Direct Action Is A Legit Tactic

Moscow: “Order Police” clash with anti-Putin demonstrators. pic: Evgeniy Isaev

If you have other ways of fighting for change, it’s because you’re privileged to have that choice.

Re: this “respectful debate” we’re all non-consensually engaged in right now regarding the basic human rights of LGBTQI citizenry.

A note to all y’all “violence is not the answer” types who are clogging up my Facebook feed.

Firstly: you’re giving me indigestion.

Secondly: “Violent” resistance, is, and always has been, one of many viable answers to political oppression.

What you call “violence” is also known as “direct action”. It’s not the singular “answer”, but it is an entirely viable and effective tactic.

What you call “violence” other’s just call “survival”. Not everyone has a choice regarding whether they engage with violence or not. If you do, then you occupy a position of societal privilege.

Every time you spout nonsense about the innate abhorrence of what you call “violence” and profess your haughty distance from it, you are shitting on people for whom violence is not a choice, but fact of life. You are also shitting on the legacy and history of every liberatory social movement for which violent forms of resistance have been a fundamental, ie- literally all of them.

People who know nothing about violence, about what violence really is, are often incapable of distinguishing between straight thuggery, bullshit revolutionary cosplay, re-iterative trauma and valid resistance. The distinction is important, so if you are not someone who is equipped to really perceive those gradations, if you are not really intimate with violence as societal force, if you’re someone who can’t really profess to know really what it is to live inside of violence as a pervasive reality, then shut the fuck up and listen to someone who does. What they have to say is vitally important.

You don’t have to punch nazis, ok. Everyone has different capacities and different things to offer to a movement. Personally, my tear gas days are long over. I am better suited, and more useful, to other forms of cultural and political labour. But: Solidarity  means doing that work AND being prepared to bail people out of the lock up when they throw bricks at cops. It means not privileging one type of work over another. Holy bleeding obvious, Batman, you’ll find that the stratification in this regard is in no small way both classist and racist in basis. I refuse to replicate that.

In every social movement, there are has always, ALWAYS been someone who is throwing bricks at cops. That person is usually the one who experiences the most brutality, has the least options, and the least to lose.

And there has always, always been the more privileged voice who carries on decries these acts of violence in the name of what they imagine to be “higher values”. There is always going to be the guy who lets those with less power do the gritty-ass fighting on his behalf and accept the consequences for it. There is always going to be that guy who actively benefits from the freedoms others have won for him with their blood, then proceeds to distance himself from the nastiness once the grunt work is done.

Don’t be that bastard.

Onyx Anastasis