Confronting Violent Suppression
Things are getting even uglier in Syria. Bashar is brooking no challenge to his reign, and what started as nonviolent protests have broken down into a very bloody and deadly tumult.
It's giving me cause to ponder what might happen to protests of a similar scale with similar demands in the United States. In talking about Occupy's eventual fate, the specter of heavy military reaction has been raised before, but what I have never seen, or perhaps what has eluded me, is a frank discussion of how to proceed in the aftermath of a violent response to large nonviolent demonstrations.
I wish to plainly state that I am not an advocate for violence. It goes without saying that unarmed protestors could not beat the United States Army in a standup fight (and we will for now leave aside discussion of other styles of warfare). The ideal result of massive nonviolent protests are to grind the whole rotten system to a halt and collapse it. However, those in power are only too happy to use violence to maintain their power, and we may reach the point that they wield their bloody instruments unprovoked against a group of protestors.
What I would like to discuss is this: say some successor to the Occupy movement, or some unrelated protest spirit, results in massive nonviolent demonstrations in major US cities. One demonstration in one city is met by a heavy, violent crackdown from the US military. What should be the response?