non violent resistance

“Contrary to cynical belief, the history of nonviolent action is not a succession of desperate idealists, occasional martyrs, and a few charismatic emancipators. The real story is about common citizens who are drawn into great causes, which are built from the ground up. It is about people staying home from work or occupying their factories and offices, refusing to carry identity papers, printing newsletters in their basements, and not leaving when they are told to go.”

- Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict

༄༅། །བསྟན་པ་ཁོ་ན་ལྷར་བཅས་འགྲོ་བ་ཡི། །བདེ་ལེགས་ཀུན་གྱི་རྩ་བར་ཡིད་ཆེས་ནས།

།ལུས་སྲོག་ཡལ་བར་གྱུར་ཀྱང་མི་གཏོང་བའི། །སྙིང་སྟོབས་ཆེན་པོས་དམ་ཆོས་འཛིན་པར་ཤོག ། 

Since the Buddha-doctrine alone is the well-spring of every well-being for sentient beings, even devas, may the sublirime Dharma be upheld with great courage and not be abandoned even at the cost of our lives. 


CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Prague. August 1968. Czechoslovak protesters try to fraternise with invading Warsaw Pact armies during the Prague Spring. In the last picture, a young man enthusiastically waves the Czechoslovak flag (now the Czech Republic’s flag).

After the invasion, a spirited non-violent resistance was mounted throughout the country, involving attempted fraternisation, painting over and turning street signs, defiance of various curfews, etc. While the Soviet military had predicted that it would take four days to subdue the country the resistance held out for eight months, and was only circumvented by diplomatic stratagems.

Photographs: Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos

The crisis of whiteness bears with it a set of unique opportunities, but also a set of crippling limitations. The limits: Those who are recovering from middle class delusions can be seen en masse concerning themselves with what brand of tape to use so as not to hurt the walls of the capitol building, or thanking the armed police officers about to arrest them, or believing that the police and the union leadership is on their side, or having a whole range of absurd ideas that the problems they face can be fixed by a recall election. Never mind a whole mythology of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience. Some rather large pushes, activists, if you wish to become dangerous.

The opportunity: Those for whom any event was always experienced as something that happened to other people are beginning to see themselves as the people they read about in the news: unemployed, homeless. Those for whom history was thought to have ended have found themselves the victims (and agents) of its ceaseless progression (and potentially its explosion). Divorced from a past, from any means to reproduce themselves, from any of the fictions promised to them as children, people are beginning to call into question all the assumptions and narratives upon which our social order is based. Those who months ago could never have seen themselves occupying buildings or sabotaging their workplaces have begun to find new ways to act together. To a certain degree, people are positioned to see that their own survival will be predicated on their own self-activity to destroy the conditions that have shaped their abysmal future.

The collapse of traditional subject positions begets the emergence of new class positions of exclusion: on the one hand total abjection and unwaged labor and on the other a diffusion of technologies-of-the-self constituting a global petite bourgeoisie. More realistically there will be a complete indistinction and oscillation between these positions. The grim reality is that each individual will have to bring continually-innovated and newly-commodified aspects of her existence to sell on the market, or else starve.

—  Identity in Crisis -Baedan
You’ve heard of hacktivism and slacktivism. Now get ready for...

-Quacktivism: Dismantling violent systems of oppression and saving lives, but with ducks! Who’s resisting their cultural indoctrination? You are! Yes, you are!
-Ack!tivism: A system of non-violent resistance based off of the teachings of the newspaper cartoon character Cathy. You may cheat your diet plan, but never justice.
-Plaquetivism: The belief that a healthy society will inevitably follow from healthy teeth. They… have nice teeth.
-Sadsacktivism: Activism, but it’s really hard. The most relatable form of activism.
-Amnesiactivism: They are absolutely outraged about something, and will get back to you when they remember what it was and what they went to the living room to do.

