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Source: (consider it) Thread: Nazis are coming to town - what do you do?
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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If white supremacist neo-Nazis were planning to march through your town or hold a rally there, what would you do? Would you stay home? Go out to confront them peacefully? Go out to confront them, prepared for violence? Go to a counter-demonstration held in another part of town?

The last option is the one recommended by the Southern Poverty Law Center in their document Ten Ways to Fight Hate.
quote:
From the pdf of this document:
6 CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE

Do not attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and for people’s desire to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade to draw media attention away from hate.

Hate has a First Amendment right. Courts have routinely upheld the constitutional right of the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups to hold rallies and say whatever they want. Communities can restrict group movements to avoid conflicts with other citizens, but hate rallies will continue. Your efforts should focus on channeling people away from hate rallies.

DO NOT ATTEND A HATE RALLY
As much as you might like to physically show your opposition to hate, confrontations serve only the perpetrators. They also burden law enforcement with protecting hatemongers from otherwise law-abiding citizens.

(This obviously applies to the US in ways that it won't in other places -- hate does not have the same rights in Germany that it has here. Here, hate speech is protected speech. So shipmates contributing to this thread might want to indicate the context in which they're responding.)

As a life-long pacificist, I'm predisposed to prefer the non-confrontational, go-to-the-peace-rally-across-town answer. But this is not just me. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a long and respected history of tracking and investigating hate groups in the US; they know what they're talking about.

Posts: 24368 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kitten
Shipmate
# 1179

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I think my inclination would be to confront them peacefully, I hope I would be brave enough to.

[ 16. August 2017, 15:53: Message edited by: Kitten ]

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Maius intra qua extra

Never accept a ride from a stranger, unless they are in a big blue box

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Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

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I would join fellow clergy in town to stand in mute opposition to the Nazis

Our community is currently dealing with what to do with one of the leaders of the Unite the Right Rally. He had been the president of the Student Republican Party at Washington State University. Over the past few years, he has been involved in several racist incidents. He had been invited to speak at the Unite the Right rally.

The National Student Republican Party has now forced his resignation from the WSU Student Republican organization. Interestingly, he was replaced by an Iranian born American Student. She seems much more interested in upholding libertarian values.

Several faculty members are now pushing to have the previous president expelled from the school. He has clearly violated several regulations in the student code of conduct.

But if the Nazis want to hold a rally in support of him (there has been talk of this), I plan on standing with fellow clergy in mute opposition.

[ 16. August 2017, 15:53: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten:
I think my inclination would be to confront them peacefully, I hope I would be brave enough to.

I would demonstrate peacefully too. If trouble started I would either stand my ground or melt away depending on the trouble. I would not stand up to the police.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Well done. Will you hold up placards of any kind, or do you think that doing so might be counter-productive and/or incite violence? (Not an easy question, I know, but you must have discussed it).
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mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

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I wonder (and this is a scary thought) whether engaging Nazis in fairly low-level violence prevented a much worse massacre.

The problem is now that they're emboldened - they think they "won" this battle. Next time maybe they'll think that if they can assault or kill more of the "other side" than get killed from their side then they're succeeding.

Which is particularly scary given that they are carrying guns.

Honestly, I think I'd keep away. But I don't know if I'd regret it if they suddenly went from a march to burning down a synagogue. Which apparently nearly happened at the weekend.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Well done. Will you hold up placards of any kind, or do you think that doing so might be counter-productive and/or incite violence? (Not an easy question, I know, but you must have discussed it).
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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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In theory, I would confront them peacefully.

In practice, I would probably not manage to do that - I doubt my broken brain would let me get there. But with some help, I might make it to protest.

And I would stick my ground, I think. I would make sure I was legal, and be prepared for arrest. It would test my Quaker peace-testimony, but in a good way (that aspect of my new-found Quakerism is proving tought anyway).

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Blog
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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Being essentially conflict-averse, I too would prefer the options where I don't have to be nose-to-nose with Nazis. I didn't know the SPLC had published something like this; I clearly need to make their website part of my regular click circuit. They are doing good work. (One of my kids writes for them so it's not like I'm biased.)

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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I would, and have, confronted them peacefully. But these are fascists so I've also been prepared for violence (as in, not armed in any way, but mentally prepared).

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Get your arse to Mars

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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I like the concept of a distant (but, not too distant) counter rally. Get more people there. Get some celebs to address the crowd. Have some music. Make it a celebration of the freedom the Nazis would deny you. Make sure the press are there covering you having a good time, peaceful and joyful, rather than the hate-mongers elsewhere in town (yes, I know the Nazis are news and normal folk aren't).

