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Chris Hedges On Nonviolence

Why truth, not fear, is Occupy’s greatest weapon.
Living in Truth

KIMBERLY WHITE / GETTY IMAGES

Part of an ongoing debate within the Occupy community, author Chris Hedges says that our lessons should be drawn from the visionary philosophy of Czech revolutionary Vaclav Havel, not the “diversity of tactics” of the Black Bloc. “Living in Truth,” Havel’s ideal of refusal to fear, begins when we create alternative means of existence and deny the impulse to expected responses. States are well equipped to deal with the loss of order and violence but are inept at dealing with loss of faith and mass non-violence, Hedges argues. That is why government agitators and provocateurs are actively involved in the movement – to divide it and conquer its 99% appeal.

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. In the war in El Salvador it was Jose Napoleon Duarte. For the Occupy movement it is someone like Van Jones. And use this “reformist” to co-opt the language of the movement and promise to promote the movement’s core aims through the electoral process.

Read the entire piece on Truthdig.com.

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56 comments on the article “Chris Hedges On Nonviolence”

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Anonymous

OCCUPY LA SUPPORTS CREATIVE CIVIL NON-VIOLENT DISOBEDIENCE,

THIS IS THE WRITTEN CONSENSUS OF THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT, IT IS STATED IN THE STATEMENT OF NON-VIOLENCE AND HUNDREDS OF OTHER DOCUMENTS. UNLESS WE CHANGE THIS GLOBAL CONSENSUS (WHICH IS DOCUMENTED), WE ARE STICKING TO OUR PRINCIPLES AND CORE VALUES!!

OLA IS A HAPPY FAMILY SO STOP THE INFILTRATION!

Anonymous

"A man chosen to wield life and death on the battlefield must be an artist, if he isn't, he is simply a murderer."

-- Tchaka Zulu

Mamdu

We are dealing with violent hardened criminals - the money bags.
They will not listen to anything.
A bloody world wide revolution is the only answer.

Buttu

The OCCUPY MOVEMENT is doomed to failure because of this misunderstanding.
We live in a survival of the fittest world. We got this far because we were able to force our way.
You cannot reason with a tiger who wants to eat you. You have to kill him, else he eats you.
Do not misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that violence is the answer to everything, only that if all else fails, the ultimate restraint is only physical.
The money bags never listened to reason in the past, it is naive to believe that they will do so in the future.

Anonymous

even the "money bags" know you can't win physically, that's why they use economic schemes and policies to take over countries. When all of the people of all revolutions join and march, and this does not change things, then I will listen to you.

Anonymous

That will not happen until "evil kings are out of power" and honest kings or democratically elected leaders take their place!

When Jehu was asked by a messenger of the kings in power:

Is it peace, he stated, what hast thou to do with peace, I now say the same things to the current rulers in power, what DO YOU HAVE TO DO WITH PEACE, after you have "usurped power" in this world through war and oppression?

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