Posts Tagged ‘The Indian Removal Act’

 

riots

Whenever I hear about the words peaceful protest and civil disobedience I think of tree hugging hippies that chain themselves to a tractor singing hymns. Answering violence with peace to me never seemed like a good idea. The only example I had to relate to the boycotting of the buses orchestrated by the NAACP and MLK Jr. Martin Luther King Jr was inspired Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy Satyagraha, which means adherence to truth. I am not against civil disobedience as a whole. I just feel that this cannot be the only course of action when you face corrupt governments, dictators, rebel armies, extremists and other psychopaths who would scowl at any measure of trying to make peace without the use of lethal force.

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For the most part I get it, using brutality against brutality ends in more bloodshed. Honestly though, after peace talks have failed, strikes that don’t grab anyone’s attention and interventions between the two parties have not and most likely will not agree, it’s no longer a matter acting “civil.” Take for instance back in 2011, in an attempt to overthrow Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year reign, protestors formed mass non-violent demonstrations.  900 of the protestors were killed during these demonstrations.In a twist of irony the Egyptian army who would not open fire on the crowd, which signaled the turn around in the protest that lead to Mubarak’s downfall. The army was not eager to relinquish power and ended up throwing the protestors in jail. Another protest in Libya against the military might of Muammar al-Qaddafi was met with rebellion after the peaceful demonstrations did not work. The turmoil was finally resolved after nine months of bloodshed that resulted in a body count with a range from 10,000 to 30,000 people.

Also in Syria in 2011 the civil war between Alawites, Christians and Drutes  against Assad’s barbarous regime that claimed close to 5,000 citizens a month for 7 months. That’s around 35,000 lives taken and this was supposed to be peaceful protesting. Even in American history, peaceful resistance resulted in lives lost. The Native Americans were forced off their land at gunpoint. After the Supreme Court ruled that they do not own land back in 1823, Native Americans made attempts to stay on their land. President Andrew Jackson enacted The Indian Removal Act, after the Supreme Court (Worcester vs Georgia)upheld their right to stay on the land. Jackson’s motives were,based on his acquirement of gold during the gold rush era. 4,000 Native Americans lost their lives on the Trail of Tears and this shows that even political and judicial victories will never overrule greed, corruption and disregard of human life.

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The greatest example that comes to mind for my case, not to abide by civil disobedience is Mahatma Gandhi. He wanted India independence from Britain. He fought to end discrimination and the heavy taxes on his people. During Gandhi’s time in South Africa he witnessed and experience deep seeded racism against himself and his people. This inspired him to rally allies and gather for a rebellion. However, during 1947 riots against Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs resulted in over half a million deaths, which is suspected to be more according to Jens Arup Seip in addition to over 100,000 imprisoned. India eventually gained independence in 1947. The irony in his non violent protests is that Gandhi was not against violence in his own words he argued, Gandhi explains his philosophy and way of life in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. Gandhi realized later that this level of nonviolence required incredible faith and courage, which he believed everyone did not possess. He therefore advised that everyone need not keep to nonviolence, especially if it were used as a cover for cowardice, saying, “where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.”

I’m not against peace talks, and strikes I just know the rebellious spirit of the founding fathers still lives in the American spirit. Oppressive forces in this country are the militarized police in place of the British Red Coats. One thing that we need to keep in mind is the insatiable thirst for blood that was inherited from the mother country. It is not in our nature to understand peaceful resolve in my opinion without it being a secondary thought. We fell heir to the predatorial, rapacious,avaricious manner of the plunderers of the villages of our authoritarian rulers. The ones who were more domineering than anyone else.

 

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