But, then again it depends on circumstances. If the Nazis plan to simply sit in a park because someone changed the name then best left alone. If their plan is to march on the local mosque then a peaceful counter to form a human shield to protect the target of their hate would seem appropriate. If their rally was to pass private property (say a church) then prominent anti-Nazi placards placed there could be effective - they're either there to be seen in the background of the TV reports, or the Nazis trespass on private property to remove them (and, one would hope, get nicked by the police for doing so - assuming that freedom of speech doesn't cover trespass and criminal damage).

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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I have recently been impressed by a former law school classmate of mine, who has discovered that a SPLC-designated hate group will be having a gathering at a resort near his home, where he and his daughter (both of them proudly and obviously Jewish) have a pass to use the pool.

He has been a fixture in local media, letting the resort know very publicly that they have made a bad decision, questioning if they have prepared to warn other guests about the meeting, encouraging protests, and pressing local officials to put pressure on the resort to eject the meeting.

Our daughters are about the same age (2 going on 3) so each of us has a reason to not be on the front lines. But he has been pretty effective at using his advocacy skills to make sure that people are aware of an issue. I hope that I can follow his example when something similar happens here.

Other than that? Educating myself. I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go, and hopefully I can help my daughter start from a better position on these issues than I did.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Folks who would opt for peaceful confrontation: why? Why would you choose that instead of attending a peaceful event elsewhere?
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Callan
Shipmate
# 525

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The US is different to the UK, but when I was a student in London I attended the anti-fascist demonstration at the cenotaph when the BNP were laying their wreaths (presumably in memory of the Horst Wessel Panzer division). Both my grandfathers served in World War II and I thought the presence of Nazis at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday was an insult to their memory.

Obviously: Be prudent, be sensible and think about what might kick off if you turn up are all considerations and if you are a USian, remember that the Supreme Court rules in favour of National Socialists with distressing frequency, but when it comes to confronting the fash, never say never.

Parenthetically, Steve Bannon was interviewed on the Today Programme in the UK a couple of days ago and he mentioned the decision to let the Nazis march through Stokie, Illinois. Clearly this is the only man to have watched the Blues Brothers and come to the conclusion that the good guys were the Illinois Nazis.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

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Several years ago, the Nazis tried to take over Helena Montana. They said they would go after anyone suspected of using a menorah--this during the time of Hannukkah. The town people responded by putting up pictures of the menorah in their windows all over town. The Nazis disappeared.
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lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Folks who would opt for peaceful confrontation: why? Why would you choose that instead of attending a peaceful event elsewhere?

Because often the locus of the rally is significant. A counter-protest elsewhere does not have the same impact.
And a colocated counter-protest send a different message than a sepeerated one.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Folks who would opt for peaceful confrontation: why? Why would you choose that instead of attending a peaceful event elsewhere?

Because peaceful events elsewhere have absolutely zero impact on the people we are protesting against. The fascists are free to march and chant and wave their flags and give their speeches.

A counter-demonstration that dwarfs the fascists, with their own banners and whistles and and voices, is there to be intimidating. That's the whole point.

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Get your arse to Mars

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Nazi groups, like internet trolls, thrive on attention and getting others worked up. They also often see themselves as persecuted. IMO, a direct counter protest confronting them at the point where they are holding their rally gives them what they want. Therefore, if there is to be such a protest the gains must outweigh the cost. Which doesn't mean there shouldn't be such counter protests, but it does mean they need to be used at the right places and times, and in the right way, to maximize the gains and minimise the costs.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Pomona
Shipmate
# 17175

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Have been to (peaceful) anti-EDL rallies before. I think overall for health reasons it would be difficult to oppose in person, but I would do my best to support antifa efforts from home (eg donating to legal funds, publicising those funds, etc). I would certainly support those willing to risk their lives by physically confronting fascists.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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Not that anyone here had time enough to become emotionally invested, but shortly after I posted my comment, the friend shared an announcement from the resort that the group's reservation has been canceled.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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I refer the honourable Shipmates to this, and especially this part:

quote:
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I simply refuse to be that guy.

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Get your arse to Mars

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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A friend of mine lives in northern New York state, in a rural district. There is a county fair every year at this time of year. For many years there have been displays of Confederate flags at some events. (I believe it's the demolition derby.) This year, she resolved to contact the fair committee and suggest that this was the year to not do that. The managers were ruffled -- 'we've always done it!'
But there are other appeals to be made. Tourism, for instance -- won't families feel nervous? Perhaps attendance will drop. Do we want to be seen to Be Like Charlottesville, ew? What if something happens, who will they sue? Yes sir, the municipality and the fair people, can your insurance stand the strain?
All of these appeals are clearly less pure, less exalted, more shamelessly mercenary, than the noble appeal to social justice. But the actual result would be the same, and everybody has ass coverage. ("If it was up to me, but you know, it was the insurance people.")

