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?