Saturday, 12 November 2011

Chauri Chaura

I've had to back away from Occupy Vancouver altogether.  Two reasons:

- OV has not succeeded in defining who they are such that they can define who speaks in the name of the General Assembly.  For example, there is a direct action committee which plans events without consulting the GA.  "Direct Action" could mean almost anything, including Black Bloc tactics.  I toyed with drafting proposals defining their authority, but I know they would never pass.

- OV can no longer be described as nonviolent.  Below the fold, scenes from a Nov. 7 confrontation with the police.  I have a long post coming about that.  Short version: if mass organised screaming is considered proper procedure, the group needs to take responsibility for members who lash out violently.

In 1922, Chauri Chaura was the site of a massacre of British policemen by Indian citizens during the struggle for independence.  "Gandhi felt that he had acted too hastily in encouraging people to revolt against the British Raj without sufficiently emphasizing the importance of ahimsa (non-violence) and without adequately training the people to exercise restraint in the face of attack," and therefore suspended the Non-cooperation Movement.

I'm with Gandhi -- I can't participate in a group which is purportedly engaging in non-violent resistance but which lacks the discipline and training required to remain non-violent.

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