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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Nazis have to be confronted, preferably peacefully, if they're out marching. Anything else is surrendering the streets to them and allowing them to intimidate local people. You can argue about whether it was right to use violence at the Battle of Cable Street but there can be no doubt that it was instrumental in defeating the BUF.

I'm grateful that the only Nazis I've had to deal with have been both small in number and incompetent.

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Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

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Do any of the posters arguing strongly for either approach have empirical evidence that it works? I appreciate that empirical evidence in this context is hard to define.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Do any of the posters arguing strongly for either approach have empirical evidence that it works? I appreciate that empirical evidence in this context is hard to define.

Do you mean having a protest elsewhere vs standing up to the Neo-Nazis? Or some other approaches that are being suggested..?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Jemima the 9th
Shipmate
# 15106

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It would depend on whether I was chief childcare operative for the day. If I was childfree, I'd go and counter-protest, peacefully. If I had the kids, I'd go to an alternative peaceful gettogether if one were organised. I haven't really got the resources to organise one, but I could manage a gettogether picnic in the park with friends & family. And possibly placards.

The "why protest?" question is interesting, esp in the light of the SPLC advice, which I didn't know about and will read further. Somehow, to me it feels as if not counter-protesting lends legitimacy to their views - I want them to know that I don't agree with them. I know they want confrontation, but it also feels to me as though if I didn't turn out, they'd be able to say "You see, people don't disagree with us".

I'm in a smallish town in the UK, and not one known for EDL protests or anything similar. (I know the EDL are far right rather than Nazis overtly, it's the nearest I have to a point of reference.)

I do also love the idea of confronting them with humour, the people who chased the EDL out of Liverpool with the Benny Hill theme tune are heroes. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/edl-laughed-liverpool-benny-hill-13133627

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Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

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I went to the Womens March in Washington DC in January. It was amazing. So many people! I had not known that there were millions and millions of people who felt as I did. It was enormously encouraging and empowering.
And there is a power in bringing children, in having the dog along, in clergy wearing their robes and grannies in pink hats. When there's that many people, clearly not planning to be violent (there were people with strollers, people carrying toddlers on their shoulders) there is a sense of good will, of safety even. We were together.
When we rode the Metro back there was a young couple there with, God help them, a newborn infant. About 3 months old -- I said to the mother, "You're crazy." She replied, "I want him to grow up to be socially active." And the father added, "This was his baptism."

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Palimpsest
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# 16772

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I stayed home, in part because I am sick. But there was a protest march in a different part of the city from the White Supremazist rally. when some of the people in the protest march tried to march to the rally the police tear gassed thm.
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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And there is a power in bringing children

I can see bringing my daughter to a planned, peaceful demonstration. Not now, as she is at the height of her terrible twos, and getting to the demonstration alone, much less standing around listening to speeches, would take a whole lot of energy, and frankly, she would not appreciate it. But some day in the future? Sure.

Counter-protesting that might turn violent? No way. Not a chance. I'll try to raise her to know right from wrong, and try to support causes from the sidelines as appropriate. But if I think there's an OK chance that someone is going to start throwing punches, we're staying the hell away.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I went to the Womens March in Washington DC in January. It was amazing. So many people! I had not known that there were millions and millions of people who felt as I did. It was enormously encouraging and empowering.
And there is a power in bringing children, in having the dog along, in clergy wearing their robes and grannies in pink hats. When there's that many people, clearly not planning to be violent (there were people with strollers, people carrying toddlers on their shoulders) there is a sense of good will, of safety even. We were together.

The Womens Marches are a variation on the "peace-rally-across-town". They were not organised to counter protests by pro-Trump supporters. A long way from protests standing in the face of Nazi thugs.

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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What Alan said.

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Love wins

Posts: 16582 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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I have a vague memory (it was about 1960) of seeing some news footage of a KKK march down the streets of Charleston WV. First, I was shocked that these creatures I thought only existed in history books were real. Then I was shocked that they existed so far north as West Virginia. Then a few of them lifted their hoods and talked to the reporter and I was shocked at how toothless and ugly they were and how incredibly stupid they sounded.

The ordinary people, walking by on the sidewalks, were quickly looking the other way as though a pile of vomit was there.

The message was received and remained in my mind that racists were horrible, stupid, ugly things, around which you should walk a wide circle.

So I agree with The Southern Poverty Law Center. Don't try to connect with them directly, they're too stupid to understand logical arguments so your signs wont change them and your attention will gratify them.

