and started to walk away. Then he turned abruptly, pointing his finger at the crowd pressing around him. "It's time for action," he declared. "I'm through arguing. I came here to resist your movement."
One student opened his mouth to say something, but another motioned for him to be silent and cried out, "Oh, fuck him. You can't talk to him."
"And I can't talk to you. All I can see is a lot of kids blowing the chance I never had."
(An NPR interview with Caputo and additional excerpts here.)
Great post! Living in Ohio at the time of the Kent State shootings was intense. Ohio State pretty much closed their campus down, fearing a spread of the anti war violence. It seemed one incident away from the proverbial powder keg exploding.
Brought back some painful memories
I remember Kent State like it was yesterday. I was 11 years old. My kids had not heard about Kent State in school and when they left for college, I told them the same thing my mom told me. If there was a riot, to get out of there. People like deacon think the 60s and 70s were thrilling. They are fools.Posted by cc at March 15, 2007 05:09 AM
If you didn't see Hannity and Colmes on Wednesday night, March 14, 07, get the transcripts for the part about the black councilman who told "his people" that if the 5 policemen don't get indicted for murder for the black man shot 50 times after running into a police car, then they should do whatever it takes to stop taking that kind of abuse from the police.Posted by Rose at March 15, 2007 05:45 AM
Thankfully todays youth are nothing more than spineless cowards....keyboard commando's if you will living in their mothers basement. People like Deacon should be mocked and ridiculed extensively.Posted by Capitalist Infidel at March 15, 2007 11:27 AM
It is an interesting discussion.
Our nation was founded on the belief in the right to revolt. As such I think there will always be a group of people dissatisfied with the system and wanting its overthrow. A testament to our great nation is how small these numbers are. One of the most profound characteristics of the American is our innate and overriding sense of fairness. More than any other society of culture on earth we value that ideal. This is as true as if it was a Marine conducting traffic on a Baghdad street, an orderly line at a local store, or the framing of an entire constitution. A fair fight, a fair argument, a fair chance. If there was a thing about our government that people felt institutionally unfair, like Segregation, then you would see as massive uprising of the people as we did in the early 60s. It is our great blessing that the leaders of that Civil Rights movement learned so well the principles of Satygraha from Gandhi and applied to their struggle.
That movement could have a gone in a tragically different direction. Which is why MLK easily makes any list of top 5 Americans.
The stupidest thing I have ever seen however these counter protesters. These "gatherings of eagles". More like a gathering of morons. You cant help a small part of the population being against the system, even if it was Utopian, there is an inverse proportionality of the quality of the society to the Girondist radical. Just as no society will ever be perfect, this % will never be nil.
No amount of self appointed, self indulgent neo vigilantism will ever change that. All you are doing is attempting to provoke violent conflict with an element who can ONLY gain voice through violent conflict.
So this moron Duncan or someone likes him shoots a slingshot with glass shards in someone's face. What is your response? Do you have the courage of Gandhi or John Lewis? I doubt it. I think you will use that as a justification to bring weapons to "defend yourselves", which the fringe will definitely provoke you into using and then gain a megaphone and the ability to polarize Americans.
Morons, the lot of you. A pox on both your houses.Posted by Mammal at March 15, 2007 11:37 AM
Wow, that's an interesting read. Proof, yet again, of the old maxim that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
As for the 'anti-protestor protest' love shown in a previous comment, I suggest you read the part in the article regarding thermometers. The Gathering of Eagles will be there to PROTECT the Wall. You know, the same one the protestors are willing to deface? It won't spark any more 'violent sparks' than do, say, the Patriot Guard Riders. Those guys and gals do their warriors justice by showing great respect to the family and keeping away the crazies who want to 'make a statement' whilst the family says their last goodbyes. Please, list me the accounts of the times THAT has gone violent and polarized the nation against them. You probably won't have much of a list, but then again, you don't have much of a point wasting three paragraphs deriding it, either. Even if there were a 'conflict' of some sort, you've got all manner of veterans on one side and all manner of dregs on the other. Wonder which side is likely to be victorious in such a scrap.
You have to understand the Eagles don't care about the percentages of the "Girondist radical" versus the "quality of the society", especially when said "Girondist radical" is willing and eager to deface something that they hold dear. That wall is like unto a memorial and tombstone for every person who fell in that war, a major symbol--and often a personal one. Sure, you might suggest the Gandhi route of letting the crazies do whatever they want... but that's another thing well out of context of history. Gandhi called for MASS civil disobedience by a majority in a totally non-violent manner in response to an oppressive outside government system. Let's see which of those apply to this situation... hmm... Mass civil disobedience? Nope, this is a small-scale operation. Non-violent, maybe (cetainly not on the protestor's side). Majority? Nope, that's why they are 'fringe'. Oppressive outside government system? Nope, the protestors are neither representative of an outside force nor a form of government. Sorry, not tracking here. We've seen what these 'radicals' will go to, just a few days ago a Canadian warrior was blindsided and assaulted for no reason, requiring hospitalization. Hmmm. That brings up another point, that Gandhi certainly didn't have to deal with SAVAGES, but a people that he knew and understood well having learned among them. He counted on their own civilization teachings and ethical beliefs to cause them to restrain themselves. Judging by Mr. Slingshot, I'd say the radicals really don't HAVE much of either. Counting on that to restrain them is just silly. I mean, read the article, read modern ones. Broken glass, vandalized objects, burned buildings. Surely you could see where such is going?