To that end, the notion that “we” are practicing non-violence when “we” partake of non-violent resistance is unacceptable. Our tax dollars and our passive acquiescence, our quiescence, or quietude, our muted fury—all of this creates complicity in violence, and there is something hypocritical in advocating non-violence while we do not, at least episodically, throw ourselves on the machine that churns out Palestinian and Iraqi and Afghan and African bodies. Violence suffuses our societies, and the privilege we have to write and speak about non-violence is a privilege that is the heritage of historical violence. Let us look at the podium from which our voices and “values” sound out. It is made of bodies, and they are mostly brown.
—  Max Ajl, “Our western privilege is the legacy of historical violence”

January 26th 1950: Indian Constitution enacted

On this day in 1950, the Indian Constitution came into effect, thus founding the Republic of India. The struggle for independence from British colonial rule had been ongoing for many years, characterised by the non-violent resistance led by Mohandas Gandhi. In 1947, these efforts came to fruition, with the Partition of India creating the two independent nations of India and Pakistan. However, the transition to independence was not a smooth one, and religious violence was commonplace in the years after partition. In an effort to stabilise the new Indian state, the India Constituent Assembly adopted a new constitution in 1949. It was decided that the constitution would be enacted on January 26th to commemorate the 1930 Declaration of Independence on the same day, which resolved the Indian parliament to fight for self-rule. The 448-article document provided for a government based on the British parliamentary system, with elections every five years, and enshrined the principles of universal adult suffrage and equality. Unlike Britain, India was to be a republic, with a President holding a ceremonial head of state role. The new republic’s first President was Rajendra Prasad. Jawaharlal Nehru served as Indian Prime Minister until his death in 1964, having led the nation through a very turbulent time, and was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri. Nehru’s daughter, the famous Indira Gandhi, went on to become a four-term Prime Minister. This day is commemorated in India every year as Republic Day.

moar headcanons - Eggsy never forgets his old neighbourhood

After the dust has settled from him tossing Dean out of the pub and onto his arse, back to whatever shitehole he came from of course.

His mum and sister live with him in a really nice house now, and he can buy them really nice things, and his sister is even going to go to a really nice school. Instead of trying to meet a new man, his mum is just spending a lot of time at her book club where they consume a quite shocking amount of Chardonnay, and if one of those sleek blonde opinionated women is around more than the others Eggsy finds himself grinning about it.

When mum isn’t looking of course.

But his old neighbourhood really does slowly start to change. Not in a way where there is suddenly an artisan cheese shop instead of a corner shop, and people who only drink cold pressed coffee instead of tea suddenly move in. In a way where suddenly none of Dean’s gang can be found anywhere in the city of London. The only man selling in the whole neighbourhood is a Buddhist who only grows his own and won’t sell anyone so much as a Rizla unless they listen to him talk about theories of non-violent resistance for three hours first. The local school lunch program lands a huge windfall of cash under mildly mysterious circumstances, as does the community arts centre. Test scores go shooting up and there are fewer bored teenagers hanging about in pubs and on corners. The local public library re-opens and a steady stream of students and isolated elderly folk go through it’s doors every day.

One morning a small dark girl goes missing from her pram, the hysterical mother shrieking and sobbing while a pair of grim-faced suits listen closely, and the amber alert barely has time to break the evening news before the girl re-appears in her front yard, holding balloons and smiling. The small dark girl is totally unharmed, but can’t explain what exactly has happened. Then the attending police officer finds a piece of paper pinned to her t-shirt with an address written on it.

It’s odd, reflects the police officer later, much much later while his partner holds him tight and gently caresses suds through his hair in their bath. There was barely anything human looking left in the red smudge that is what became of the whole human trafficking ring … but the jawbones, with just enough teeth left in for the coroner to identify.

‘Eggsy darling, do you think that was a bit much,’ murmurs Harry, wiping away some stray flecks of blood from his hairline. Eggsy stiffens, defensive, and Harry just sighs. ‘Oh nevermind,’ he murmurs, nuzzling into damp hair, and feels Eggsy grinning into his neck, before nipping at him and pulling him down for a kiss.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Prague. August 1968. Warsaw Pact tanks invade Prague.

The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalisation. It began on 5 January 1968, when reformist Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ), and continued until 21 August when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to halt the reforms.

The Prague Spring reforms were a strong attempt by Dubček to grant additional rights to the citizens of Czechoslovakia in an act of partial decentralisation of the economy and democratisation. The freedoms granted included a loosening of restrictions on the media, speech and travel. The reforms were not received well by the Soviets, who, after failed negotiations, sent half a million Warsaw Pact troops and tanks to occupy the country. A large wave of emigration swept the nation. A spirited non-violent resistance was mounted throughout the country, involving attempted fraternisation, painting over and turning street signs, defiance of various curfews, etc. While the Soviet military had predicted that it would take four days to subdue the country the resistance held out for eight months, and was only circumvented by diplomatic stratagems.