Let the children see that they are beyond the pale of society and should be shunned. Then a week later have a big brotherly love march of the kind Brenda just described.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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There were any amount of Peace rallies in Northern Ireland in the course of The Troubles - but I doubt they altered the trajectory of a single paramilitary.

Sadly, I do not think the good gathering is the most effective counter. The best is the use of ridicule or dimunition: if you can stage any action which makes them look ridiculous or vastly outnumbered.

You need to be where the cameras are, and you need powerful symbolic acts. The best response in Charlotteville was probably the phalanx of robed clergy.

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Mere Nick
Shipmate
# 11827

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I won't attend.

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"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
The US is different to the UK, but when I was a student in London I attended the anti-fascist demonstration at the cenotaph when the BNP were laying their wreaths (presumably in memory of the Horst Wessel Panzer division). Both my grandfathers served in World War II and I thought the presence of Nazis at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday was an insult to their memory.

In the military cemetery where my father's cousin is buried in Michigan along with other German WW2 POWs some of whom also committed atrocities, there is a memorial service each year, and German consular officials attend. The focus is probably completely different than your BNP involvement. Though I do consider my family in Remebrance services, and object to the promotion of troops and military versus the sorrow in some of these ceremonies and services (if you read in hell, I outline my extended family's Nazi past a little).

Re the OP, when I saw this first, I was thinking Nazis with the power of government and police behind them. In which case, you run away, and get out, which is what my grandfather did or I would not be writing this.

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Lamb Chopped
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My inckination would be to show up and stand there unsmilingly. Possibly wearing a yellow star. If i were feeling particularly foolhardy, i'd take a sign reading "ex-nazis for Jesus! You can be helped" and have leaflets.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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tessaB
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I don't know what I would do. I don't think that in the UK anyone would get away with the sort of march seen over the weekend, police would cite public order and stop the march. Hate speech is inflammatory and could get you arrested. I hope that is still the case.
I suspect that I might stay away as I am a physical coward, but also I can fly off the handle very quickly and might say/do things that would get me in trouble.
I say all this and at the same time I can hear in my head the Manic Street Preachers singing 'And if you tolerate this, then your children will be next'.

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Do any of the posters arguing strongly for either approach have empirical evidence that it works? I appreciate that empirical evidence in this context is hard to define.

Do you mean having a protest elsewhere vs standing up to the Neo-Nazis? Or some other approaches that are being suggested..?
I had in mind the first question. I suppose my issue is that anyone of moderate intelligence who's had to write essays at school can come up with reasons why an approach might work, and reasons why it might not.

That said, there's no empirical evidence that anything works till you try it.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Brenda Clough
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If you can marshal a huge number of people, then that is utterly effective. The two dozen Nazis, and the several thousand peace marchers.

I'm no longer especially mobile (only just evaded knee surgery this season) and probably can no longer march for 9 hours at a time. But I'm very creative, you have no idea. There are oh! so many things I can do.

I'm a whiz at signs, for instance. Here are some of them. A group of us are creating an award, the Iron Ovary, to be given to women who show a fortitude powered by estrogen -- I need to design it. (And there will be an Iron Ovary Second Class, for men who exhibit a female level of courage, another design challenge.) We need not discuss the pussyhats, but if you want one, pm me. But then there is this kind of thing. The editor lives in the DC area. We're going to go down to the Capitol and hope to seize upon Elizabeth Warren herself, to present her with a copy.

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Martin60
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This is the Partition of America. Built on freedom to, not freedom from. Nothing can be done.

In Charlottesville I would destroy the statue of Lee.

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Love wins

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Ian Climacus

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Hang me as a traitor/pathetic weakling. I could not face off with them.

Mentally.
Emotionally.

My anxiety would spiral off the scale and I would be next to useless. Sorry, but I just couldn't. I see video on the news and need to turn it off as I get anxious for those there. There isn't enough medication in the world to get me through it.

Happy to hear any complaints/alternate views. But I know my limits, I think.

I would attend a counter protest.

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Brenda Clough
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You could also contribute resources. There's a fund, for instance, to help with the medical expenses of the other 19 people injured by that car on Saturday. Some of them were critically wounded. You could join organizations that support your point of view; membership of the ACLU has tripled this year. I don't suppose you could run for office, but you could certainly vote, or phone your representative. The ones who are wrong need to be told about it, and the ones who are right need to be encouraged and praised.

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Net Spinster
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There was going to be an anti-Google march led by a conspiracy spinner in the town next to mine this Saturday. They've since cancelled but the counter protest elsewhere (and in fact a much more trafficked place) is still going on. It should be peaceful and interesting so I'll probably be going (large numbers might deter future protest plans).

