On Non-violence, Part 1


Every time you see some major action being planned by prisoners, they always state that it is a “peaceful” and “non-violent” action.

I think this is because a lot of Black prisoners who are basically behind a majority of these actions come from an Islamic/Black cultural nationalist background and it seems as if they look at the Civil Rights Movement as a model and frame of reference as opposed to the Black Liberation Movement, to which most claim to be heirs. They think it’s safer and can get more participation and good propaganda to induce those who adamantly oppose violence to get on board.

I bring this up because a few ‘rades on the outside has brought it up recently and it’s constantly being debated by prisoners at Holman. It’s a debate that will keep rearing its head.

Martin L. King, Jr. wasn’t assassinated because he promoted or practiced violence. Personally, as an insurrectionist, I don’t hold the notion that peaceful protest/non-violence should be used as a strategy and/or tactic at all times, in all places. This is not about a diversity in strategy and tactics. This is about some people, so-called anarchists and other anti-prison activists, and even some prisoner activists, not giving support or solidarity, and attempting to impose their views and practice on those of us on the inside who question the insistence on “non-violence.” Let’s call it what it is: pacifism, and it’s anathema to anarchy.

The prisoners who support F.A.M. are not all stuck on “peaceful protest,” “non-violence,” even though it’s prominently displayed on F.A.M.’s website masthead and in F.A.M. literature. These guys are far from being pacifist.

The point is that if your solidarity and support is predicated on prisoners being “non-violent,” we don’t want or need it, because you are trying to control us.

I struggle within F.A.M. not because I believe in the system, but because it causes pain to the state, but in no way do I think F.A.M. or any of the Freedom movements are going to topple the state.

“Violence is only justifiable when it’s necessary to defend oneself and others against violence […] The slave is always in a state of legitimate self-defense and so his violence against the boss, against the oppressor, is always morally justifiable and should only be adjusted by the criterion of utility and economy of human effort and human suffering.” – Errico Malatesta

[Greek translation]

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