2011-11-11

Rita Nakashima Brock Misses the Point

Interesting news coming out of "Occupy Oakland" this morning. Apparently, there has been a shooting. The number one link that comes up on my Google News feed for this story is this apologetic Huffington Post article from a woman named Rita Nakashima Brock, about whom I know nothing.

Of note is the following excerpt:
I came home to write this article at 1 am because I know this shooting is going to feed the media obsession with the violence of a tiny number of occupiers, which dominated news of our successful General Strike held on Nov. 2, with a few wonderful and notable exceptions, including a full report of our people of faith presence that day.
I pose an open question to Ms. Nakashima Brock: What is the methodological purpose of an "Occupy"-style protest?

As I discussed yesterday, the purpose of these sit-ins is very clear (even if the objective is far less so). One way or another, the sit-in mobs' sole purpose is to create a physical obstacle so onerous that the powers at be have no choice but to meet their demands (whatever they are). This is not dismissive or a matter of opinion, it is the definition of a sit-in.

Again, as I mentioned yesterday, this sort of protest is inherently destabilizing. That is the whole objective: destabilization. If the protesters were "merely" voicing their collective opinion, they would freely and happily show up in a more convenient place, clean up and go home after a rousing day of amicable protest, and then reappear the next day to further the cause. They would write, they would publish, they would make public appearances. In short, they would participate in the civic dialogue in a much more convenient way.

But that's just it: the purpose of the protest is to be inconvenient, so that their demands will be met. That's what a sit-in is. That's the whole point.

What am I getting at?

When a "movement's" whole modus operandi is one of destabilization, that movement cannot possibly be surprised when it observes the inevitable results of public destabilization: sexual assault, vandalism, and now murder.

So while Ms. Nakashima Brock may be correct that most of the protesters are not actually interested in committing violent acts of aggression, what they are unquestionably interested in is initiating the threat of such violence. Were they not, the protest would look completely different. Threatening the system with mass violence is precisely what a large-scale protest of this kind is all about.

If I gave the protesters the absolute greatest benefit of the doubt, the best I could say is that their cognitive time-horizons are so short that they could not predict in advance that their protests would lead to destabilization; they expected change, but did not bother to anticipate how such change might occur. After all, it's not as if a protester with any level of foresight would have believed that the protest would result in public officials saying, "Gee, you know what? They're right! Let's end systemic corruption! I'm sure glad they told me, otherwise I never would have thought of that..."

In short, I believe this shooting and all other past and future incidents of "Occupy" violence completely validate my claim that mass-protest is a violation of the non-aggression principle and is inherently violent.