Czechoslovakia remained controlled until 1989, when the Velvet Revolution ended pro-Soviet rule peacefully, undoubtedly drawing upon the successes of the non-violent resistance twenty years earlier.

Photograph: Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos

anonymous asked:

Ya re rosa parks one of the reasons why people saying 'oh this trans person is only popular because they're hot' or 'this black gay guy is rich and cis' well, yes, humans are lazy and afraid. They often need the more 'acceptable' types to ease into new ideas. It sucks, and we should fight for everyone, but not while sacrificing the 'safe' activists and examples. They may have more support and risk less, but they are risking too.

Well… okay. I think I get what you’re saying. But let me say this about the idea of Rosa Parks being chosen to be the face of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, rather than Claudette Colvin, or any of the the 3 other sisters arrested on a Montgomery City bus that same year, 1955:

WARNING: I’m about to type a whole lot of information that isn’t necessarily in answer to what you say above, but is certainly inspired by it. In other words, I’m about to make this a teachable moment.

The choice of Parks was based on legal and political strategy, so there were lots of factors that NAACP leaders and others considered. In our modern-day, tumblr-politics-informed world all things are considered equal so a lot of us feel Colvin should’ve been chosen since she was put off the bus in January of that year, and Parks’ arrest didn’t happen until December of that year. Newsflash: the real adult world doesn’t work like that. Consider what the stakes were:

  • the intent was to ask the Black folks of Montgomery to boycott the buses INDEFINITELY, to present a legal challenge to and make a political point about the injustice and immorality of Jim Crow segregation in Alabama and, therefore, the entire South
  • so… what did the majority of Black folks in Montgomery have in common? They were socially conservative Baptist Christians. Most of the leaders of the activist community there were also church leaders and elders. so whoever was to be chosen to represent the case, had to meet certain criteria.
  • that person would have to be acceptable to the churchgoing Black folks of Montgomery. and most important of all: they would need to be able to withstand scrutiny and criticism from white folks, who would surely try to attack the claimant and tear down their credibility to derail the possibility of that person’s arrest evolving into a supreme-court case.
  • it would also help to have the claimant be a person with some experience in these matters, who had a known history of activism on behalf of Black people in Montgomery, and who could defend and explain not only their personal reasons for objecting to being arrested but the objectives of non-violent resistance. now…

Claudette Colvin was a 15-year-old girl who, when asked to giver up her seat, refused. Fact. She was also reported to have not gotten off the bus quietly, but had to be dragged off by police officers, while kicking screaming and cursing the officers out. Her parents were domestic workers from “the wrong side of the tracks” (as even Black folks thought of it, back then), rather than so-called middle-class respectable. Even then, the NAACP DID CONSIDER USING HER at first, but as they were working with her and her family, she became pregnant. Out of wedlock. By a married man. Now remember: the goal was to ask the conservative Baptist Christian community of Montgomery to boycott the busses, in support of said person. A person who would be scrutinized by white folks for legitimacy and credibility. During a test case to prove the immorality of Jim Crow segregation. 

Do you not see how the politics of respectability legitimately MATTERED at that time and under those circumstances?

Now, Claudette Colvin’s account of what happened and how she comported herself the day she was arrested has changed over the years. I’m not outright saying that she has lied about her status and role in history as it relates to this episode, but I can honestly say that I’ve read her accounts of that year from the first to the last. She was interviewed numerous times throughout the years, and her recollections changed each time she was interviewed. By the time of her last interviews (which can be found on NPR btw), she claims that she refused to get up because she was thinking about Black women historical figures from days past and what they had gone though and, therefore, she decided to take a stand that day for her people’s rights. Yeah… okay. That’s not how folks on the bus the day she was arrested remembered it. Also, reading her interviews, she was clearly bitter about Rosa Parks getting all that historical shine and her arrest not being the one chosen to represent the movement. So those things obviously have ‘colored’ her later-day accounts of her actions at that time.

