Friday, November 4, 2011

violent subgroup within OWS causing problems

"It wasn't the only time during a huge Occupy demonstration in Oakland this week that protesters found themselves on opposite sides. When dozens of black clad marchers began attacking a supermarket, others urged them to stop -- finally linking arms to protect the store from further destruction. "

"A majority of Occupy Oakland protesters sought Thursday to distance themselves from masked vandals who they said had undercut the movement by hijacking the tail end of a mostly peaceful protest, damaging downtown buildings and clashing with police."

"If you see someone trying to incite violence, start with the assumption that that person is undercover, Homeland Security, cop, or whatever, because this is the history of America where those in charge have tried to ignite people, incite them into acts of violence..."

This seems to be a common problem in protests in the U.S. I saw it in the 1990's in anti-war protests.  Gandhi would call off protests if violence started.  So it has to be something that protesters plan how to counteract.

My opinion is that the legitimate protesters must do everything they can to show that those committing violence are not part of the protest. Immediately separate yourself from them.  Point them out to the police, cooperating with prosecution of anyone who vandalizes or physically attacks someone.  Shame the vandals by yelling at them, pointing at them, chanting "we don't want this."  Try to talk to their group ahead of any action to let them know their tactics are counterproductive and not wanted.

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