The Civil Rights Movement, disruptive protest, and harm

This is the promised follow-up to my last couple of posts – I said I would talk about disruptive protest and the potential harms it can do to uninvolved parties, so I am.

An argument that I’ve been seeing a lot is that disruptive protest is wrong because it causes negative effects for innocent bystanders. […]

Protest, strategy, and disruption

This is the first part of my follow-up to the last post. Since I promised in that post that I would have more to say, in the future, about strategy, tactics, and disruption, in a more general post that wasn’t about the I-93 action.

I’ve heard any number of times before, but especially over the […]

Some notes on the I93 action

By now I’m guessing most of my local readers and some of the others are aware of the I-93 shutdown action on Thursday, during which I was arrested. This isn’t so much an essay as a series of points – and the legal case is ongoing – but I wanted to get something up, especially […]

Little girls and soldiers: A protest in Nabi Saleh

This is part of an occasional series about my experiences with the American Jews for a Just Peace Health and Human Rights delegation to Palestine in June 2014. You can read all posts in the series here.

After attending a weekly village protest in Bil’in, I was pretty happy to have the chance to go […]

Charlie Hebdo, solidarity, bigotry, and protecting cartoonists’ freedom

I divided this post into two parts. I suspect that some people will feel very differently about those two parts. I would request that if the first part really bothers you and you want to stop reading it, please at least check out the second part, because the cartoonists’ rights group that I’m trying to […]

On Oprah and movement structure

Oprah decided to market her “Selma” movie by saying that Ferguson protesters need “some kind of leadership” that makes concrete demands. The actually-existing, prominent, dedicated, respected organizers of Ferguson were not thrilled. Especially since Ferguson Action, a major movement coordination website, has both a long-term vision and shorter-term demands right there on the site. Individual […]

On policing, institutions, and individuals

It was September 2012, and I was in New York City to medic the Occupy anniversary protests. It was dark, and I was walking with my medic buddy to stash their pack. My medic buddy was homeless at the time, this pack had all their posessions. The NYPD and Zuccotti Park security wouldn’t let them […]

On politics, activism, charity, and efficiency

While reading a forum, I came across a link to a blog post by Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex, which made the case that “charity” is a more effective way of helping people than “politics”. This post is a response to that one.

First, the bits that I do agree with. The eventual conclusion […]

Crossing Qalandiya: My West Bank checkpoint story

This is part of an occasional series about my experiences with the American Jews for a Just Peace Health and Human Rights delegation to Palestine in June 2014. My previous posts in the series are here and here.

Qalandiya Checkpoint, which I misheard as “Columbia” the first half-dozen times I heard it referenced, is the […]

A protest in Bil’in, West Bank

This is part of an occasional series about my experiences with the American Jews for a Just Peace Health and Human Rights delegation to Palestine in June 2014. My previous post in the series is here.

In the middle of the last decade, a network of villages started holding unarmed demonstrations against the Occupation and […]