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spinner of webs

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Folks who would opt for peaceful confrontation: why? Why would you choose that instead of attending a peaceful event elsewhere?

Because peaceful events elsewhere have absolutely zero impact on the people we are protesting against. The fascists are free to march and chant and wave their flags and give their speeches.

A counter-demonstration that dwarfs the fascists, with their own banners and whistles and and voices, is there to be intimidating. That's the whole point.

But genuinely, does attempting to be intimidating ever actually work?

In the current context we're talking about people who, however wrongly, perceive their "culture" to be under threat. I'm not terribly persuaded that trying to outnumber them is going to do anything other than reinforce that view.

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cliffdweller
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I heard about this strategy from 2014 to co-opt a Nazi march. The creatively subversive nature of it tickles one's fancy and reminds me of Walter Wink's creative resistance.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
In the current context we're talking about people who, however wrongly, perceive their "culture" to be under threat. I'm not terribly persuaded that trying to outnumber them is going to do anything other than reinforce that view.

Not to those people, no. It may be too late for them. But it might make them less attractive to disaffected youth who are looking for someone to identify with, but are not as of yet tied to any one disaffected group's ideology. There is a book written by just such a person who became a newnazi and then left when his daughter was born. He wasn't a neonazi at first, just feeling rejected and needing someone to identify with. The neonazis took him in and groomed him, and before long he believed their lies.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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mdijon
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Intimidation does work against bullies. People who think that being a neo-nazi makes them powerful and strong might find that image shattered when they find overwhelming opposition.

The opposition would be especially overwhelming if it contains many people from their culture.

[ 17. August 2017, 05:49: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
But genuinely, does attempting to be intimidating ever actually work?

In the current context we're talking about people who, however wrongly, perceive their "culture" to be under threat. I'm not terribly persuaded that trying to outnumber them is going to do anything other than reinforce that view.

Yes. In my experience, it does work. And again especially if they're opposed by a multitude of faces that look like their own.

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Get your arse to Mars

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I heard about this strategy from 2014 to co-opt a Nazi march. The creatively subversive nature of it tickles one's fancy and reminds me of Walter Wink's creative resistance.

That is wonderful. How could it be implemented in Charlottesville?

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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If I were to participate directly in front of the Nasties (using as a collective term for the various groups), I think think I'd prefer the style of the angel protestors who confront the Westboro church folks. No weapons, attempt to stay calm and positive, etc. And maybe the giant puppets sometimes used in protests. Heck, give them cupcakes, in an attempt to defuse the situation.

Of course, part of me would be tempted to put out a nice spread for them: bagels, schmear, lox, hamentaschen pastries, etc. [Two face] But I'm not Jewish, and doing that would make them even more of a target.

Due to health, I'm not really in a position to go out and protest. Plus I decided, a long time ago, not to do protests, because there's almost always someone who does something stupid, on one side or another. Or the self-proclaimed anarchists, in those scary "V For Vendetta" masks, who show up and go violent. Then there's law enforcement, in all its panoply. (Occupy Oakland, anyone?)

Plus I have no interest in being pepper-sprayed, knocked to the ground, beaten, hand-cuffed, hauled off to jail, tried, and possibly convicted. Sorry, not for anybody. My life is difficult enough, and I'm claustrophobic. And I don't want/need street cred. I'm not saying anyone should take risks I'm not willing to take. I don't suggest anyone should take those risks.

But if you're going to do it, think first. Why are you going, what do you expect from it, what do you want to happen, will it do any good? Will you have a safety-net of people, first-aid volunteers, bail?

And will the local authorities take reasonable precautions? On NPR, I heard someone (governor, mayor, police chief) say that they expected the protest to be peaceful. I noticed that there didn't seem to be any of the guard-rail type barricades, which are commonly used here in SF. And I heard there weren't any heavy-duty barricades in the streets, and the streets weren't even blocked off. There'd been a plan to put the rally in...a field(?) somewhere; but AIUI the ACLU went to court to stop that, on a 1st Amendment basis.

Starhawk, author, Pagan, and activist, wrote that being arrested for your beliefs does a marvelous job of helping you figure out what you really do believe.

Under the right circumstances, I might be willing to do a candlelight vigil. Different kind of energy. (Actually, I think I was in one a few decades ago, but I don't remember the cause.) I was briefly in a sit-in of kids, long ago. But we were informed that the cops had been called, and we'd darn well better get to class. So we all scampered.

...which is a long and winding road to "think first, figure out the right path for *you*, and don't kick yourself if it's not what everyone else is doing".

FWIW, YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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