I was reading this otherwise pretty good article on a young activist in today's City Section of the New York Times today when one thing leapt out at me.
To the Ramparts (Gently)
By BEN GIBBERD
Published: March 23, 2008
I actually think violent action isnt radical at all, he said firmly. Radicals go to the root of the problem, and they want to change society. Violence doesnt change society, and if it doesnt go to the root of the problem, its not radical. Mr. Kelly paused. I dont know what it is, he added, but it has nothing to do with what I want to do.
Drama, Yes. Violence, No.
Despite his attitude toward violent protest, Mr. Kelly has not shied away from dramatic tactics. He has been arrested twice, once two years ago during a protest on Paces Manhattan campus, and once a year ago when he and about 20 other S.D.S. members were detained for occupying an Army-Navy recruiting center in Lower Manhattan. Neither arrest led to any charges.
Is this writer implying that getting arrested in non-violent protests is somehow a moral equivalent of using a bomb or other violence to make the same point? I find that a rather dangerous position.
Related: James's post titled Times Square bomblet outperforms march of a million