OCVT Discussion Theme 2/18: Diversity of Tactics
REMINDER: On Saturday 2/18, the OCVT-GA will start with a 1-hour Discussion at 3PM, followed by a 1-hour General Assembly at 4PM.
The THEME for discussion is “Diversity of Tactics within Occupy” (non-violence, black bloc tactics, etc.). Members of the Education & Empowerment Working Group will present the topic, followed by a briefly synthesized overview of NVDA (non-violent direct action) and Black Bloc (a tactic that has raised controversy within Occupy), then we’ll open up stack for Full Group Discussion.
Background information and links to articles of interest are listed below, for those that want to do a little (or a lot) of reading prior to the discussion…
BACKGROUND – DIVERSITY OF TACTICS (excerpts from: http://www.ohlj.ca/archive/articles/41_23_Conway.pdf)
In the name of creativity, resistance, and democracy, many antiglobalization activists advocate “respect for diversity of tactics” as a nonnegotiable basis of unity. Solidarity with the full range of resistance has meant that no tactics are ruled out in advance and that activists refrain from publicly criticizing tactics with which they disagree. However, embracing diversity of tactics is not without ambiguity and risk: both strategically in terms of provoking repression and losing public support, but also in terms of democratic practice and culture within the movement itself where it may damage any prospect for broad coalition politics. …
Respect for diversity of tactics as an ethical framework presupposes the existence of “affinity groups” as the unit of organization and democratic decision making. … The decisive feature of respect for diversity of tactics is an ethic of respect for, and acceptance of, the tactical choices of other activists. …
Respect for diversity of tactics is a code that is both strategic and ethical. Many proponents are themselves implicitly or explicitly non-violent. Respect for diversity of tactics does not necessarily imply engaging in or even agreeing with the full range of tactics; rather, it holds that everyone has the right and the responsibility to identify their own thresholds of legitimate protest and to make their own political, strategical, and ethical choices, while also allowing others to do so free from public criticism or censure.
More info on Diversity of Tactics: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/10/what-diversity-of-tactics-really-means-for-occupy-wall-street/
ARTICLES AND RESOURCES OF INTEREST:
The Cancer in Occupy, by Chris Hedges: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_cancer_of_occupy_20120206/
To Be Fair, He Is a Journalist: A Short Response to Chris Hedges on the Black Bloc, by Don Gato: http://www.revolutionbythebook.akpress.org/to-be-fair-he-is-a-journalist-a-short-response-to-chris-hedges-on-the-black-bloc/
Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges, by David Graeber: http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police
Debating Tactics: Remember to ask, “What works?”: http://woborders.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/debating-tactics-remember-to-ask-what-works/
Activists and Anarchists Speak for Themselves at Occupy Oakland, by Susie Cagle: http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-oakland/1328726021
Occupy Wall Street’s Commitment to Nonviolence, by Nathan Schneider: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/11/occupy-wall-streets-commitment-to-nonviolence/
Against Hedges on the Black Bloc: http://pink-scare.blogspot.com/2012/02/against-hedges-on-black-bloc.html
Interview With Chris Hedges About Black Bloc, by J.A. Myerson: http://www.truth-out.org/interview-chris-hedges-about-black-bloc/1328799148
Occupy Chicago Adopts the “Chicago Principals” of Non-Violence: (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYP_Str434Q&feature=youtu.be
How Non-Violence Protects the State, by Peter Gelderloos: http://zinelibrary.info/files/How%20Nonviolence%20Protects%20The%20State.pdf