But, for all that... http://gatheringofeagles.org/?page_id=83
And not to seem harsh to Mr. King (for his accomplishments were indeed great), but MLK had the support of a MAJORITY of the population. It's why the Civil Rights movement worked so well without any sort of second Civil War to ensure it. It wasn't that some people thought the system wasn't fair, it was that a majority of people knew the system was WRONG. Not in the aspect of order and law (it had been, and was still legal in many places), but in a good vs evil standpoint. Thus, his peaceful and non-violent approach was perfectly suited to the situation. Actually, it meets all of Gandhi's criteria, one reason it worked so well. In simple terms, he saw a screw and used a screwdriver, as opposed to beating it down with a nail. Same instance for both. If a majority had violently been against such, it would have been a lot less simple and probably not effective, 'fairness' wouldn't be an issue. This is why I see no problem with the whole supposedly apocalyptic scenario of 'polarizing Americans'. It won't increase the fringe side, but the SANE side, the one that realizes that if whackos think they can deface a national memorial without opposition, then said crazies are incredibly wrong. And generally the said side with agree with the defenders. Exposing nutjobs for what they are to the public sphere is a GREAT idea, one reason I hope the Gathering of Eagles goes well. The 'radicals' are free to try and instigate any sort of violence they want... usually they count on it to advance their cause but, in this instance, it looks like they're going to hang themselves with it. It's a win-win situation either way... they either back off and don't deface a national monument, or they get exposed as jackasses. I can live with that.
In any case, sorry about the novel of a post, but the fact that someone came in and decried something as noble as the Gathering of Eagles made me a wee bit upset. Especially when the article responded to was a great history lesson that pretty much disproves every point the comment brought up.Posted by Malcor at March 15, 2007 12:24 PM
It isn't noble.
Its not your job and unless the local law enforcement has asked for your presence, which in the case of a anti war protest, I HIGHLY doubt they will, you will be just adding to their list of concerns of those whose duty and obligation it actually is.
In my mind you are no better than the people who show up at the Klu Klux Klan marches to protest them.
You asked for a time when your kinds of vigilantism polarized this nation?
Birmingham or Nashville in the early 60s.
I have yet to see one proclaimation of the Gathering of Feebles that embraces or exhorts non violent countermeasures. Should I see this, I will immediately take back every word I have said disparaging it.
But what training have they had to conduct themselves in the discipline of non violence? All I see is the confrontional language of a bunch of middle schoolers gearing up for a playground fight.
btw.. who defines what constitutes a provokation is?
What if they insult YOU personally?
What if they spit in YOUR face?
What if they burn a flag?
Once it stops being about the monument, and starts being about YOU... you have failed.Posted by Mammal at March 15, 2007 01:19 PM
as a mea culpa, I read the GoE mission statement, and I was heartened by its ideals, and if it can live up to them, then it is a positive force.
But any mission without training or planning is a disaster.
And the real concern is that people there become targets for the lunatic fringe rather than inanimate objects where paint can be scrubbed off.
I would much rather spray paint on the cement of the monument than blood. Both are easily removed, but spilled blood tends to beget more spilled bloodPosted by Mammal at March 15, 2007 01:34 PM
Mammal - I guess you have failed to read the Gathering Of Eagles homepage. Their philosophy of non violent defense of our monuments is front and center. You don't even need to scroll down...
Go read it.
Almost sounds to me like you are LOOKING for a fight in order to confirm your opinion. I will be there, I will fight with no one. I have been at other counter protests before, I have been spit on, I have had my life threatened. I never raised a hand...
Back to the article. I was in my late teens and early 20's during the time period depicted. What the excerpts you posted failed to mention was the incredible use of pot, hash and LSD at the time. If the kids at Kent were anything like the kids at other campuses they were totally hopped up on drugs.Posted by Babs at March 15, 2007 01:43 PM
It is noble. It doesn't HAVE to be their job. Last time I checked, it wasn't the "radical's" JOB to be protesting, either. Unless one wishes to argue that they have no jobs and that is all they do, but lack of an employer or income from it would probably go against your approach. The fact that ordinary, non-batshit insane citizens decide to stand up for and protect the memories of those who protected them is a shining example of nobility.
I've been with the Patriot Guard Riders (though not a card-carrying member), and I've not seen the Police ever wring their hands that we can be a problem. In fact, I've had them thank us and say how THEY wish that they could join us, and how glad they are to have us around. I can't see this situation as being much different with the Gathering of Eagles, aside from the numbers involved. Police can only REACT to a changing situation. Thus, the wall would have to be defiled in some way before they could actually do something to stop the protestors. The ordinary citizens want to prevent that from happening to begin with. Proactive instead of reactive. Even the Police would like the option, since ordinary people are allowed to do things that they are not (like stand in front of something to keep it from being defiled, as opposed to dealing with the APB and BOLO that just came out from dispatch). But for some reason, Mammal does not like this.
