Fight or Flight: Activism and Terrorism

The Activists

Subversion, resistance and epic spanner-chucking are an integral part of a sane response to world death. The global resistance movement has neither the time or the power to dismantle the ruinous market system before nature has her say.”

Lierre Keith – Deep Green Resistance

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to persuade people that when laws are made to be unjust, civil disobedience is not only justified, it is essential. Techniques of resistance, protest and ‘spanner chucking’ are essential (more on this later). Resisting the dominant hegemony, challenging it at every turn and revealing truths are important actions to change to change the dominant stories. Extrapolating our often unquestioned human actions and ‘bad stories’ to their resultant conclusions helps people to think about the consequences of their actions.

Every act of progression in a nation’s history has involved tension with law, whether it was the formation of parliament itself, the abolition of slavery, the enfranchisement of women or the ‘birth of a nation’ enshrined in a constitution. Laws had to be broken because they were wrong and they prevented the situation from changing.

Perhaps you still believe, like too many people, that our existing government systems can be reformed in time to make a difference? Perhaps the extent of your activism is justinvested in a vote? Good luck with that one.

The Terrorists

I fully realise that if I advocate terrorism in what is a public document that I am liable to be arrested under current laws. So I am stating quite clearly here that I am not doing this. But where civil disobedience ends and terrorism begins is an important discussion, especially in the face of completely unjust legislation.

It’s a fine line and even advocating what might be ‘perceived as terrorism’ on social media can get you arrested in this age of enforced paranoia. As I am writing this my Facebook media stream tells me that Madonna is under investigation by the Secret Service for publicly admitting that she had ‘thought about blowing up the Whitehouse’.

With the advent of the US ‘Ministry of Truth’ – it seems that thought crime, (or at least ‘admitting to thought’ crime until they can snoop our minds directly,) is already a reality in the US. When combined with the UK’s ‘Investigatory Powers Act’ – its easy to see how we now have legislation that can easily discover what anyone with a phone or computer is thinking.

I write novels (as well as books like this one) and I have been researching a Royalist pamphleteer called Silas Titus who was considering the assassination of Cromwell in 1663. He persuaded himself that such an assassination would be just killing rather than murder because it would be ‘tyrannicide’ – the killing of a tyrant.

In a similar way, some of the more extreme political factions would advocate the destruction of property and people to promote their cause. The logic is if you can kill a few now to make people aware enough to act and save millions – then this act of terrorism is actually saving people. Bond villians are made of such! Weird logic I know – but where is the line when we have such oppressive laws being enforced? Laws that appear to be stealing a future from so many people.

Spoiling your vote is OK, in fact Caroline Lucas advocates in her book that this is a better choice than not voting, as not voting smacks of lethargy. But ballot box bombs –  incendiary devices that destroy all the votes in the box? Definitely terrorism. In this material world the line seems to be that terrorism involves the destruction of property, places or people. Ironic indeed when these are the very outcomes of capitalism in action.

Every act of progression in a nation’s history has involved tension with law, whether it was the formation of parliament itself, the abolition of slavery, the enfranchisement of women or the ‘birth of a nation’ enshrined in a constitution. Laws had to be broken because they were wrong and they prevented the situation from changing. Remember, apartheid was legal, the Holocaust was legal, Colonialism was legal. Legality is a matter of power, not justice.


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