In fact, non-violent anti-racism tactics work

Demonstration in Boston Saturday.  Click to enlarge.  Photo: Al Jazeera

Kevin Drum made the point that non-violent tactics are the most effective way to fight violent racists—at least at this point in American history.

The truth is that white supremacist groups are pretty small. Their views are so obviously vile that they just don’t appeal to very many people.  Generally speaking, then, the answer isn’t to fight them, it’s to outnumber them.  If they announce a rally, liberals should mount a vastly larger counter-rally and…do nothing.  Just surround them peaceably and make sure the police are there to do their job if the neo-Nazi types become violent.  If antifa folks show up with counter-violence in mind, surround them too.

Nonviolence isn’t the answer to everything, but it is here.  The best way to fight these creeps is to take their oxygen away and suffocate them.  Fighting and bloodshed get headlines, which is what they want.  So shut them down with lots of people but no violence.  Eventually they’ll go back to their caves and the press will get bored.

Source: Mother Jones

This is exactly what was done in Boston on Saturday.

Joseph Cannon quoted a Twitter thread from a protester named Tim Pierce (who is white).

Y’all should hear about my experience with BLM at the Boston Anti-Nazi Rally.

First, BPD did an outstanding job of managing conflicts.  Police escorted Nazis to and from the rally. Did not prevent interactions but stood close by to prevent rioting.

Black Lives Matter also escorted Nazis.  Surrounded them to prevent fights.

I want that to be crystal clear.  BLM marshals were preventing fights from breaking out.  BLM organizers have said over and over again: if a rally turns violent, people of color will be targeted.  Don’t start none.

At one point they were escorting a Nazi out of the rally near where I was standing.  Nazi dropped his flag.  I snatched for it.  He picked it up.  I yanked at it.

The BLM marshal next to me whupped the back of my head.  “DON’T!”  At that moment he stopped me from possibly sparking a riot.

I was stupid.  I was ready to escalate.  BLM stopped me.  This is no surprise to anyone who has actually been to a BLM event or worked with them.

But the “BLM are terrorists” narrative persists.  I want everyone to understand just how bullshit this narrative is.

BLM is not starting riots.  They’re stopping them.

Source: Cannonfire.

Remember, the First Amendment to the Constitution affirms “the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.”  Bringing firearms, clubs, baseball bats and other weapons to a political ally isn’t acting peaceably.

LINKS

Boston crowd of anti-racists dwarfs ‘free-speech’ rally by Al Jazeera.  [Added Later]

Inside the Underground Anti-Racist Movement That Brings the Fight to White Supremacists by Wes Enzinna for Mother Jones magazine.   The case for violent tactics.

The Careful, Pragmatic Case Against Punching Nazis by Jesse Singal for New York magazine.  The case for non-violent tactics.

What to Make of Antifa? by Doug Muder for The Weekly Sift.  [Added Later]

 

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