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actions & protests

Is Arson a form of protest or direct action?

Is burning of public or private property a form protest?
Often times, people call for "direct action" as a form of protest (I think we can agree that looting is not protest yet some groups employ that tactic in a predictable way). This "direct action" statement is ambiguous since apparently many people seem to condone and tacitly support arson as an acceptable way of protesting.

A problem with terms and the implications of them 02.Dec.2014 06:24

Mike Novack

Arson can be BOTH a form of direct action and a form of protest. As could even be your counter example of looting.

I think your problem is in imagining that one would NECESSARILY be OK but the other not.

Let us assume for just a moment that act X is BOTH a form of protest and a direct action. Without knowing anything else about X you can't tell me whether X is an ACCEPTABLE form of protest, an ACCEPTABLE form of direct action, BOTH, or NEITHER.

You will decide that for yourself, so will I, and no reason to suppose we will be in agreement.

a good old fashion Lootinanny. 02.Dec.2014 10:25

u of X

Ferguson maybe smeared on your side of the bread but its still rancid butter.

Any form of violence that is intended to influence a political result is terrorism, fascism, or whatever label you put on it.

If you disagree then you should have no problem with Kristallnacht, cross burning, or any other act like this regardless of whose side of the bread its smeared on.

90 percent of the businesses burned in Ferguson were Black owned including the church where Michael Brown's family attend. So while you're patting yourselves on the back for the effort, the KKK is toasting a marshmallow on the bonfires you help set.

this is not your father's justified protest, this something foul.

"Protest" Or "Insurrection"? 02.Dec.2014 10:31


I find it very disturbing that somebody is wondering if arson or looting might be considered plausible forms of direct action, or even protest.

Arson can easily kill and injure people. And although society tells us that building and other structures are owned by title-holding individuals, businesses, or governments, it's quite clear to me that the carpenters, plumbers, and so on who sacrificed time out of their short lives to build these things hold an unacknowledged yet totally authentic stake in the work they have contributed. A stake that transcends the fact of their having been provided wages. To destroy their works is to destroy pieces of their very lives.

Looting is very different. Obviously, the looter stands a significant chance of getting shot. Plus, its value in terms of public relations is abysmal.

Arson and looting are forms of what I would call "insurrection".

"Direct action" or "rebellion" might be, for example, mobbing a courthouse and thereby bring its "business" to a halt.

Protest can be effective; and it might consist of marching on the sidewalks carrying signs. (I think "permitted" or "sanctioned" protests are dismally lame.)

Arson and looting are simply intolerable.

blues 02.Dec.2014 11:59


Blues, good point. Arson killed my brother's best friend. he was a rookie fireman. A landlord of a crack house decided he wanted the insurance money and torched the place. He and the fire chief were killed when the house imploded. His father never got over it and drank himself to death.

Arson is a crime 02.Dec.2014 15:57

fed up

Arson is not protest, it's a criminal act. This is why Tre Arrow lost me by torching cars on a car lot. When he had the urge to climb and sit on a ledge for days on end, that was a protest. How deeply disappointing it was to hear him go on a local radio station when he was released on parole after serving time for arson. He said what he learned from the experience is to be careful whom you confide in.

Criminal Justice Is A Crime 02.Dec.2014 20:56


No one has actually ever "proven" that Tre Arrow actually torched any cars at all.

That was all just legal mumbo-jumbo from a gaggle of "attorneys" who carried out the usual "legal" rituals. The truth is seldom anywhere near the courthouse. The get-rich-easy prosecutors depend on jailhouse extortion to get fake "witnesses" and then let them off easy in return for false testimony.

The courts and the law givers make their fortunes by punishing the truth. Then they get portrayed as heroes in the fake TV dramas.

The nothing-to-hide crowd gets its belongings confiscated by the officials in the end. Experience is what they gain after it's too late to make use of it.

The Big Red 'X' 03.Dec.2014 10:09

Tracy Mapes

Protest comes in Degrees.

What Offense are You Trying to Counter?

America'a Government wages War against others all they time when they protest.

What is Your Problem?

If a Government Wages War against its own People, What is the Limit You are willing to End Unjust Torture?
Or Criminal Infrastructure that Destroys Lives and the Ability of Fellow Citizens to make a Living?

Do They Drive Cars? Do They Employ those Vehicles against Your Ability to make a Living or Survive?

Do they work in Buildings to Organize their Illegal and Offensive Activities?

If You Answer Yes? To Any of these Questions, It's up to You to Decide How Much You are willing to take before Reacting.

Because, in effect, You are not only Protesting, You are trying to Stop the Offensive Activity Permanently.

You Are ...In Fact at War.

Take Care,

-Tracy Mapes

It Ends When They Admit What They Have Done, and Stop Doing It.

Discern 06.Dec.2014 12:13


Burning down Grandma's Cookie Shoppe is NOT okay. Burning down Wal-Mart or Bank of America or Monsanto or Nestle IS okay.

wrong 09.Dec.2014 22:22


Burning anything down is arson, it's a crime, it's wrong.

Suing Monsanto for it's GMO grain contaminating the world, that's good. Suing Wal Mart for unfair labor practices, that's good.

Burning down the cookie shop somehow is morally different? How about if they refuse to make cookies for a gay wedding? Would you then say go ahead and burn it down?

Then you're only saying burn those we disagree with and don't burn what we like. Then you're saying civilization has no basic boundaries and rules and those with the fastest torches get their way. Mob rule. Not the society I'd want to live in.