Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Denying Peaceful Protest is Problematic

I saw this article by Bill Fletcher Jr. a while back, and finally got around to passing it along. Fletcher responds to those recently in the media who are making calls for Palestinians to use nonviolence. Fletcher's article is poignant and so apropos for the current climate as Israel cracks down on nonviolent protest. See the article here, below is an excerpt:
While it is certainly true that some of the protests by Palestinians are violent, the same could be said of the anti-colonial protests that took place on the Indian subcontinent against the British at the time of Gandhi. Gandhi certainly preached nonviolent direct action, yet there were others within the independence movement that advocated forceful courses of action.

Nevertheless, smearing or repressing all protests in the name of moving against those who use violence is disingenuous, a point well understood when viewing other freedom struggles, whether the Indian independence movement or the black freedom struggle in the United States. In fact, this repression becomes a means not of suppressing violence, but of suppressing all resistance to injustice. This is experienced today by the Palestinian movement.

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