So for awhile now I’ve been wanting to write a comic that took certain protest tactics to task for being counter productive. I know this comic might piss off a number of anarchist kids (and a number of our friends as well, as that’s a Venn diagram with a high degree of overlap), but I think the point needed to be made, and we at Mission Mini-Comix have always prided ourselves at being equal opportunity offenders. I think the comic speaks pretty well for itself, but I don’t think it can be stressed enough how much it turns people away from a cause when the selfish actions of a couple deluded would be revolutionaries allow the media to paint an entire movement as being made up of violent malcontents. These people usually live in big cities and have no real tolerance of people who don’t think like them and no idea how much there actions are turning off potential sympathizers in Peoria or Middle America or wherever. Plus, its just kind of a dick move to antagonize the police and then duck for cover into a crowd of people who were just trying to show up for a peaceful protest… Not that the cops seem to need an excuse any of the time, but that’s kind of our point: if you don’t antagonize the police, then police brutality becomes the story and more people become sympathetic to your cause.
Anyway, enough bloviating. I tried to write this comic in a Dr. Seuss style, because I thought it would be funny and might soften the jabs I was making a wee little bit. And because Dr. Seuss is fucking dope. Look into your heart, kid. You know it to be true. But it was really hard to write, I probably wrote and rewrote these panels more than I ever have any script ever. Sondra rewrote her panel at my urging, because, even right until the last minute, I wasn’t quite satisfied I was giving both the message and Dr. Seuss justice. Anyways, I drew the first, 4th and 6th panels, Mikey drew the second and 5th panels, Audrey drew the 3rd panel, Sondra drew the 7th panel, and lets all have a big MMC welcome for Justin Gorski who came out to draw his first mini-comix contribution on the 8th and last panel of this bad boy. Looking pretty sick there, Justin.
Mikey: This comic was about how nonviolence is a good protest tactic, and how smashing stuff and being destructive is not as good. I know a lot of people out there have been blaming the failure of the occupy movement on the black bloc kids. I don’t think the destructiveness is helpful, but it isn’t the only reason things aren’t working. How people gauge “success” is important to begin with. There are aspects of occupy that are working, and how do you measure effective social change anyway? Did everyone really think if they occupied stuff and protested for a few months everything would get fixed? It’s slow and ongoing, and people have to keep at it. Giving up because the change isn’t broad sweeping and immediate is silly. People shielding themselves with other protesters so they can get a few cheap thrills vandalizing stuff is counterproductive, and the mass media then uses it against the protesters. If people want to smash or vandalize stuff, they should do it extra-curricularly and not piggy-back it onto occupy. The masks are understandable. Police reprisals are a reality regardless of how destructive people are. If they’re involved in protests on any level, it’s a possibility(sometimes justice must go masked). It’s not Burma, but anyone who thinks it’s not a police state has never been worked over by cops, or had their constitutional rights violated, or been imprisoned without an explanation and so on…sigh
I leave you with this quote:
“You listen to me: while I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is I’m a nay-sayer and hatchet man in the fight against violence. I pride myself for taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Ghandi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method… is love. I love you Sheriff Truman.”