There have been great disturbances in Occupy Wall Street solidarity due to violence in the movement. Because of such, many have left or distanced themselves from OWS. As the movement has been sullied by these conflicts, this proposal is to get the GA to agree to the following anti-violence statement that would thereafter speak for the movement.
OCCUPY WALL STREET ANTI-VIOLENCE STATEMENT
As stated in Occupy Wall Street’s Principles of Solidarity, we here reiterate our commitment to non-violence. We also clarify the rationale for why, excluding discussion of self-defense, non-violent struggle is preferable to violent struggle.
To begin, violent struggle entails great risk to life, limb, one’s freedom, and property. Also, if violent struggle fails, backlash naturally ensues making matters worse. Even if violence succeeds, such success is at best only temporary. After all, when an enemy is forced to submit, it will only continue to do so under threat of further force. Therefore, as the need for continual force endlessly consumes time and energy, the temporary success achieved by violence eventually fails when the continual resources it requires are depleted. Hence, tyrants are eventually overthrown.
By contrast, lasting victory can be achieved by non-violence; so long as there is a truly convincing, viable message (if there is not, what is the point of the movement?). Such victory lasts, as rational believers do not have to be forced to comply. Rather, they do so freely. This considered, for non-violent struggle to be truly effective, it must contain a message of mutual harmony. After all, and excepting the usage of mind control, persons cannot be non-forcefully convinced to act in manners not in their interest.
As oppression naturally creates conflict, a mutually harmonious message must consider the present and future needs of all. To do so, non-violent movements must then reasonably compromise, for getting one’s way without compromise requires physical force. While compromise requires sacrifice, there is great compensation for so doing. For one, mutually agreeable compromise ensures success, stability, and peace, as greater mutuality lessens conflict. Also, as inequality breeds hate, equality—embodied by mutual consideration—breeds love. As love is incomparable, greater than satisfaction and happiness, love fills voids and more than compensates for sacrifices. Those with love are not only happy to go without so that their loved ones have, but insist upon it.
This considered, mutually harmonious, non-violent struggle is far superior to violent struggle. Besides the previously mentioned benefits, as there is no human state, tangible or intangible, greater than love, any movement that can truly promise more of it, must be a movement that is impeccable.
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We, the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street, consent that the above is an accurate reflection of our views. It too corresponds with the message famously sang by John Lennon, whose image, with Yoko Ono, was affixed to our one sacred tree in Liberty Square: “Love is the Answer.”
Proposer: Principles of Solidarity WG
[Note: The previous was authored by Rabbi Chaim Gruber. Many of you surely remember the rabbi, and as it states on Wikipedia’s “Occupy Wall Street” section, under “Protestor demographic” (3/14/12): “Various religious faiths have been represented at the protest including Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Rabbi Chaim Gruber, however, is reportedly the only clergy member to have actually camped at Zuccotti Park.” Despite his connection to OWS, some months ago the rabbi distanced himself from the movement due to violence. By the GA accepting this proposal, and by the movement following its precepts, he prays to again reconnect.]