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The Structural Violence of a Climate of Knowingness
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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: april 17, 2000
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The Structural Violence of Protest DemonstrationsAppel's Animated Figurine; see templart.htm.

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 17:43:52 +0200


A friend of mine went down to the demonstrations going on in D.C. and sent me this report, he was rather upset which explains the language:

"Spent the day in DC, started at 6am and left after 8 hours or so.† We walked around the entire perimeter tat the police closed off, and every single intersection going in was blocked.†

I also personally witnessed/narrowly escaped the very worst unprovoked and unwarned police attack I have ever seen.† It was at 15th and Pennsylvania (near the US Treasury bulding).† The cops charged with motorcycles and batons, running people over, beating them and kicking them.† One person sent to the hospital, quite a few more hurt and treated at the scene.† Then the cops randomly sprayed pepper spray into the crowd.† Not on the news, of course.† I was in the middle trying to take pictures, and those f . . . ers just went crazy.† No warning, no chance for anyone to leave.† Just smashing folks.† This apparently was the story of the day, but the news spins it to be the protestors fault.† Not what I saw.† Also, there were well over 10,000 people there, the entire city was shut down.† Monday will be worse, staying away this time.† The cops will be out for blood, and since the so-called free press f . . . ers won't cover anything the police don't tell them it's hard to justify the risk.† Hmmm, some democracy we have here.†. . . "

A friend of his wrote this more thorough article to be found at Friend's account the news source


Andreas Johansson

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000
From: Tom Howard-Hastings
Subject: RE: A16 - Washington News from Protestor from Halifax, Nova Scotia

What Doug is saying, I believe, is that a really exquisite nonviolent demonstration, undertaken by highly trained nonviolent actionists will be much less likely to be misrepresented on mainstream media. I am listening to an NPR reporter at the moment--a sellout, to be sure, but a somewhat more available and open media than, say, a major net--telling the nation that the demonstrators are running around doing a loud chant, "Whose streets? OUR STREETS!!" Great. That cuts to the bone of the issue... The point is to win over the hearts and minds of Americans and listening to another report this morning, in which arrested protesters whined about being given fruit drink with "zero percent real fruit juice" is just inane. I've spent lots of time in jails and prisons over the years and MY eyes were rolling, listening to this jerking off. Chanting loudly is anti-dialogic. Complaining about non-vegan food is alienating (I say this as someone who did eight weeks of eating only five meals per week as a result of my prison vegetarian stance) when the real issues are there but ignored. If I hear one more reference to "peace-Nazis" I'll be just about ready to give up on these young activists. They need to get a grasp of history, of the theory and practice of nonviolence, and they need to look for coalition rather than shove it away, in my opinion. They are in a position to lead us to the next level and they seem determined to turn back to the level of the antiwar demonstrations of the Sixties, a naive and confused movement if ever there was one. I say that having been a young person in the thick of it then... Tom H Hastings, Coordinator Peace Studies, Northland College Ashland WI 54806 715/682-1250;

Protesters not always peaceful Reason Magazine, Michael W. Lynch article
"The protesters didnít count on the professionalism of DCís police force. DCís various cops are used to keeping track of wackos, as I told a reporter from the New Haven Advocate, who was complaining about police surveillance. While they didnít want to unnecessarily arrest anyone, they didnít shirk from cuffing the protesters either, as last nightís arrest makes clear. They kept the protesters at bay, while others snuck in the delegates. The cops were still on the barricades this afternoon, keeping protesters out, long after the protesters, who were supposedly going to keep anyone from going in or coming out, had gotten tired and left to march about with the topless women. But marching wasnít without conflict. On 21st Street protesters had to pass a strip of student housing for George Washington University. "Go home hippies," taunted Tony Watkins, a senior finance major who claims to have already landed a job in New York, from his stoop, a Bud Light and Marlboro Light in hand. The marchers were chanting something about animal rights. Said Watkins, "Thereís no such thing as Animal Rights, you f . . . retards."

Consdier the structural violence in the Michael Lynch article in terms of the structural violence of a climate of knowingness.

pejorative terms: wackso, retards, etc.