by TONY FYLER
edited by ANDREW HICKS
Let’s be absolutely clear on one point – non-violent direct action is a truly kickass idea. It’s changed the world time and time and time again. It’s effective, it’s community-building and, if you do it right, it has the double-edged effect of making the forces of oppression absolutely livid while also ensuring they have no effective way of dealing with their lividity.
In essence, the key to great non-violent direct action is not so much using your opponent’s strength against him as it is making him so furious his head explodes, while you sing “Kumbayah” and eat quiche.
But let’s be clear about one other point, while we’re here. Non-violent direct passivity is just plain dull.
There seems to be a strain of really earnest hippie thinking at work in 21st century protest that makes me think the people doing the protesting haven’t actually read the manual. I mean, everything’s “plug and play” these days, so why bother with a manual, right? Your iProtest should just… work.
It’s as if these neo-hippies have seen pictures of protests from days gone by, and they think just showing up is pretty much enough to topple governments. Or change laws. Or suddenly make shitty people be just a smidgen less shitty to everybody who isn’t them.
Point of order: If the Boston Tea Party had been run in this new manner, the revolutionaries would have arrived, chanted their slogans about taxation and representation and yadda yadda yadda, and been shot stone dead, leaving the British to get on with their busy day of evil fuckery.