i just finished reading gene sharp’s three volume series on non violent action, and and some of the “diversity of tactics” has me very concerned. i worked with act up in the 80s and shut down the bay bridge in 1990 for the 1st gulf war. i have been watching, supporting, and chatting on livestream since sept 17th. i am an occupy supporter and and i am the 99%. the reason that i read those books in the first place was because i supported a “diversity of tactics”, but veterans of the movement of which occupy is the latest manifestation, people with way more experience than me and us, opposed that diversity vehemently.
there is something beautiful, and cathartic about property destruction and vandalism. but what i have decided after slogging through all that history is that our energy is better spent training and educating one ontoher in the tecniques , strategies, and importance of non-violent struggle than embracing and spending our time explaining a “diversity of tactics” to those who are deciding whether to support us or not.
know your enemy — our opponent is enormous, powerful, insidious, and i doubt we all really know who it is yet. . the power of non-violence have been succdessful in india, the american south, and the very books that i was reading were used by the leaders of the arab spring. our oppressors are no less ruthless, no less willing to kill.
the powerful derive thier power from the 99%. if the 99% supports uus, they have no power. in order to get that support, we need to apeal to it, grandma’s , my mom, my sister, we all recognize injustice aqnd will support efforts to restore our democracy to the people. we are descended from john adams! this argument is very old, and afflcts every movement.
Love to occupy, love to gene sharp and the albert einstein institute