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Occupy and Non-violence

To many Americans who listen to and read corporate media, the Occupy Movement is dead. Not so, though the corporate media has done its best to kill this latest threat to the elite control of power. In the world of corporate media, the death of Whitney Houston, the crazy Iranians, the Republican clowns running for President and the so-called “beast” in Syria are far more important matters. Not in my world.

We will soon find out whether the Occupy Movement is dead: The G8 and NATO will be holding meetings in Chicago from May 19-21 and the powers that be are anticipating cracking a few skulls, no doubt. Later this year, there will be the Republican convention in Tampa, FL, from August 27 – 30 and then the Democratic convention in Charlotte, NC, from September 3 – 6. In all three locations, the powers that be have strengthened their military approach to suppressing dissent. See this, this, and this.

It should come as no news that civil liberties in this country have been under attack for at least the last decade. The passage of the NDAA at the end of last year was a signigicant blow but the latest evidence of the erosion of civil liberties is H.R. 347, a bill that recently passed the House by a margin of 388-3. It has already passed the Senate, so all that needs to be done is for Obama to sign it. If Obama signed the NDAA, trust me, he will sign this one, too. Opposition to the bill is all over the map – left, right, and in the middle. And for good reason: it prohibits dissent in unauthorized areas. This analysis of the effects of the bill is as good as any.

So, given the increasingly repressive measures being taken against political dissent in this country, what can we expect at these upcoming events? Lots of violence and arrests, I’m afraid. In 1962, John F. Kennedy famously declared that “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Prophetic words, indeed. And words that I believe that the Occupy Movement disagrees with. The Occupy Movement has been non-violent from the very beginning, despite what the corporate media, in its attempts to discredit the protests, has tried to portray.

As the events this year unfold and as street protests flourish and the police violently suppress those protests, it will be useful to have a framework to understand nonviolent protest, which can be quite militant, as will be evident. Nonviolent protest is not always peaceful. Corporate media deliberately portrays militant nonviolent protest in an effort to discredit those who object to the agenda of the elite who run this country.

This video provides an introduction to the fundamental ideas of nonviolence.

For more information on nonviolent protest, visit the website of Nonviolent Conflict. For a blog that chronicles nonviolent movements globally, visit Waging Nonviolence. For a really good post about the Occupy Movement and the principles of nonviolence, go here.

And keep your eye on the prize – democracy and justice for all, not just for the 1%.

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