Government (in the form of police) violence against nonviolent protesters at the Seattle WTO Meetings had many in The Movement questioning the relevance of strict Ghandian Nonviolence in modern street protest. It also changed a lot of my attitude toward Federal and State gun-control laws. I suddenly noticed that all of these laws were about disarming the People, and not the State.
Things got really awkward all of a sudden. Now, I'm really not a violent guy at all. I've always believed that war -- and situations that drive citizens to take up arms against their government -- are an indication of epic failure: ethical failure, cultural failure, moral failure, and spiritual failure. After Seattle, though, I started thinking more about people in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, who are fighting US-backed state/corporate dictatorships and are forced to literally fight the police -- and often soldiers -- in the streets, often just for the right to gather in the streets to voice their grievances in the first place...and they aren't necessarily fighting by Gandhi's rules. I started thinking about the Palestinians, engaged in their resistance against the Israeli occupation of their country... and, they weren't exactly holding candles and singing kum-bah-yah, either.
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