Friday, November 11, 2011

Non-Violence, NewSpeak, Professors, and The Course of Revolution

One should not engage in Revolution mindlessly. -- Ché Pasa

A Revolution without dancing is a Revolution not worth having. -- Emma Goldman

I would prefer to risk the possibility of dissolution that comes with every encounter of a solid with solution. -- Professor Celeste Langan, UC Berkeley

Watch the woman with the pinkish jacket and dark glasses on the left at the beginning of this video and follow her through the rest of it. I believe that is Professor Langan having an encounter with a solid member of UC's finest, at service protecting and defending his sacred honor, his job, his soul... well, you decide.

Here she is being escorted away from the melee:

Her arrest has caused something of a stir at UC Berkeley (aka "Cal") for the fact that she is nothing if not non-violent, and she is apparently very well known and well-beloved on campus. Even the UC Police who beat the shit out of people near her as well as many others on Wednesday should know her.

But, as it happens, they were only doing their job because, as both the Chancellor of the University and the UC Police spokesperson are wont to say,

"The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence," UC police Capt. Margo Bennett said. "I understand that many students may not think that, but linking arms in a human chain when ordered to step aside is not a nonviolent protest."

Read more:

Captain Margo, of course, was only following orders. From the top.

It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience. --
Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor
George Breslauer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Harry LeGrande, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

They linked arms, you see. A clear and present danger to the officers of the law, and an act of violence on its face.

On its face.

Well. Isn't that something. If they had only known that the absolutely classic nonviolent resistance tactic of :linking arms and forming a human chain: was henceforth declared Violent at Cal, I'm sure the students -- and at least one professor -- wouldn't have done it or wouldn't have been there at all.

If they had only known.

The problem of course is that non-violent resistance tactics are very well known, and the efforts of the UC administration -- and civic administrations "tired" of the Occupy Movement -- have to come up with some way to declare non-violent protest and occupations to be by definition "violent."

The killing of the man in Oakland is being held up as a perfect rationale for driving the Occupation out of the Plaza; but they said the same about the window breaking and graffiti and those awful trash fires on November 2. In Portland, they have decided to evict the Occupation on Sunday because apparently two people overdosed on some illicit substance or other.

Throughout the South, word has spread about the constant peeing and pooping of the Occupiers, as was true in Eureka, CA -- hilariously.

There's always something.

The course of the Revolution will continue changing in the face of the continually ratcheted up official violence against it. This is how these Revolutionary movements always proceed. It is never easy.

And Revolution should never be entered into mindlessly.

And no Revolution is worth having without dancing.

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