Was it true that they chose Rosa Parks over her due to complexion, as Claudette Colvin would later claim? Possibly. Is that outright colorism. Yes and no; NAACP leaders ranged in complexion from light-bright-damned-near-white to Black-as-the-ace-of-spades, so if they were considering complexion (highly unlikely) they did so based on their understanding of how many Black folks at the time were under the sway of colorism, not their own hang-ups with complexion. BLACK FOLKS OF ALL COMPLEXIONS, MIND YOU. This modern-day tumblr understanding of how colorism affects Black folks (colorism is a problem lightskinned Blacks have with darkskinned Blacks) is juvenile and historically false. Just as many darkskinned Black folks as not would be reluctant to rally behind a darkskinned brother or sister, especially if there was a lighter alternative. Darkskinned Black people are just as much mentally damaged and enthralled by colorism as lightskinned ones. So there was that too to be considered. As for Rosa Parks…

Rosa and Raymond Parks (yes, she was married) had been long-time NAACP members. Rosa Parks was 42 years old, versus a 15-year-old Colvin, so it was believed that she would have the maturity to endure what would come her way with such a legal challenge. When she wasn’t working her job as a seamstress, she shared duties with another woman as the NAACP secretary, and NAACP Youth Program director. She was trained in civil disobedience tactics at the Highlander Folks School and, as such, knew and was known to other activists throughout the South. Just the year before, 1954, she was on the radar of Montgomery’s white political leaders, after taking a group of NAACP Youth to a city museum that would normally have been closed to them due to segregation but, due to a traveling exhibit on display there from the National Archives, was technically open to everyone. Rosa Parks already understand state law versus federal. 

When Parks was told by the bus driver on that December day in 1955 that he would call the police and have her arrested if she didn’t get off the bus, her response was “You may do that.” Not ‘Nah’ or ‘Hell no’ or none of that childish shit floating around in social media meme form. She didn’t have to be dragged off the bus kicking screaming and cursing, like Colvin. Now…

Strategically speaking, if you were in the leadership of the NAACP, knowing all that was at stake and how ruthlessly white folks would go at the claimant to destroy their credibility, and knowing all that you did about the conservative nature of the Black Christian community in Montgomery whom you were going ask to sacrifice (for longer than a year, it turned out)… Who would you have chosen to represent the boycott, Claudette Colvin or Rosa Parks? 

In a society that believes that respectability matters, sometimes it does matter.

The ability of the government to use violence greatly exceeds that of the rebels. Indeed, violent rebellion often strengthens oppressive regimes which can plausibly claim that rebel violence necessitates repression. Government’s comparative advantage lies in violent action. The comparative advantage of the people, in contrast, lies in their ability to deny their cooperation without which it is nearly impossible for government to persist. Consider the deadliness to a government of tax strikes, boycotts, general strikes, and widespread refusal to obey the law. While these tactics are nonviolent, their universal and unyielding use should terrify any government. Nonviolence has other advantages as well. Because it seems less dangerous and radical than violence, it more easily … wins broad public support. The costs of participation are lower, so more people are likely to participate. Traditional non-combatants like children, women, and the old can effectively participate in nonviolent struggle. It is more likely to convert opponents and produce internal disagreement within the ruling class. It generally leads to far fewer casualties and material losses than violence. And since it is more decentralized than violent action, it is less likely to give rise to an even more oppressive state if it succeeds.
—  Bryan Caplan, “The Literature of Non-Violent Resistance and Civilian-Based Defense” Humane Studies Review, Vol. 9, No. 1 (1994)
"Where is the Palestinian Gandhi/MLK? Why don’t Palestinians use non-violence?”

“I’d highly recommend reading Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, as it explains/answers precisely what you’re asking.

These spontaneous acts of violence [which aren’t reinforced by any sort of centralized government, as opposed to Israel’s] aren’t meant to “free” us or advance our political/national goals, but they’re perpetrated by people who have nothing left to life for acting out in the only means they are able to. The end goal isn’t some organized international campaign, it’s to make Israelis as uncomfortable as they’ve made Palestinians. This isn’t a justification or support for it, but rather an explanation to the mentalities behind what drives them.

Israeli society was built on the bones of Palestinians [quite literally, in that they’ve built nightclubs/strip-clubs on Palestinian graveyards] and the people of Israeli enjoy comfortable/leisurely life at the expense of Palestinian subjugation. When this has built/pent up enough, people lash out in order to destabilize this stable society and make sure the people know that their lives aren’t free of consequence, and they can’t continue to ignore the people who suffer in order for them to carry on as they do.

