Those who fight to take over the streets, stop evictions and deportations, stop wars, and overthrow the state are clearly not police. The police are our enemy, everything we are fighting against. So who exactly are the pacifists? Who is it that drills into our heads that we will only accomplish anything if we follow the rules, if we play nice, if we come out looking good on television, if we dialogue with the police and the politicians?
In terms of resources, the Pentagon may be one of the biggest promoters of pacifism on the planet. The US Defense Department, along with the Rand Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the International Republican Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, and probably the CIA, have a long history of supporting nonviolent movements worldwide. During the Cold War, the goal was to drown out more militant and revolutionary voices on the Left, in Europe, Latin America, and elsewhere, in favor of nonviolent groups that would be inclined to dialogue with existing powers, easier to buy off, and too ineffective to change anything on their own. During the US occupation of Iraq, the Pentagon planted stories in Iraqi newspapers that appeared to be authored by Iraqis and members of the resistance, calling for a nonviolent struggle. Obviously, the military prefers to go up against pacifists than people with guns. Failing at that, their only option to avoid losing in Iraq was to spur an internecine religious war that would make the US military seem like a force for peace and stability.
George Soros: Billionaire, hedge-fund manager, and financial backer of most of the nonviolent “revolutions” in the last decade, together with the National Democratic Institute–an international arm of the US Democratic Party. Through the Soros Foundation, Soros aids strictly nonviolent, media-friendly revolutions in countries that are hostile to the US. The result? Nonviolent movements in which people learn to trust the media and financial backers rather than learning how to fight for real; governments which are friendly to US business, and which within a year disappoint or piss off the very people who protested to get them in power, from Georgia to Lebanon to Ukraine. Coincidence?
Undoubtedly the most successful and best known proponent of nonviolence in the last two decades, Gene Sharp received funding for his doctoral dissertation from the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, and his Albert Einstein Institution received grants from the International Republican Institution and the National Endownment for Democracy (the international agencies of the Republican and Democratic Parties, respectively) in order to translate and distribute some of Mr. Sharp’s writings internationally (this even according to a pro-Sharp article that initially claims his organization has received no government funding). Campaigns for nonviolent movements in other countries in which Sharp played an influential role also received major funding from the IRI and the NED, as well as the Rand Corporation, George Soros, and others.
Tampa Police Chief
Jane Castor, Tampa’s Police Chief, got props from the mainstream media for presiding over a peaceful Republican National Convention in 2012. Working closely together with NGOs and pacifist-inclined protesters, she made sure that no negative incidents that could have disrupted the Convention or given the city a bad image took place. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the protest was “Less anarchy, more parade.” Castor herself gloated that she “needed a box of beads. It was actually a festive atmosphere.” The good results for police, the Republicans, the city government, and Democratic politicians or high-paid NGO directors who don’t want to be associated with street fighting or revolutionary social movements can be attributed to the pacifist protesters who gladly worked hand in hand with the cops.
Michael Bloomberg: Billionaire, politician, New York City mayor, evictor of Occupy Wall Street, sexual harrasser, and promoter of pacifism. In 2004, he made the news for offering museum and hotel discounts and a slew of other bribes to protestors coming to oppose the Republican National Convention, on the condition that they identify themselves as peaceful protestors. Fortunately, not everyone took the bait, and some clashes and a huge bonfire disrupted the Republican spectacle, although the so-called violent protestors were easily isolated and beaten by police, thanks to how quickly the other protestors ran away. Bloomberg saw what the pacifists didn’t: that images of clashes and disturbances during the Convention would hurt the Republicans’ image, whereas news coverage of the city and police working hand in hand with peaceful protestors exercising their First Amendment rights would be a win for the Republicans.
Boston Police Department
“Since October 1, 2011, the Boston Police Department has been working closely with the leadership of Occupy Boston to accommodate their request for peaceful demonstration… The Boston Police Department is committed to protecting one’s right of peaceful protest. The Boston Police Department is also committed to ensure everyone’s safety. We continue to encourage the leadership of Occupy Boston to maintain an open dialogue with authorities in the spirit of coordination and cooperation.” The Boston police justified their attack on the Occupy encampment and their arrest of 141 occupiers on the grounds that the new encampment constituted a public safety hazard and a possibility for property destruction, as well as the fact that the occupiers did not get police permission in advance. Conflict with the police is inevitable for anyone who steps out of line. Those who try to avoid conflict with the police will inevitably fall into dialogue with them, and in the name of public safety the police will herd them back into their cages.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who presided over the brutal eviction of Occupy Oakland, repeatedly used a strategy of dialogue and pacification to try to keep the movement from growing out of hand. She asked the encampment to appoint representatives and discuss ways to keep the movement peaceful, and even tried to call on the nationwide Occupy movement to rein in the Oakland encampment. This latter move was an attempt by the government to force the Occupy movement to recognize leaders, and an attempt to by politicians to tell the movement what it really wanted, and to divide it between the “good, law-abiding protesters” and a violent “splinter group”. This is the oldest trick in the book, and it is being played by politicians, cops, and pacifists. One thing these politicians don’t mention is that in the streets of Oakland, protesters supported one another, whether they favored more peaceful or combative tactics, that in some of the heaviest days of street fighting parents came out with children and they were supported and protected by the Black Bloc and the crowd in general, and that during the brutal police crackdown of October 25th, it was protesters in masks who rescued a man shot in the head by a tear gas canister.
Interior Minister Felip Puig
The most infamous Catalan Interior Minister since the days of the fascist dictatorship in Spain, Puig’s first act in office was to get rid of the provision prohibiting police torture. Since then, he went on to brutally evict the massive encampment in Plaza Catalunya during the 15M movement (one of the direct precursors of the Occupy Movement in the US), subsequently blaming police violence on a minority of violent protesters, even though no one in the crowd began throwing things at cops until they had suffered through hours of beatings. Later, he introduced a new slate of laws punishing property destruction in protests with the same penalties as terrorism, illegalizing the wearing of masks, and increasing the penalties for all forms of resistance. He also set up a public snitching website and encouraged peaceful protesters to help police isolate and identify the violent ones and the masked ones. This was in response to the general strike of March 29, 2012, in which tens of thousands of people, young and old, combative and peaceful, worked together to shut down the city and attack the banks that are ruining everyone’s lives. This was clearly the situation that most frightened authorities, who immediately tried to divide the movement and get people to accept the division between “good protesters” and “bad protesters.”