We should celebrate teenagers that take action against climate change & can't be harsh on them for seeking reformist solutions and not understanding capitalism yet
We should be VERY critical of the politicians/NGOs/media who celebrate some hand-picked teenage climate activists while ignoring organizations like Ende Gelande or Hambach occupation or the indigenous organizers that have been in this struggle for decades
They try to steer the conversation in a direction that protects the powerful.
A lot of people in positions of power are waking up to the fact that ‘the climate movement’ (in fact many movements) can not be simply repressed and ignored anymore.
So they are doing what they have done to every other movement for social change that reached a tipping point: push their own preferred spokespeople (who were not chosen by the movements to speak for us) with their own preferred methods (always non-violent) and their own preferred solutions (reform, green capitalism, etc).
@queeranarchism I don't know about that "always non-violent". That implies to me that non-violent protesters would get overly represented. To me, if there's any misrepresentation in attention, it goes the other way. A vast majority of climate protesters (or most any protesters) are non-violent.
Some people might think that means violence is more efficient. And it is, for getting attention. But, at least historically, non-violence is far more effective for actual change.
I strongly disagree. Non-violent protestors get a platform and are presented as the successful ones only after more militant protestors have made the issue impossible to repress of ignore any longer.
@queeranarchism You disagree with what? History? Gandhi, King and Mandela?
Violence is not radical. It's conservative, if anything, in that it pushes those that need persuading away from radical ideas.
It's radical to be perpared to die for what you believe in - not to kill och hurt other people.
I don't blame you for not reading the whole link I provided, it was a lot of words. But since it actually deals with King and Gandhi, I do recommend actually reading it:
Peter Gelderloos 'How non-violence protects the state' explains in more detail how the idea that history is on the side of the non-violent is a huge misrepresentation of actual history.
@queeranarchism Just don't miss the "where there was no nonviolent alternative" part.
My claim is that non-violence historically has a better track record when it comes to accomplishing positive change. King's and Gandhi's roles in history underlines that.
And you don't know me. When you say "it was a lot of words", that's just an unnecessary insult. You have NO idea how much time I spend reading.
I simply assumed you hadn't read it since you continued to claim that King and Gandhi are examples that non-violence is successful without engaging with any of the counter arguments I provided in the link. As you continue to do.
By the way, Mandela wasn't all that non-violent. He was co-founder of the Umkhonto we Sizwe which carried out dozens of bombings, trying to prevent civilian casualties but also preparing for guerrilla warfare.
@queeranarchism Yes. A path he later moved away from, successfully.
Mandela went to prison for choosing violence and achieved most of his influence as a political prisoner who had chosen violence. He turned down release several times, among other things because the conditions included complete renouncing violence.
It was only from success and influence acquired this way that he managed to negotiate peace and it was only after having achieved power within the new status quo that he became a figurehead of non-violence.
I think you are partly correct about Mandela. But it's important to note that violence was the very last resort for him. Omitting that part of the story wouldn't be honest.
"We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence..."
Which is nice respectable sounding way of saying 'non-violence didn't work'.
I never said there aren't situations where non-violence won't work. I'm saying it generally works better. And even with violence, it's more effective if you tried everything else first.
Mandela was seeking non-violent methods as far as possible. When he received the Nobel Price, it was as a symbol for peace, not violence. The fight against apartheid would have been harder (possibly failed) with a more violent approach. International support was essential.
The fight against apartheid was where he chose violence because non violence didn't work.
The Nobel Peace Prize is an elite trinket that has been given to world leaders who had no trouble throwing bombs.
You also never responded to the points about King and Gandhi.
So many famous non-violent activists ‘win’ by riding the waves created by violence and giving those in power the compromise they desperately want. Declawing the movement that could have gone for bigger change.
And you have not responded to the first things I wrote...
We're not getting anywhere, so let's just agree to disagree. You believe millions of people ride on the waves of a violent few. I believe violence threatens to kill radical movements by driving the millions away. That's OK. We can believe different things.
You have said that history is on your side and gave 3 examples. I replied to each one and you have not engaged me on King or Gandhi based on my arguments.
You only went into detail on Mandela, where you eventually agreed that by Mandela's own admission non-violence didn't work.
The 'millions are non-violent' versus 'the violent few' comment is historically inaccurate too.
But since you're clearly unable to back up your beliefs, I'm fine with ending the debate.
@queeranarchism I have no obligation to reply to what you type. Nor have you to me. I just don't agree with you, and I've read several books on Gandhi and King, though admittedly not on Mandela. Answering everything you write about changes nothing, I'm afraid.
You came to my toot to disagree with me, then act surprised if I point out you made an incredibly poor case defending your claim and simply ignored most of my arguments.
To be honest, I don't feel that you're listening to me either. Sorry, didn't mean to piss anyone of. I went on the different major antiglobalism protests back 2000-2001. The last one was widely reported for the violence (Gothenburg) while not even one in a thousand protesters were ever violent. After that the enormous movement pretty much vanished. I blame violence, and media. That makes me afraid of what violence can do to protests.
I could tell many stories of how non-violent activists destroyed movements by snitching on 'violent' activists because they cared more about looking good in the media than about each other. Resulting in a lot of actual violence from the system against activists.
Look, I don't know if you
- always want the last word
- think you can still 'win' by using personal experience that I don't share
- suddenly want my sympathy
But save it.
You don't want the debate you started? just go away
protestors whose methods don't fit the non-violent framework and whose solutions include radical change only ever get 'represented' in the form of sensationalist footage. They never get a platform to speak. Their ideas are never explored. If anything, the sensationalist coverage serves to make their opinions unconsiderable to the majority.
The preferred reformist spokespeople are then pushed forward as the good activists who do get to speak and whose ideas are allowed to exist.
Media coverage that is designed to make someone's opinions unacceptable as part of public debate isn't 'representation' at all, it's the opposite.
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