Rioting: NOT a Form of Protest or Activism

The thesis of this image is that doing the peaceful thing didn’t garner them the attention they wanted, so doing the violent thing is worth a try, and, lo!, it worked. It got them the attention they wanted/deserved. Mission accomplished!

What a disgusting moral bankruptcy. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because someone hurts you or won’t listen to you doesn’t give you any justification to hurt someone else by looting their shop or burning their house and car. You haven’t garnered media attention for the injustice you suffered. You garnered media attention for the injustice you caused.

The cops are out of control in many parts of the world. They are hurting people, ruining lives, committing murder. Many people don’t see this or want to see this. They need to know what is going on. But burning their house down just reinforces their misplaced desire for a strong monopoly police force. You’ve just shot yourself in the foot. You destroyed your own cause.

The above image also reflects not just a pathetic laziness but also a false dichotomy. There are many choices between peaceful protest that goes unnoticed and wild, violent rampage that makes news across the globe. But most of those options require work. And that seems to turn people off. Pamphleting, writing, newspapers, activism, civil disobedience, website production – these are all proven alternatives that don’t require either submission or repetition of the cycle of violence.

Don’t be lazy. Do the right thing. Don’t riot. Agitate for change instead. Be the change you want to see in the world. We are the good guys. Act like it.

8 August 2011
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