• Salon Cheers Violence In Baltimore, Urges For Better Planning

    Salon writer Benji Hart asked Baltimore thugs to consider how they might use “legitimate political strategy” in a more considerate manner in a piece condoning the violent riots.

    “I do not advocate non-violence—particularly in a moment like the one we currently face,” he writes in a piece titled: “Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy.” (WATCH: White Man Stomped On The Sidewalk In Baltimore)

    “When the free market, real estate, the elected government, the legal system have all shown you they are not going to protect you—in fact, that they are the sources of the greatest violence you face—then political action becomes about stopping the machine that is trying to kill you, even if only for a moment, getting the boot off your neck, even if it only allows you a second of air,” he adds. “This is exactly what blocking off streets, disrupting white consumerism, and destroying state property are designed to do.” (VIDEO: Rioters Cut Fire Hose To Prevent Police From Saving Burning Building)

    But this tactic of violence, as legitimate a tactic as non-violence, should be implemented thoughtfully and in an orderly manner, he writes, and the events in Baltimore raise “important questions for future direct and militant action in all of our movements.” (MAYOR: City Being ‘Destroyed By Thugs’ In ‘A Senseless Way’)

    These questions should be answered “in the planning stages,” if possible, and backup plans should be made in case the agreed-upon conditions of the planned violence changes in the moment. (CNN: Baltimore Rioters Threatening ‘Anybody… Who Was Not African-American’)

    Here are the questions:

    Are we harming state and private property, or are we harming people, communities and natural resources? Is the result of our action disrupting state and corporate violence, or creating collateral damage that more oppressed people will have to deal with (i.e., Black families and business owners, cleaning staff, etc.)? Are we mimicking state violence by harming people and the environment, or are we harming state property in ways that can stop or slow violence? Are we demonizing systems or people?

    Who is in the vicinity? Are we doing harm to people around us as we act? Is there a possibility of violence for those who are not the intended targets of our action? Are we forcing people to be involved in an action who many not want to be, or who are not ready?

    Who is involved in the action? Are people involved in our action consensually, or simply because they are in the vicinity? Have we created ways for people of all abilities who may not want to be present to leave? Are we being strategic about location and placement of bodies? If there are violent repercussions for our actions, who will be facing them?”

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