I kinda laugh when people see rioters and black bloc-ers destroying windows of shops and people are like, “omg these people are so violent!”
Violence is not just physical; there is structural and there is cultural violence too.
Violence is anything that hinders a person from achieving his/her full potential.
When a worker is making 400% less than a CEO and so is struggling to feed his/her family and put them to school and is drowning in debt while the CEO flies off in his jet to the Bahamas for the weekend, that is violence.
When the police hit protesters legally practicing their rights of freedom of speech, that is violence.
When a woman is unable to report cases of rape because of the shame society will bring upon her, that is violence.
When a black man is stopped-and-frisked in the streets regardless of his state of innocence, that is violence.
When the governments repress their people by withholding information from the citizenry and spies on them using social media, the Patriot Act or NDAA, that is violence.
When the governments whittle away at education budgets to increase the funding for the war, that is violence.
When a Muslim or Sikh is stopped on the streets or in the airport and herded away for interrogation because of their religious traditions and the stereotypes against them, that is violence.
When a person involved in the alternative subcultures cannot express themselves because of societal pressures and the holy grail of finding a job forbids them to, that is violence.
When austerity is forced upon people already suffering for the mistakes of the rich, that is violence.
Sure there is that one act of violence by rioters. But the riot is the rhyme of the unheard, and theirs is only in retaliation for the suffering and violence put upon them by society and the state. I would say it’s only fair, isn’t it? After all, at least it’s a window they’re breaking, and not the lives of others. A window, though a small loss of profit, can be replaced— but a life, never.
*this is not to say that I agree with the tactic but they are justified in their anger, I’d say.
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