Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Blessed are the peacemakers. I love Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and all the other activists of their ilk. They were all wonderful people, sincere, and brave in their own way. Nevertheless, I do not consider it a coincidence that they all ended up dead, leaving the same violent world behind them. Also, self defense, using as little force as possible, does not constitute an "eye for an eye." That attitude is no good for self defense anyway, because, of course, it "makes the whole world blind," and escalates conflict, thereby escalating danger. On the other hand, if the helpless embrace their helplessness in the face of extreme, unappeasable violence, helpless is all they will ever be. Allowing people to beat or torture you to death does not constitute effective resistance to violence. You are removed from the struggle, and the media portray you as violent anyway, as with the nonviolent protestors in Seattle some years ago. Also, revenge killings will often be perpetrated in your name, as with Jesus, Ghandi, and Dr. King, and they are often worse than the original injustices. Complete submission and appeasement of violence does not "break the cycle of violence," as it fails to reverse human nature, or for that matter, nature itself. A truly nonviolent person knows how to balance appeasement, negotiation, nonviolence, and necessary force as the situation requires. Also, a nonviolent person knows how to pick their battles. Inflexible dogmas like "Might makes right" or "Violence is never the answer," rarely bring peace or justice, as the world is far more complicated than a single principle.

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