Thursday, 1 November 2007

When is "direct action" legitimate?

There have been calls for "direct action" to support the "Urawera 17," and fears expressed that the Terrorism Suppression Act "could be applied to legitimate direct-action protesters."

My colleague Tim Wikiriwhi, who was jostled by the unwashed in Saturday's protests in Hamilton, wonders exactly what "direct action" is it for which they are claiming legitimacy? Trespass? Vandalism? Arson? Assault? None of these are justified either morally or legally, and there is already law available to prosecute trespassers, vandals, arsonists and thugs (although rarely used, as we know), without any need to politicise these crimes. Arson is arson, whether committed with matches and firelighters or napalm and petrol bombs.

And let's make something else perfectly clear: there is a vast gulf between genuine civil disobedience and the "direct action" supported by so called peace activists and anarchists and anti-colonialists, and I for one find it instructive that defenders of the arrested seventeen wish to conflate the two. There is an unstated assumption that because the state so often uses force in promoting its values, that this somehow legitimises ragtag unwashed whiners using force to promote their values. It doesn't. Two evils don't whitewash the fallacy. Ayn Rand makes the point:
One does not and cannot "negotiate" with brutality, nor give it the benefit of the doubt. The moral absolute should be: if and when, in any dispute, one side initiates the use of physical force, that side is wrong—and no consideration or discussion of the issues is necessary or appropriate.
Clear enough for you?


  1. Socialists like to confuse legitimate protest, civil disobedience, and blatant crime/violence all together under the title “Direct action” as if to legitimise their crime by associating it with an imagined just cause and other legitimate means of protest.
    This is the case at Wikipaedia

    Socialists are savages!

  2. Exactly, direct action is one of those "nice phrases" used to cover up political violence of one form or all.

    The basic premise is that if people don't agree with you, you threaten them and your property to get your own way. The very same people ironically would claim to be part of the "peace" movement.

  3. One of the socialist groups involved with Itis’ Te Qaeda is 'Radical youth' .
    These guys encourage activists to 'coin' the paint jobs on evil diesel 4x4s,(Green extremism) and say..."It is ok to steel from shop keepers because they take everybody’s money...”(anti-capitalist criminals!) I kid you not. I have read one of their pamphlets!
    Now these guys would call this sort of crap "direct action".
    Again on Wikipedia they participate in activism such as..."A day of direct action against global warming and G8..."

    Tim Wikiriwhi

  4. Years ago, in Christchurch, I witnessed one of these "radicals" coin a car. She was one of those self-rightous vandals who thought that her jealousy qualified her to behave as she wished. What she didn't expect was the hiding she got from a passer by. He was not the owner of the car that was damaged but he clearly did not approve of her actions one bit. As the old guy passed he hooked he legs out from under her with his walking stick. She went down to the ground where she received several hearty whacks across the backside and a fairly hefty prod in the stomach. She was told she was a whipper snapper and needed to be straightened out. The old guy moved on and some people cheered him as he passed. Then the Police arrived and the owner of the car turned up. He wanted the vandal charged. She got to go in the Police car and the owner drove off, but not beofre a Maori guy crossed the road and told him what had occurred. Then everyone left.

    A pity that instead of punishing vandals, Kiwis prefer to tolerate or encourage them.


  5. Perhaps what is require is more people like that old digger, instead of the apologists and excuse makers that appear to be dominant in NZ these days.


  6. Now one interesting act of history that might be argued by some to be “Righteous Direct Action” was the case of the Pious Abolitionist John Brown USA 1850s.
    He declared war on the south and the abolition of slavery.
    Went down and started liberating slaves by force.
    He slew some slave owners, which appears to me was really was murder,
    He was betrayed, captured and hanged by the South.
    In far less than 1000 days Civil War would break out, and the North as a whole did exactly what John brown did as an individual.
    Had he been successful in his ambitions without murdering anyone He would be the greatest American Hero!
    His cause was certainly Just, but I say his execution of slave-owners was a crime.
    Others, like the great Fredrick Douglas who suffered under slavery held the man in such high esteem as to find it impossible to impinge his character!
    Pragmatists might excuse it as “Direct action” where the end justifies the wicked means.
    This is how a Socialist would see John Brown- as an example of ‘righteous direct action’.
    I myself love the righteous and heroic spirit of John Brown but cannot justify his executions.
    Event though his cause was just, I judge his actions by the same standard as I judge a socialist do-gooders who vandalize and gets violent.
    It would be a victory for socialism if we were to accept the term “Direct action” in any legitimate sense, or as a category. We must always expose what these socialists mean by such tricky statements! They are designed to hide foxes amongst the chickens.
    Criminal activity is policy for these socialists!
    Tim Wikiriwhi.

  7. Yeah nice work Tim, I don't know how much support you could have gained there but good on you for having the balls to take this stand in the face of those who only have 'Direct Action' to offer.

    Maybe it's all been blown way out of proportion, if not it's just so fucking good that nothing horrible was done - it could only lead to utter misery for all of us. Especially their whanau. No heroes.

    That Ayn Rand quote is perfect Peter.

  8. Direct action is yet another avenue of force and example of the socialist disregard for individual rights. They think they have the right to impose their socialist ideas.
    They use direct action for the same purpose and reason they love oppressive legislation and vindicate both and means to an assumed righteous end.
    Tim Wikiriwhi


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