(Graeber 2012) Concerning the violent peace-police

Graeber, David. Concerning the violent peace-police: an open letter to Chris Hedges [Internet]. n+1. 2012 Feb 9. Available from: http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police. Accessed 2012 Feb 9. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/65KpxkaVf.

Graeber responds to the Chris Hedges “cancer” article with a warning that the language used by Hedges to describe the black blocs—including the term “cancer”—has historically been associated with implicit calls for violent action against those so described, and may be so construed and acted upon even on the assumption that Hedges did not intend his words to be thus interpreted. Remarkably, there has also been historical precedent for violent action against black blocs by professed pacifists who disagreed with black bloc tactics, sometimes directly and sometimes by turning over black bloc activists to the police, even when the black bloc activists themselves did not engage in any violent action. The police are overwhelmingly responsible for committing, and even more so for initiating, violence that occurs at demonstrations (including those where a black bloc is present); public perceptions to the contrary are overwhelmingly due to biased reporting by the mainstream news media, rather than to any behavior by activists, including those in black blocs. For this reason, condemnation of black bloc tactics by other activists plays into the hands of the police and the media. Finally, Graeber notes that even Gandhi himself believed that violent resistance to injustice, while not ideal from a moral point of view, is still morally superior to no resistance at all.



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