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MALCOLM X: You don't have to criticize Reverend Martin Luther King. His actions criticize him. Any Negro who teaches Negroes to turn the other cheek in the face of attack is disarming that Negro of his God-given right, of his moral right, of his natural right, of his intelligent right to defend himself. Everything in nature can defend itself, and is right in defending itself except the American Negro. And men like King—their job is to go among Negroes and teach Negroes “Don’t fight back.” He doesn’t tell them, “Don’t fight each other.” “Don’t fight the white man” is what he’s saying in essence, because the followers of Martin Luther King will cut each other from head to foot, but they will not do anything to defend themselves against the attacks of the white man.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR: Non-violent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and human dignity. It has a way of disarming the opponent. It exposes his moral defenses. It weakens his morale and at the same time it works on his conscience. He just doesn't know how to handle it and I have seen this over and over again in our struggle in the South... I don't think of love as a weak force; I think of love as something strong and that organizes itself into powerful direct action. We are not engaged in a struggle that means we sit down and do nothing. There is a great deal of difference between non-resistance to evil and non-violent resistance. Non-resistance leaves you in a state of stagnant passivity and deadly complacency. Non-violent resistance means that you do resist in a very strong and determined manner.
Is protest broken? Micah White, co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, thinks so. Recent years have witnessed the largest protests in human history. Yet these mass mobilizations no longer change society. Now activism is at a crossroads: innovation or irrelevance.
In The End of Protest Micah White heralds the future of activism. Drawing on his unique experience with Occupy Wall Street, a contagious protest that spread to eighty-two countries, White articulates a unified theory of revolution and eight principles of tactical innovation that are destined to catalyze the next generation of social movements.
Despite global challenges—catastrophic climate change, economic collapse and the decline of democracy—White finds reason for optimism: the end of protest inaugurates a new era of social change. On the horizon are increasingly sophisticated movements that will emerge in a bid to challenge elections, govern cities and reorient the way we live.
In this provocative playbook, White offers three bold, revolutionary scenarios for harnessing the creativity of people from across the political spectrum.
He also shows how social movements are created and how they spread, how materialism limits contemporary activism, and why we must re-conceive protest in timelines of centuries, not days.
Rigorous, original and compelling, The End of Protest is an exhilarating vision of an all-encompassing revolution of revolution.
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