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"How non-violence protects the state" UK tour with author Peter Gelderoos

alx_womble | 03.01.2008 20:43 | Analysis | Free Spaces | Repression

Jan 23rd - Feb 2nd 2008

*Gandhi said it's better to resist violently than to use nonviolence to
hide your passivity. Meanwhile, Bono, the Burmese military, and 9 out of
10 humanitarian NGOs agree, peaceful resistance is the best!*

Violence never solves anything. Violence begets violence. The government
is strong when it comes to violence, we need to attack them where they are
weak! Everyone working for social change is familiar with the cliches of
pacifism. And to many people it seems that using more radical, illegal,
or violent tactics is naturally isolating. But what if it's actually our
supposed allies, or our own revolutionary practices, that are isolating
us? What if violence is something diverse, undefinable, a hopelessly
broad category that encompasses institutions that perpetuate oppression
and actions that can empower and liberate us? What if we are all cogs in
a violent system, and what if pacifists are tools of a violent system?

People working for social change face plenty of difficult questions, but
sometimes matters of strategy and tactics receive low priority. Among many
activists, the role of nonviolence as the default mode of struggle bears
little scrutiny. Even as it pretends to contain moral strength,
nonviolence is a major obstacle in global movements for social change.
Nonviolence is based on a number of historical falsifications that enforce
an inaccurate understanding of revolution, it protects white privilege and
the privilege of the Global North, it can reinforce patriarchal dynamics,
and it makes anti-authoritarians complicit with the authorities,
preserving the State monopoly of force.
Ultimately, nonviolence is created and encouraged by the State, and
antithetical to anarchist revolution.

[Tour dates]

Wednesday 23rd Jan @ Kebele Social Centre (Bristol) starts 7pm
14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6JY
Tel: 0117 9399469

Thursday 24th Jan @ PAD (Cardiff) starts 7.30pm
118 Clifton Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff, CF24 1LW

Friday 25th Jan @ Next to Nowhere (Liverpool) starts 7pm
96 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HY
Tel: 0151 703 6806

Thursday 31st Jan @ Common Place (Leeds) starts 7pm
23 - 25 Wharf Street, Leeds, LS2 7EQ
Tel: 0845 345 7334

Friday 1st Feb @ Cowley Club (Brighton) starts 6pm
12 London Road, Brighton BN1 4JA
Tel: 01273 696104

Saturday 2nd Feb @ Ramparts* (tbc) starts 7pm
15 -17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Tel: 07050 618445

[Extra Dates]
Glasgow // Saturday 26th Jan (tbc)
Edinburgh // Monday 28th Jan (tbc)

*Ramparts is under eviction, please keep checking Indymedia for updates.

For more info on the tour see shortly:



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  1. Passivism not pacifism is the problem — Disarming Man