By Chris Hedges
The security and surveillance state has a vast arsenal and array of tools at its disposal.It operates in secret.It dissembles and lies.It hides behind phony organizations and individuals who use false histories and false names.It has millions of dollars to spend, the capacity to deny not only its activities but also its existence.Its physical assets honeycomb the country.It can wiretap, eavesdrop and monitor every form of communication.It can hire informants, send in clandestine agents, recruit members within the movement by offering legal immunity, churn out a steady stream of divisive propaganda and amass huge databases and clandestine operations centers.And it is authorized to use deadly force.
We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state.We cannot beat it at its own game.We cannot ferret out infiltrators.The legal system is almost always on the state’s side.If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement.If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement.If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons.
It depends on two of our most important assets ~ utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property.
“By breaking the rules of the game, he has disrupted the game as such, he has exposed it as a mere game,” Havel says of his greengrocer.“He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system.He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together.He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie.He has broken through the exalted façade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power.He has said that the emperor is naked. And because the emperor is in fact naked, something extremely dangerous has happened: by his action, the greengrocer has addressed the world.He has enabled everyone to peer behind the curtain.He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth.Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal. The principle must embrace and permeate everything. There are no terms whatsoever on which it can coexist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety.”
The first Palestinian uprising, which lasted from 1987 to 1992, saw crowds of demonstrators throw rocks at Israeli soldiers, but it was largely a nonviolent movement.The second uprising, or intifada, which erupted in 2000 and endured for five years, with armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, was not.
Violence is a poison, even when it is ingested in a supposedly just cause.
“We would not have a movement if violence or property damage were used from the outset,”
“People are not drawn to violent movement. Such tactics will shrink rather than expand our base of support. Property damage justifies police violence to many Americans. There is a wide range of diversity of tactics within a nonviolent strategy.Disciplined nonviolence is often more difficult because anger and emotion lead people to want to strike back at the police when they are violent, but disciplined nonviolence is the tactic that is most effective against the violence of the state.”
“the young [are privileged] over the old, the loud voices over the soft, the fast over the slow, the able-bodied over those with disabilities, the citizen over the immigrant, white folks over people of color, those who can do damage and flee the scene over those who are left to face the consequences.”