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Thoughts on Productive Protest

By Chris Ware

I'm a pacifist. It's just my nature and something that I see I need to work on. Activism is one of hardcore's greatest assets. I believe that even if you are just educating people about activism, then you're doing a part. But recently I've seen and read some things that really disturbed me.

I was perusing message boards one day and came upon the case of America's Most Wanted vs. sxe kids. Apparently some kid in Utah went to a mink farm and set all the mink free. This did hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to the company. So America's Most Wanted portrays the kid likes he's a murderer. At this point I agree with the sxe kids that were complaining about AMW's coverage. Then somebody says, "the sxe kid's not the criminal. The mink farm is the criminal. Look what it does to the mink." I'm not a scholar of law but it's my understanding that mink farming is legal and breaking and entering and destruction of property are not. I realize the kid got a bad wrap being put with rapists, murderers, etc...on AMW. But he did commit a crime.

As I read further, it came to my attention that this kid is associated with the ALF, which has supposedly bombed places. So he's an accessory to the bombings. These bombs, if I can recall correctly, have caused $700,000 worth of damage. Once again I contend that bombing is illegal and slaughtering cattle is not. It may not be right but it is legal.

My question is: How does the ALF and other radical groups (I know there are others, not to single out ALF) think that these acts help their cause? I'm really curious. Now the entire country knows about the ALF and they got publicity but most people think that they are a criminal organization. So they lose support even in animal rights groups. The name is tarnished even if they wanted to do stuff peacefully no one is going to take them seriously. But this seems to be a rising trend in these national activist groups. The overall mission statement of the group is usually great. Everyone agrees on it and they gain members. But then there is no central authority that condemns acts that go against the beliefs of the organization. So radical groups can use the name and pursue their own goals. I'm not familiar with the ALF but it is my impression that this is what has happened in this case. The ALF to me seems like a legitimate organization but one or two radical factions give the thing a bad name.

To all the organizations that have radical portions that are hurting your name. Take notice and action. Soon nobody will take you seriously and your cause will go unnoticed.

I would just like to congratulate those peaceful protest groups that use common sense. I know going by the law is boring and takes a long time but the only way to get positive results is to stretch the law but not break it. Play by the rules but use the system's loop holes to your advantage. It may take longer but the effects will be longer lasting. Anybody can blow up a building, it's not that hard and doesn't take creativity or intelligence (except for reading the Anarchist Cookbook). Find somebody that can play by the rules, use creativity and the law to his/her advantage then you'll find a capable leader.

(any grassroots, non-profit organization for political or social change please e-mail me for free advertising. I must have adequate info about your organization before I will place the ad)


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