As for peaceful resistance, I have a lot to say about that but I’ll try to keep it simple - when Palestinians have been displaced through violence and military campaigns for literally the last 7 decades, violent resistance is 100% justified. The thing is that we don’t have a military/army [as Israel and the US don’t allow us from organizing one], meaning that the only forms of defense are organized groups who carry out guerilla attacks or lone-wolves who strike at military targets etc. When you have violence being actively used against you, violence is the natural result that will be used in retaliation.

As for “peaceful” resistance, the first intifada started as a series of peaceful protests back in the late 80’s, but it was met with brute force, with Israeli forces killing dozens in an attempt to stifle the demonstrations. They then turned violent, but even then it was a matter of stones/bottles being used against military jeeps/tanks/an organized military. There’s actually a really good film out right now called “The Wanted 18” that shows how even peaceful resistance was met with brute force, and even an act to develop independently with something as benign as a town producing its own milk [instead of buying Israel’s] was met with brute force and resulted in curfews, arrests, and the cows having to be killed in order to keep the people reliant on Israeli products. For a long period, something as benign as owning or displaying a Palestinian flag IN PALESTINE was a criminal act that warranted arrest or worse.

For the first few decades, of the Palestinian movement, there were numerous non-violent groups…but they were completely ignored. Never were they mentioned in the media, Israel ignored, stifled, or killed them, and nothing came of it. Then Leila Khaled hijacked an airplane [without ever harming anyone] and suddenly the world was paying attention. It may have been negative attention given the circumstances, but it was the first time we were being listened to/talked about. That’s not to condone these things, but rather to speak to how non-violent movements are completely swept aside or met with violence, while bigger things force people to pay attention.

There are still numerous “non-violent” methods of resistance practices, from Palestinians attempting to develop and foster their own natural resources and be self-sufficient [which is why Israelis burn down Palestinian olive groves and kill our livestock, to keep us reliant], to attempting to build on our own land [which is why homes are demolished, because Israel wants to have the final say in every home constructed, even if the land is legally owned by you], to regular weekly protests throughout the West Bank that receive no media coverage, who are often met with rubber bullets and arrests.

A few years back, another non-violent means of resistance was embraced when Palestinian set up a new town on strictly Palestinian land in order to cultivate it and develop it. The Israeli military responded by forcibly removing the Palestinians who had set up, demolishing the structures, and closing off the zone as a “closed military zone” instead.

Even today, one of the non-violent forms of resistance is BDS [Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions] which seeks to limit the business that companies actively profiting off of Palestinian subjugation and oppression receive. This is similar to the boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Israel has responded to these boycott campaigns by literally forming a branch of the Israeli military to actively combat this. People advocating for this form of non-violent resistance face repression even here in the US, are targeted in smear campaigns by the Israeli government, and Palestinian can be denied entry to their homeland for so much as sharing articles that promote it.

And last but not least, it was not Gandhi or MLK alone who led to the relative success of their movements - during Gadhi’s time, there were massive amounts of violence and bloodshed by those who sought armed resistance as a means of liberation, and Gandhi alone wasn’t responsible for the success of it all, he was just one small factor in a much larger battle.”

I’m sorry if this seems out of context at all, as it was part of a larger conversation, and this was my response to the question asked by someone, but hopefully this captures the gist of what I was trying to convey.

I really, really hate the question of “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi or MLK”

The Israeli government has just approved a bill allowing authorities to force feed Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. This next part will stick in your mind for a long time: Israel routinely employs administrative detention as a tool to intimidate and weaken Palestinians. This means that people are jailed for months and sometimes even years without charge or trial. The Zionist state especially loves to detain Palestinians who are active in the non-violent resistance movement.

And now their right to hunger strike has been taken away.

March 1, 1947: U.S. Military Slaughter on Jeju Island, South Korea, in 1947 and 1948 was prefaced by the March 1, 1947 arrest and persecution of three Jeju men. The people of Jeju responded to the injustice, and their resistance was defined by the U.S. military as a communist guerilla insurrection. Some 60,000 peasant farmers – men, women and children – were murdered, shot in cold blood, at the orders of the U.S. military. The people of Jeju today are subject to the continuing U.S. military occupation, and have been waging a campaign of peaceful non-violent resistance to stop the destruction of Jeju’s sacred coastal land for a US. nuclear naval base. Watch the documentary film: The Ghosts of Je Ju.