OCVT Discussion Theme 2/18: Diversity of Tactics

02/12/2012 in Education & Empowerment WG, Useful Links

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/



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

3 responses to OCVT Discussion Theme 2/18: Diversity of Tactics


    On Nonviolence from OCCUPY web sites

    Nonviolence Statement (OWS Vermont) – http://owsvt.wikispaces.com/Non+Violence+Statement

    Statement of Nonviolence (Occupy Santa Cruz) – http://occupysantacruz.org/2011/10/08/proposed-nonviolence-statement/

    Nonviolence and Civil Disobedience (Working Group) (Boston Occupy) – http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Nonviolence_and_Civil_Disobedience_%28Working_Group%29

    The Difference Between Nonviolence and Pacifism (Occupy Oakland) – http://occupyoakland.org/2012/02/the-difference-between-nonviolence-and-pacifism/

    Principles of Solidarity (NYC GA) – http://www.nycga.net/resources/principles-of-solidarity/

    Occupy Portland is a Non-Violent Movement – http://www.supportows.org/blog/ows-news/occupy-portland-is-a-non-violent-movement/

    Occupy Washington: on action and nonviolence – http://october2011.org/faq

    Sign the Pledge of Non-Violence (Occupy Colleges) – http://occupycolleges.org/pledge-of-non-violence/

    Who We Are (Occupy Chicago) – http://occupychi.org/who-we-are

    OccupyMARINES Non-Violent Demonstration Disclaimer – http://occupymarines.org/

    Nonviolence-Occupy: the tactic that wins us now – http://occupyphillymedia.org/content/nonviolence-occupy-tactic-wins-us-now

    Commentary and Articles on Nonviolence, Violence and Diversity of Tactics

    How not to block the black bloc, by George Lakey – http://wagingnonviolence.org/2012/02/how-not-to-block-the-black-bloc/#more-15086

    Diversity of Tactics or Divide and Conquer?, by Tina Dupuy and Josh Cook – http://occupiedmedia.us/2012/02/diversity-of-tactics-or-divide-and-conquer/

    An Open Letter to the Occupy Movement: Why We Need Agreements, by Starhawk,
    Lisa Fithian, and Lauren Ross – http://starhawksblog.org/?p=675

    Meeting Violence with Nonviolence: Why the Occupy Movement Will Succeed, by Jake Olzen –

    Occupy LA debates nonviolence vs. diversity of tactics, by Bob Plain –

    The nonviolent shift, by Ken Butigan –

    ‘This! May not be! A peaceful protest!’: How to Occupy nonviolently, by Nathan Schneider –

    The Importance of Nonviolence in the Occupy Revolution, by Rebecca Solnit –

    Nonviolent Action as the Sword that Heals – Challenging Ward Churchill’s “Pacifism As Pathology”, by George Lakey – http://www.trainingforchange.org/nonviolent_action_sword_that_heals

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