I never asked for a time when vigilanteism polarized the nation, but thanks for the drive-by. I pointed out that polarization is not always a BAD thing, in fact, it's quite good when the elements are vastly different in size. You give your examples, but you'll notice the ratio of radical versus non-radical was MUCH different back then from how it is now. Now the radical element is much smaller and by far in the minority compared to sapient, sane American citizens.
"I have yet to see one proclaimation of the Gathering of Feebles that embraces or exhorts non violent countermeasures. "
I gave you a link in my previous post, Mammal. Here, I'll even quote it FOR you so you don't have to click:
"2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. "
I expect you to apologize to them and take back what you said accordingly.
Mammal then rambles on with this: "But what training have they had to conduct themselves in the discipline of non violence?"
That's nice, I don't recall Gandhi ever having been trained in the discipline of non-violence (he was trained in LAW, and saw a loophole he could exploit). Nor MLK, for that matter. They did it as they went along, with all the pitfalls that entails. Apparently you're not willing to give the Gathering of Eagles a chance. That's not their fault, it's your own prejudice. They don't even NEED to be trained in 'non-violence'. The protestors certainly aren't.
"Once it stops being about the monument, and starts being about YOU... you have failed."
I agree. You have failed miserably in this regard.
As for the 'radicals', that's fine. Let them call names and cuss and spit and burn flags. Let it be on camera and let the whole nation watch their idiocy as true flag-bearing patriots look upon them with sadness or contempt. They want a polarization? That'll do it, right there. I'm all for people being as moronic as they wish, especially when it hurts their own cause. Looks like the 'protestors' are on track for ruining themselves. Why would I want to take away their chance at giving their movement a Darwin Award?
It is a concern that living people might become targets of the lunatic fringe. You apparently want to coddle and shield such people from the nasty world. What you fail to grasp is that, like Gandhi's followers, they're quite willing to be hurt so that they make an example. Whether they sit and take it or fight back is entirely their choice, but everyone will know who started it. Such sacrifice further supports the previous claim of this being a noble action.
Apparently you (meaning Mammal) are a fairly hardcore brand of pacifist. You know, the kind that actively LOOKS for a fight to not participate in. You've spent no small amount of time bashing people who follow similar, though less hardcore, worldview as being no better than the lunatic fringe which you (hopefully) also oppose. You DO realize that meek, do-as-you-will-with-me pacifism is merely one POSSIBLE solution and not the cure to everything, right? Our very nation exists now because our ancestors refused to meekly subject themselves to British rule for all eternity. Pacifism will be guaranteed to work against those who are disinclined to violence to begin with. You have to be prepared for it not to work. It's one tool in the box, not the end-all-be-all of human inter-relations. That being said, the Gathering of Eagles is going to TRY and use it against those disinclined to be nice to such approach. Why you are so dead-set on bashing them instead of praising them (they're following the route you want) is beyond me.Posted by Malcor at March 15, 2007 03:34 PM
I understand what you are saying Babs, and to an extent, you are correct when you say I failed to initially read the mission statement. I have gone back and based on that information, I have modified my stance.
I truly wish you luck in your endeavor, but I am filled with apprehension because without proper training, organization and discipline then Non Violence is just a lip service.
Non Violence demands a belief in its user that you will win the battle by forcing the aggressor to see the injustice or evil in his actions.
If in 1960 in Nashville one of the young black men sitting in the lunch counter fought back, then the entire civil rights movement would have been set back and the south would have remained segregated for probably a few more years.
So it is with these GoE events. Telling everyone to just show up and expect the kind of discipline required is playing a dangerous foolish and irresponsible game.
GoE participants should meet a few hours or the day before and learn methods of non violent resistance.
I admire and am in awe of the self discipline you have exhibited Babs.. but in such a high profile, high charged and highly exploited event the actions of one person have the potential to outweigh those of the whole.
First they ignore you
Then they laugh at you
Then they attack you
Then you have won.
make no mistake, they will attack you, they will come after you. Because they know if they are able to provoke you into violence, then they have won.
Sending people into a situation like that without proper training is irresponsible and dangerousPosted by Mammal at March 15, 2007 03:56 PM
Heh. I am by no means a pacifist.
I believe in using a hammer for a nail and wrench for a bolt.
It is my opinion that the best way to deal with these radicals is through obscurity.
Gandhi didnt receive training, but he certainly gave it. He was a teacher of this method. Also reference Reverend James Lawson.
As for an apology.. absolutely. It is my honest hope that the GoE continues to prove me wrong.. but I am not hopefulPosted by Mammal at March 15, 2007 04:15 PM
I'd add another caution to both sides of the protests this weekend: beware the agent provocateur - the one on your side of the wall.Posted by Greyhawk at March 16, 2007 12:11 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(13) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)