tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
Tim Chevalier ([personal profile] tim) wrote2017-08-30 11:14 am
Entry tags:

Addressing the smear that antifa are violent for violent's sake

Another important thread. Not every one of these words is a word I would choose (and I can't claim to have done the work that Emily has, though I would before getting more involved in direct action), but it's important to spread the truth in the face of the mayor of Berkeley trying to make it illegal to be against fascism.

If you're still concern-trolling about "violence" at this point, I would ask you: are you against all self-defense, or only self-defense by anti-fascists?

The rest of this is the words of [twitter.com profile] EmilyGorcenski (source).

Them: "Antifa are violence loving extremists"

Me, an 'antifa': *develops deep repertoire of nonviolent skills to use before any violence*

Seriously, my toolbox of non-violent intervention skills is probably 100x deeper than any of these buckets of moralizing horse bile.

You wanna preach non-violence? Great. Tell me five ways to intervene and de-escalate.

What if the victim is in a wheelchair? Deaf? What if the attacker has a gun? If they're mentally ill? If they don't speak English?

What if the aggressor is backed against a wall? What if you're lost? What if your phone is dead?

What if the aggressor is a state actor, like a cop or a soldier? What if the person refuses to let themselves be transport to a hospital?

What if there's media nearby? What if they're having a panic attack?

^ Over the course of August 11 and 12 I encountered almost all of these scenarios. And in the lead-up I trained for many of them.

You wanna preach non-violence? $50 says you don't even fucking know how to *do* non-violence.

Just yesterday, in a country I've never been in before, I recognized a domestic situation in a language I don't even speak and intervened.

Everyone else walked by and would have let violence happen. Yet I was able to intervene non-violently and de-escalate.

This is what antifa does. This is what community defense is. Anyone trained would have recognized what I was doing.

On a12, during the terrorist attack, I was right there. I knew it was an attack, I knew he might even start shooting.

I even unholstered my gun in case that happened. But I didn't point it, I saw there was no clear shot, I saw him speed away instead.

So I re-holstered it, ran to the police and told them to call an ambulance, and helped clear the streets.

Violence as last resort.

If I was a violent extremist, I would have unloaded my clip, consequences be damned. I was ready to if I had to. But I didn't. That's NVDA.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)

[personal profile] staranise 2017-08-30 06:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I would really like to see you develop a more nuanced response to this, especially in response to [personal profile] kaberett's most recent post. I find it disturbing that a lot of antifa have developed a strong, "You're either with us or against us, and if you don't unquestioningly support our actions and methods, you might as well be a fascist and therefore deserve violence."

This is a calling in: A lot of your allies are scared, concerned, and hurt, and your behaviour has been frightening, concerning, and hurting us. Please, see if you can put your anger down and work with us to find ways to work better together.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)

[personal profile] staranise 2017-08-30 07:05 pm (UTC)(link)
You're dealing with people like [personal profile] kaberett who are receiving the message that asking antifa activists to be inclusive to disabled people is oppressive and reactionary, and risks putting them into the category of people who deserve to be met with violence.

Right now, the "vulnerable group" you're defending is the people fascists hope to someday hurt. Meanwhile, people with disabilities are afraid that antifascists will be violent towards them for being disabled. You are advocating for violent action, and people are saying that you risk targeting a vulnerable group with it.

It's not enough to just post things that are ideologically correct; rectifying this situation means also doing things like interacting with the people bringing these concerns to you in a way that demonstrates empathy with their worries, shows that you understand their concerns, apologizes for any part you may have had in the current situation, or commits to making it safe for them to engage in antifascism without fear of undeserved violence.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)

[personal profile] staranise 2017-08-30 07:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not going to actually answer this, because you're still responding on a universal ideological level, not a personal level. You're not demonstrating any willingness to actually settle down and talk vulnerably with the real human beings trying to have a conversation with you. Since that's the conversation I'm asking you to have, I'm not interested in a different one.

Besides, you're a smart person, interested in psychology and mental health. I have faith that if you spent time trying to invest empathetic imagination into the people calling you in, you'd see where their concerns come from.