Violence, vandalism, and self-defense

17 Apr

So I’m reading Flaming Arrows a compilation of works by Rod Coronado, and he is talking about violence. And he points out that responding with complete pacifism results in allowing the oppressor to win. Aggression, anger, violence, and self defense are certainly not ideal. I know I always feel drained after being super aggressive. But it also gets the job done. Allowing yourself to be steamrolled over simply leaves you flattened. Standing up against someone or something lets people know you won’t just take being stomped on. If you don’t stand up for yourself and in your own defense how can you expect anyone else to?

An example- in the woods at my college on Easter Sunday there is a Kegg Hunt. I don’t drink beer or alcohol as I am straightedge, but I went to hang out. The cops, for the first time in my experience came into the woods and started confinscating and pouring out kegs of beer. This was really annoying. There were only 3 cops, and hundred of students in the woods. So when the cops came to our group and started telling us to disperse (even though there was no keg there) we started arguing back at them. We yelled at them, suggested different career options, questioned their purpose and their understanding of their actions etc. Long and short of it is they left. Had we not resisted we would not have gotten to spend the day in the woods. Clearly this is not a perfect example, but it does show that using resistance can be effective. Whether or not this will have long term effects of escalating police presence is something else entirely, but there is a then and there effect.

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One Response to “Violence, vandalism, and self-defense”

  1. anarchymo April 17, 2007 at 12:32 am #

    Oh yea, and I feel like I always have to do this, but I really think there is a difference between acts of aggression and destruction towards a living thing and those acts against a non-liviing object. Stabbing a person, tree, or raccoon is different than stabbing a cop car tire. Destroying property is vandalism. Which I don’t think should be put in the same category as violence against living things. At all. If peaceful protestors are attacked by cops with pepper spray and clubs I think it is more than justifiable for the protestors to respond by burning a cop car or smashing windows.

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